Friday, January 15, 2010

Easy to Make Block Ornaments

Celebrate the faces of loved-ones all year long! Each block ornament displays four pictures - think of it as a mini book with four pages to tell each story!

The process is simple. (Coming soon, a video clip showing each step of the process.) Check your local craft store for supplies. We also offer ornament kits on our website.

For you to Gather:
Wood Blocks (We use 2" and 3.25" blocks)
Decorative Paper
Metal Eye Screws
Decoupage Glue - We like ModPodge's Matte Glue
Foam Brush
Pictures (We recommend that you print these on regular paper using a laser printer.)
Sandpaper / Sanding block
Distress ink / chalk (optional)
Finishing Spray

Step 1:
Prepare your pictures. You have two options. Either print each picture to be at least as large as your blocks. Use the edge of the block to trace around each picture and cut away the excess. Or, you can use the Photo Wizard to get your picture to the exact size that is needed for this project. [Use the Block/Box - ORNAMENT option for the 2" block. Use the Block/Box - LETTER BLOCK option for the 3.25" block.] Need help using the Photo Wizard. See our demo. Still need help? We're only a mouse click away. Just email us at www.mythoughts@storiesbyme.com. Cut each picture to size.

Be sure to print your pictures using a LASER printer! Ink jet colors tend to smear when they get wet!!

Step 2:
The cut ends of the wood absorb more glue than the grained ends. Before beginning this step, apply a thin layer of glue of glue to the ends with the rougher (cut) surfaces. Let glue dry.

Apply a thin layer of glue to the first side of one block. Place picture over glue and press in to place. Remove any air bubbles.
Check for overhanging paper edges. It is important to WAIT for the glue to dry before attempting to remove any excess paper.

Once all of the picture are in place, add decorative paper to the top and bottom of each block. Don't worry about matching sides. A random look is great!

Step 3:
Depending on your personal taste, your ornament might be ready for finishing. If you like the vintage look shown in our example, sand all the corners of the block being careful not to sand across the picture.
This step gives the block a worn look, like it's been around for ages. We like to darken the exposed wood to make the project look even older!

Step 4:
Protect the pictures by adding several layers of decoupage glue over the top of the photos. This process is time consuming because you must wait for the glue to dry. Instead of glue, we simply add several light coats of a matte acrylic spray.

All that's left to do is screw in the eye bolt and attach a piece of ribbon!

That's all that's to it. Your first ornament might take a bit of time as you become comfortable with the process, but it won't be long before you can crank through the steps in a matter of minutes! Made a mistake? Simply sand down the offending picture and add another layer!

More to come. Next we'll share pictures of some of our ways to display the finished project.

This fun, easy idea has been shared at:


creativejewishmom.com said...

Thanks so much for linking up on Craft Schooling Sunday! Hope to see you again next week!

Heather@ My Frugal Family said...

Thank you so much for linking up with the Talented Tuesday link party at My Frugal Family, which is hosted every Tuesday. Please feel free to stop back in every week and post your newest projects!

The Yorgason's said...

I think these are so cute! Great idea.

Lanie Ree said...

Aw, these are so cute! I love personalized ornaments. These would also be a great way for children to get to know aunts and uncles who live far away.

Thanks for linking up to A Little Creative Therapy with Life in the Pitts!

Tara said...

That is cute! Great Project. Would love to have you link up at Trendy Treehouse for our Creative Share WED.


Heather said...

Very cute! What a great way to use old wooden playblocks too, thanks for sharing.

fawnda said...

Very cute! I love them!

Rachelle said...


Thanks for linking up!

FrouFrouBritches said...

Precious! I've done scrapbook paper, but never thought of photos. Really cute!

Lori said...

Those are super cute. I like the photos on them..

Thanks for joining Get your Craft on Thurs. Please join me next week for another great party.


Anonymous said...

My blocks are 2.5x2.5. They are too heavy. Any suggestions?

Stories by Me said...

It's not the size of the blocks but the composite that is making them too heavy. Look for a lighter wood if you want to hang them from a tree. You can use your current blocks for a stacking project, or string them together with a bit of wire and turn them into garland. We've also added blocks to holiday wreaths. There's no end to the ways you can display them!
Good luck!!

Sharon Leslie said...

Great tutorial! I think this is just what I was looking fo0 thinking of thoughtful/beautiful/handmade gifts. Any tips on the best kind of wood? Did you cut your own or buy them? Thanks a lot!

Rachel Hoskins said...

I see this is an old post but thought I comment. My 4 year old daughter and I have just made the Dad version of this for Father's Day which was my first attempt at d├ęcoupage. It was a bit of a chore finding someone with a laser printer but well worth it for the results. I used vintage style coloured paper with sepia pictures then used distress ink to finish. I even hand sawed the blocks myself! Very proud of our efforts, with some trial and error. Thanks so much for the tutorial.