DIY “Tumbling Blocks” Wall Art

DIY “Tumbling Blocks” Wall Art

DIY "Tumbling Blocks" Wall Art {OrganizedCHAOSOnline}

I’ve always been a fairly crafty person…sewing, crocheting, stamping, etc. etc. A few years ago, it seemed that everybody I worked with was into quilting. So, I decided this would be my next passion. I now have a pile of unfinished quilts. I sadly had to admit that quilting wasn’t my thing. Because I lean heavily toward ADD, I need to have projects that I can do quickly, and quilting just isn’t one of those crafts. The OCD in me though is intrigued by the symmetry of quilting patterns.

If you don’t have OCD tendancies, this may sound insane to you, but seeing these blocks all lined up makes me feel tidy and calm…similar to the feeling you get when you finish cleaning your kitchen. Your welcome for the glimpse inside the mind of an OCD person. So anyway…


This pattern, “Tumbling Blocks” is my all time favorite. I love that when you look at it long enough, you get different perspectives of the boxes. Try it. Stare at the boxes thinking of the patterned piece as the top of the box. Now look at it as the pattern being the bottom of the boxes. Jumps right out at you, doesn’t it? Love it!


After attempting several quilts and not being able to stick with the project long enough, it occurred to me to simplify things by recreating the pattern using scrapbook paper glued on canvas.This project is so easy and so versatile. You can use any combination of patterns, colors, etc., but the combination that I’ve found gives the blocks the most depth is using one piece that has a pattern, one piece with a dark color, and the last piece a lighter color.

To create this wall art, all you need are these few supplies:

  • Scrapbook paper
  • Scissors
  • Mod-Podge
  • Canvas (any size)

You can get all of these at any craft store, or you can order the supplies from Amazon HERE


  1. Download the block templates below and print on card stock.
  2. Cut out the three template pieces.
  3. Using the scrapbook paper you’ve chosen, decide the pattern for your blocks.
  4. Using the #1 template, cut pieces from the paper you’ve decided on for the left side of the block.
  5. Using the #2 template, cut pieces from the paper you’ve decided on for the right side of the block.
  6. Using the #3 template, cut pieces from the paper you’ve decided on for the top of the block.
  7. Start anywhere you’d like on your canvas, and just start gluing the pieces on, in the block pattern (see template below for the pattern).

That’s it! You can stop the blocks anywhere you want (I wanted the contrast of the white canvas to show in some places because I like the way it defines the boxes)…or you can fill up your whole canvas. You can taper the “Pile” of boxes from high to low and end with a single block.

organizedCHAOSonline - tumbling blocks template[paiddownloads id=”38″]

I’m obsessed with this. I’ve also thought it might look really cool to cut the pieces out of images. Would it give the blocks the same depth? Or what about just white pieces outlined in black? Hmmm…

We’d love to see what you came up with. Send us pictures at organized CHAOS online!

Patti signature

DIY State of Mind

DIY State of Mind

When I met my husband we lived in Spokane, Washington. Just a few months later, I got a job in Seattle, Washington and that’s where we officially started our lives together. After living in the ol’ Emerald City, we moved to Denver for a year and a half and now we’re living in Nashville. Our journey has been pretty exciting and we’ve made some awesome friends and memories along the way. I wanted to find a simple DIY project that would reflect where we’ve been.

I tend to screw up every DIY I attempt. This week I only screwed up my final photo.

Get your supplies:


List of supplies:

  • Canvases
  • Large paintbrush
  • Small paintbrush
  • Paint (one for background color, one for heart)
  • Scissors
  • State outlines (to be used as a stencil)
  • Pencil
  • Wax or Parchment paper (to be placed under canvas while painting)


Trace your states with a pencil in the middle of the canvas. You don’t have to be that particular. It’s art, right?


After paint coat #1. My brush kept leaving bristles on my painting. Add tweezers to your list of supplies. I picked every single one off the canvas. Effing things.


This is the final result. Washington, Colorado and Tennessee. Perhaps we’ll stay put for a bit.

tawsha connell

The DIY Welcome Sign (from Hell)

The DIY Welcome Sign (from Hell)

Tawsha and I have an affliction…some kind of a personality flaw that won’t allow us to do a DIY according to the directions given. When one of us finds a project that catches our eye because it’s a great idea, is useful, or just plain cute, we share it with the other. After a very brief discussion of what a great find it was, the following conversation almost always takes place…

PATTI: [Tilting her head to the right staring at the project with this weird glazed-eye look] “You know what….” (at this point she trails off as the idea is forming in her head and going through intense analysis, while Tawsha dances around saying “What?” “What?)

TAWSHA: [Looking at the same project for approximately 2 seconds, claps her hands together one time]  “I’ve got an idea…”(12 new versions of the project have already presented themselves in her head,  but she has no formulated plan as of yet).

Both of the above comments are  ALWAYS followed by “What if we…”.  Then the rapid-fire speed talk begins as we brainstorm our way to “our” version.  It works for us and together we can come up with some pretty cool sh*t.

What’s my reason for telling you this story? Well…because I did this project quietly on my own. It was such a simple idea I was almost embarrassed to tell Tawsha I was excited to do it. I have an empty wall in my entryway that I thought this would be perfect for.

My inspiration was a tutorial from Dittle Dattle.  I say tutorial, but I’m not sure I even read the instructions, because I had already gone through my normal thought process (see above) just looking at the picture.


