Tuesday, September 09, 2014

DIY Blank Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles continue to be a huge thing around our house and now my little guy wants to design his own. We bought a blank jigsaw puzzle from the educational supply store -- and that was fine -- but they only come in three styles: huge pieces, medium size pieces, and reasonably small pieces. If we did that more than once, every puzzle would have the same shaped pieces.

What fun is that?

So it was back to the Dollar Tree for a couple of inexpensive puzzles and on to Walmart for some white spray paint because I couldn't remember if I had any light grey left over from the Coke bottle jet packs. If you've got outgrown puzzles and a can of paint at home, it's a free project. And who can argue with those?

This is the kind of project that's so easy it almost doesn't need instructions. Put the puzzle together on a piece of cardboard. Take it outside and spray with light coats until you can't see the original design.
For our first try, I separated the pieces first because I was afraid they'd stick together. Don't do that. Because even if you lay them out in careful rows someone will get over-enthusiastic and mix them up and even a 24 piece puzzle is enough to tax Mommy's brain when every piece is solid white. The paint won't glue the pieces together.

If your little artist makes a mistake or changes his vision midstream, just take the cardboard back outside and repaint it. Our puzzle now has six or seven layers of white paint because he started with pens, smeared the design (one of the perils of being left-handed), and repeatedly changed plans.  That may just be my favorite part of this whole thing. The puzzle may never get finished and probably won't get reassembled, but it happily filled his afternoon.

And did I mention that the Monster High puzzles at the Dollar Tree, even if they're too girly for my son's taste, are shaped like coffins?

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