Make your own photo blocks from a milk carton. These are fun building blocks for kids personalized with family pictures.

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These are fun! I originally used this idea of creating DIY photo blocks when I was working in the infant room in a daycare center. It was on a military base, and with the parents (most often the dads) traveling a lot for work, we made these blocks with the children’s family photos so they could see their family during the day while they were in our care. I made my own when my oldest son was just a baby and my husband was deployed. It was a simple way to play and “see” Daddy even when he was away.

Even if your family is not far away, these DIY photo blocks are a great way to add some interest to your child’s building block play. They are simple to make too!

Supplies Needed to Make DIY Photo Blocks:

-6 photographs (printed in wallet size)

-quart-sized milk or juice carton (1 carton per block)


-clear packing tape

-scotch tape or masking tape

-wrapping paper (I used brown, but any color you have will work)

Directions to Make DIY Photo Blocks:

1. Make sure your cartons are clean and dry. I rinsed mine out with hot soapy water a few times.

DIY Photo Blocks made from milk cartons.

2. Cut off the very top along the top most crease of the carton.

DIY Photo Blocks made from milk cartons.

3. Cutting up the open end of the carton, cut half way up one corner.

DIY Photo Blocks made from milk cartons. A fun and interesting DIY building block toy for infants and toddlers.

4. Turn the scissors and cut around the carton perpendicular to the side cut. You should cut through only 3 sides.

DIY photo blocks made from milk cartons. Fun building block activity for infants and toddlers.

5. When you have cut through the 3 sides as shown, cut up the crease to leave the fourth side on the box.

DIY photo blocks made from quart-sized milk cartons.

6. Fold down the remaining side to create a top to the box. Fold over any overlap.

DIY photo block building block toy for infants and toddlers.

7. Using two pieces of scotch tape or masking tape, tape down the flap to close the box and make a block.

Make your own DIY photo building blocks for infants and toddlers.

8. Wrap the block with your choice of paper. I chose brown because it was plain and added some additional support to the box.

Make photo blocks for infants and toddlers to add interest and fun to their play.

9. Using clear tape, tape your family photos to the sides of the block. You may have to trim them down to fit. I used two small pieces of scotch tape per photo. (You can use glue for this.)

DIY photo blocks with family photos to add interest to play for infants and toddlers.

10. Using the packing tape, wrap the block with strips of tape until it is completely covered on each side. (Clear contact paper can work too.)

This helps protect the block and your child. Any drool or wetness will cause the ink of the photos to run, and since infants and many toddlers put many items in their mouths, it is safer for your child to avoid getting ink and pieces of paper in their mouth.

DIY photo blocks.

11. Once your blocks are complete, they are ready for play! This is a great building block for infants and toddlers because they are lightweight and larger in size.

DIY Photo Blocks made from milk cartons-a fun DIY building block toy for infants and toddlers.

I made one block with photos of my husband and son so he could “see” pictures of Daddy a lot. I made a second one for my oldest daughter with pictures of her and our family members who do not live nearby. It is still fun for the kids to this day to look at the pictures and see what they looked like as babies, as well as remind them of their extended family. I guess I need to make some for the twins! 🙂 We could make them with numbers, letters or even sight words for some homeschool preschool learning.

I previously shared my DIY Jumbo Building Blocks with you. They are really fun for kids, and SO easy to make! One of the moms in our Moms Share Together group shared some fun homemade toys for infants and toddlers too! It is so easy to personalize toys for kids. You could make a whole set of these in a short time as a really inexpensive gift idea for infants or toddlers! 

DIY Milk Carton Photo Blocks

Have you tried making a DIY toy for your child? What ideas have you come up with? Share in the comments below.

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