Overlapping Image Puzzle

About: I am a 14 year old missionary in the Dominican Republic. I am currently working at an orphanage. I like horseback riding, cooking, gardening, and working with my hands.

Trying to find the best puzzle to fool someone? Well, now you found it. This puzzle is easy to make, but very difficult to solve. It also makes a great Christmas present. To find out how to make this fun puzzle, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Materials

To make this puzzle, you will only need these 4 items:

  • A paper cutter (or scissors)
  • A sheet of transparency paper
  • A permanent marker
  • A printed image

Step 2: Cutting

The first thing that you want to do is cut your transparency paper into six equal pieces. It does not really matter the size. I cut mine into 3.75 inch squares.

Step 3: Printing and Graphing

At this point in the project, you need to select a picture for your puzzle. It should be fairly simple, and something with not a lot of pattern. I chose a panda bear eating bamboo that I got at this website:


I printed it using Microsoft Word. The image should be roughly the same size as the sections of transparency paper.

Next, I divided the image into twelve even squares using a pencil and ruler. I randomly numbered each square with any number 1 through 6, so that two squares would have the number 1, two squares would have the number 2, two squares would have the number 3, and so on. After that, I mentally numbered each sheet of transparency paper so that one sheet of paper would correspond with two squares of the image.

Step 4: Drawing

This next step can get a little tricky. What we are going to do here is draw parts of the image on each sheet of paper. To do this, I placed the first sheet of paper directly on top of the image, and drew in the squares with the number 1 on them. Then, I placed sheet number two on top of the image and sheet number one, and drew in the squares corresponding to that sheet. This process was repeated until I drew on all the sheets of paper, therefore completing the image. Part of this process is show above. You can see the image better if you shine a light underneath it.

Step 5: Finishing

You have now completed the Overlapping Image Puzzle! In the end, I had six pieces like the ones above. Mix up the pieces and try to put them together to make the image. Fool everyone with this extremely difficult puzzle! You can even make various puzzles with different images.

If you liked this instructable, please vote for me in the Puzzle Challenge! Have fun :):):)



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    2 Discussions


    3 months ago

    I really like this idea. It's refreshingly simple and unique. It seems that you could make it even more challenging by trimming the transparency squares in to different sizes and shapes after drawing the image on them. That way, you couldn't line up the outer edges to determine the correct placement, and the stacking order would be more of a factor, as well. Thanks for sharing this clever technique. You've got a vote from me in the puzzle contest.

    1 reply
    Gabriel Gowersiglerk

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you very much. And changing the shapes of the pages is a great idea! I will definitely try that next time :):):)