ARTFULLY AVOIDING THE LANDFILL (& driving my husband crazy) ONE PIECE OF JUNK AT A TIME

9/28/10

Halloween Blocks



Whew!  These took a while to get from brain to blog.  I'd like to say my family got in the way of progress on this project, but we all know better, don't we?  It's really the other way around.  I'll take family moments any day over my projects : )

Anyway, this project is not difficult at all, but family aside, it is time consuming.


I started by learning how to use a power saw to cut two-by-fours into blocks!  (Don't ask me what kind of saw it was, I haven't a clue.  The blade was huge and it made a lot of noise, but all I had to do was lower the blade and keep my fingers out of the way).  By the way, did you know two-by-fours aren't really two-by-fours?

They're actually 1 1/2 x 3 1/2's.  Leave it to a man to make lumber so confusing.  Instead of 4" x 5" blocks, which was logical in my mind, they ended up 3 1/2" x 4 1/2".   After I cut them, I sanded all sides with my handy dandy Black & Decker Random Orbital Sander (LOVE that thing!) and stained all sides of the blocks except the side I would use for the pictures.


I made the pictures by "digitally dinking around"  see that post here.  I must admit, it did take a few evenings to come up with nine Halloweenish designs, but I loved doing it!  I printed them out on card stock with my ink jet printer - not a user friendly format for Mod Podge unless you want somewhat of a smeared antique look - but that problem is easily solved with another great Mod Podge product:


I was able to easily and porportionally resize my graphic designs by saving them in PNG format so I could put 4 pictures on one sheet of paper.  Before I cut them out, I sprayed the sheets with Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer.  It water proofs and smudge proofs!  (Using my color laser printer was another option, but I prefer the clarity I get with the ink jet.)

I might add that I let the stain and the sprayed sheets of graphics dry for a couple of days so I wouldn't run into any moisture problems when it came time to Mod Podge the pictures onto the wood.  As soon as they were secure on the wood, I brushed Mod Podge on the front of the them as well.

This is what they looked like after everything was dry:


As you can tell, the pictures are a bit larger than the blocks.  Not to worry.  That was taken care of in the next step...


sanding all the edges to give them a little antiquish character.  I used a very fine grit sponge sanding block.  It wasn't difficult at all.  I did use scissors to trim off the excess to make the sanding easier.  Do make sure the Mod Podge is completely dry before sanding or you will have a mess and be very mad. (Fortunately I remembered that step and didn't have to get all bent out of shape.)  And that is the end of the story.


Unless you can't decide how to stack 'em.


So, you'll have to let me know what you think.  I think they're something to crow about!  I like them and I have two more sets of blocks ready to make some more.  I'm toying with the idea of leaving the letters off and just having individual scenes that could be used in various places for Halloween decorating.  Or, using 1/2" thick blocks and attaching them to a board so it can be hung on the wall.   Hmm.

It's past my bedtime, so I'll be linking these up soon!

Someday Crafts looks like a good place to start linking : )

It's almost Thursday, so I'll link up over at
Somewhat Simple's Strut Your Stuff Thursday too!

For Friday, it's a fun party at
Fingerprints on the Fridge!

looks like "the" place to be too! 

And

Saturday is the place to share at:
Funky Junk Saturday Night Special 

is a fine way to wrap up a week's worth of parties.

Check out the great Halloween projects at:
While He Was Napping!

Do be sure to visit all these great blogs for inspiration! 

75 comments:

  1. wow you should totally sell this online!! very impressive!!!

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  2. I LOVE THESE! Something so simple and so neat GREAT JOB! As always thanks so much for sharing!!
    Cindie

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  3. They look professionally done. Something you'd pay big bucks for at a craft fair. I agree, you could do well selling them on Etsy. Now I can't wait to see your Christmas blocks. lol

    You were probably using what is called a chop saw.

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  4. Jackie - you're right! It was a chop saw. Just confirmed that with Glen - lol. My sister-in-law over at Knit Addictions had a great idea.... use the other side for Christmas! I better get busy, huh?

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  5. WOW! i absolutely LOVE these! Awesome job!

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  6. Those are amazing!!! You did a perfect job! I saw them at Someday Crafts and I had to come say how much I loved them!!

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  7. Coleen, I love your ideas, they come out great! I am lucky to always get to be the first to hear about your ideas and bug you to post them, lol. I seen the blocks in person (on my work desk first thing in the morning) and couldn't believe how great they turned out. You need to inspire my mom!

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  8. Coleen... they look fabulous! You did a great job... they turned out so cute! Love the tutorial... never knew to use the sealer before the mod podge... thanks for the tip! I don't know if you are an ebay person or not... but alot of people buy halloween art off of ebay... just a thought! :)

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  9. what a wow project!! I have to really look at this!!!! will be following hope u follow back :)

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  10. I LOVE these blocks...such a creative idea!!! Great job.

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  11. Your really a perfectionist, I can tell, because these look so "Bootifully" perfect. Lezlee

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  12. Hi,
    I really love your project! I think it's the cutest I've seen this season - sorry girls! I WILL be trying this. I'm loving your blog as well. I'm a new follower!

    Lindy

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  13. Love the prints you chose. Thanks for sharing ... I've posted a link.

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  14. Those turned out great. Worth all the work.

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  15. Your Halloween blocks are AWESOME! You did a great job. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your sweet comment. I look forward to following your fun projects.

