I know this the last minute to post an idea, but I am so excited about how it turned out that I had to share! I am even planning on make a variation of this for a Grandparent and since we will not see him for another week or so, we have some time to make it. Shhh!
My husband now has his own desk at work and recently asked for some pictures to put up. After asking a few questions, I found out that he does not want any picture frames or anything bulky. Knowing that he will probably never take his “Dad Rocks” rocks to work and knowing that Father’s Day was coming I came up with this little idea for his desk. It will allow him to have multiple pictures of the kiddos, something to fidget with while on the phone, it will not be too bulky or take up too much space, be a great conversation piece and he can even hide the letters “#1 DAD”, if he wants to, and it will still look cute… (cough)… I mean cute in a manly sort-of-way. And again, the best part is that it was really simple to make and the kids even helped put most of it together. They are really excited about it!
What You Need:
- 4 wooden blocks – these are 2″ x 2″
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Paint – craft paint is fine
- Paint brush
- Mod Podge – can be found at local craft stores or Wmart
- Stickers, paper, or additional paint for letters
- A variety of pictures less than 2″ x 2″ – we used 28 pictures
TIME: Less than 1 hour, if everything is prepped and ready to go beforehand
COST: Less than $6 (I had Mod Podge, Paint, Paint Brushes already)
Step 1: Purchase/prepare supplies and order pictures ahead of time, if not printing at home (see step 4).We bought our blocks at Hobby Lobby for $.99 each. They also had smaller and larger sizes available and they always have a 40% coupon on their site, too.
Step 2: Sand the corners and edges of the block. We sanded them down a little, but this is not necessary. The kiddos were not into this part too much, so I did enough so the corners were not so harsh looking.
Step 3: Paint the block the desired color. The kiddos loved this part, of course! Once painted we placed the blocks in front of a fan to speed up the drying.
Step 4: Cut photos to desired size. The kiddos picked out which photos they wanted to use ahead of time (they picked favorite memories and things they liked to do with Dad). I cropped each photo to a square and then created a photo collage using Picasa and added 6 photos to a 4×6. (I made each pic even smaller on the collage so I would not have to cut much off to add it to the block). Then I sent the photos to Wmart (they were done in an hour) NOTE: If using picasa to make a collage and then sending them online to order, you may have a size issue. For me, each 4×6 ended up being a huge file to upload. I used Paint.NET (a free download) to re-size the collage to 8×12 or less for uploading purposes. I am sure you could use paint.NET or other photo editing software to create the collage in the first place, but I understand Picasa a lot better.
Step 5: Use letter stickers, paper letters (the kind you get for scrapbooking) or paint on a one letter or number from “#1 DAD” on each block. Once set the way you like, brush Mod Podge over each letter/number square to seal it in. We used some scrapbooking stickers we found in our stash, that I think turned out pretty cute! (sorry, we don’t have a picture of this process, but we did it before we added the pictures)
Step 6: Working on one side of the block at a time, brush Mod Podge on, place picture, and then brush more Mod Podge on top. The Mod Podge underneath helps keep the picture in place and the Mod Podge on top will seal it in. Let it dry. We did 2 – 3 sides at a time and let it dry between. We made sure to place the pictures on the block so they were all right side up when “#1 DAD” is in the right form, like above.)
Step 7: Let it dry completely. We also used the fan for this part!
Step 8: Wrap it up! I think I love this collage part the best. There is so much personality on them!
Tips For Using Mod Podge:
- While making these, little fingers (and my own) would make finger prints on almost dry sides. I discovered that if I brushed Mod Podge on top of the smudge or blemish I could gently scratch it off and then brush more Mod Podge on top to smooth out the area. This usually made the problem disappear
- When Mod Podge dries it is similar to white school glue where it peels off. If I did not wash my hands and rub off the excess in between the working with each child on a block, some of it would peel right off my fingers and blemish the block. Super annoying! So, just be aware so you do not have to use the tip above too often.