Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Family Heirloom Children's Block Christmas Tree DIY-Craft Project

My daughter-in-love, Sarah's Aunt Jane made Sarah's Mom a Children's Block Christmas Tree  in the 1970's that became a treasured Glover Family Heirloom. I don't know if Aunt Jane had instructions or a pattern or just made it up, but it is delightful. The tree has Sarah's and her sister, Suzanna's name spelled in the block letters in the body of the tree, along with Merry Christmas spelled in blocks around the bottom row of the tree. Now, with children of their own, Sarah and Suzanna claimed the tree and passed it back and forth.  Each year to year from house to house.

I admired the little tree, the love and warmth it held and hoped one day to make a tree for Sarah, with the names of my grandchildren spelled out with blocks around the tree.  I started collecting small ornaments, blocks, and embellishments through the years. For one reason or another I never started the project. It was good I didn't start because this year Sarah and my son Victor added Bowen to their family. If I had got the tree finished before this year Bowen's name would have been left out and I would have had to begin again!

I looked online for something similar, and instructions but did not find any. I borrowed the original from Suzanna in secret and began working by trial and error.

First, I purchased a wood base from Michael's. I also purchased some E6000 glue.  I used one and a half tubes. This is fabulous glue, by the way. Also, works well on glass.

I painted the base a Christmas red.

After it was throughly dried, I glued fourteen blocks around the base. Then I filled in the interior snugly, with additional blocks. The first outside row spelled Merry Christmas. The 2nd row, also used fourteen blocks set 1/2 inch to the inside of the first row. The 3rd row, eleven blocks and the 4th row, eight, the 5th row, six and the 6th row, four and the 7th and final row, one block. Each row was set 1/2" inch in from the row below and the blocks were set at an angle.


1.  Fourteen Blocks (Merry Christmas)
2.  Fourteen Blocks (Samuel 9)
3.  Eleven Blocks (Emery Anne 6)
4.  Eight Blocks (Bowen 10 months)
5.  Six Blocks (Sarah)
6.  Four Blocks (Vic)
7.  One Block

I only glued down one row, and the interior blocks in a twenty four hour period. I think you could do one row and then let it sit for five or six hours and add the next row, but you want the glue to be thoroughly dry before moving on. I also, glued the interior blocks inside the perimeter before moving on.

I put the name of my oldest grandson, Sam (Samuel) spelled out on the 2nd row. I also put a block next to his name with his age on it, (9). I tried to find a picture block of something that reminded me of him. Emery Anne, his sister's name is spelled out in row three.  Her age, six is also beside her name as is a block with a pair of eyeglasses as I bought her, her first pair of fashion statement glasses. The name of the youngest grandson in this family, Bowen, ten months is found on row four. I put an plain orange block by Sam's name and a pink block by Emery's name so they are easy to pick out.              .

In the original Christmas Block tree, the names of the parents were not included, however in the tree I made I put Sarah's name on row five and Vic's name is on row six. Victor's middle initial is "J" and if you look closely you can see a Santa Elf with it's block body with the letter J, which stands for Victor's middle name, Joseph.

The next step was glueing on the little ornaments and embellishments that reminded me of each person represented. I found a Star Wars Lego storm trooper for Sam's row, a miniature computer mouse for Victor, as he is an IT guru. Go crazy! I had a great time finding tiny items that reminded me of each person. For example, Victor collected mouse Christmas tree ornaments as a child and consequently, there have quite a few little mice on this tree!

After it is FULLY decorated, put small pieces of greenery between the blocks to fill it out to make it look more tree like. I used the E6000 glue throughout but when I started putting the greenery in between the blocks I used a glue gun as it was more effective and the greenery stayed in place as it should much better with the glue gun than with the E6000 glue. I did have to use the glue gun on a few of the ornaments, as well however, I think the holding power of the E6000 glue is superior to the hot glue and would advise using it wherever possible.

Finding the tree topper took a little looking as I wanted something that gave it some height but still was smaller than the block surface at it's bottom. The original tree had a rocking horse, mine has a Santa in a hot air balloon.

I am pleased with the finished product and hope Sarah is, too. I hope that Sam, Emery and Bo grow to love this Block Christmas Tree as much as Sarah and Suzanna did theirs growing up.  My wish is to I live long enough to make another three trees for my grandchildren when they have families of their own!

Note:  The tiger that spans over two blocks, the Mr. and Mrs. Clause and the Nativity scene in the far right side of the picture. I also have a toy section on the other side.

Merry Christmas!

Please, post a picture of your tree if you decide to make one.

See what happens when baby #4 arrives in 2017!
What to do, what to do!

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