Looking for a super simple project for your home or to give as a gift? Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make DIY wood name blocks from molding.

wood name blocks

It’s another episode of the handmade gift exchange at our house this year I want to show you what I made and how I made it. We created DIY wood name blocks from molding.


There is always a whole lot of blessing my heart when I tell people that our family exchanges handmade gifts at Christmas.

They smile a little smile

And look at me as if to say…..handmade gifts?


Does anyone really want a handmade gift?

And I smile right back and think…..

….if they only knew.

Because in our family we take our handmade gifts seriously.

Very seriously.

Exhibit A

The year my brother was on a budget.

He made us all nativity sets from acorns.

Exhibit B

Last year my sister created this thistle picture for me…..

…..made up completely from the words of my first three months of blog posts.

Exhibit C

The year my brother carved my thistlewood logo into the top of a wine barrel top.

You can see more pictures here on this post.

Exhibit D

The year my sister made me a Christmas tree out of silver jar lids.

A handmade present invented by a rock star.

You can see the post here.

Exhibit E

Or the year my sister recreated my book cover.

Into a book cover.

That way I could make any book my book.

Can you see why I smile?

And start my gifts in October…..

…..just to keep up.  🙂

wood name blocks

Here’s what I made this year.

DIY wood name blocks for the families on my list.

It’s such an easy project that you can make for anyone and it’s under $10 to make.

(total aside: the price goes down the more you make—but don’t tell them.)

I’m going to be sharing a YouTube video of this project on my channel this week, too.

But for now here are the step-by-step instructions.

wood name blocks

DIY wood name blocks made from molding

wood name blocks

Step 1: Start with the molding

This is the time to raid your attic.

Or the scratch and dent section of Home Depot.

Did you know they have an entire section of boards just waiting to go home with you that are a little dented? Or warped. Or a little less than.

You don’t need the whole board, so the molding is perfect for a project like this. You want to find different types of molding that all have a solid edge on the bottom so they can stand up.

Here are the four we found.

wood name blocks

Step 2: Paint molding


You cannot mess this up.


Just slap some old paint you have sitting around. And then add another color on top. The key is that you don’t want to cover the entire piece of molding.

Step 3: Distress


We used a power sander for this.

It makes it so much easier. Just sand the edges and the front of the moldings. If you sand too much off, no worries. You can just add a little more paint to the front.

Step 4: Find letters for your wood name blocks

You can find TONS of letters in the unfinished wood section of Hobby Lobby.

Here’s a link to the ones I found, but there are literally dozens of options.

They come in a bag with about 32 letters, so you’ll have to probably buy one bag for one name.

No worries.

The bag is $2.99.

Step 5: glue the letters to make wood name blocks

I chose different size moldings cut to different width for my letters.

I like the look of different sizes.

You can replicate that or you can make all your blocks the same size.

Just glue the letter to the block and let dry.

That’s it.

You can layer them on a table like I did here.

You could glue them to another piece of wood.

You can hang them on the wall.

You could frame them in a shadow box.

You could put a frame around them on the wall.

The possibilities are endless.

Handmade gifts are the best.


Bless my heart. 🙂



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  1. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Too bad for those people who question "homemade gifts", they are the best. I've been waiting to see what your gifts were this year - the block names are terrific! And I love the acorn nativity.

  2. Image for Debi Debi

    I’m with you! Love homemade gifts. My talented son made me a mortar and pestle. It’s just beautiful and I will smile and think of him every time I use it!

  3. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    If someone takes their time and creativity to make something for me, that makes me feel so special and loved. I loved the blocks you made and you have a wonderful family, have a Happy New Year!

  4. Image for Susan Susan

    Would love to see you make that with my last name... Nannemann! You'd need at least a 10 foot piece of moulding and lots of N's😅.

  5. Image for Barbara at Mantel and Table Barbara at Mantel and Table

    Ha! Your heart IS truly blessed! We love homemade presents in our family too, and yours are so beautiful and creative - I'm definitely inspired! Thanks for the great ideas and all the love you always share! Here's wishing you a wonderful New Year! ❤

  6. Image for Madonna Madonna

    Hi, what a bucket of love all of these gifts are. I would love any one of these gifts. I have followed you for years & I just think you are quite the family of creative people. Do you just do this for the siblings? I have a friend & her family has done this homemade gifting for a couple of years. They keep the gifts a secret which makes it difficult if you don't have a private spot for working. They have made garden sculpture using pulleys. floor lamps from saved tree branches & personalized family board games. It does take planning but the rewards are great.


    Love your gift idea!!!So easy and affordable!!!Love homemade gifts!!! Note am limiting exclamation points to 3 now. Part of getting ready for the new year when I will go to 1. Gasp....Happy New Year KariAnne!!!

  8. Image for Sharon Smith Sharon Smith

    Love this idea. I am trying to keep a folder of crafty ideas so I can create a magical Christmas next year. Thank you for sharing your talents and your love!

  9. Image for Liberty Liberty

    I have loved giving out handmade gifts ever since I was a child. One Christmas was going to be very lean so we started making stuff for each other. I don't remember anything else other than the "rock snowmen" that I glued together with Elmer's glue and drew marker faces on them. One of my sad parts is realizing my mil doesn't like nor want handmade gifts from me (they're better now than rock snowmen, I'd like to think)-- which feels like a huge rejection of me! I LOVE HANDMADE!!! Liberty @ B4andAfters.com

  10. Image for Jeannie Jeannie

    Sometimes I do handmade gifts. One year I cross-stitched pillows. One year I made kahlua. But I put a lot of thought into getting something special for everyone. (Sometimes it's handmade by someone else!) Happy New Year to you & your lovely family. (C0ngrats on the drivers licenses!)

  11. Image for Kris Kris

    These are great! I have offered to take my kids shopping to purchase Christmas presents (they are 16 and 14) but no, they prefer to make all our family gifts--and I love it. Then again, we love all things unique. What's funny is that my daughter's friends have started asking her to make things for them. There are more of us lovers of creativity out there than you think there are!

  12. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Sorry I'm late, but it's been a busy day. And... 😔😔... for the first time EVER in my life I decided to take down the decorations. YES.... BEFORE NEW YEAR'S EVE!! I have to do Mom's on the 2nd so I thought I may as well get mine over with. Anyway.. my favorite gifts of yours has always been the Thistle logo on the wine barrel top, and the Christmas tree made of the silver tops. I just LOVE, LOVE them.!!!! Your brother and sister are surely keepers... 😉. Happy New Year, friend!!! Please give my congrats to the twins for receiving their driving licenses... 🚘👏👭👍🤗!!!!!!!

  13. Image for Catherine Catherine

    I just smile and giggle out loud when I read your blog. You are so uplifting with such a loving spirit. Love all the handmade gifts. I actually made some small Finnish stars fashioned after your sister's tree topper made from your dad's geological blueprints. Mine went to my Church's women's holiday craft sale. I was wondering where your sister found the directions for the framed thistle "print?". Our neighbors are from Canada and the " thistle" is part of something in their heritage, so I am thinking ahead for next year's Christmas gift to them. Thank you for being an inspiration to many.

  14. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    We always made handmade gifts when we were little, because of lack of funds, but it meant more as the years rolled by and now when you hold something in your hand, it really, really means a lot!!!

  15. Image for Kathy Kathy

    I love a handmade gift! This post makes me cry because this is the first year Alzheimer’s prevented my 87 year old daddy from making gifts. I so treasure the Christmas trees he and I made last year from moldings. (I would like to show them to you because they are right up your alley!)

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