DIY Toy Wooden Blocks Anyone Can Make

Lullaby 05/22/2015

One of the simplest and best toys that your children will ever play with are wooden blocks. They may seem old school (and they are), but they're agelessly awesome because they're pure imagination. Kids can spend the day building towers up into the sky, designing entire cities, or recreating the great pyramids! Another awesome thing about blocks is how easy they are to make yourself. Really! You might be skeptical if you have no carpentry skills, but here are DIY toy wooden blocks anyone can make – and the kids can help, too!

  • The Wood - Pine is inexpensive and easy to sand, so it's a good option for a project for beginners.  General building lumber is pine, so two by fours and two by twos will make great block material. Ask someone for help if you don’t know what these look like. Another way to go would be to just ask for pine scraps. Lumberyards will cut wood to size for people, so they might have a bunch of random pieces that you could purchase really cheap. Another idea is using dowels of different diameters, so you have cylindrical shapes in your set. Other kinds of wood would be fine as well, but don’t use any kind of chemically treated lumber. This is mostly used for decks and outdoor applications and it's definitely not something you want your kids to put in their mouths.
  • The Sawing - These tools might be intimidating, but even if you have no experience, you can use them safely to cut simple shapes. Blocks can be any shape and size you want them to be so you can’t really make them wrong! If you don’t own a miter box saw, you can rent one from a lumberyard when you buy your wood – or ask a neighbor or relative that has one. A miter saw will make cutting all of your different shapes very quick and efficient. If you've never used one, ask someone to give you a short lesson or find a video tutorial online. Remember to wear eye protection – always think of safety first when working with power tools!
  • The Sanding - Here's where the kids can help out. Use 80 or 100 grit sandpaper to smooth the edges and surfaces of your blocks. If you have an electric palm sander you can use that, too, but doing it by hand will work out just fine. The higher the number of grit of the sandpaper, the smoother the wood will be, so when you're done sanding with 100 grit then move to 150 or 220 to make them feel soft and smooth in your hand.
  • The Finish - These blocks will probably end up in some little one's mouth at some point, so you definitely want to use non-toxic** paint to finish them. After you’ve painted one coat the grain will raise on the wood, so use 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sand them again. This will help you have super smooth blocks. Two coats of Lullaby Paints paint and your blocks are going to look fantastic!

**Conforms to ASTMD-4236, specifically concerning oral toxicity, skin irritation and respiratory effects.

Check out these two sets of blocks one of our Lullaby customers made for his granddaughter. She's one lucky little girl!

building blocks lullaby paints

Colors used: Celadon, Tangerine, Equine, Citron, Pavarotti & Starlight

alphabet blocks lullaby paints

Colors used: Sabine, Cotton Candy, French Blue, Thatch, Lilac & Moonstone

Thanks to Vicki for sharing these photos with us!