How I Turned Alphabet Blocks and Driftwood Into Garden Decor

12 Materials
3 Hours

This project came about as I saw so many other crafters using wood products for everything from a tray to a wall hanging to you name it whatever else. I have seen over the years a lot of crafts made using popsicle sticks, jenga blocks, scrabble tiles and the all too popular wooden beads! I put my thinking cap on and came up with another alternative...toy, wooden, alphabet blocks and driftwood.

Alphabet Mobile and Birdhouse

These were my two projects that I put together using the toy blocks so far, a mobile and a birdhouse stand. Today I'll focus in on how I made the mobile and I think you'll look at the toy blocks in a whole different light afterwards.

Supplies Laid Out

I only had so many letters so I tried to spell out something familiar and meaningful to me...I spelt out my home province in Canada. If you'd like to spell out your surname, welcome or something familiar to you that would be super great also, make it yours. To complete it I'll also use locally found driftwood sticks and jute string to assemble both together.

Drilling into the Blocks

The drill was used on both the letters and the driftwood to create the holes used to string them all together.

Sanding the Block Backs

Next I thought about how I'd emphasize the correct side, the one with an actual word spelt because the reverse side spelt jibberish! I know I'll sand the reverse sides bare that way it would be less confusing if all the letters weren't lined up correctly.

Letter Front and Plain Back

Once I had the back side sanded to bare wood I decided to paint that side solid matching the color on the front.

Enhancing the Letters

The front sides were dingy and dull so I painted the white base color first, wiping excess off the raised, colored part before it dried. Next with a fine artist paint brush I gave each block a fresh layer of bright color to revive them.

Colorful Wood Pieces

The colors were so bright and cheery that I kept on going adding color to the driftwood tips. Once everything was dried well the assembly process could begin, I came up with a version it may not be the best but it's what I went with.

I hope by showing you the process you now see that it's nothing too complicated to create your very own garden mobile.

Colorful Mobile Completed

The top hanger was drilled on each end and a double strand of string fed through and around to be tied securely. The actual mobile string though hangs from a hole that I drilled in the center of the hanger.

Hanging in My Tree

I hung it in one of my trees to create a touch of whimsy and the bright colors definitely caught people's attention. The letters spun this way and that making it hard to tell what the letters spelt but that's half the point in a mobile isn't it? To create interest and movement so it did that and it certainly became a conversation piece in the garden so I'll check it off as a worthwhile project.

Pretty Pops of Color

The pretty pops of yellow and green coordinate with things already existing in my yard like my yellow bench and all of the various shades of greenery. But what's even better is that it would make a very neat souvenir gift of home.

Alphabet Birdhouse

With some of the remaining letters I created a stand for a dollarstore birdhouse. Holes were drilled into the letters and they were enhanced the exact same way that I prepared them for the mobile except in this case a wooden dowel up through the center is what adds strength and stability to it all. A hole was also drilled in the wooden base and the bottom of the birdhouse and a few drops of wood glue holds everything together along the dowel including a wooden train wheel above the letter N. I twisted the letters for a fun, loose look and the plain birdhouse got painted in the same color scheme. It turned out so tweet huh?

Alphabet Letters

So now you know...toy wooden blocks can be a wood thing too! I hope you enjoyed following this post as much as I did in creating it! Until next post...happy crafting from Newfoundland, Canada.

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