Wooden alphabet blocks make a perfect baby gift – so why not DIY a set to make things that much more special? This simple tutorial is great for beginners. You can make a trio (to use as a prop), or make a full set for play.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
I pulled out every bit of scrap wood (craft sticks, paint stirrers, etc) to practice on. In the end, I decided to try for some wooden blocks for my baby due in June.
Of course, my toddler hijacked them in advance and promptly lost the B block before I had a chance to photograph it. So, I went for another round.
Please note: these wooden alphabet blocks are not appropriate for a baby to play with. They make a great gift as a prop to display, but since babies mouth everything, and I used regular (not taste safe) craft supplies, I wouldn’t give it to a baby who will mouth it. It does make a great toy for toddlers, so it can be gifted to be used as a prop initially, and then as a toy.
If you want the baby to play with it, you can try Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge (just leave a month or so for it to fully cure.) That should hopefully stand up to baby’s drools.
(Both regular glossy Mod Podge that I used AND dishwasher safe are non-toxic. I still wouldn’t want my baby eating it…)
The bottom line is, I think it’s not bad for my first woodburning project! I did practice in advance (and if you’re new to woodburning, I highly recommend you do too, to get the feel of it.) I also did not aim for perfection, but for a pretty, polished, handmade look. And I do love how it came out!
I drew simple shapes to represent the letters on top though it really could do without. I found that on the wood I had, the top was very rough, so I couldn’t draw on it smoothly. Check your cubes first to see if yours are appropriate for wood burning, and have a smooth, manageable surface.
What you need to make these wooden alphabet blocks:
- Wooden craft cubes (note the size you want when purchasing. I recommend between 1-2 inches, larger if you’re using it as props, smaller if creating a whole set as a toy.)
- A woodburning tool
- Watercolor paints
- Mod Podge or similar decoupage medium
- Foam brush
- A pencil
How to make DIY wooden alphabet blocks:
1. Sketch your design in pencil. I did a letter on all four sides, and a picture on the top.
2. Outline it using your wood burning tool. Hold the tool as you would a pencil, and move along smoothly and softly (don’t put pressure).
3. Continue for all of your blocks.
4. Erase your design. Mix up watercolors to a consistency that you like. I did it thin enough to show through some grain, but thick enough to give me a bright, bold color.
5. Paint inside all your designs. Don’t worry if it overlaps the wood burn. It will likely not show on the final piece.
6. IMPORTANT: wait for your watercolors to dry completely before painting! When it’s dry, paint over with Mod Podge to seal it in, and give it a glossy finish. I did one layer. For more gloss, go for two. Tip: it works best if you dab on the decoupage, and then paint softly in a downward motion.
That is all! You now have a beautiful set of DIY wooden alphabet blocks to gift or to keep!
Now I need your feedback. What should I burn next?!