Wednesday, February 20, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Lucky Blocks tutorial....(carved wooden blocks)

This week I have been feeling especially "springy" even though the weather where I live is no where near it yet.  But with St. Patrick's Day coming and Valentines Day over, it was time to update my mantel and to get creative a little.  Here is what my mantel looked like this morning.  It is always a challenge to decorate this mantle as it is 2 1/2 feet deep with a large picture window over it.  A great alcove, but small items can get lost on it.  So I try to find various size items to give it height and depth.  

Time to work on a quick re-do!  I have lots of St. Patrick's Day items, but they all seem to be in the form of wearable items, as we love to be GREEN on that day.  But I don't really have a lot in the decoration category and I really didn't want to jump straight to Easter yet, for my mantel, so I got creative.  

After working on a few baby blocks for a friend, I decided that I needed some St. Paddy's Day blocks.  SO I quickly hand drew them and went to my garage/workshop to carve out the design.  Since I wasn't looking for anything perfect, just something fun and hand done, I didn't even stencil this set.  Here is how they looked after the first carving!  I carve with a hand router using an 1/8th inch straight bit.  

Once carved, I sanded and headed back inside to paint.  Workshop/garage is VERY cold when it is only 25 degrees outside here.  So after chattering teeth, it was time to paint in the office.  I decided to make the part carved out lighter....I was sort of messy with the painting knowing that once I sunk the paint into the carved lines, I could just sand off anything on the top of the block. 

 Here is the view before sanded.  Yes just a little messy.  I used a lime green acrylic paint.

Next I then painted a darker color on the top.  I used a christmas green for the top.

I could have stopped here.  I really liked them just painted....but with what I wanted to place on my mantle, I was thinking a more distressed aged look would work better.  SO I went back and sanded off the edging around the blocks leaving a wood line around the edges.  Then I used a Antique Walnut stain and covered the blocks, wiping off the excess as I went.  The edges picked up the stain nicely and the green just got a little darker.  (Note:  Make sure you wipe off as you go....and I was careful to not get it in the lettering too heavy.)  Once the stain was dry, I then put a coat of acrylic clear coat over top to seal.

Here is how they look in the mix on the mantel so far.  I have a few other items to add and fix, but this is the start of my March Mantel!!!  What do you think?

These blocks were simple to do, and cost next to nothing as I made them with scrap pieces of wood and used paint and stain I already had.  So total cost was $0.00!!!  Best kind of project.  See my new letter "M" on the mantle....I also created that today.  I will show you how tomorrow.

Come back to see.  Hope you are having a little spring, if not in weather at least in your step!

So excited that I was featured at A Glimpse Inside & Ginger Snap Crafts!  Check it out!!!

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I usually link to these parties....HERE!


  1. These are so cute :) stopping in from 2 yellow birds

  2. Thanks Jodi! So glad you stopped by!!! :O)

  3. Featuring YOU today! Thank you so much for linking up to {wow me} wednesday!

    Ginger @

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Jeni! I appreciate you stopping by!