Mod Podge Blocks

Lately when I try to think of something to make for someone I try to think, " Is it something that would last or just add junk into their home?"

Our Classical Conversations community was ending its year and I was a tutor for my oldest daughters class. I really wanted to give the kids a class picture but I was thinking what would I love my daughter to receive that hopefully wouldn't end up in the garbage 6 months down the road. As some may know I really don't like to just hold onto stuff and accumulate junk. Dennis and I are really trying to go though things. We want to be able to have more time for family, and friends, but at the same time have an orderly home and life.

I had come across Mod Podge blocks on Pinterest. They looked super easy. I decided to try them out but also wanted to give them some vintage style by combining the mod podge to part of the blocks along with a paint and stain method I had been also wanting to try.

Here is your material list:

-4"x4"x8' piece of wood ( A friend got mine for me from Home depot plus had them cut it into blocks. About $8.60)
-Any kind of scrapbooking paper
-Mod Podge (I used Antique Matte)
-Sand paper (I used 100 grit)
-Sander
-Foam brush
-Paint Brush with bristles
-Minwax stain (Dark Walnut)
-Minwax stain (Special Walnut)
- Behr interior flat Gem Turquoise
- Behr interior flat Ground Cumin
- Behr interior flat Chocolate Cupcake
- Behr interior Flat Ground Nutmeg
` Plastercraft Acrylic Matte spray finsh

Okay, so the paint was just colors I chose from my already growing paint stash. Also, most of them except for two were the Behr sample paints you can get for under $5! I love getting those because they work for so many projects and I can get a good feel for the color. I also really enjoy working with flat enamel for a lot of projects. Obviously you need to know what traffic your project will be receiving and go from there whether you want it flat, satin, semi-satin etc. You can pick whatever colors you want or have on hand.


(Sorry no picture of my stains and paint colors, if you really want I can add them in)

Step 1- When you get your wood cut from home depot or from home you will have a lot of splinter pieces. I used an electric hand sander and just started sanding away. Once they were how you want them make sure all the dust is off the wood.

Step 2 - Using a foam brush and your stain, lightly stain the whole block. Now, this is where you can play around with some different techniques. I used the Special Walnut as a base stain color. It especially looked good on the part of the wood that had been cut. The groves were in a circle and I used the wood that looked cut as my top and bottom piece. So basically I looked at my cube and figured out how I wanted it to sit on like a table. What was going to be the top and what was going to be the bottom. Since the cut part had groves and went in a circle I chose for that to be my top and bottom. All the smooth sides were what I really wanted to work with. I tried the darker stain and thought it looked to dark.

Step 3 -  Make sure the stain is dry which when applied lightly I was able to move on within a half hour to an hour (I have small kids which I am easily pulled from projects which sometimes can be a good thing).

Step 4 - I printed off a class picture on just regular white paper because our printer wasn't taking a photo paper I grabbed from my parents. I think they turned out just fine but you can always try it on photo paper. I was able to get 6 class pictures to a sheet. I'm not super savvy in the computer department of microsoft word so maybe if I were my mom I could have squeezed all 8 that I needed. Guess it depends on the picture as well.

Step 5 - I cut the picture out but later sanded them to make the edges looked worn I think next time I would rip it like I did with my scrapbook paper and then sand just enough to make it smooth.

Step 6 - Decide what color you want to paint on your blocks. I LOVED my turquoise color and the way I ended up looking. I decided on doing two sides with that color. This is where you use your paint brush with bristles and just lightly stroke the color on. Don't cover it completely leave streaks. Let dry which takes less than 10min because it's on so thin.

 
(Didn't get the orange to look the way I wanted it with the stain, but I'll keep working on it. This is a picture without the stain on it though, not sure I used the dark stain on it)

Step 7 - Once the paint is dried (I painted all sides using two different colors, one color on two sides) I used the same bristle brush and lightly dipped it in the Dark Walnut stain. Wiping a lot off on a towel I then went over the turquoise color on my block. Right after I painted it on I took a towel and wiped it off. It left the color looking warn which was exactly what I wanted. Now side note, the Ground Cumin color  (block to the right) I used and loved as well, I first tried the Dark Walnut stain, but found that using the Special Walnut color instead made it not look like the wood was moldy but made it look nice and vintage color like I wanted. Again, you sorta just learn things as you go and that was a look that I discovered I loved over the look it gave to the turquoise color.

Step 8- Let dry

(Sorry for the small wet spots on the light wood block. I'll just need to sand it slightly and they will go away)

Step 9 - I figured out what side I wanted to class picture on. I took my Mod Podge and painted with a kids paint brush the wood then the back of the picture. Then laid it on the wood and pushed out any bubbles and made it smooth. Then I Mod Podge over the top of the picture and the edges. Just lightly brush it on and try to make it look streak free. Let Dry (trust me it will disappear off the picture and look great).

Step 10- I found a scripture I wanted and printed it out on scrapbook paper. 8x11 for the 8 cubes I did I was able to get all my scripture on two pieces.

Step 11 - Tear your scrapbook paper so it has raw edges and the size of your cube.

Step 12 - Mod Podge the wood along with the back of the scripture paper. Lay it on the wood and smooth it out. Then cover it with a light coat of more Mod Podge. Let dry!

Step 13 - I  have a Silhouette machine that I made each kid in my class' first initial from and printed it on vinyl (If you have an alphabet stencil this too can work). I took the vinyl and stuck it onto the side of the block I wanted their first letter initial on. I made sure it was stuck on well with no gaps for paint to leak.

Step 14 - Paint the letter, pull off the vinyl when done painting and let dry. I painted the letter with my sample Behr interior flat Chocolate Cupcake color.

Step 15 - Add any more scrapbooking paper to any sides you want. I added to the top for the girls who were in my class. Follow step 12 for adding more paper.

Step 16 - Sand the edges of the picture, scrapbook paper etc to have it feel like it's actually flows into the wood.

Step 17 - I sprayed each picture with a finishing spray of my Plastercraft Acrylic Matt Spray Finish

Now,  remember these blocks can take a few steps or many depending on what you want to do with them. Also, I used several different colors when you could use one if you want.

Sorry I didn't get step by step pictures! And I only go a instagram picture of them all and not a fancy one with my camera. Next time I'll try to get step by step picture details.

Have fun making them. They really are truly easy and cheap if you have lots of paint and stains just lying around the house. :)