My kids love puzzles! Who doesn't, puzzles are great.
I wanted to get some small puzzles to take with us as quiet activities for my kids to do while waiting at doctors appointments, at church, and in the car. But why buy them when I can easily make them?
I thought it would be fun to make the puzzles more personal for my kids by using some of their drawings and a picture of our family.
I love how the puzzles came out! They were quick and easy, and a great project to do with my 5 year old.
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Step 1: Gather Supplies
-Pictures/Drawings- We used one family photograph, and two pictures my 5 year old had drawn/painted.
-Cardboard- for the backing of the photograph we used thick cardboard cut from a cardboard box, and for the two drawings/paintings we used thin cardboard cut from a cheese-its box for backing.
-Mod Podge- for attaching the pictures and for the clear coating over top.
-Paintbrush- for applying the Mod Podge.
-Sharp Scissors- for cutting your puzzle pieces. You could also probably use a sharp X-Acto knife.
-Newspaper- to cover your work area.
Step 2: Decoupage Your Puzzle
-Cut your picture and cardboard piece the same size.
-Cover your work area in newspaper.
-Using the paintbrush and Mod Podge, completely cover one side of your cardboard piece in a medium layer of Mod Podge.
-Lay your picture on top of the Mod Podge covered cardboard piece with the picture facing up and smooth the picture down starting from the center and working your way outwards.
-Let dry for 30 minutes. We noticed that the thin cardboard began to curl with the Mod Podge on it, so we laid books on top of the pictures while they dried to keep them flat.
-Apply Mod Podge on top of the picture completely covering the picture.
-Let dry completely. It will be clear when it is dry.
Step 3: Cut Your Puzzle and Enjoy
-Decide what shapes you want your puzzle pieces. You can do specific puzzle shapes, or just wing it and cut whatever shapes you want. I did different shapes for each puzzle. If you want specific puzzle shapes, it helps to draw them on the back of the puzzle first. I did that with the sun and ocean puzzle. With the other two puzzles I just cut whatever shapes I wanted.
-Using sharp scissors, cut your puzzle pieces. I used craft scissors for the two thin cardboard puzzles, and kitchen shears to cut the thicker cardboard puzzle. The pieces didn't all come out perfect, but great for a quick project. I think the key is to use really sharp scissors.
-Enjoy your new puzzle!
My daughter and I had fun doing this project together, and my kids love their new puzzles. As I type, my daughter is putting the puzzles together on the floor beside me. She now wants to turn all of her drawings into puzzles.