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Turn pictures into puzzles

This puzzle's picture comes from Dover's Beautiful Butterfly Designs.

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Friday Fun

Picture Puzzles

What you will make:

Have fun making picture puzzles and more fun playing with them over and over again. Make several puzzles, some to keep and others to give as gifts. Start with a photograph, a drawing, or a favorite page from a coloring book, then cut it up to make a puzzle.

Older children can help younger ones make puzzles; just be sure to keep things simple for toddlers.

Here's what you need:
  • Pictures, photos or drawings
  • Computer paper
  • Cardstock or cardboard
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Ruler and pencil
  • Optional supplies: felt square, sandwich bags

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make Picture Puzzles

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Select Picture(s)

Find a picture that will make a fun and interesting puzzle. It could be a family photograph, a page from a coloring book, or a drawing of your own. Keep in mind that a picture that has a few clearly defined areas will make an easier puzzle while one with a consistent look all over will be more difficult.

Download and print the airplane puzzle or the hibiscus puzzle, if you like.
Step 2: Prepare the Picture

It's best if there are two copies of the puzzle picture, one for the puzzle and another for reference. The picture for the puzzle should fit on a standard sheet of computer paper, but could be smaller, too. If you have a copy machine or other means of copying pictures, make a copy that's about one-fourth the size of the puzzle picture. This copy can be used as a guide when working the puzzle, and it can be stored with the puzzle pieces in a plastic bag.

Step 3: Glue

Glue the puzzle picture to a piece of cardstock or cardboard, and trim as needed. You could also print or copy the picture directly onto cardstock.

Step 4: Draw Grid

Draw a grid of equal-size squares or rectangles on the back of the puzzle. Keep the pieces large for younger children. For a more interesting puzzle, make the grid using wavy lines.

Step 5: Cut

Cut the puzzles pieces following the grid lines.

Step 6: Finish Up

Mix up the puzzle pieces, then try to put the picture back together again. Look at the reference picture for clues. Also, it is easier to work puzzles on a felt square—the pieces won't slide around as much.

Store the puzzle in a plastic bag with the reference picture.

That's it! Your puzzle is done!
Turn pictures into puzzles

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Find and Match Puzzles

Find and match puzzle

Another way to create a puzzle is to make a full-size copy of the puzzle picture and cut squares of interesting parts of the picture from this copy. Mount the puzzle picture and cutouts on card stock. Then the challenge is to match these picture squares to the puzzle. This type of picture puzzle is great for toddlers.

This picture comes from Dover's Springtime Find and Color.
Photograph puzzle

Tip: Using a square of felt as a mat makes it easier to put the puzzle together.

Puzzle made from Dover Coloring Book

Tip: Pictures from coloring books make great puzzles.

This picture comes from Dover's Beautiful Butterfly Designs.

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