chalk blocks to-go

IMG_5955.jpg

I was hoping to spread out the 10 Things to Do This Summer series, but this project was such a surprising thrill, I couldn't resist sharing after yesterday's popsicles.

I've seen chalkboard painted blocks before and have wanted some for our own home.  But when the girls and I started brainstorming what to give to a little friend turning 3, the idea of traveling blocks sounded more exciting and practical.  So here is how to make Chalk Blocks To-GO!

IMG_5952

What you'll need to make Chalk Blocks To-Go:

  • wooden blocks (You can buy pre-cut ones at a craft store that are lightweight or cut your own which is much cheaper.)
  • sidewalk chalk (Buy or make your own.  I choose the easy route this time around.)
  • Durable vinyl if you are making a case
  • Seam binding

IMG_5832

1. Paint your blocks with chalkboard paint.

IMG_5836

You can choose any tint for your paint when it is made and mixed.  I like traditional grey for chalkboard paint.

IMG_5900

2. Be creative.  If you want to make a case for your traveling chalk blocks, use what materials you enjoy using.  Perhaps you are a sewer and want to whip up a gathered bag out of fabric.  Or maybe you want to reuse a tote you already have with straps.

In my case, I decided I didn't have time to perfect a vinyl tote, so laid everything out on a piece of vinyl and began looking for ways I could whip up a tote with minimal work.  This is me giving you permission to experiment, always, and learn as you go.  Be prepared that it usually means there will be imperfect products since you're not following a pattern.  I prefer to roll that way.

3.  Sew seam binding on the two long ends of the vinyl rectangle.

IMG_5938

IMG_5909

4.  Now simply fold the vinyl around the blocks to come up with some configuration that suits you.  I took each short end and folded in the sides of the vinyl, like folding in the sides of a present, as seen above.  Then I stitched one long stitch to hold it in place.  Repeat on the other side.  (Make sure you will have a snug fit, so fold the sides in while the blocks are inside to know where to fold and sew.)

IMG_5934

5.  You are almost done.  The sides are sewn, now sew the top of the sides, where the seam binding meets each other, together.  Once I sewed the seam binding to itself it created a little bubble from the stitch I had previously sewn below it.  That is when you walk away from it for a moment--imperfection can be beautiful, too.

IMG_5946

6. Now decide where you want the velcro to go to hold it all together.  Here is a simple way to decide:

IMG_5947

Fold in the side flaps that you just sewed together.

IMG_5948

Wherever the long flaps will touch each other is where you will want to sew velcro, as seem above.

IMG_5916

There you have it!  Chalk blocks to-go.  Remember, to make the set as easy as possible, use a tote you already have.  The set can be thrown into the car for summer trips, breaks at the pool, or for quiet time indoors.

IMG_5920

IMG_5960

What do you think?  What ideas do you have for a chalk block tote?

the sleepy time gal