And so I called in the assistance of BFF...and his mitre box! Who knew cutting a 2x6 down would be so thrilling?!
You will need: saw, wood, sand paper or a mini planer (oh my gosh, that thing was so cute!), paint, paintbrush, sealant (I used gel medium).
Step One: Decide what size you want you blocks. I was using a 2x6 board, and I cut 4 different lengths: 3", 4", 6" and 8". I wasn't a fan of the 6" length, so I didn't cut doubles of it.
Step Two: Measure and cut. It helps if you know a carpenter for this step. It helps even more if you know a carpenter who is willing to measure and mark all your boards for you while you are giggling and dancing around cause you're so damn excited to finally do this DIY. Yep.
Step Three: Cut. I used this fancy Japanese mitre box thingy that BFF has. A table saw, or circular saw, or any kind of hand saw will work fine.
Step Four: Plane or sand any rough edges. I got to use BFF's mini planer, and it was so much fun. My first spiral of wood sent me in to a paroxysm of joy!
Step Five: Paint and decorate! Seal and enjoy! photos to come in Part Two! 'Cause I forgot...
The cutting didn't take that long because BFF already had everything in his garage, including the wood. I'd say maybe an hour to do 7 blocks. And that's cutting by hand. If you had some sort of electrical saw I bet you could cut your time in half. Ha! A pun! Painting and decorating takes as much time as you let it, depending on the detail you want for your houses and the size of your blocks. The bigger blocks take longer...
Cost: $0 - $10
This project didn't cost me anything extra because I already had everything I needed. But if you were to start from scratch, I know that you can usually pick up scrap wood for a couple of bucks at most local hardware/lumber stores. Craft paint is cheap, and sandpaper is even cheaper! The only thing that costs real money is the saw, so ask around your circle of friends and family and see if you can convince someone to loan your their equipment - and their time to help you - and then you're only out the cost of beer/pizza/friendly payment as your token of appreciation!
The time is there my friends. Make it work for you.