Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY Kids Puzzle

I was playing with the puzzles with Olivia one day and thought to myself, "You know, these wouldn't be that hard to make."  And I was right!  It might be a little hard if you don't have tools, but I do : )  So if you are a little handy, here's how I did it.

Materials needed:
1/4" wood.  I used a wood panel I found at Home Depot 2'x4' for about $7
spray adhesive
wood glue
Table saw/ Jig saw/ Circular saw - any kind of saw to cut your wood panel into 2 pieces
scroll saw
drill
sandpaper
Mod Podge

Step 1:
Make your photo you want to use and print 2 copies (I did one black&white, why waste colored ink).  I used Paint.net, it's a free program you can download.  Or you can use Photoshop, or if you don't want to mess with editing, you could just use a family photo instead of making a new scene.  (For me this was the longest step, finding the pictures and putting it all together)

Step 2:
Cut your panel to size.  I made an 8"x10.5" photo, and then left about a 3/4" around the edge.  So cut 2 pieces that are the same size.  I used a table saw, but if you don't have one you can use whatever saw you can find to cut your pieces out

Step 3:
Spray the spray adhesive onto the back of your picture, and stick it in the middle of one of your panels.

Step 4:
Using a drill bit that is just bigger than your scroll saw blade, drill a hole next to every puzzle piece you want to cut out

Step 5:
Run your scroll saw blade through the hole, then attach the blade again.  Cut out your puzzle piece.  I just free handed mine, but if you are going for specific shapes, you could trace the shape onto the picture first to give you a line to follow.

Repeat Step 5 until all of the puzzle pieces are cut out.

Step 6: 
Remove any paper that is peeling up, and sand all of the edges

Step 7: 
Here is where I will change what I did for the next puzzle.  With this puzzle, I taped my final photo to the front, flipped it over and using my exacto knife, I cut the paper pieces out, so they could be glued onto the puzzle pieces.  Then I used Mod Podge and to glue the paper to the wood and covered the paper with mod podge to seal the paper on.  But that got the paper a little wet and created air bubbles that ended up making a crease in the paper.  So what I would do differently is stick a little painters tape around the edge of the wood panel, spray more spray adhesive onto the wood panel, then stick my photo on, then cut the piece out.  I didn't have any problems with using the Mod Podge to glue the smaller pieces onto the wood, just with the main puzzle part.  So do it whatever way you feel more comfortable doing it, I think either way would work.


Step 8:
Once everything is all Mod Podged together, get your second piece of paneling.  Using wood glue, glue the 2 pieces together and set something heavy on top of the puzzle.  Make sure your heavy thing covers the whole puzzle or else you might have a gap inbetween the 2 pieces.  Let the glue dry.

Step 9: 
Sand down the edges and round the corners (don't want any accidents with pointy corners).  I used my orbital sander for this, makes it go a little faster : )

Step 10: 
Decorate the edges- you can leave it just wood if you want.  If you do paint the wood, make sure you seal the paint with either more Mod Podge, or some clear spraypaint for sealing crafts.

Step 11:  
Play with the puzzle with your kids!  My daughter has had so much fun playing with her aunts, grandparents, friends, and cousins : )


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Super cute. And grandpa was thrilled someone used his old scroll saw.