I could do nothing but paint wood blocks right now. Well, paint blocks and take the kiddo to the children’s section of the San Francisco Zoo. (We were there recently. There are goats.) I highly recommend both.

I am not sure which is more appealing about these –the simple use of two-dimensional geometric shapes to characterize architectural details, the feeling of moving around acrylic paint, or being able to manipulate each piece comfortably in my hands. As soon as I saw Stacking House Blocks from Mer Mag, I knew that I had to create a set for the boy. This is the second post that I’ve made about her projects.

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Had I seen this design before, I might have had these stacked on desk at work. I would have gifted sets for birthdays, baby showers, and random events. My friends would probably start to question my sanity.

I do not know how long the original project took to make, but my version took over two weeks to finish. (That doesn’t include the time it took my husband to cut and sand the wood post that served as the source material). A good part of that time was dedicated to layering paint. I also added a few things:

  • A red passion flower, because I grew one once.
  • Two American Robins, because we watched them forage in the garden every morning during early spring. We continue to hear them sing in the afternoon.
  • A bicycle, because everyone remembers their first bike.
  • A red fox, because our world currently revolves around this stuffed toy.

The most difficult thing to do was apply a coat of paint and walk away from the project so it could dry. Most of the time I did this unwillingly because there were more important things to attend to, like the boy, the dogs, chores, eating and such. Dishes were ignored.


I’m new to acrylics, so I used different brands of paint. The variations of teal and the acrylic basecoat were from previous projects. I played with A2 Chroma paints and a Liquitex varnish for the first time. Those both worked out well, although I would have preferred to finish the blocks with beeswax polish. I just didn’t have any on hand.


This project is great because it is so easy to personalize. I love that the shapes are imperfect and that the wood grain and brush strokes are irregular. What did my littlest critic think? He spotted the fox right away and was excited about that. He spent a good five minutes looking at each one, and then carried them over to one of his favored play spots to stack and arrange them. The block with the roof peak ended up in his room with the stuffed fox. I consider that a sign of success!


There are additional blank blocks, and I’m thinking of other possibilities. A fire station with a Dalmatian by the garage and a raccoon foraging in a garbage bin would be fun. The boy loves fire engines! A San Francisco Victorian would also be fitting, as we have walked past several of those. I have no idea if I will get the opportunity to make them, but part of the fun is letting my imagination go.