How to Make a Puzzle Mat

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-150
What You'll Need
A desirable length of thick foam rubber, about 4 inches all round more than the puzzle
Felt strips about 2 inches wide and according to length and width of foam
Fabric Glue
A number of heavy metal clips to go around the mat
Rubber bands

To make a puzzle mat is a simple procedure and requires just a few simple items which can be bought from any craft or fabric outlet. A puzzle mat has many uses, as a soft landing protection area for kids when playing or to brighten up any room with cheerful colors. Mostly puzzle mats are used to keep unfinished jigsaw puzzles together and connected till the next puzzle session. They store easily without taking too much space because the materials used can be rolled up without any difficulty.

    Step 1 - Trim

    Trim the edges of the foam rubber if it has been cut in a careless jagged manner in the shop. If possible, ask at the shop to trim the foam because they would have the correct tool for it. Thick foam can be a bit tricky to cut neatly with scissors.

    Step 2 - Glue

    Glue the felt meticulously all around the edges of the foam rubber, making sure that you fold neatly at the corners where the felt meets and trimming off any excess. The 2-inch width of the felt has to be placed so that 1 inch runs on the top and 1 inch on the bottom of the foam. Make sure the corners meet neatly and are glued well together.

    Step 3 - Clip

    Use the clips all around the edges of the mat so that the glue sticks well on the foam and leave it overnight, roughly about eight hours or so. The scope of the puzzle mat will be lost if the glue is not given the time to do its work and dry properly.

    Step 4 - Test

    Remove the clips and roll up the mat to see that the felt is in position and there are no gaps of missing glue. Repeat the above procedure if there are any gaps as the glued felt literally holds everything together when you roll up the puzzle.

    Step 5 - Store

    The sticky foam rubber will hold the jigsaw puzzle in place when rolled up and the rubber bands will help keep it that way when storing it away in a cupboard or in a corner of the room out of everyone’s way, leaving your room or table clutter free.

    You can also make a rolling puzzle mat by using a long cardboard tube, and using felt rather than foam. Felt may be easier to work with, but the procedure is slightly more sophisticated, involving the use of a sewing machine to sew a pocket for the tube and the tie straps. It is not as easy as the above method and the end result is just about the same, but it is still worthwhile looking it up and deciding which method suits you best.