Saturday, June 27, 2009

Puzzles Handmade

by Colleen of Tactile Baby

I've been mulling around this idea in my head for a long time; photo puzzles.

My son loved the photo book we received as a baby gift (it seems to be a universal truth that babies are mesmerized by photos of faces).

Now that he's 2 he's more into games and doesn't pick up the book much anymore, but he still loves to look at photos - especially ones of himself!

After noticing a 5X7 plywood plaque at a local craft store I decided to start experimenting.

There were a few challenges on my way to the final product, primarily, sealing and affixing.

Here's my first try with the 1/4" thick plywood plaque. I quickly decided against using the store-bought backing, for a few reasons: the edges are rough, the plaques are not uniformly level (a big problem for puzzle-making) and somewhat flimsy.

I decided to cut my own plaques from 3/4" poplar wood - it alleviated all of the issues I had with the ply-wood; it was stronger and more durable and I could ensure it was level – I also increased the round-over for a more finished look, plus the larger, thicker pieces were easier for little hands to maneuver.

I also experimented with glues (needed to be extremely strong and non toxic), and sealers (should I use matte or semi-gloss, or gloss? how many coats?).

After I perfected those steps it was time to cut - should I do freehand or standard cuts? 4,6 or 8 pieces?

I decided on 6 pieces standard cuts. This way the consumer knows exactly what they are getting.

Here's the finished product!


  1. Brilliant idea. Copyright it now: I can just see Some Big Manufacturer picking up this idea.


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