Picture of How to make a personalized jigsaw puzzle
This Instructable shows you how to make a personalized laser cut jigsaw puzzle using Ponoko. If you've never worked with a laser-cutter or have only used a vector art package once or twice before, then this guide is for you.

This Instructable follows the same structure as my previous Instructables on making a laser-cut lamp and jewelry but it a little more experience (or persistence ) is needed for the Inkscape stages. As long as you've got a computer that can run a vector software package you'll be able to achieve some very cool results.

If you prefer to skip the Instructable and just get making, feel free to download the .eps files I've already created.

Let me know how you get on!
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Step 1: Stuff you'll need

Picture of Stuff you'll need
download template.jpg
You'll only need a few things for this Instructable:

A steady hand
Ponoko Inkscape templates
Some double sided tape or glue at the end to assemble the backing board.

Step 2: Download and open Inkscape

Picture of Download and open Inkscape
If you haven't already got Inkscape installed, head on over to and download the latest version of Inkscape for your computer. Inkscape is great, not only is it free to use, it will work on Windows, Mac OS X, and most flavors of Linux.

Once you've downloaded the Inkscape application, follow the installation steps.

Once you've installed it, open up Inkscape so it's ready for the next step...

Step 3: Download and open the P3 template

Picture of Download and open the P3 template
You're now ready to download and open the Ponoko starter kit for Inkscape.

Once you've downloaded the starter kit, you'll see there are 3 Ponoko templates to choose from.

Open the P3.svg Ponoko template. (You can double click on the file or use the menu options inside Inkscape (File > Open) and then find the file P3.svg from there.)

You'll see an orange box with the words 'safe area' when you open the P3.svg. For these decorations you'll be working work with the largest material size available - the P3. Its dimensions are 31.1 x 15.1 inches or 790 x 384 mm.

If you're interested, you'll find the starter kit includes the Ponoko making guide which contains all sorts of helpful information about designing and making with Ponoko.

Hi, it's possible to make a big jigsaw puzzle? for example: 2m x 1,7m
I would like to make a map of the world that every country is a part, is it a problem to have a giant piece? like russia would be a huge piece.

Do you ship to Brazil? Thanks

danemery (author) 7 months ago

This Instructable shows you how to make a personalized laser cut jigsaw puzzle using Ponoko. There are other ways to make puzzles as you've suggested but this shows how to do it using the Ponoko service.

Hkarimi7 months ago

Thanks! This is great.

Just wondering, do you need to put the jigsaw lines on the pic? Can't you just print a sticker version of jigsaw and tape it to the back of the cardboard pic? All you need is to cut those shapes. :)

We make personalized jigsaw puzzles.

The Missing Piece Puzzle Company
helifino6 years ago
If you're going to do a map, there's an easier way than tracing. Find your area in openstreetmap and, in the export tab, choose "OpenStreetMap XML Data". Then use Osmarender (xsl transform) or or/p (perl transform) to generate an svg (it even makes a nice border). Then open the resulting SVG directly in inkscape and change the colors. I never knew about the site openstreetmap and want to thank you for the info.
danemery (author)  helifino6 years ago
Wow. Thanks for the tip. I'm sure that will make generating the map much easier.
Cool. We absolutely love personalzied photo jigsaw puzzles and think that everyone should have one in their homes. Great and informative article. We manufacture these and I'll post instructions soon.
Windows Snipping Tool works well for this, and it's FAST. Just click it, and select the area you want, and save it as a jpg.
wenpherd6 years ago
where do i get a lazer cutter and how much would it cost
zjharva6 years ago
Mac Users: In iphoto, open the pdf of the map and click file: export. Then choose jpeg. I found this out after trying for 10 minutes to import a pdf in to inkscape. Should of read step 9!
badweasel7 years ago
Can I ask what the total cost was (not including shipping)?
You can just about make it out on Step 75 -- $72.
solo.card7 years ago
Nice instructable, I was going to use Ponoko for a small project myself, but the shipping charges are just too high to make it worthwhile. One day, maybe!
Hey solo.card - I work at Ponoko. I was wondering if you've checked out our shipping costs lately. We were able to lower our shipping costs, especially for US-based users (assuming that's where you are...) thanks to our new manufacturing node in San Fran.
Hi, yeah I had a look on the site today for the project I had in mind. Unfortunately, I am based in the UK, so I was looking at $60 (ish) charges, which was about the same (possibly a little more) than the actual cost of the materials, etc. But If/When you get more locations in Europe, I shall be on board!
gmjhowe7 years ago
Very good, and clear instructions, great idea using inkscape, making this vailble for every one! +1!
gmjhowe gmjhowe7 years ago
well i would rate it, if i could!
Brennn107 years ago
WOW. Awesome instructions which able anyone to do it. Very nice work!
That's awesome! Very nice instructions, and a great idea, too.