I’m only doing one set of these for my Busy bag project since it should be something that can be an all-play.
The idea I saw here at My Magic Mom. She drew on hers. I could draw on mine (with some mistakes, I’m sure) but if it’s got possibilities of a MOPS craft, I have to look different directions.
My blocks are 3/4″ cubes from scrap wood- thank you my wonderful carpenter husband! If you don’t have one of those, you could also cut a square wooden dowel into cubes or buy the pre-cut ones at Michaels or another craft store or online. My backup plan was to use the little square tiles at the hardware store/Home Depot/wherever and do 2 sided tiles, but I like the cubes better. Another cute way to do it I’ve seen is story stones, seen over at Red Bird Crafts.
I used free clip art images from free clipart pictures and Arthur’s clip art and a few objects are the odd texts on my computer sized to a 48 or larger font and the color changed. I’m sure there’s other free clip art available if you search. I had trouble finding much that didn’t require signups or yearly membership fees when I searched under images. You might have better luck just searching for “royalty free clip art” in general, rather than in images.
I finally gave up getting pictures at 80. I also wanted to put our family’s names on some of the blocks. I made a total of 14 blocks and only had one of my images that I didn’t use. If we use this for MOPS I’m figuring on 10 blocks and they can pick and choose their choice of images and if they want to do names. I’m not sure of the details yet- our steering team is tomorrow and I should finalize some details then. Here’s what 10 look like instead of 14.
I copied and pasted pictures onto a word/pages document and shrunk each image so it was only about 1/2″ at it’s largest dimension. They easily all fit on a single page to print. If we do this project for MOPS I’ll either make color copies or have them printed off at the church- 1 copy for each lady.
Cut out all those little squares. You could do stickers, stamps, or drawing to get your images onto the blocks. I glued on my little squares then did Mod-Podge over top. It was the easiest way for me to find images I liked without buying a gazillion packs of stickers. I have seen where you can get your images and print them on adhesive paper in a craft over here at Creative Holiday Gift Ideas. I may still go for that with MOPS- yet to be determined. I’d just have to print the images I found onto the sticker paper, I think. Either way, it will get a coat of Mod-Podge for a clear, durable coating, and so the kids can’t peel off the stickers, since I know mine will otherwise. There are other sealers you could use, too. I did 3 sides of the block at a time and set each aside as I completed it. By the time I got through 10 blocks this way, the first ones were getting dry and easy to handle again, so the other 3 sides were done then. You may need to do a brief wait for things to dry, or get out the hair dryer to help them dry more quickly if needed.
I did one coat of Mod-Podge. Another coat might make them look nicer, but they’re fine as is. I’m thinking for MOPS to make the bags first, then do blocks, and send a small container (like the cheap 10 for a dollar at the dollar store) of the Mod-Podge home with everyone if they want to do more. We’ll need little containers to put it in for everyone to use for this project anyhow, so they might as well go into a container they can take home.
Now for the bags. I like a sewn bag, but I sew so that’s not intimidating to me. For those who don’t get along with sewing machines, this is a bag for you. Just a simple circle cut from T-shirt fabric (I have LOTS of scraps from this and other projects) Fleece would also be ideal- either are fine since the edges won’t fray. I traced a circle a bit bigger than a saucer and cut out. Little snips near the edge give easy holes to thread a safety pin on the end of some ribbon through the holes for an easy drawstring bag. It will lay flat when it’s opened (unless your ribbon is too short- spread it all out before you cut if you’re not sure!). So it can also be the place where you roll your story dice.
So what do you do with them? Roll the dice and use what images come up to make up a story.
ETA: We did these for our MOPS creative activity for January. There’s a few more details on my MOPS 2011-2012 Creative activities page. I used mailing labels to print on for a cost effective way to speed up the process a bit.
I also just ran across 2 more ways to do these over at Stitch-Craft. One way is a package tape transfer (warning- this way would take even longer than cut out from paper and glue on like I did above) and the other way is with temporary tattoo paper (although it’s much more expensive- she found it at Michaels for $10 a sheet, less with a coupon).