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DIY Wooden Photo Blocks

These DIY photo blocks have been one of the most cute, fun, and practical crafts I have ever made!  They make adorable decor and the kids can play with them all day long.

These DIY photo blocks make adorable decor and the kids can play with them all day long! Such an easy & practical craft!

When we moved into our house I had one little kid who was not tall enough to get into much and barely walking.  Fast forward 3 years and another kid and I have two VERY mobile kids who are VERY into everything!  I started out in my home with all sorts of beautiful decor.  Every table had something pretty {and breakable} adorning it and I loved how picture perfect it was.  As the kids started getting bigger I very quickly realized that if I didn’t want everything in my house broken I was going to have to make some changes and fast!

My coffee table was the hardest.  I love having something in the middle and not just a big bare table, but it was within arm’s length of every toddler in the world it seemed.  After trying about 10 different things, I ended up with what has become one of my favorite crafts I have ever made!  Seriously!

These DIY photo blocks are easy to make, they are personal, and the kids can’t break them.  They look great, but the kids can still play with them all day long and not hurt a thing.  As a matter of fact they LOVE to play with them.  They stack them and build with them.  They look at the pictures and use them as seats. My 4 year old and two year old love them equally and they have provided HOURS of entertainment over the past year for them.

Making them is easy!

DIY Wooden Photo Blocks

What you need:

  • 4×4 – cut into cubes
  • Acrylic Paint
  • 4×6 photos
  • Matte Modge Podge
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors

First – the blocks.  I was able to make these super affordably by purchasing a 4×4 beam at Home Depot and cutting it into cubes.  If you buy an 8 ft beam, you can get approx 24 blocks so you can either split it with someone, use it as gifts, or make this fun Yard Yahtzee game with the leftovers.

To cut the beam you have a few options,  if you have one you can use a power saw at home.  To do this, make sure you measure the actual width of the beam.  Even though it is called a 4×4, there is shrinkage in the wood so it is probably closer to 3.5″ than 4″.  Use that measurement to cut the beam into equal cubes.  If you don’t have a saw, often your Home Depot can make cuts for you either for free or a small fee, and as a last resort, they always have hand saws there available to use to make cuts for free, although that requires quite a bit more man power.

If you have small kids, keep in mind that these blocks are not heavy, they are pretty solid, so they could hurt if they were dropped on a toe, but we have never had an issue with it.  We absolutely love how much wear and tear they can take.  An alternative would be to use foam if you are concerned about the weight.

Once your blocks are cut, use regular old acrylic craft paint to paint them what ever color or colors you want.  I love to mix it up and paint the blocks a few coordinating colors.  Also, I used this dry brushing technique to distress a few of them to add a little extra character.

These DIY photo blocks make adorable decor and the kids can play with them all day long! Such an easy & practical craft!

While they are drying start to cut your pictures.  I print my pictures as 4×6 prints.  You will want to pic photos where the subject is smaller and doesn’t take up the whole print because we will cut them down to fit on the block.  The last thing you want to do is have to cut yourself out of the picture!

I like to make a 3″x3″ template out of one of the little extra papers they stick in with your prints.  Just use a ruler and trace and cut a 3″x3″ square.  Use it to line up where you want to cut and either trace and cut, or just hold it tight and cut around the template on each picture.

You will need 6 photos per block, if you put a picture on each side which I like to do.  If you don’t have enough photos you can always do a cut out of your last name, a piece of your kids artwork, or a fun quote on one of the sides.

These DIY photo blocks make adorable decor and the kids can play with them all day long! Such an easy & practical craft!

Once the paint is dry you can start applying your photos.  Basically this is like every three year old’s dream come true.  Just go crazy with glue!  I use Modge Podge in Matte so that it doesn’t show the grubby little fingerprints when it dries and the kids play with them, and it doesn’t produce much glare on the photos.

Apply a generous layer of Modge Podge to cover a side of the block. Then position the photo in the center of the side.  Use your paint brush to apply another generous layer of Modge Podge right over the top.  Like I said, unleash your inner 3 year old!

Make sure that there are no drips going down the side, then repeat on the remaining sides.  You may need to let it dry before doing the bottom, or some of the sides to make it easier and cleaner.

These DIY photo blocks make adorable decor and the kids can play with them all day long! Such an easy & practical craft!

Once it is dry, you are done!  Cute personalized decor.  Inexpensive and practical, just the way I like it!  Stack ’em up, leave ’em out, and by all means let the kids go to town playing with them!

If you love fun and functional crafts and decor, follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

www.thepinningmama.com

 

www.thepinningmama.com

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$1 Burlap Canvas

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DIY Growth Chart

burlap wreath ideas www.thepinningmama.com

Burlap Bubble Wreath

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I Love You Because Free Printable Sign

These DIY photo blocks make adorable decor and the kids can play with them all day long! Such an easy & practical craft!

 

 

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  1. Connie says

    Just worried about the little ones that can’t keep anything out of their mouths yet. Are any of the paints or modge podge dangerous to them?

  2. Erica says

    So you put the modge podge on the block then put the picture on, then another layer of modge podge on top of the picture? The modge podge drys clear?

  3. Lisa says

    Will the blocks stick together if left on top of each other? When you pull them off will it take the photo with it damaging the photo?

  4. says

    Did you ever try to make these without painting the wood? I did and the chemicals inside the wood reacted *a month later* and made the picture buckle! I was so glad I hadn’t given them away yet and *gasp* sold any! #cautionarytale
    Since yours have lasted, the painting has to provide enough of a barrier. I’ll try it again! Thanks for the confidence!

  5. says

    Neat idea, but you do have to be careful as to what kind of wood you use. Any kind of “treated wood” is poisonous, especially pressure treated!

    I’ve been wanting to make some blocks for my grandson, but he’s still chewing everything. So I’m on the hunt for something safe. Even natural woods have unsafe properties.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The last step is to attach your picture to the plaque. I used a thin layer of Modge Podge applied to the back of the photo and then flip the picture over and center it right in the middle of the plaque. I left the plaque finished just like this so that I would be able to peel off the photo and replace it if I decided I wanted to change it out, however if you want a really durable and sturdy finish, then you can finish your photo plaque by painting a generous layer of matte Modge Podge over the entire surface of the plaque and photo like I did with these photo blocks. […]

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