Saturday, February 20, 2016

Alphabet Block Craft

As promised I am back with a post on how I put together the craft for my friend's baby shower a few weeks ago.  This was a massive project that I created mostly with my Silhouette portrait so get ready for a very detailed, picture filled blog post.  I started with the idea that I wanted to create stickers for the blocks of the alphabet letters and also stickers of an animal and an instrument (since my friend and her husband are music teachers like me) for each letter.  Silhouette makes some great printable white sticker paper which you can purchase here or at Michaels.  Here is how I created the stickers in my Silhouette Designer Edition software:
1. Google animal silhouettes (you may have to make it into png file using photo editing software if it is in some other file format and has a background).  Save the images to your desktop and then drag it into your Silhouette software.
2.Select the trace area and trace your image.
3. Drag away and delete the original image.
4. Change the line color of the shape to the color of your choice.  You can change the line thickness if you desire as well.
5. Fill the shape with a pattern.
I learned how to add my own patterns to my library in this project.  You simply drag a saved background image into your pattern folder in you library.  Easy peasy!
6. Then I scaled the pattern to my liking in the advanced options of the fill pattern window.

6./7. I added an offset to my stickers and adjusted the distance to make the offset fairly close to my image.
Look at all of those cute patterned animal silhouettes!  So much fun! I printed the stickers with my printer and then cut them out with the Silhouette.
8. I traced each instrument image to add an offset.  I purchased most of the instrument clipart on Etsy or Teachers Pay Teachers but I also used Google images for some.
9. Add an offset to the traced instrument shape and then delete the traced shape.
10. Drag the offset and line it up with the instrument image.
Here are the completed instrument stickers.  I then printed and cut them just like with the animal stickers.
Next I created the letter stickers with a font from my computer and changed the line color and filled with patterns.  I made two of each letter so that each block could have two lettered sides. Once again I printed them and cut them out on white sticker paper.
I found the wooden blocks at Hobby Lobby.  They are 1.5" square.  To prep them, one of the other hosts and gave them a light sanding since some of the edges were a little rough.  I made backgrounds for the stickers with the Silhouette and cut them out in various colors of card stock.  I also made plenty of white squares for people to design their own side with another object that fit with their letter.
I also created a signature side for the blocks in the Silhouette software and cut it out on white card stock.

To set up the craft I filled a small sandwich baggy with an animal sticker, letter stickers, instrument sticker, a white background for the design your own side, and a signature background.  I labeled each bag with the letter and the name of the animal and the name of the instrument so that people knew what to write on their block. 
I placed five or six letter bags in a box at each table (we had 4 tables set up for the number of guests at the shower).  I placed the various backgrounds that I cut out in the lid of the box.  I put markers and foam craft brushes in jars on the table.  I stacked 5 or 6 blocks at each table and put mod podge in a styrofoam bowl.  
I also made this instruction sheet for each table because I thought picture instructions would be easier to follow.  

Here is how the blocks were assembled:

Choose a background for each of your stickers and place the sticker on the background.
Label your instrument and animal.
Draw your own picture for your letter and label on a white background piece.  Sign the signature background piece.

To attach them to the block, put mod podge on the block and on the back of the card stock piece. Don't make it too thick.  Then put the card stock piece on the block.  Once it has dried a little bit apply a layer of mod podge over it.  Make sure you don't put a wet side down on your work surface unless you want to ruin that side!  You will have to wait for the some of the sides to dry before you can finish all of the sides.

Now admire your creation!
It was so fun to see what the shower guests created!  They turned out so cute!  One thing to note is that I wouldn't let a child play with these blocks until they are past the stage where they have to put everything in their mouth.  Until that time they will look cute displayed in the nursery!  I have so many ideas for posts so if I get motivated be prepared for a barrage of blog posts in the next few weeks ;).

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