Just in time for Halloween … I got in a large order of dark gray 2x4s. Wasn’t originally sure what I wanted to do with them, but as they came in just a few days before Halloween, I got to thinking about how perfect they would be for a tombstone. And what better thing to bury than the tragedy that has been the year 2020. RIP 2020!

I started with working out how the letters would look. I wanted them to seem like they were “etched into the stone”, but also legible. If I’d just made the “etch” as all dark gray as well, the words wouldn’t stand out in the final model.

A progress pick with the basic boundaries of the width and the indentation of the front that I’d envisioned. I finished it off (top) with some cobwebs and spiders. 

Maria and I just finished out week of training at Bricks 4 Kidz corporate HQ in St Augustine, Florida. We are moving to Knoxville, Tennessee to open a Bricks 4 Kidz franchise!

We’re super excited to be able to quit our day jobs and get to help kids learn, build, and play with LEGO Bricks!

Bricks 4 Kidz is all about teaching kids to be engineers and architects using motorized LEGO models. We offer classes, camps, parties, kidz night out, and lots of other cool programs.

Lego Green Eggs and Ham by Duckingham Design
Lego Green Eggs and Ham by Duckingham Design
Lego Green Eggs and Ham by Duckingham Design

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 109th birthday (Saturday, March 2, 2013) , I present this life-size LEGO sculpture of Green Eggs and Ham — admittedly one of my all time favorite books. πŸ™‚

Read more about Theodor Seuss Geisel on Wikipedia at or check out the fun at Seussville.

[Note: this post was originally published March 1, 2009]

The LEGO company logo (above in LEGO) — though this is not the complete square of the recognizable logo, it is enough of the whole to “give it away.” Β For all of my LEGO mosaics that I have kids build at events, there can be a “small mosaic” and a “large mosaic.” Here is my son building the smaller version:

This was the biggest LEGO mosaic for kids that we built at BrickMagic 2012; we also did this mosaic for the Children’s Event at the Educators Marketplace yesterday.

It was 8 16×16 plates wide and 4 high. The image above is the smaller original version that served as the initial pattern for the bigger one pictured below. Β This mosaic has pretty good recognition once you have most of the top or bottom row on there so that kids can start seeing the outlines of the letters. And, of course, I’m doing these at LEGO fan events, so it’s not like “LEGO” isn’t already on everyone’s mind. That helps. πŸ™‚

You may note some discrepancies between the mosaic above from the one below — there are always some quality control issues when you have a large number of kids (and even adults) simultaneously building and submitting quadrants of a mosaic. In this case there were several “QC issues” I didn’t notice before taking the picture.

But here it is all cleaned up with all the right bricks in all the right places …

[Update 8/7/12 — I just did a revision of my old LEGO Graph Paper; the thumbnail above is new, and the attached PDF is new; all the other info below is the same.]

This is a brief follow-up to my previous post on using graph paper as a tool for LEGO building. That article talked about the top-down view paper. This is side-view paper, depicting the height of bricks, but also helpfully broken down into individual plates, as well.

This graph paper measures 24 studs by 24 bricks and is numbered on all 4 sides, in different directions so that you can get just about whatever count you want. I’ve also made heavier lines depicting bricks, so it’s easier to find your place and count.

I’ve also made the document a pdf so it is extra easy for anyone to download and print. Enjoy!

Design Grid – 1:1 Scale [24×24 Side View]

[Older version of this page and graph paper originally post March 15, 2010]

See all LEGO Graph Paper available

For this post I’d like to walk you through the LEGO Mosaic Event as much as possible without you stopping by and bricking yourself.

As you approached our table at BrickMagic you would see a bunch of kids (and even some adults) building something. I or one of my assistants would ask, “Would you like to help us build a LEGO Mosaic?” Then we’d hand you a sheet like this:

We’d also hand you a 16×16 baseplate and go over the instructions. “Follow the pattern on the build guide. Use the bricks we’ve got right here — you’ll be building with White, Red, Brown, and Tan. Just make the baseplate look like the picture…this one is one piece to our bigger puzzle that we’re building here …. ‘some italian plumber.'”

We had a bunch of plastic tubs filled with LEGO 2x2s and 2x4s for you to build with. It was neat to see how quickly it made sense to kids, and how much fun they had … playing with someone else’s LEGO toys. πŸ™‚

When they were done with their individual baseplate, it would get added to the bigger puzzle. Some kids were content to move on to see other things, so we’d point out if they stopped back by in a few minutes they could see the finished mosaic. Other kids liked to stay and keep building baseplates until the mosaic they were working on was finished. Still others enjoyed staying through several mosaics. It was a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

Here’s the finished Italian Plumber … do you know this guy?