DIY Toy Building Blocks

We realized our house is very kid-UNfriendly.  Not that it’s unsafe for kids- we just got done locking everything dangerous away (see post on magnetic tot locks).  We just didn’t have anything around that would seem interesting or fun for children.  That is, unless the kids suddenly got the urge to chew on a doggy bone or fetch a slobbery tennis ball.

My wife noticed a basket full of toy building blocks a few years back while attending a bridal shower at my cousin’s house.  She thought the blocks could help kids learn shapes, encourage creativity, and they also looked decorative, displayed in a unique basket.  So, as you can guess, I got recruited to help her make some for our house.

We used some 3/4″ thick alder material I had out in the garage for the building blocks.  I liked the knots and rustic look of it.

I started by using a table saw to cut several rectangles in a few different sizes (3/4″ x 6″, 3/4″ x 3-1/2″, & 2-1/4″ x 6″).  Be especially careful when cutting small pieces to keep your hands away from the blade.  

Then I used a miter saw to cut some 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ squares, and some triangles.

The exact size and shape of the blocks doesn’t really matter, just cut out a variety of shapes and sizes.

I used my drill with a hole saw bit to cut out some round shapes as well.

Desiree lightly sanded the blocks…

…and applied a stain with a clean rag:

Then we laid the building blocks out and sprayed them with a can of clear urethane.

Desiree found a cool basket from Hobby Lobby to display them.  How about this KID-FRIENDLY DECOR?:

Toy building blocks can be fun for a wide range of ages.


  1. build something
  2. knock it down
  3. repeat

DIY Material Cost Breakdown

  • alder material $25
  • sand paper $3
  • stain $5
  • spray can of clear urethane $5
  • basket $9


One Reply to DIY Toy Building Blocks

  1. Desiree says:

    Love them! Already tried and tested by the neighbor kids. The round pieces were used to roll down the “tower ramp.” I’m actually impressed with your tower Kurt.

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