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Decorative Blocks

By: Bumblebees and Butterflies
February 13, 2020

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Decorative Blocks
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All during my teaching career I loved designing and building displays of children’s work and general classroom displays to support teaching and learning and show children their hard work was valued. This love of exhibiting special treasures has been carried through to my home where shelves, sideboards, dressers etc. around my home have continually changing displays on them. I love making projects to add to them to give that personal touch. I have a couple of small collections of children’s vintage play blocks and have bought some new wooden ones to alter as well. What I like about this type of project is that it is so easy to get some lovely distressed and aged effects in a short time and with just a few basic colours of paint.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Metallic Gold
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - Black
  • 2x4cm and 1x6cm wooden blocks
  • Collage elements
  • Metal clock and spinner


Instruction #1 - Staged 291
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Step 1: Take all three wooden blocks, seal them with a coat of DecoArt Media Black Gesso and because I wanted a shinier look I also gave them a coat of Carbon Black DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic.

Instruction #2 - Step 14997
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Step 2: Gather the collage elements for the large block to build the theme for the display. I have gone with transport/travel.

Instruction #3 - Step 217
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Step 3: Please be very careful with these layers as repeated drying with the heat gun causes the blocks to get very hot and could burn to the touch.

Layer 1. Again take all three blocks and apply a wash of Raw Umber and dry. This creates a subtle distressed look.

Instruction #4 - Step 314
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Step 4: Layer 2. Very lightly brayer some white paint randomly over all the surfaces, leave a lot of the dark background exposed. Dry.

Instruction #5 - Step 448
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Step 5: Layer 3. Dip and dry the surfaces with Titan Buff and Burnt Umber washes. Dry.

Instruction #6 - Step 544
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Step 6: Put the two smaller blocks to one side. When the larger block is cool, build the collages on all four sides with the gathered collage pieces. Keep the collages simple so as not to lose the lovely distressed look you have already achieved.

Instruction #7 - Step 6a52
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Instruction #8 - Step 6b37
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Instruction #9 - Step 6c
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Instruction #10 - Step 6d
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Step 7: Take the metal embellishments (a clock and a spinner) and alter with gold paint. Then secure it to the top.

Instruction #11 - Step 723
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Step 8: Layer 4. Go back to the smaller blocks. Take a small text stamp and Titan Buff acrylic paint to add a small amount of words/numbers to all the sides.

Instruction #12 - Step 8a
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Instruction #13 - Step 8b64
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I am building small collections of different colours and just love this combination.

Instruction #14 - Staged 356
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Thanks for stopping by.

Hugs Brenda xxx


Love your blocks too, Brenda! Great layers and texture and so beautifully composed! Claudia xxx


February 13, 2020

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