Arranged in an artful way, customized floral baby blocks can create a colorful and thoughtful baby shower centerpiece. And after the celebration, guests can take the individual blocks home as party favors. Hopefully, they won't be big babies and fight over them!
Things You'll Need
- Small orange juice or milk cartons
- Floral foam
- Scrapbook paper
- Photocopies of alphabet letters
- Photocopies of graphics
- Large circle paper punch
- Hobby knife
- Decoupage glue
- Foam brush
- Pom pom chrysanthemums
Making the Baby Blocks
To make the blocks, you will need small orange juice or milk cartons. Cartons are ideal for this project because they are not only square, but water tight. Using scissors, cut the tops off the cartons so that they are as high as they are wide. The cartons here are 2 1/4" wide.
Select scrapbook paper that will be used to cover the outside of the cartons. Cut them so they are about one half inch higher than the walls of the cartons. For example, with cartons that have 2 1/4" square walls, cut the paper so that the pieces are 2 1/4" wide by 2 3/4" high. The extra half inch will later be folded over the top edge of the carton.
Decide what kinds of graphics you would like on the blocks. These graphics will be layered on top of the scrapbook paper. The graphics in this example were found online by searching "free hipster graphics." Size your graphics so that they are smaller than the pieces of scrapbook paper, and print them out at a copy store. Laser photocopying at a copy store is recommended over printing from your home inkjet printer because the colors are more vivid and will not run.
The blocks will have two sides with graphics and two sides with alphabet letters. Using your computer word processing or graphics program, create letters in your desired font and color, sizing them so they will fit within the walls of the blocks. (Personalize with the baby's name if you know it!) Again, laser print them at a copy store, and cut out the letters with a circle punch or by hand. In the example, the letters have a black background and colored letters in reverse.
All the graphic elements will be decoupaged to the juice cartons. Start with the scrapbook paper backgrounds, placing a different pattern on each side of the block. The secret to easy decoupaging without air bubbles is to first soak the paper in water for a few seconds. This relaxes the paper and helps it conform to the surface of the carton.
Working on one side at a time, apply a layer of decoupage glue onto the juice carton with a foam brush. Also apply some decoupage glue on the inside top edge. Then position the piece of scrapbook paper that has been soaked in water on top of the glued surface. Fold the top of the scrapbook paper over the top edge of the carton, giving the wall a finished edge. Apply more decoupage glue on top of the scrapbook paper to seal it.
While all the sides are still wet, apply the graphic images and alphabet letters on top of the scrapbook paper. Soak these elements in water as well before applying. Because these elements are wet, they can be repositioned more easily if needed. Apply another layer of decoupage glue to seal in the graphics. Allow to dry completely.
Cut pieces of floral foam to fit in the blocks, about a half inch shorter than the height of the carton. Floral foam is available in the floral section of the crafts store. Be sure to purchase the foam that is made for fresh flowers rather than the kind made for silk flowers. Soak the foam in water and place in the blocks.
Pom pom chrysanthemums work well for these floral blocks because they are flat, as we want the top of the blocks to also be flat. Insert stems of the pom poms in the floral foam, arranging them in straight rows. Several smaller buds lined up together look better than fewer larger buds. The flowers should be level with the top of the blocks, making it easier to stack them. Now you have beautiful baby shower decor as well as thoughtful party favors, all wrapped up into one!