Wednesday, June 6, 2018

When Your Kids Outgrow Their Building Blocks, Turn Them Into Art!

My kiddos are BUSY this summer, which means I've had a little more time on my hands than usual.

And when I have time on my hands, my hands tend to get messy!

After I've written lesson plans and finished all my freelancing for the week, I've found myself, more often than not, watching Downton Abbey and messing around with my stack of super-old and completely value-less vintage comics. I have decoupaged comic books onto some crazy things in my time, but lately I've been confining myself to the harmless obsession of making decoupaged building blocks using my vintage comics and the blocks that the kids don't play with anymore.

Some I am making entirely for myself. I would NEVER sell my now most treasured Captain America block, for instance!


Comic book shops often sell their "worthless" comics for small change, and that's where I find comic books to craft with. I collect only comics featuring characters whom I really like, of course, but then the danger to that is that I often can't part with what I've made with them.

But part of the deal that I make with myself is that when I make something FOR myself, I try to make some similar things for my Pumpkin+Bear etsy shop--gotta pay for those craft supplies somehow, don't you know! So even though I super love Thor, I've listed this block featuring his bromance with Iron Man in Pumpkin+Bear,sigh...


I'm keeping my GI Joe block, though, because Snake Eyes!


But, fine. I'm selling this Iron Man comic book block. I love Iron Man, but that Civil War movie still has me pissed off:


And here's Hulk!


Some of the comics that I'm crafting with are the really beat-up ones that I had as a kid. I LOVED this Tom and Jerry comic in which Jerry sneakily feeds Tom until he's too fat to chase him (which huh. I had a lot of food issues as a kid, and I STILL have them. This comic could not have helped with that...), but it's absolutely falling apart, so now it's a super cute decoupaged building block:


Nobody is tearing my brand-new Thor block out of my grasp, however!


But, yeah. You can have Archie:


But NOT Captain America!


Spider-man, though--I've got a couple of Spider-mans. You can buy him as a rectangular prism--


Or a delightful cube:



But you just can't have my Captain America!


Or my Thor:


Here are another couple of comics that I owned as a kid. I clearly didn't have enough comics, because I have this old Richie Rich one memorized, and also worn down to a nub except for what I salvaged to make this decoupaged block:


Here's my weirdest block, though. I don't know who on earth bought me an Adventures of Kool-Aid Man comic, but did you know that it was published by Marvel? Kool-Aid Man could be an Avenger!

For now, though, he's just a very, very, VERY weird comic book block:





This will likely be my last Pumpkin+Bear update for a bit. I want to try to sneak into my studio to make some comic book magnets using upcycled Scrabble Tiles as a base, but I'm also road tripping and camping with the kids, packing them for camp (and making 100,000 trips to the store for everything on the packing list that I don't own), sewing them some summer clothes, planning some fun unit studies for them, and helping Will finish up her Girl Scout Silver Award project. 

Of course, making Scrabble tile and comic book magnets while watching Downton Abbey would be a nice, relaxing break from my to-do list...

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