If you got popsicle / craft sticks, you've got good use for upcycling them into simple puzzles that even those with tiny hands can handle! Plus, it's easy to assemble, but with a little advanced technology, thanks to your home computer and a little squeeze of Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium!
Step 1: Materials
What you need to do my take on this simple puzzle are...
- popsicle / craft sticks
- masking tape
- sponge brush or large paint brush
- Mod Podge Photo Medium Transfer
- calloused sponge (not shown)
- X-acto knife (not shown)
- Optional: Matte or Gloss Mod Podge
Step 2: Prepare Images
First, you want to prepare your images to transfer onto your sticks. You can make copies of your photographs, greeting cards, or images that you might find in books, magazines, and wherever! When doing this step, make sure that you use a dry toner printer, and also be sure to print your images in reverse, because you're going to be transferring your images onto your sticks.
Step 3: Prepare Sticks
To make the puzzle, depending on the size of your images, arrange your sticks in a straight row, and use masking tape to tape them together so that they stay in place. My images measure 3.5 x 5 inches long, so I used 14 sticks for each one.
Step 4: Photo Transfer
Now, cut out the image, and brush on an even layer of Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium. Then, flip the image over, and lay it face down on the sticks. Now, you have to let them dry for at least 24 hours or overnight so that the images can start to set. It's hard, but it will all be worth it; trust me!
Step 5: Design Reveal
Now, to make the design come out, dampen it using a wet calloused sponge. Let it sit for a few moments, then use either your fingers or the wet sponge to gently rub off the reveal the design.
Step 6: Puzzle Completion
If you want, you can seal it with a bit of Mod Podge. Then, once the glue has set, carefully peel off the tape, and use an X-acto knife to carefully cut the sticks apart to complete your puzzle.
Step 7: Complete
Now, try putting those puzzles together!
I used photo copies of images found in Lisa Eldridge's book "Face Paint: The Story of Makeup". I used a the front cover of a December 1931 issue of Photoplay magazine, and a 1966 Elizabeth Arden lipstick advertisement.
Note: Sorry that mine got messed up a little, because I either didn't let the glue dry, or maybe I didn't really use enough medium. But, other than that, this is all you had to do to make your own puzzles out of craft sticks!
Tip: Make one for someone as a gift. Just make a reverse copy of a birthday or holiday greeting, and have that person assemble it together to reveal the message.