Making a homemade wooden jigsaw puzzle is a fun activity that can be done easily and with only a few pieces of equipment. One of the best features of making your own jigsaw puzzle is that you can design the puzzle however you would like. It's common to include pictures, paintings, or other personal depictions on the puzzle itself. Follow the simple steps below to make your own wooden jigsaw puzzle at home.
Step 1 - Determine the Decoration
The design of the puzzle is one of the most important considerations. Two popular options include painting a design on the wood yourself or affixing a photograph to the wood. If you decide to paint the wood, make sure that you paint it and allow it to thoroughly dry before you proceed with the project. If you attach a photograph, use a photograph that is printed on a photo paper of medium thickness. Thinner paper may tear and is more likely to strip off of the wood over time.
Step 2 - Prepare the Wood Piece
Before you cut into the wood, it's important to prepare it. Thoroughly sand down the wood until it's totally smooth and easy to hold. The wood should ideally be no thicker than half an inch. Make sure that the wood is the proper size and shape for your jigsaw puzzle.
Step 3 - Attach the Photograph
If you're using a photograph, you should now attach it to the wood. Lay a thin layer of wood glue over the surface of the wood, then attach the photograph to the wood with the glue. It's important that the glue covers all or most of the surface of the wood and that you don't glue the photo onto the piece by using spots of glue, as this will ensure that the photo remains attached to the glue even when you cut the wood into multiple pieces. Allow the glue to fully dry before you continue.
Step 4 - Cut the Puzzle
Put on all protective safety equipment and turn on the jigsaw. If you're experienced at using the jigsaw, you can cut the puzzle free handed. Otherwise, you may want to make small marks on the photograph to indicate where you'll cut it. Smaller pieces that are more intricate are better for puzzles that are more challenging, while younger children will benefit from a puzzle with larger pieces. If you plan to take the puzzle apart and remake it multiple times, use the smallest pieces that you're able to cut.
When you've cut the pieces, examine them all for any sharp or rough edges. If you find any, use the sandpaper to sand them down so that they won't prove to be a hazard when you and your family handle the pieces and put the puzzle together.