Here’s a sweet idea from inside Yellow Owl Workshop’s latest book, Yellow Owl’s Little Prints! Borrow a beloved mother in your life’s children for a few hours and spend the afternoon creating handmade Mother’s Day gifts like this one for her to enjoy as a surprise. We love all of the colorful kits and prints that Yellow Owl Workshop founder Christine Schmidt has to offer, and we’re grateful anytime she shares these do-it-yourself ideas we can make on our own – we’ve got to do something with all the whimsical creativity she inspires in us! Enjoy Christine’s Mother’s Day-ready ideas below…

Equal parts art class and spelling lesson, this easy, simple and versatile project will earn an A+ in your repertoire. The best part is that you probably already have everything you need to get started! Spell out any name or message to create greeting cards, nameplates, bookmarks or just about anything else you would like to write. Be sure to get traditional blocks with both the raised carved letters and flat sides. Although you could use any type of paper, I prefer transparent vellum. Its strength can take the rubbing, and the transparency allows you to see exactly where you should be rubbing and align to additional words easily. Crayons work, but the concentrated color, clearer impressions, and lack of waxy residue make colored pencils the winner here. I asked the cashier from the grocer for the large rubber band I used here, but if you are unable to get one, you can secure the sides of the blocks together with masking tape. Just don’t use duct tape because it will leave a sticky mess on the blocks. Hear the school bell ring? Well, pull out your pencil case because class is about to begin!

DIY Alphabet Block Rubbing
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Love: Spelling our kid’s name or a favorite quote with a simple technique that anyone can master.


Set of wood alphabet blocks
Large rubber band, approximately 3½” x ¼”, or an elastic tie
8.5” x 11” sheet of vellum
Colored pencil


Arrange alphabet blocks face up to spell out the word or name. Rotate extra blocks so the flat side is up and place them around the perimeter of the word. Secure the blocks together with a rubber band.

Place vellum over the blocks. Put one hand on the blocks to secure the paper to the blocks. Use a colored pencil in the other hand to rub the raised surface of the blocks.

Repeat steps as needed for additional words or names. Align the paper below the first line and rub with the nib of a colored pencil.

Potter Craft Publishing, November 2013

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