Today after work I needed to get my hands messy with something. Staring at a computer screen all morning takes its toll sometimes. I broke out the big tools to make these puzzle blocks and I had a lot of fun once I figured out what I was doing.
I surprised myself with this project--I thought I was going to fail miserably at it. It's far from perfect, but I'm proud of myself for not giving up.
These weren't super hard to make...but if you want to make these, definitely block out your afternoon. If you don't want to cut out the blocks like I did (which, I don't blame you) and you buy a set of wood blocks ready to paint, this project won't take you long at all.
I was rummaging in my parents basement and found some scrap pieces of wood about 2 inches by 4 inches. I found six of those that were all roughly the same width and cut them in half.
When I say I cut them in half...I used a saw.
I haven't sawed anything since 7th grade woodshop.
I told Alix what I was going to do and she said, "It'll be a good story if you cut off your finger".
I still have all my fingers.
Anyway, after I cut them all in half (very poorly I might add. Like I said...I haven't done anything like this since I was 12.) they needed to be sanded. This is the first time I almost gave up. I used my electric sander so it would go faster...but these are very small pieces of wood so I took some skin off my fingers during this process.
The second time I almost gave up was fitting all the pieces together as close as I could. My precision sawing skills need a little help...as you can see. I didn't want huge gaps so there was a lot of sanding and a lot of rearranging. At one point, I knocked them all off the table and had to start all over again.
But once they all fit as well as I could get them, I put a rubber band around them to keep them secure.
Then I spent some time sketching out some ideas for the pictures I wanted to paint on the blocks.
Sketching is VERY important. You get a chance to fix all the mistakes and plan your ideas out on paper before you go ahead and draw or paint all over everything. You're less likely to make a mistake on your finished product if you spend a good amount of time sketching. I stress this to all my students... and most of the time I won't let them begin their project without seeing their sketches.
Once I had everything where I wanted, I started painting.
A couple coats will do...enough to clean up your lines and cover up any pencil marks.
I painted all the sides one color and then flipped everything over to paint another picture on the other side (after I sketched it all out of course!)
I love how these turned out! They have my creative wheels turning and I have a few ideas for other block projects. I might need to take some time and let the skin on my fingers grow back before I get started on a new adventure!
p.s. I've linked up over here. Go take a look!