Tuesday, July 08, 2014

DIY Cork Building Blocks

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I'm a sucker for making homemade toys.  It's true.  Well, then I saw these amazing Korxx cork building blocks via a giveaway over at Still Playing School and I knew that I had to try making a DIY version.  Especially since the price tag for 70 blocks was over $200!  Eek!  Have no fear, I am here to show you how you can make a set of your own for a fraction of the price.

DIY cork building blocks tutorial from And Next Comes L

I made all shapes and sizes, playing around with the possibilities.  I even tried dyeing scrap pieces with liquid watercolors for fun.  Dyeing them looks really cool, but the color obviously bleeds if they get wet.  Besides, I love the look of natural cork.  Don't you?  So I left our blocks natural.

DIY cork building blocks tutorial from And Next Comes L

DIY cork building blocks tutorial from And Next Comes L

Making these blocks were straightforward, although a bit tedious and messy.  And then there's the blisters on my fingers...But I still think they are totally worth making.  Besides, the effort exerted to make these DIY cork blocks pale in comparison to the work that went into the homemade light bright.  Clearly these projects make me look like a DIY mad-woman.  I swear I'm not crazy.  I just like to see if I can come up with a frugal alternative.

Anyway, you want to know how I made them right?  Of course, of course...I'll stop blabbering on.

What you'll need to make DIY cork building blocks:

How to make the DIY cork building blocks:

  1. Glue all four sheets of the 12" x 12" cork together, one on top of the other.  That's how I created thick building blocks.
  2. Use the width of the level to guide the width of your blocks and trace along the edge with the utility knife.
  3. Keep cutting along the line you traced in step 2.  My utility knife couldn't cut all the way through the layers, so I used a sharp non-serrated kitchen knife to finish cutting.  Make sure you cut on top of some cardboard or a cutting board!  And please note that the cork will crumble quite a bit.  So yes, it does get messy!
  4. Sand all cut edges.  K liked to help with this job.

 I cut a variety of shapes, mostly squares and rectangles that were the same width as the level.  I made 22 blocks in total for the price of $14, which is pretty darn good!  Not quite the same deal as my DIY color blocks, but still an amazing price point!

Then they're ready for playing with.

Making shapes with DIY cork building blocks from And Next Comes L

Playing with DIY cork building blocks from And Next Comes L

Playing with DIY cork building blocks from And Next Comes L

I love how these DIY cork building blocks turned out.  They don't look quite the same as the store bought Korxx blocks, but I'm secretly hoping that I win a set.

Check out our other homemade building blocks:

How to make your own set of cork building blocks from And Next Comes L
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  1. SO SO cool Dyan!!! Love them!

  2. Wow! This really so simple yet so fun. Won't the cork crumble off if wet or something... is there something I should paint it with to prevent that... I have never worked with cork so just wondering.

    Beautiful site Dyan. Hopping over from KBN.

    1. The cork crumbles a bit when cutting it. I just sanded the edges afterwards, which seems to prevent further crumbling. I'm sure a coat of mod podge would help too, but I didn't bother with that.

  3. A-MAZING!!! THANK You soo much for sharing this tutorial! I have always thought the same way: making my own but have no use for me around a tool shed LOL! I will get this done, youve made the instructions so aimple. Thanks again and great job! Pinning & Plus'g

  4. Such a great idea Dyan! I'd been visiting to check out your Blogger blog and found this as well :) Sharing!

    1. Well thanks for browsing around ;)