I have finished my first Valentine project and I am very excited about it. I loved the snowflakes blocks that I repainted for the January décor so much that when I was thinking of ideas for Valentine’s I really wanted to make some more. This time I made the blocks too. I wanted to make 4 of them with different colored hearts on them instead of the snowflake and then I added some Valentine words to them as well. The snowflake ones have a small space between the pieces of wood on the face of the block, but for these I wanted them right next to each other. I like that I can keep all four of the blocks together, or I can split them up and place them wherever I might need them.
I started off with buying some precut boards from Home Depot and Lowe’s. I got the the 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ boards in a couple of different lengths. I think they were 3 and 4 feet long. (To get enough wood to make all 4 of them I had to go to Home Depot twice and Lowe’s once because each time they only had a handful of boards available and at least half of them were warped). Most of it is Poplar. I did end up getting a couple of pine boards too, since after 3 times they still didn’t have enough straight poplar boards. I used the pine for the back frame pieces. (Sometimes when I buy boards I forget to check to make sure they are straight and that is a HUGE pain).
Once I had the boards I cut them on my brand new table saw that I got for Christmas. I LOVE my table saw. It is so nice to finally be able to make my projects and not have to ask my very nice friends to cut my wood for me. Thank you very much Vu and Mom and Dad. And don’t worry Vu, I still have all of my fingers. I am very careful when I use it. I also happen to want to keep all of my fingers. For one block I cut 6 pieces 6 inches long, 4 for the front and 2 for the frame, and 2 pieces 5 inches long for the other half of the frame.
After I cut and sanded the wood I glued the frame together. I placed the 5 inch pieces opposite each other inside the 6 inch pieces to make a 6 inch square box, then used 2 clamps on each side of the 5 inch pieces to hold it together while it dried.
Once the frame was dry I glued the last 4 pieces flat on top of it. I didn’t use clamps on this part, I just let it lie flat on the table to dry. I stained it using a walnut stain. I stained the whole thing, including the back and inside (so I can turn it around and use it for a different month if I want to).
Once the stain was dry I white washed the whole thing, again including the back and inside. (Sorry the next 3 pictures are so yellow, I was painting it at night and I really need to get some different light bulbs)
While the white wash was drying I created a heart in Word (they have a really cool shape tool under the “Insert” tab that lets you create a heart any size, width and height that you want). My heart ended up being about 5 inches all around. I also found a font I liked and typed up the 4 words I wanted to paint and chose a font size that fit the proportion I wanted to the heart. I cut out the paper heart, placed it on the wood where I wanted it and traced around it in pencil. I painted all 4 of the hearts in different colors of pink and red, just painting inside the lines of the heart I had traced. Some of the paint I used was pretty thin and I had to use 4 or 5 coats to get the thickness I liked.
For the words I colored the back of the paper I had printed out with pencil, taped the paper print side up where I wanted it, and traced over the outline so it transferred the pencil onto the wood. Then I pulled it off and kept it close as I painted for reference for the parts that didn’t trace as well.
Once everything was dry I sprayed a matte finish over each one to protect them. And they are all ready for my Valentine mantle.