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Ladybug Counting Blocks Puzzle

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Project by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 04-12-2015 11:14 AM 2771 views 15 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Having a grand daughter is fun. It really makes me think in different directions when it comes to designing new projects. With all the fancy toys that are available o the market, I think it would be nice to give her something a bit simpler that was made myself.

When looking around at things, I couldn’t believe the cost of real wood toys. Even the simplest puzzles and blocks were priced high, and then I didn’t know if they were even solid wood or composite pieces made of who knows what. So I decided to try my hand at creating some things that are not only fun, but educational as well.

I came up with the idea of these little ladybug puzzle blocks. To make them, I used scraps of 1/2” solid maple that I had left over from some other projects. The “spots” are strategically places so that the shell of the wings fits over them to form a puzzle, teaching my grand daughter to count.

They can be painted in bright colors, or tinted and left natural, as shown in the second photo. I think that if you really wanted a pretty contrast, you could use a darker wood such as mahogany or walnut for the bases of the bugs and then a light colored wood such as maple or birch for the shells. Then you can finish them with a mineral oil/beeswax mixture for protection and a beautiful finish.

For my painted bugs, I used DecoArt's Multi Surface Satin paint. I love this paint for things that are handled a lot, and it needs no primer or sealer and gives an outstanding, hard finish and comes in amazing colors. As with all of DecoArt’s acrylics, it is safe and non-toxic, has no odor, and cleans up with soap and water. It really makes these cute bugs look wonderful!

I had better pack these up and send them off, or I will never get them away from my cat Pancakes! He loves playing with them too! The pattern is available on my site for those who may be interested. I hope you like them!

Thanks for looking! :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"





23 comments so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4034 posts in 1816 days


#1 posted 04-12-2015 12:47 PM

Your projects make me want to buy a scroll saw. Very nice work.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9040 posts in 2385 days


#2 posted 04-12-2015 01:15 PM

Thank you so much, Bondo. These are pretty easy and would be a great pattern to start with. It is helpful having some other tools for it though, like a drill press and a router. But overall, I would think this project is a good one for someone just starting to scroll saw. :)

I am really glad you like them.

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2325 days


#3 posted 04-12-2015 01:28 PM

Great project!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9040 posts in 2385 days


#4 posted 04-12-2015 02:18 PM

Thank you, Herb! :)

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8749 posts in 1305 days


#5 posted 04-12-2015 02:52 PM

Wonderful little puzzle bugs, Sheila! The painted ones are so colorful and pretty. What’s not to love?! They look to be just the right size for little hands. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4607 posts in 2501 days


#6 posted 04-12-2015 07:25 PM

Clever and useful all in one go. Good project, Sheila.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9040 posts in 2385 days


#7 posted 04-12-2015 07:27 PM

Thank you, both Candy and Martyn. I love the bright colors. They really make it look inviting.

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View peteg's profile

peteg

3857 posts in 2288 days


#8 posted 04-12-2015 09:31 PM

I just love your wonderful little family Sheila, bet the kids do to :)
Cheers
pete

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1758 days


#9 posted 04-13-2015 12:25 AM

Great project! Very creative and looks like a fun build for the little ones. Congratulations on a well deserved DT3.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3139 posts in 3178 days


#10 posted 04-13-2015 06:05 AM

Sheila,

These are just about as cute as they get! And it’s especially nice that they teach counting and coordination. Today’s toys seem unnecessarily bent on evil (violence) with no motive except to occupy the child. Yours are great!

L/W

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9040 posts in 2385 days


#11 posted 04-13-2015 10:28 AM

Thank you all again for your kind comments. I was thrilled to see that the project got into the Daily Top 3 projects. Sometimes the simplest projects are the best. :)

I sure do appreciate your support!

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View FlowersAndTrees's profile

FlowersAndTrees

23 posts in 2917 days


#12 posted 04-13-2015 04:54 PM

These are cuties!

-- Think of the solution, not the problem.

View mcoyfrog's profile

mcoyfrog

3800 posts in 3060 days


#13 posted 04-13-2015 06:05 PM

What a awesome idea and design, I’m sure the little ones love dem bugs hee hee

so kewl

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9040 posts in 2385 days


#14 posted 04-13-2015 06:18 PM

Thank you! And yes – they don’t bite! :D

Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23182 posts in 2332 days


#15 posted 04-13-2015 06:55 PM

Sheila, this puzzle is really cute. It’s a great design and you really did a nice job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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