I had a set of puzzle blocks growing up that I loved, I was inspired by the ones that Chelsea made, and then Melanie sealed the deal with the suggestion while talking over the weekend. I needed to make some holiday puzzle blocks for the kids this year. Here is how you can make them, too.
Supplies: plain wooden blocks (mine are 2"), painting + supplies, vinyl, Cricut Explore, transfer paper, and mod podge.
Process: Sand and paint your blocks a variety of colors - just make sure that your pattern matches on each block. Then go into Cricut Design Space and search for four (or six if you want to do the tops and bottoms) holiday designs that you find appealing. Size your image to fit your group of blocks (I did a 5.5" image for my 6" group of blocks). Next, you will want to "slice" the image to allow for the seams in the blocks. To do so, add rectangles (I sized mine 1/8" x 6") to the design space (2 horizontal and 2 vertical). Be careful to place them where the seams will be, then select your holiday image and one of the rectangles. Click "Slice" in the Layers panel, removing the overlapping area from the image. Repeat for each of your seam rectangles and clean up your layers, keeping only the main "sliced" holiday image.
Once you have cut the vinyl with the Cricut Explore, weed out all the vinyl pieces that you do not want on the blocks. Then place a piece of transfer paper on top of the vinyl and rub until it easily lifts off the backing. Next, lay it on top of the blocks and rub the back of the transfer paper until it releases. Finally, coat each block with mod podge to create a long lasting holiday heirloom that will keep bringing cheer year after year.
Time: Painting the blocks took three hours, transferring the images only took a half hour. Overall it took me four hours to complete start to finish.
Cricut has asked a number of bloggers to enter projects with specific themes as a fun way to test out the Cricut Explore. I chose to participate in this group because I honestly believe the Cricut Explore is a game changer in the world of crafting and, really, who doesn't love a little competition on the side. I don't get paid, but I could win prizes if choose in the top ten.