This is a simple toy that will last a long time and be treasured long after it is outgrown. If you have access to a Laser cutter make a resolution to check out making things instead of buying them. The child matches the cut out to the hole in the tray. It can be great for travel and home as well.
Step 1: Round Up Your Supplies
plywood .188 This toy measures 43cm x 19cm or 17 x 7.5 inches but you can make yours long and slim or round or square. Just remember to round off the corners.
Access to a laser cutter or scroll saw and a drill.
Paint. If you shop around you can probably find a child safe paint to use.
I painted the small bear with an acrylic spray paint but the large bear I just used a child's black marker. The colour that it gives is actually closer to the real colour of a black bear which isn't solid black.
The designs were pulled from the internet clipart. These animals are native to our area so that is what I used. I searched the clipart sources and downloaded those that were in black silhouette style.
Step 2: Getting Your Animal Designs
I used a laser cutter to create this puzzle but you can also adapt the instructions to use a scroll saw.
I downloaded the silhouette form of these animals. You can download other animals, shapes or vehicles etc.
Once you have the silhouette design on your computer, open the CorelDraw program and import this silhouette design.
Then with the cursor on the design, right click the mouse.
Choose Outline trace, then clipart, okay.
Click on the pen icon on the bottom bar of the page. When a window opens, choose width of hairline.
Then go to the paint can on the bottom line and click on it. When the page opens, choose the x in a square which is no fill.
Now your design is a vector drawing and that will allow you to cut out that shape on the laser.
Step 3: Creating the Puzzle
First you want to draw a rectangle, and don't forget to round the corners. This will be the bottom layer of the puzzle board.
When you have that piece cut, you will use the same rectangle to form the top of the puzzle. Place the vector images of the puzzle pieces where you want them on the puzzle board. Group everything including the first rectangle. Proceed to cut out the top layer of the puzzle board. Paint with acceptable type of paint and glue the two layers together. If you use two contrasting colours on the two layers, the outline of the shape will be more noticeable to the child. With a drill cut two holes in each animal for the placement of the ribbon that will allow the child to grip the puzzle piece and lift it out. The picture of the animals with the ribbon attached was accidentally deleted. It will be included when available.