Inspiration can come in a second…and I love it when it strikes when you least expect it. I had a moment like that when I saw the wood scraps, from hubby’s shed building venture, stacked on my potting bench. I immediately thought of the couple of my latest favorite kits… The Digichick shop collaborative kit Follow your Heart and Kimeric Kreation’s matching kit, Follow your Dreams (Collection).
These kits have that whimsical artsy feel, that I just love, and I knew they’d be perfect for this project. I am going to make a wood block decoration for my office/craft room.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the supplies I used
- Digital kit(s)
- Photo Editing software
- 6 larger wood blocks (Mine were 5.50 inches tall by 3.50 inches wide)
- 2 smaller wood blocks (Mine were 2.25 inches tall by 3.50 inches wide)
- Sand paper
- Black acrylic paint (optional ) – you could leave the wood unpainted, if desired
- Paper for printing (I use Epson Matte Presentation Paper)
- Black card stock
- Mod Podge
- Paint brush or sponge
- Digital Paper cutter (optional)
- Paper trimmer (optional)
Okay, let’s get started.
Create Design in Photo Editing Software
Using the measurements of your wood blocks, create your design in your photo editing software. Here’s what I came up with.
I want to create a decoupage effect on my blocks, so I will want to print and attach things in 3 separate layers… A digi-background, my bottom layer; a digi-element, my middle layer; and a letter cut from black card stock, my top layer. So essentially I will have to un-layer my layered design. To do that, I duplicate my original design twice so that I have 3 copies of the original. I then re-name and save the copies as Background layer, Middle layer and Top layer.
I’m going to work on my background layer first. I want to just print out the background of the blocks, so I delete all layers above the background. Since all backgrounds won’t fit on one sheet of 8.50 X 11 paper, I moved 3 of them onto their own page. I then saved and printed the backgrounds through my photo editing software. (No need to use the Silhouette to cut these. They are straight lines and are easily cut by hand or with paper trimmer)
For the Middle layer, I need to delete the background and the letter layer, leaving just the element that I will cut out in my Silhouette and decoupage onto the block. I will save this as a .png file so I can open it up in my Silhouette later.
The top layer should be the letters that I will cut out in my Silhouette, so I delete everything but the letters. Again, I will save this as a .png file so I can open it up in my Silhouette later.
I’m ready now, to move over to my Silhouette… I opened my middle layer png file and traced the embellishments to create my cut lines. Since I am using the Silhouette cut and print feature, I turned on my registration marks so the Silhouette will line up and cut properly.
Next I want to cut out my letters using black card stock. I opened my Top layer png file and trace the letters to create my cut lines.
4.Prepare Wood Blocks
Okay, now that I’ve got everything designed, printed and cut out, I’m going to prepare my blocks. First, I lightly sanded the edges of my wood blocks, just to knock off any roughness. Next I laid newspaper down to protect my table surface and painted each block using black acrylic paint that I picked up at the craft store. I painted the entire block black except for the centers of the fronts. This is where the background paper will be glued, (no sense using more paint than necessary). And yes, those are recycled cat food containers holding my paint and water. When I’m done they get tossed in the trash. I have tons that I have saved for this exact use.
Attaching Paper to Wood Blocks
After the paint dries (about a half hour, or so) I attached the backgrounds to the blocks using Mod Podge as my glue. I neglected to take a photo of this step, but all you need to do is paint the Mod Podge on to the front of the block making sure that the entire surface is covered. You’ll want it thick enough to allow a little wiggle room when you place the background paper to the surface of the block. Be sure to press the paper down so it adheres to the block securely.
I first press it down with my palm, and then I use the side of my hand and slide it across the block from one end to the other, pressing down slightly. (Yes, some Mod Podge will leak out from the sides and get on your hands, be prepared to rinse them quite frequently, LOL.)
Also, be sure that the paper is securely attached to any indentations/imperfections on the edges of the wood. Brush some extra Mod Podge over the paper edges and corners, if necessary.
Next, I want to decoupage my middle layer elements to the blocks. To do thi, I brush Mod Podge onto the area of the block where I want the element and then glue the element down. After the element is glued down, I brush some more Mod Podge over the top of it. Don’t panic if the paper wrinkles a bit. It will flatten out as it dries.
TIP: Using Mod Podge on ink printed paper can sometime cause the ink to run. I have found that if I use enough Mod Podge to allow my brush to flow across the paper smoothly without it skipping, and if I don’t go over the same spot more than 2- 3 times, my ink doesn’t run. It also helps to rinse your Mod Podge brush between each step to remove any ink that lifted up from the paper onto the brush. I also use the normal ink setting on my printer vs. the Photo/Best quality setting. It saves on printer ink and minimizes ink runs on my projects.
After allowing the Mod Podge to dry (15-30 minutes), my next step is to glue the letters onto the blocks following the same decoupage method described above.
My final step is to coat the entire block 1-2 times with Mod Podge to give it a good seal and protect it from smudgy fingers, etc… And there you have it… All done!
Did anyone notice that the final design is a tad different than my original design? Artistic liberties… You gotta love em! I flipped the backgrounds on the H Block and the T Block and instead of using the bird on the R Block, I added him to the Heart Block. Oh, and I ditched the heart scatter on the Heart Block (I liked the little bird there better).
And then the FUN began…. For photographing purposes I set my blocks on my dining room table, as it’s the only spot in the house with a half way decent natural light source. After, photographing them, I left them on the table so I could admire them a bit more before I moved them into my office/craft room. The next day, I looked into the dining room and saw this:
Isn’t that sweet… Hubby had some Artistic fun with the blocks. As you can imagine, that started a little game between Hubby and me.
The blocks are still on my Dining room table… I’ll eventually move them to my craft room. (I’m thinking about hanging them on the wall.) But, in the meantime, we’re having too much fun with them right where they are.
If you create a block set, I’d love to see it! Post the link to your set in the comment section below.
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