Monday, September 13, 2010

Letter Blocks for Halloween

Halloween is a big holiday around here. When the kids were little, I'd start quizzing them in early September on what they wanted to dress up as. The trick was to hone in on that one thing they wanted to be more than anything and then keep that focus for 60 days!

It was a lot of work for what equates to a few hours of enjoyment... but we have some fantastic memories!

This is the year that I sewed it up BIG for my little guys. So cute! Only problem is that the costumes was super toasty and Northern California was going through a heat wave. My little skunk had beads of sweat dripping off his face until I finally yanked off the furry costume and let him hang out in his underwear.

One year that we decided to be a family of pirates. Hubby even turned the Red-Rider into a full-fledged pirate ship. The plastic weapons that accompanied the costumes didn't make it to Halloween. They were destroyed in the make-believe play as the kids 'practiced' their roles for the big day.

It didn't take me long to figure out that it was easier...and cheaper to buy the kids costumes than make them. So what if there were three other Buzz Lightyear's at the party?

As the kids got older, their costumes took on a more macabre tone. I remember one year my son didn't care what he was...as long as he was dead. It actually wasn't so bad. I seem to have a knack for making my kids look grotesque.

If you're anything like me... you took a LOT of Halloween pictures over the years. What do you do with all of your photos? Here's what I've come up for our Halloween memories.

Boo Letter Blocks

For you to Gather:
3 blocks. My blocks measure 3.25 inches each
3 coordinating scrapbook papers to match theme (more to cover top and bottoms of block)
Decoupage Glue - We like ModPodge's Matte Glue
Printer -black ink works best for printing letters
Foam Brush
Sanding Block (Not really needed, but it goes a long way to saving your hands during the sanding process!)
Distress Ink or Chalk
Finishing Spray
9 pictures formatted to fit your blocks. The Photo Wizard will help you format your pictures to fit a 3.25" block.

Step 1:
Prepare your letters. Our Letter Blocks .pdf provides letters for the following words...
Pick coordinating paper to match your word choice (i.e. fall colors for BOO). 12x12 scrapbook paper works great. Just trim the paper to 8.5 x 11 before feeding it through your printer. Save any extra scraps for covering the top and bottom of the blocks. Print the Letter Blocks .pdf on your selected papers. Cut out each square using the trim markings. (Trim depends on the block size that you're using. Project formatted to fit 3.25" blocks.)

Step 2:
Prepare your pictures. You have two options here. 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. 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 3: 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. While the glue is drying, repeat the process for other blocks. Check for overhanging paper edges. It is important to WAIT for the glue to dry before attempting to remove any excess paper. Add picture's 2 and 3 following same procedure. Once all of the picture are in place, add one letter square to each block. Complete this step by adding a decorative top and bottom paper square to each block. Don't worry about matching sides. A random look is great!

Step 4:
Once the glue is dry, carefully sand the edges of each block. Add a distress look by rubbing ink or chalk along the sides of each square to darken the exposed wood and remove any white paper edge.

Protect your project with several light coats of decoupage glue or matte Acrylic spray.

That's all that's to it! Remember, you CAN'T ruin this project. Fix any mistakes by simply sanding down the offending side and adding another picture.
You now have nine Halloween pictures ready to display. This same project works great for a number of holidays.

Of course, the best part is sharing the stories that accompany each picture. Enjoy!


Maria Gridley said...

Great idea.. I love that you used past halloween pics for this too! What a brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing.

Nesty Girl said...

What a great project! And your Halloween pictures are great; they remind me of all the fun my sisters and I had thinking up our costumes!

I'm visiting from MTWC. Have a great week!

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

I have some of these blocks and was brainstorming what I could do with them for Halloween. Thanks for the ideas! Visiting from Its so very cheri

Amy Meyer said...

So cute and I love the Halloween pictures that you added! Lovely!

Erin said...

I love the Boo blocks!!

I have some I did earlier this year (everyday ones, not Halloween, LOL) and I still love them!

Kelley said...

very cute! I really like this project, so fun... have a super week.

Sandy Ang said...

Such as simple but effective idea for showing off your pictures.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your boo blocks are really cute, I love adding the family photos! I gave your tutorial a shout out today on my blog. Have a great weekend:@)

Michelle said...

I love them! They are sooo cute!

- Michelle @ Bunch of Craft