    Have a wonderful day.
    Gail

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  16. Coleen, I love this! Good for you, using a chop saw! I love mine, I use it for just about every project.
    For me the hard part would be "digitally dinking around" lol , what a mouthful!
    Nice work. I would totally buy those.

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  17. These are phenomenal! You could totally make some money selling them! I am going to pop over read you tutorial on the images now...this is something I have been wanting to learn how to do!
    Leslie @rusticwhimsydesigns.blogspot.com

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  18. What a great idea! I had to laugh at the comment about the wood sizes...when my hubby explained that exact thing to me, I said..."WHY?!?!" only a man would do that! ;-)

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  19. These are too adorable! I'm following from Feature Yourself Friday!

    Best,
    Krysten
    http://clickableparty.blogspot.com

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  20. SO SUPER CUTE! I LOVE HALLOWEEN! You just gave me a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration! Visiting from so very cheri!

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  21. These are fabulous! They look like something straight out of a boutique, great job.

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  22. Awesome! I just love the altered art look to them! WOW!

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  23. I love your "digital dinking"...it paid off with some beautiful blocks!

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  24. Oh wow!! They are beautiful!!!

    I'm still trying to get up the nerve to use a power saw! I know I could really make some great stuff...like a headboard for my bed finally...but I'm a big CHICKEN! LOL

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  25. Absolutely love these. I would definitely have a set of these for my holiday decor

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  26. These are so adorable, I'd hate to put them away after Halloween. You chose such perfect graphics.

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  27. I love them!!! They turned out fabulous. If I weren't so lazy, I might just make my own set.

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  28. These really are fantastic...I love the images that you used. Thanks for the tip on the acrylic sealer too-excellent!

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  29. These are incredible.. LOVE this idea.. Great job.. Would love to see some Christmas ones next.hehe...

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  30. These are so cool! I love the graphics you came up with.

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  31. I LOVE these blocks...plus a great tutorial!!!

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  32. Oh I love them! Some of the best that I've seen. Looks fabulous!

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  33. How in the heck have I not found you yet?! I don't know but I have now and I'm your newest follower. I am in LOVE with your blocks. Oh my goodness they are great. And THANK YOU for posting about Mod Podge sealer because that's exactly what I have desperately needed. I only have an inkjet printer too and this is going to open up a whole new world of craziness for me. You've made my day.

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  34. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and commenting. I had to come by and check out your blocks, and Holy Cow they're beautiful. I love the vintage collage graphics, and the size of the blocks. They are simply amazing. So glad I stopped by!

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  35. These look fantastic! I love the vintage images - fabulous job! I'll be featuring this tomorrow - Stop by and grab a featured button if you like. Thanks for linking to The Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it! Hope you have a fabulous week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

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  36. OH Coleen...the is seriously one of the BEST projects I have seen! I LOVE everything about it! SO graphic and fun and I love the hint about the sealer, too! Thank you for sharing your wonderful blocks with us...I am inspired!!

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  37. Those are just too cute! They look like something you would buy in a high end boutique!

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  38. An absolutely wonderful tutorial!!!! I now have to learn how to "dink around" and make such cool pics like you did. Also I need to learn to cut wood so I don't pay the horrible prices they charge. I love them stacked! They look so unusual that way.

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  39. SO where did you say we could purchase the print outs for these?! WAY COOL! Thanks for sharing!

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  40. LOVE these blocks! You did a great job and your tutorial is wonderful! Found your blog through Childmade. I would also be interested in purchasing your digital images!! Please let me know if you decide to sell them! :)

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  41. This is so adorable! I'd love for you to link it to my Halloween party happening this weekend. It would be a wonderful addition!

    whilehewasnapping.blogspot.com

    Krista

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  42. Hi! I love your blocks so much! They inspired me to give it a try. I linked to yours in my blog! Thanks!!

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  43. I have just become a follower and love these blocks. I hope to be inspired by what you've made and do more than wish I could make these things. Got to move beyond wishing to DOING.

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  44. I love these blocks all decked out for Halloween!!

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  45. Hi! THis is incredible! I did download the program that you used GNU Image Manipulation. But how on earth do you use it? I have pulled it up a few times and went "WHUUUUT???" I fell in love with what you did and I am determined to do it, could you help me? I learn real easy I just have to get started.

    Thank you so very much for your beautiful artwork, this is one I absolutely love!

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  46. Just popping in to see what you had in the oven this morning! LOL :)

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  47. I found this project on Pinterest. Is there a digital file I could purchase from you?

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  48. I looove'em! I was at a show last week and saw some of these and wondered how in the world I could make them myself. Thank you for sharing, I think I might have to give them a try. Tammy

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  49. Just found these on Pinterest.... I'll be trying this! So cute!

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  50. Do you sell the files? I would love to purchase them!

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  51. I'm also interested in purchasing your files for the graphics. My "digital dinking around" doesen't come out this well

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  52. Are you selling the graphics? I would love to purchase.

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  53. I LOVE these graphics and, like you, my "family time" makes it difficult for me to do my own graphics. Having said that, are you planning to sell your files?

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  54. I love the prints you used and would also be interested in purchasing them. Please let me know.

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  55. Ditto on purchasing the files! I'd love these but don't have the time to make the files.

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  56. These are definitely something to crow about!

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  57. I loved this idea and went right out and made my own as a gift for a friend who loves Halloween. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  58. Love these !

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