The Missing (Puzzle) Piece

A friend’s Facebook post the other day reminded me of a pretty ingenious idea: take a photograph or poster (or any piece of your child’s flat-drawing or painted artwork because, really, we have enough of this piled about) and cut it into pieces to make a homemade jigsaw puzzle.

While my friend Exacto-knifed the pieces free-hand (and quite well, quite honestly), it prompted me to search around online to see if actual puzzle-style cutters exist that would turn anything whole paper into a million little pieces (OK perhaps not quite THAT many, maybe just 12-24 count pieces for the preschool set).

I did find a gizmo that claims one can turn any photo into a jigsaw puzzle, but it might be too limiting size-wise (i.e., starting size limitations and/or pieces too small for the preschooler, hard to tell from the photos and description, and no user reviews just yet), but still looks cool:

Puzzled about what to do with all those photos or drawings?

I would think no matter how you cut it, the best way to hack into it would be to glue-mount the whole photo or artwork onto a piece of thin cardboard (or other cardboard or foam-board piece – a broken-down shipping box might work, too, no creases though!) and then slice-and-dice it up. And if you wanted to make the pieces last even longer – and you are really super-outfitted in the arts-crafts department – laminate the pieces individually then re-trim close enough to the edges to maintain the laminate seal.

To store your new puzzle, take a zip-top baggie of appropriate size or zippered pencil-case, or reuse another small box (old puzzle box perhaps?) or tin and then label the outside of the container with a photo of the completed puzzle. Problem solved.

Here’s the puzzle my friend Teresa made for her son:

homemade puzzle photo

Puzzled no more, or no less!

However, if all of the above is just too puzzling for you, here is a very fun lunchtime riddle you might be able to wrap your brain (mouth?) around…

What's for lunch? Problem solved!

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Have a great weekend, RMT’ers!