Introduction: Tangram With Holder

About: I am a stay-at-home dad, military veteran, and parent of two. I have four dogs and a penchant for DIY. I enjoy cooking, woodworking, and anything artistic.

I enjoy puzzles and have a creative mind. I think a tangram is a clever idea because the things that can be made with but a few shapes is endless.

My tangram and its holder were made with scraps I had around my garage, and aside from a coat of acrylic spray at the end, didn't cost me a things to make. For the $7.99 it cost me for a can of spray acrylic, I (or one of my family members) will get countless hours of enjoyment to come.

I made a 6 square inch tangram set, along with a holder which is slightly bigger than the puzzle, and will simplify removal of the pieces.



Speed Square
Measuring Tape or ruler
Miter Saw (you could use a hand saw if that's all you have, but will need some clamps to hold things in place...if you have a table saw with jigs, you could go this route too)
Sanding tool (could be sander, sanding block, etc) with 220 grit sandpaper
(2) clamps
Drill with small bit, T10 driver
Wood Burner (optional)
Paint Brush


Enough 1/2 plywood to make a 6 square inch square, an approximately 7 square inch square, and a bit to spare to re-cut shapes (if necessary
(1) 24 inch 3/4 inch square dowel
12 trim screws or nails
Variety of acrylic paint
Can spray acrylic

Step 1: Step 1: Prep and Cut Plywood

For my tangram and holder, I used a quarter sheet of 1/2 inch plywood. I had bought it for some project and it had been sitting around for ages.

First, I measured out a 6 square inch area with a measuring tape. I marked 6 inches in a number of places and used a speed square and pencil to draw the border.

Next, I took my plywood to my miter saw, and cut the square out.

I then took the square, and transcribed it's area back onto the plywood. I placed the 3/4" square dowel along the mark, and then used my pencil to mark out a square for the tangram holder.

I again took my plywood to my miter saw and cut square out as well.

Step 2: Step 2: Mark and Cut Tangram Shapes

I took the 6 square inch square and drew two large triangles using my speed square. One of the large triangles was then split down the middle.

I drew a diagonal line across the other triangle at the 1.5 inch mark. This left a triangle and an oblong shape. Using my speed square, I marked two smaller triangles, a square and a parallelogram as shown in the fourth picture above.

I cut the shapes out using my miter saw, getting the center of the blade as closely lined up to my lines as possible. Once cutting was accomplished, seven shapes remained.

Step 3: Step 3: Cut Holder Border and Construction of Holder

I first used the remaining large square to use as reference to measure the lengths of my 3/4 inch dowel. I measured one side and cut it square. I used this length for the other three sides of the holder.

Once all pieces were cut, I cut the ends to 45 degrees. I would butt the ends together as joints.

Once all ends were cut to the proper angle, I sanded all of my wooden pieces down to smooth the plywood.

I then utilized my two clamps to attach the sides of the holder to the base, one at a time.

From the bottom of the base of the holder, I drilled a pilot hole at about 1.5 inches from the ends, as well as the center of each side of the holder. I placed a 1 1/4 inch trim screw in each hole.

I used my wood burner to etch out the border of each tangram piece location.

I finally painted the holder with a light coat of white paint, and then placed it off to the side.

Step 4: Step 4: Final Touches

With the tangram pieces sanded during the last step, I took a moment to place two coats of acrylic paint on all the pieces. I am a fan of the color blue, so many of the pieces were painted a shade of that. I added green, black, and white in the mix. I went for a slightly unfinished look for my pieces.

I allowed the pieces to dry and then sprayed acrylic coating on to all the pieces and the holder as well.

With painting and finalizing complete, I placed the pieces back in the holder.

The puzzle was completed and ready to be enjoyed.

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