Thursday, October 13, 2011

DIY Thursday: Seasonal Hanging Blocks

As I have mentioned before, I love the Quilted Bear.  Every time I go there I get so many ideas, but then I forget them the next day, so then I have to go back =)  I don't have very many decorations so I wanted something that would be easy to change, but I could have it up all year long.  Well, last year, I spotted this way cute idea and every time I went there, I would have to pass by this display and literally drool over it.  After dropping who knows how many hints to my hubby that I really, really, really wanted this, I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I decided to make my own, especially since I couldn't justify forking out $30 for the part to hang the blocks, and then another $15-$20 for each set of blocks.  So here's what I did:

I went trolling the craft stores for the unfinished coat racks.  I couldn't find any that had 5 hooks on it.  I then found one that was on clearance for $3, but it only had 4 posts and they were small ones.  So I took the posts off (they come out really easily), went to Home Depot and got some drawer knobs.  They were wood colored so I just painted them.  I painted my board.  I wanted something neutral so I did black and white.  I used my cricut to cut out the vinyl letters, but you could use the pre-cut stickers, or use paper to do the letters if you want more patterns.  I had some acrylic spray, from a previous project, so I sprayed that on to seal everything.  Modge Podge would work great too!  I measured out where I wanted the knobs so they were spaced the way I wanted them, then screwed the knobs in.  I also put some picture hanger tabs on the back.  There was this hanger, and then I saw another type at quilted bear that used a big picture frame, with the same idea, just the knobs hanging in the center but I didn't think it would be as sturdy.

Next, do you holiday blocks.  I would recommend getting the poplar wood.  It's light, thin, about 1 inch thick, and it's smooth so not much sanding involved.  My blocks (except the "Thank") are 5 1/2 inches wide, 6 inches long.  I have used 3 different types of wood and I am by far the most satisfied with the poplar.  If you go to Lowe's, you have to buy the whole plank, but they'll cut it for you.  If you go to Home Depot, you can by just what you need, they'll cut it, but I think it is a little bit more per yard, but if you just want 5 blocks and not 12 (or however many the plank does) it might be worth it.

This is the fun part!  You select a 5 letter word for each season, decorate one block for each letter.  You can either do them plain, like the "Sun" or with scrapbook paper, like the "Merry."  If you can find cute little wood decorations, paint them to match and it really pops it out.

Here are some that I have done so far.  I think my favorite is the Halloween.  I am going to redo the "Merry" and the "Thank" blocks.  Those were some of my first ones and I think I have enough practice I can do better.  I don't like the wood blocks I used, they were really heavy.  I also want to find a better turkey. I have a few more holidays left, plus I want to do a set that says "party" for birthdays.  I also want to do a door hanger to match each set.  I have this cute bear that hangs up on my front door and I can change the block or object it's holding to match the holiday.