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Valentine's Mini Blocks

Mini wood signs are so fun to paint for all seasons and occasions. Create them in a set, in similar colors and themes or paint a few with meaningful sayings to gift away!

If you purchased an art kit here, you will have all the necessary supplies with which to start your project! Unwrap it and join me!

Your kit will contain:

  • wood blocks

  • stencils

  • sponge brushes

  • make-up wedges

  • undiluted paint

  • wood cut out shapes (some sets)

You will also need:

  • an old gift card/ credit card/ wood craft stick

  • paper plate

  • paper towels

  • optional: masking tape

  • optional: nail or weeding tool for stencil removal

  • glue for some designs. I recommend Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue

For a video version of a previous minis project please see here.

All the techniques for creating your minis collection will be detailed below. Due to the large variety of designs and customizations offered on this project, not each design can be demonstrated individually. Please refer back to older posts to see examples of prior minis projects or check out Three & me on Instagram for more design inspiration.

Get comfy. Grab a snack. Let's have some fun!

The stenciling techniques covered in this tutorial will apply to wood of all shapes and sizes.

Choose the smoothest side of your block for the best outcome.

Use sandpaper to sand off any rough parts and round your edges if necessary.

For a solid coverage, use the paint undiluted.

Use the broad side of your sponge brush to apply paint for the most even coverage.

You can paint the sides in the same color, a different contrasting color, or leave them bare.

Here are a few examples of painted blocks. Solid white and black backgrounds are always classic and will also allow for almost all stenciled colors to pop.

If you would like the wood grain to show through, wet your sponge brush and apply the diluted paint onto your block. Rub off excess paint with a paper towel.

Paint all your blocks.

Allow the blocks to dry completely before stenciling. Any residual moisture will drastically affect the outcome of the next step. If you are in a rush, use a hair dryer.

To prepare for stenciling have the following on hand:

  • paper plate to swipe off tiny amounts of paint

  • sponge wedges or flat topped stencil brushes

  • undiluted paint

  • picking tool or nail for stencil removal

  • masking tape for complex and small stencils

  • dry wood blocks

  • paper towels

Your one-time use stencil has three parts:

1. A card stock type backing, which often has a grid or printing on it, such as "Cricut" or 'Oracal" etc.

2. A top layer, which is usually a fibrous white or clear film, which keeps your design parts together.

3. The middle layer, which is the actual design. This can be any color, but most often is black or bright blue. It is very adhesive on one side.

Rub the grid side with a credit card/ gift card or craft stick, to make sure the design transfers to the correct position.

Carefully and slowly peel away the grid layer. It helps to lay the stencil on a hard surface, rather than peeling away at it up in the air, in case it rolls back on itself like contact paper.

Your stencil is the sticky side.

Place your stencil, sticky side down, onto your wood, making sure that it is evenly aligned.

Once your stencil is straight, gently smooth it down onto the surface to create a seal.

Carefully remove the top, fibrous layer. If any of your design lifts with the removal of this layer, gently rub the part back onto the wood before continuing.

Decant a tiny bit of paint onto your paper plate, to prevent overloading your brush/ wedge.

You really won't need much paint. 1/2 " drop will be enough for this whole block! Do not use the paint straight out of the container! It will overload your brush/ wedge and can result in your design distorting.

Using a stencil brush or sponge wedge, with undiluted paint, dab a thin first layer of paint onto your stencil. Less is more. The less paint you use, the less chance there is of paint running under the stencil.

Do not use any water for this step! Move away your glass of wine or cup of tea, to prevent inadvertent dipping!

After a first thin coat of paint, the wood should still be visible. Always err on the side of caution and rather apply a few thin layers than one that is too thick. The first coat is the most critical. Once that has dried, it'll seal up the design edges for further coats.

Dry between coats.

After 2-3 light coats of paint, the coverage is sufficiently opaque.

Once the paint is dry, remove the stencil.

Use a nail/ toothpick/ picking or weeding tool to help you remove the finer parts of the stencil.

I like to remove the inside pieces first, to reduce the chance of smudging.

So satisfying!

For wood cut out shapes, like some of the options above, paint the wood using dry brushes or sponge wedges. Rather use less paint and go for multiple coats, than overloading your shape and getting a run-off over the edges.

Once dried, stick shapes onto wood block using glue such as wood, hot, craft or super glue. My favorite glue for this purpose is Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue. Use a small amount of glue, to prevent the glue from running under the design and affecting your outcome.

For more complex shapes, disassemble them and paint the individual pieces, especially if you want to use multiple colors. This will give a professional look!

For more complex stencils or of you are using more than one color, please continue below.

You can also see this tutorial for techniques.

This stencil has opportunities for using many different colors.

Do not rinse your brushes between colors, to ensure the best outcome of your technique. Have a separate brush or wedge for each color, or wipe color off with a paper towel. For tiny spots of color you can even use the corners of your wedges, to reduce waste!

Use masking tape to protect areas from unwanted color.

A tiny amount of paint is all you'll need.

Paint 1 super thin coat to start. Dry and repeat, if desired, for more coverage, before removing the masking tape.

Repeat with other colors and dry.

Remove stencil.

Cute and colorful!

This technique also works on backgrounds of other colors.

A few more samples of stenciled projects:

I hope you had a fabulous time painting your project! Please share with tag #threeandme.


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