The tutorial used covered shoebox lids. I didn’t have shoebox lids, but I thought frames would be quick, cheap and easy. I have tons of scrapbook paper, found a new curtain rod I’d never opened from like 5 years ago, had a roll of every width of  black ribbon in my sewing stuff, and found a can of black spray paint buried in our storage room.

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All I bought were seven Dollar Store frames (I wanted my sign to say “Welcome”), and some chip board letters from Hobby Lobby that I painted with black acrylic paint. Easy peasy and cheap! Instead of looping the ribbon from the back of the frame, over the rod and back down to the frame again, I had a better idea:  Just loop the end of the ribbon over the rod and glue it back on itself, then glue the other end of the ribbon to the back of the frame. Less ribbon used, and the ability to be more precise positioning the hanging frames.


I gathered all my supplies, and wielding a glue gun like nobody’s business, I whipped this sucker out during the first 30 minutes of The Bachelor, then let it dry while I suffered through the remainder of the show listening to Sean say, at least 10 times, “I can really see myself sharing a life with this woman”. I hung up my sign and, like Sean, “had a great time  and thought it went really well”.


Later, as I’m laying in bed reading, I heard this little “tic” noise. No biggie, probably the furnace or something. Then a few minutes later, another one a little louder, then another. Weird. I got up and walked around the house not finding anything odd. On my way back to bed, out of the corner of my eye, I see this…


WHAT THE HELL?? Noise identified. I KNEW I should have let the glue dry longer – shit! The next day I gathered all the little frames from behind the bench where they’d landed, picked off the dust, and re-glued the ribbon to the back of the offending frames. This time I let them dry overnight.  I rehung the sign the next morning and it looked cute as can be.

Two days later I wake up and I’m missing the L and the E. Sonofabitch! WE COM?? Okay, now I’m pissed. My easy peasy project that I 20-minute-short-cutted while watching shirtless Sean the idiot Bachelor, (a new reason to hate him – he wrecked my sign!),  has now turned into the four day project from HELL! I ripped all the frames off the ribbons (I’m doing well in my anger management class, thanks for asking), took down the rod one more time, and fired up my glue gun again.

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I re-cut the ribbons and glued the livin’ SHIT out of the end that loops over the rod and attaches back onto itself. Then I emptied another glue stick on and around the ribbon that attaches to the frame, and more on the frame itself. I laid it to rest for like two days. Have you seen Christmas Vacation – the part where Chevy Chase is in bed with tree sap on his hands? That was so my house. Everything was stuck to everything.

The sign was rehung one last time, now with white marks all over the black painted rod from taking  it off and on so many times. There’s like 2 inches of glue on the back of each of the frames. I cannot beLIEVE that this was such an ordeal. In the end, I won the battle between me and this project.  It’s imperfect and a bit quirky – so me. The silly little thing makes me smile every time when I think that anybody who sees it will never know what a huge pain in the ass this simple little cheery sign was to make. Well…’til now.


It works, yes? Have you had any projects from Hell? We’d so love to hear about yours – don’t leave us hangin’ here.




*This post was listed in Fluster Buster’s and Diana Rambles

Striped Canvas in 8 Steps

Striped Canvas in 8 Steps

I am an absolute perfectionist so if I think that something I do won’t be just right, I won’t do it. This statement is ironic because most of the projects I do, I screw up. Making these canvas creations requires little to no talent.


  • Paintbrush (rolling or wide hand-held brush) and a smaller brush for painting the utensils
  • Acrylic paint. At Michaels, it’s the BASICS collection. You’ll want one color for the stripes and another color for the utensils
  • Painters tape (in the size stripes you’ll want). Mine was 1 3/4″ wide
  • Pencil (for tracing your utensils)
  • Scissors for cutting your stencils
  • Stencils found at the end of this post
  • Command strips (the velcro kind)
  • Canvases – Michaels usually has a great deal in the 2 packs

Be sure to place something beneath your canvases (paper, tablecloth, whatever) so you don’t get paint everywhere.

steps-to-canvas-creation1. I chose my background color as white

2. To make “perfect” stripes. Line your first strip of tape with the top of the canvas. Then, put another strip just below it and repeat. At this point, you’ll have three strips of tape in a row with no spacing at all. Peel away the middle strip to reveal a blank “stripe” in your canvas as shown on the Step 2 image. Repeat on the whole canvas.

3. My paint color is a plain grey. It dries a bit darker, too.

4. I’m a rock star.

5. To create the right size “stencil”, I placed the stencils in a word document and printed off each one separately. As in, three different pieces of paper. Cut them out and place them where you want them. To keep them secure, place a small piece of the painters tape behind each stencil. Trace with a pencil.

STENCILS HERE (click for full image):

6. Paint within the lines. If you don’t- whatever. Call it art. I added a bit of grey which mixed with my navy blue to make it look like a reflection. It made no difference but I felt fancy.

7. Add the velcro strips to the wood part of the canvas (back -obviously).

8. If you have a laser level, use this to find the place where you want to hang the canvases. If you don’t, grab a spool of ribbon and run it all along the wall from one end to the other and mark where you want to put the velcro. You’ll do this twice. Once for the top of the canvas and once for the bottoms. It’s as if you have a hard edge on top and bottom and you fit the canvases in between them. Does this make any sense? The best part about using the velcro is that you can adjust the canvases to line up even after you’ve put them on the wall.

Step back and see if you like it!