Pattern Blocks for Minimalists

There have been many times in my short years of motherhood that I have looked down to see a beautiful combination of learning materials and chubby little hands. Oodles of pictures have been taken because I love those moments. But one thing has always remained unloved –– primary colored learning materials. They are everywhere. If you share a love of earth tones, then this post is for you, dear one.

I recently decided to paint our pattern blocks in neutralized colors. I used spray paint, which is the farthest from being eco friendly and politically correct (wink) but it did the trick. I'm currently researching the ins and outs of producing these on a larger scale, finding a pattern block supplier, and locating a child-safe paint alternative. But for now, putting all of those difficult and time-consuming tasks aside, here is a simple tutorial for minimalist pattern blocks. I hope you enjoy peering down over your little ones, watching them learn and play with beautiful materials.

In retrospect, I wish I had gone with my gut and chosen a darker brown (pictured but not used) for the square as it is too evenly toned with the green hexagon. But, that change aside, here is what I'd recommend –– I kept the diamond shaped blocks white, and chose gold for the triangles, forest green for the trapezoids,  and grey for the parallelagrams. I rolled out a long sheet of butcher paper on my sidewalk and spray painted the blocks. I gave each block three to four coats of paint, waiting until they were completely dry before flipping them to reduce chipping paint. 

My boys have enjoyed playing and learning with their newly colored pattern blocks. And our Lulu thoroughly enjoys grabbing and throwing them as fast as her little hands will let her.


// paint colors used –– Rust-oleum Hunt Club Green, Rust-oleum Oregano, Rust-oleum automobile primer in gray, Rust-Oleum specialty metallic, Rust-oleum Dark Taupe //


  1. Beautiful! I love this idea, I have seen it for magnetic letters/numbers, but haven't thought about painting these. My youngest three really enjoy pattern blocks. I've been planning to buy even more, but I don't really enjoy the colors they come in. I really can't believe I've never thought of painting them. It would be so great if you were able to get these made in nice colors!


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