Personalised wooden blocks tutorial

Apr 23, 2014 at 6:00 a.m. ET

Ask any baby or toddler; very little in this world can compete with the joy of stacking — then demolishing — block towers. Take it to a new level by personalising the blocks with photos, picture book cut-outs or cardboard. Here's how you can turn plain wooden blocks into cute stackable toys for your little one…

Personalized wood blocks

There is no greater joy, no grander satisfaction and nothing more fascinating than wooden blocks… at least as far as the little ones are concerned. They're fun to stack, they're even more fun to wipe out and — once letters, numbers and pictures become identifiable — they're a great educational tool.

And since you know best which colours, animals, people or shapes are the bees' knees to your kid making personalised blocks makes sense. If you're in control you can incorporate any theme you like: the alphabet, numbers, animals, space, under the sea, seasons, modes of transport, favourite story characters or even photos of family members for an extra personal touch. Let's get started.

Personalised wooden blocks

Wooden box supplies


  • 6 or 8 wooden blocks
  • Sand paper
  • Craft paper or cardboard
  • Scissors or a craft knife (like X-Acto)
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Mod Podge (or another non-toxic equivalent)
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat

Want to peel your kids away from the box? Check out these five alternatives for kids >>



Sand the edges

Sand the edges and corners of each of your blocks as well as any rough surfaces
to make them smooth and safe to play with.

Step 1


Measure your blocks

Using a ruler, measure the surface of your blocks. Take away half a centimetre or so from each side and cut out colourful cardboard squares for the sides of your blocks. If you'd like them to have rounded edges, mark the sides of a tupperware container lid (so you have a guide that will keep them consistent) and trace around it. You'll need six cardboard squares per block, so if you're making six blocks, you'll need 36 cardboard squares; if you're making eight blocks, you'll need 48 cardboard squares.

Step 2


Add squares

Stick the cardboard squares onto your blocks. You can trial to see how the colours work together
by using a little piece of sticky tape before committing to glue.

Step 3


Decide on the designs

Decide on the designs you'd like to put on your blocks. Six blocks perfectly fit all of the letters of the alphabet and the numbers from zero to nine. If you use eight blocks you can include 12 additional pictures, such as animals, fruit, shapes, flowers or whatever else tickles your fancy. Cut your chosen pictures out of cardboard and glue them to the centre of each block.

Step 4

Tip: You can also cut out pictures from a book or magazine or use family photos instead of the cardboard.


Add Mod Podge

Once the glue dries, coat the sides of each block with Mod Podge (I used Dimensional Magic but the classic will work as well) or another non-toxic equivalent and allow it to dry. Apply an additional coat if your cardboard is extra thick or you'd like a thicker seal around each cube.

Step 5


Allow the blocks to dry

Allow the blocks to dry for at least one day and then let the kids build and destroy to their hearts' content.

Allow blocks to dry

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