For the my daughter’s first birthday, my sister made photo blocks made of pictures of the baby, our family, and other friends and family that she saw all the time. SHE LOVED the blocks because she loved looking at the pictures, but they could also be stacked and tossed.

This was such a great idea, that I had to do the same for our best friend’s baby. Here is how it was done…

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First, drink cartons of milk, juice or whatever you can in the 1/2 gallon cartons. We went with milk mainly, but the OJ came in handy for a few festive screwdrivers (it was in the name of a gift for friends).

After you cut off the top part of the carton, measure the width of the carton and attempt to cut off the top evenly, leaving enough height to fold down to be the “top” of the block. Once the top is off, cut the corners half way down, so they

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will fold evenly. Finally, use packing tape to secure it down. If it is done well, you will be left with a perfect cube of equal sides. If you had one too many screwdrivers, or decided to “wing it” on the measuring part, it won’t be perfectly equal – but it is a baby who doesn’t know the difference, don’t beat yourself up over it. (This is the theory I went with – although my sister, who is more into “following directions”, disagrees with my theory.)

blocksFinally, print photographs on your printer to the size of each square. For those (like myself) who forget – there are 6 sides. Not 4. You will need 6 photos (not 4) to do one cube. I used photo safe rolling tape to secure the pictures. It doesn’t have to be perfect – just enough to hold it down. The next step is to wrap each cube (carefully) with sheets of contact paper. The kiddo can put the contact paper in the mouth without the toxins of shellac (my first idea – glad I went back to the drawing board on that one), and it looks neater than clear packing tape. The challenge is getting the contact paper even and wrapping it so there are as few seems as possible. The second block looked better than the first and the third was even better, etc. I don’t recommend the addition of vodka to this part of the plan.

But – when it is finished, they are really cute and babies love seeing pictures of themselves – bonus, they get to play with blocks that won’t hurt when they fall!

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