{a is for apple}

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For the first day of school teacher gift, try this adorable “a is for apple” block. Not only will it cost you less than a dollar, it only takes about 10 minutes to make, plus drying time. It will look darling sitting on the teacher’s desk!


  • 4×4 post, cut into square blocks
  • craft paint and foam brush
  • vinyl letter (you could also mod podge paper or paint it on)
  • ribbon

1. Cut your 4×4 post into as many perfect square blocks as you need. Keep in mind that when you buy lumber, the height dimensions will always be slightly less than what it says. So, when you’re buying a 4×4 post, it’s actually around 3.75 inches tall. This is important when you’re cutting squares, because instead of automatically making cuts every 4 inches, you need to cut them a little smaller than that. Measure your post first, then you’ll know where you’ll need to cut (or have the store cut it for you). An 8 foot long post costs around $3.50, so you will get around 24 blocks out of it. That makes it just pennies per block! This is also a good project to do with friends, and split the cost of the wood. I always like to have some on hand though, so you might want to hang onto it!

2. Give your block a rough sand. Paint it as desired, then sand again to distress, and stain if desired.

3. I used a vinyl “a” I already had on hand, which will cost anywhere from 25-50 cents, depending on where you get it. I also think it would be so cute to cut the a out of scrapbook paper, and mod podge it on, or you could paint it on, too. All of these options are very inexpensive.

4. Once you’ve added your letter, you’re ready for the ribbon! I like to use a wired ribbon, because of its fantastic ability to hold its shape. Your bows will thank you! The ribbon cost is the biggest variable, but if you shop around, and use coupons, you can get really good deals.

Super simple, and super cute! I’ll add a cute tag, and they’ll be ready for the first day of school.


Once I saw how cute these were, I thought how darling they would be as monogrammed blocks–perfect for gifts, or for your own home. So, I whipped one up that has our initial on it, and I love it.


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About Simply Kierste Design Co.

Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and focuses on simple ideas and projects to make a house a home! When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.

11 thoughts on “{a is for apple}

  1. such a cute gift!! If I hadn't already given the preschool teachers hand sanitizer (in an apple shaped dispenser)…I would be making this block!
    Love it!!

  2. So cute. :) You just have a way of making everything you make look so adorable. :)

    I sent you an email to your gmail account about the Creative Chick Parade. I want you to help co-host. Let me know. :) xoxo

  3. I think I am going to make these for my classroom, I think they are darling and are so inexpensive!! thanks for the idea, I won't be putting on bows but using them in my pre-k classroom block area!

  4. I am loving this!!
    I am seriously going to buy some wood tomorrow and make a bunch!! Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love this idea. I'm going to Lowe's tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing all your ideas. I check on brown paper packages every day.

  6. I love this idea. What a cute idea for a gift for wedding basket with the inital block. I want one for my home.

  7. I realize this is really late for the post, but I'm totally making this for my sons teacher, and for my old 7th grade teacher who will be teaching the 6th grade at my sons school…how cute would it be w/ holes drilled in the top to hold a few pencils…cute and functional!?

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