I wanted to make something creative to keep my nephew entertained on the long drive between Tennessee (where he lives) and Ohio (where I do). After a little brainstorming, I came up with this magnetic building block book!
I began by creating the little blocks first. I stamped the blocks onto Rustic White cardstock using Terra Cotta Tile, Blueberry Sky, Limeade Ice, New Leaf, and Summer Sunrise inks. Next, I ran the whole sheet through the Xyron to apply all-over adhesive and covered the surface with clear contact paper. I made sure to burnish the contact paper really well, so it looked like matte lamination. The contact paper provides a protective coating for the blocks that will (hopefully) extend their life.
Then, I die cut each of the blocks. The stamped images are larger than the dies in order to give edge-to-edge coverage, so it was super easy to see where to place the dies for this step. I die cut the blocks out of thin magnet sheeting and applied the stamped blocks to their coordinating magnet shape by removing the adhesive backing and firmly pressing them together.
Next, I created the binder cover. I stamped the "title" with the Headline Alphabet using Enchanted Evening ink and followed up with a random block formation in the same inks I used on the block magnets. I adhered the stamped panel to the cover of a kraft binder and applied another layer of clear contact paper with more firm burnishing. I'm just imaging the messes a 3 year-old boy makes and trying to be proactive in the protection department.
Then, I worked on the inside covers. I stamped two pieces of 5" x 7" metal sheeting (make sure you use a magnetic metal; aluminum doesn't work...trust me) with sentiments from Block Party using Jet Black Stazon ink. Please note: Be careful with metal sheeting. The edges can be sharp, so take care not to cut yourself if you choose to try this project for yourself.
I adhered the metal sheets to the inside covers of the binder using strong adhesive and weighed them down with heavy boxes while it set. After the adhesive had set up, I applied more clear contact paper with more firm burnishing. This time it was in an effort to keep those sharp metal edges from harming little fingers.
Finally, I punched a couple of holes in a sturdy zip-top bag to contain the 54 pieces of magnet-y fun and popped it in the binder. All that was left to do was play with it a little bit. Honestly, I had enough fun playing around with it just for the photos that I may make another one for myself. It could be said that I'm not the most tolerant road tripper. After about a half an hour in the car I start asking if we're there yet. Perhaps a building block book of my own could stretch that to an hour. Maybe even two. Ha!
A few notes about this project (should you choose to make one):
- Don't try to cut through all of the layers of paper/magnet/adhesive at once when making the magnetic blocks. It will be too thick to get through your die cut machine successfully.
- Use the fairly thin magnetic sheeting. I used what I had on hand, but if memory serves you can find the printable magnet sheets at your local craft store. Those should work just fine. This project only used about 1/2 of a 9" x 12" sheet, but I was very careful to use it as efficiently as possible. I also had to help out the cuts with scissors in a few spots, but it wasn't bad.
- Use the metal shim to help you get nice, clean cuts.
- It's really hard to get all of the tiny bubbles out from under the contact paper when you're applying it to the metal. Don't sweat it too much. Kiddos won't care nearly as much as you do.
- This is a relatively labor intensive project. It will take you longer than you think. Trust me.
- Those really cute, tiny storage clipboards look like they will be perfect for this project...until you learn that they're made of (non-magnetic) aluminum. Don't waste your time. Again, trust me.
Alrighty, friends, that's all for me today. I'll be back again tomorrow with even more Block Party and Drips & Dribbles projects. In the meantime, Nichole, Ashley, Betsy, Danielle, Dawn, Erin, Heather, Laura, Laurie, Maile, Melissa Phillips, Lexi, and Melissa Bickford all have more to share with you today. See you soon!
Charlie's Block Book
Stamps: Block Party (available December 15th), Headline Alphabet - Papertrey Ink
Cardstock: Rustic White - Papertrey Ink
Ink: Terra Cotta Tile, Blueberry Sky, Limeade Ice, New Leaf, Summer Sunrise, Enchanted Evening - Papertrey Ink; Jet Black Stazon - Tsukineko
Other: Block Party Die (available December 15th) - Papertrey Ink; Magnetic Sheeting - Darice; Clear Contact Paper; Xyron; Kraft Binder; Metal Sheeting - K & S Precision Metals; E6000; Corner Chomper - We R Memory Keepers