INTRODUCING...THE COLOR BLOCKS! PLUS HOW-TO STEPS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN SET

Thursday, October 6, 2016
Hello friends! The day is here! I'm so excited to finally introduce you to -- the COLOR BLOCKS. Hoo-ray. :)
You know those projects that keep you up at night, and that wake you up in the wee hours of the morning? So was the story of designing + creating these babies last winter for Olivia and Claire - in the best kind of way! I'll never forget the chilly December morning when I woke up at 4:30 AM as if it were 8:30. I popped out of bed, absolutely itching to put the finishing details on Mr. Blue Fish - the party animal of the blue block. The more I worked on designing what would be the girls' special Christmas present from Mom, the more I fell for the blocks and, sheesh, sleep could wait! And wait it did for about a week there. :)
By way of speedy intros before checking out the photos below, each block sports a side of vibrant SOLIDS; NUMBERS for counting; the COLORS' NAMES for reading; ANIMALS for some heart-stealing + make-believing; FRUITS for a plug for healthy, happy living; and sweet PATTERNS for creative thinking...
And there ya have it! The blocks in all their glory. :)
After nearly a year's worth of playing with them around here, I can honestly say that the blocks are just a stellar toy! They're engaging - and at every age. From Claire to Olivia to ol' grown-up Me, you get your time's worth out of this one, ultimately because of the conversations they spark about animal sounds, sequences, mixing colors, and loads more. The blocks have made it easy for us to hit the floor and PLAY together this year, all screens absolutely detached. It's been wonderful, and the only thing that can top off my feelings about the whole gig is that now you have the chance to create + engage in the magic, too. 
That said, let me show you how these numbers are assembled...
First, immediately after purchasing the file, a PDF with the blocks'  designs will be automatically available for you to download. The file will also be sent to you via email (delivery is lightning-fast)! Which brings us to our list of supplies:


SUPPLIES
- COLOR BLOCKS file, *printed
- 10 plain, 2" wooden blocks (easily found at your local craft store - I get mine at Michaels)
- Paper cutter 
- Foam brush (as shown in photo above)
- Modge Podge - the Hard Coat Modge Podge works best (look for the purple bottle!)
*If you printed the file on heavy card stock, you'll need glue or double-sided tape in your supplies arsenal, too, for adhering the designs to the blocks


Now that you're stocked, let's make the set!


STEP ONE: put the file on a flash drive and - this is a kicker!!! - take the file to your local, quality print shop + have them print the file on STICKER PAPER for you. This will cost you somewhere between $0.50 to $1.00 more than printing at home on heavy card stock (it will just depend on your print shop). But for the sake of your time, when going after Step Two (see below), just print the blocks on STICKER PAPER. Yes, I just all-caps'd those two words again. :) 

Cut out the squares...
And get ready to adhere them to the blocks! That brings us to...

STEP TWO: pick up 10 plain, 2" wooden blocks from your local craft store. I always get mine at Michaels, since there's a store close by. You can also snag them at various places on the web - just search "plain wood 2' blocks!"

Label the same side of each wood block with a letter designating the design you'll adhere to that side. E.G., the "A" I have on each block below stands for "animal." Labeling the same side of each block ensures that your designs will be in perfect sequence, so when you want to see the colors of the rainbow in order, for example, they'll be in the right order!
Another example - I turned the blocks above one notch to the left and labeled these sides with a "W" for "word" - the names of the colors. It doesn't matter at all which sides of the wood blocks you choose for which design. Just stay consistent!
STEP THREE: since you listened to me and got your download printed on STICKER PAPER ;), remove the peels from the sticker and slap those babies on the block!

If you printed on card stock - don't worry I still adore you :) - at this step, add glue or double-sided tape to the back of the design, then adhere it to the block.
Trim off any excess paper from the sides of the block...
Then flatten the design out and get ready for the final step...
STEP FOUR: Modge Podge the bajeebees out of the these babies!
Start with a smaller amount of glue on your brush and add glue as you go...
I "paint" about three lighter layers of glue on one side before rotating the block and repeating this step, like below!

A note here - I always Modge Podge the three sides of the blocks that my fingers don't touch, then I let those sides dry. It will take 15-20 minutes for each round of Modge Podge to dry, so at this point, while three of your blocks' sides dry, go watch a show, change the laundry, EAT (the best choice ;)), then hop back over to the blocks and repeat. Modge Podge the remaining three sides!
Then VOILA, friends. You are done! 

Doesn't get easier than that. :)

Go grab the $10.00 COLOR BLOCK Download HERE, and then please don't hesitate to comment below, on Insta, or on FB with any questions you have. I'm so here to help you make this sweet toy come to life for you and yours!! XO

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I had lot of help in getting to the point of being able to design, style, and market a product of my very own online, and I would be amiss if I didn't shout-out those that taught me well + helped me so much...

Thanks to the stellar designer, Alma Loveland, for teaching Adobe Illustrator classes online, and thank you, atly for hosting her classes!

Thank you, sweet Brittany, for teaching a class on how-to style products well for blog posts (also conveniently hosted on atly)!

Thanks to my girl, Trisha Zemp, for taking time to answer my Q's about photography + styling (Trisha teaches a portion of Brittany's atly class). 

Thank you, dear Aubry, for running Hello Maypole like a champion, so that I could have the perfect styling props (all those colorful  felt balls!) for my photos. 


And for one last little whiz-bang, enjoy some hands-on action of the girls + the blocks. Watch it through the end for a goood laugh. :) 
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4 comments:

  1. I just think you are the greatest Jeni! You inspire me. I can't wait to download this cute block set!

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    1. Oh Kels! LOVE YOU. Thanks so much, my girl. You and sweet Emma will have some sweet moments with these things! :) xoxox

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  2. Cutest video!! Your girls are adorable. I love how Olivia was chewing gum and barely gave you a smile when you asked hahaha and then Claire's hilarious face at the end, too good!! Loved it!

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    1. Hahah seriously, though, wasn't her ambivalence toward the camera amazing?? And yes, Claire's face! Reminded me of "Little Rascals." :) KIDS. They win at life. Love you so much, Danielle! Thank you for always supporting me. You are an angel. <3

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