You have the perfect birthday gift to match the funfetti birthday cake. You wait till everyone is done singing and the baby’s mom has blown out the candles for them.
Then, pulling out the carefully wrapped box, you pass it along just as everyone is getting their slices of cake passed to them.
“I’m just too excited,” you admit.
Your friends rattle the box to make a guess: “Hmmm, are these ABC blocks?” they wonder.
“Oh no,” you tell them. “These are no ordinary toy blocks. These are Bridgewood toys…they’re heirloom toys! You decorate them as a family. And after you told me you were going to make a funfetti cake…I just knew I had to commemorate this special day by painting them with little confettis!”
Your friends insist that you all take pictures with the blocks and the baby and the cake. You all pose, smiling for the camera, but right before the flash goes off, the little one reaches over and grabs a handful of cake, shoving it in their mouth!
The picture that was captured is silly and hilarious, sweet, and messy – just like confetti!
Confetti Blocks are remarkably easy to make and then make such cute toys! They are effortless to customize. Switch out the colors or make the confetti dots bigger or smaller, depending on your preferences.
Making confetti blocks is meditative. So grab a favorite drink, put on some calming music, and take some well-deserved time to calm your mind and make something lasting and beautiful.
This tutorial presumes that you are familiar with ‘The Basics of Toymaking.’ If you haven’t already, check out these short tutorials to learn how to quickly and easily make beautiful toys.
For this example, we used Rosy Red, Baby Rose Pink, Meadow Green, Butter Yellow, and Hazy Purple to create these confetti blocks. But the fun part of these toys is that you can choose your colors! Rosy Red, Baby Rose Pink, Snowy White, and Butter Yellow would make adorable toys, while Cozy Black, Warm Grey, Mary Blue, and Hazy Purple would create a different but still fantastic look. You choose!
How to Make Confetti Blocks
Prep the Blocks
Check each edge of the wooden toys. If there are any rough edges, sand them smooth and wipe them clean.
For detailed instructions and tips, see the “Prepping the Blocks” Tutorial.
Mix Your Paints
Our “Mixing Your Favorite Colors” Tutorial will teach you how to get the perfect shade.
We used the following colors in this example, but you are welcome to use YOUR favorite combinations!
- Combine Rosy Red and Butter Yellow to create Baby Rose Pink.
- Combine Mary Blue and Rosy Red to create Hazy Purple.
- Combine Mary Blue and Butter Yellow to create Meadow Green.
Add Your First Dots
- Lightly dip your detail brush into the toy-safe paint color of your choice. It does not matter which color you start with.
- Carefully dot little dots onto the END GRAIN surface of the block. Fill the entire end grain side of the wooden block with dots of toy-safe paint but be sure to leave enough space between the dots for more paint colors.
- Note: This is one of the few techniques where we do not recommend putting the star on the end grain of the block. Placing the dots on the end grain will help give your toys the most consistent look in this particular case.
- Note: In our picture examples, we made the mistake of applying the dots on the long grain, not the end grain.
- Turn over and apply dots to the opposite side of the block.
- Set on an unpainted side to dry while continuing with the rest of the set.
Add More Dots!
- After cleaning your detail brush, choose a different color of paint and again begin dotting the surface of the wooden block.
- Try not to overlap the dots. Aim to fill in the empty spaces around the other dots.
- Continue until both sides are filled with dotted color and place on an unpainted side to dry
- Continue with the rest of the set.
5. Repeat this dotting technique on the rest of the toys, using all the colors you chose.
Sand the Edges
When finished, use your sandpaper to sand the edges of the block thoroughly so you have a crisp edge.
Check out this Tutorial for detailed instructions
Seal the Dots
- Using your foam applicator or perfect brush, apply two thin coats of sealer to each side of the dotted toys.
- Set on an unpainted side to dry. Your homemade toys will need 72 hours to cure, but if desired, you can continue working on the toys provided that you set them on a gallon plastic freezer bag to avoid ‘gluing’ them to each other or the drying surface.
Detailed instructions for sealing your blocks can be found here!
Apply the BridgeWood Star
- Cut and apply the star stencil to one of the unpainted, long-grain sides.
- Use the techniques from ‘Toymaking Basics’ to scrape paint over the star. Peel to reveal your perfect image.
- Continue painting the star on the opposite side of the wooden toy. Set on an unpainted side to dry while continuing to paint the rest of the set.
- In our example, we used white paint for the BridgeWood star, but you can use whatever toy-safe paint color you like!
Seal the Last Four Sides
- Once dry, use your foam applicator or perfect brush to apply two thin coats of sealer to the last four sides of the toys.
- Set on a dotted, painted side to dry.
- Allow to cure for 72 hours.
- Although the sealer will be dry to the touch very quickly, the underlayers still need to cure and dry.
- Store the toys a finger-width apart on a gallon plastic freezer bag to avoid ‘gluing’ them to each other or the drying surface.
- Turn daily to ensure even curing on all sides of the wooden toys.
You worked hard to make these cute toys! Now, it is time to enjoy them with some educational playtime!