A couple years ago, I made a gift for Disney princess loving Alicia, using wood blocks and pages from thrifted books. I photographed the steps, and then forgot to blog it! So here is how I made it – it only takes a few hours, so you have plenty of time to make one for a kid gift this season (I’d love to make one with something other than princesses, like baby animals, or cats, or pretty much any kind of animals…).
Or, you could make one bigger with more pieces (and/or harder by mixing up the blocks, as explained below) for an adult version, with like photos of yarn, or photos from a trip you took together… oh shoot, I’d never thought of that until right now – now I want to make a trip photo puzzle!!
So, you need wood blocks (I got these at Michael’s), pictures to use (my princess pictures came from some cheap thrift store books), a paper cutter (or scissors if you’re careful, in which case you also need a ruler), Mod Podge and a brush for the Mod-Podge-ing, newspaper or something to protect your work surface, and optional Sparkle Mod Podge if you want a glitter finish.
I started by making a template for the pictures; I used the cardboard packaging from the wood blocks, cutting the piece of thin cardboard to the size of the blocks all together in a rectangle:
Then I used the template to cut out my pictures to that size:
So now I had pictures of the exact size of the blocks all touching:
I used four pictures, to make the puzzle a bit easier than if all six sides of the blocks had pictures, since she was pretty young when I made this. Pictures on all sides of the blocks (six pictures total) would make for a harder puzzle.
I carefully measured and cut the pictures into squares the size of the blocks (if you’re using a paper cutter, you should be able to measure directly on the cutter – if you’re using scissors, then you’ll need to measure with a ruler).
Be careful with your measuring and cutting so that you don’t accidentally cut the wrong size for some reason (I don’t remember why this happened!) and ruin your picture, so that you have to find another princess picture to replace it:
So, once I cut a picture in both directions, I had a puzzle picture like this:
Now I Mod Podged those squares of pictures onto the blocks:
Here’s another decision you can make. I wanted the puzzle to be easy for the young kid, so I kept the first puzzle in order, turned each block the same way, and glued on the second picture in the same order, so that once she solves the puzzle for one of the pictures, she can then flip all the blocks in the same direction to see the next picture, then the next, then the next. If you want a more challenging puzzle, you can scramble up the blocks so that you have to solve each one separately. There are actually two more levels of difficulty – you could either flip all the blocks the same direction, then glue the pictures on in random order, all on the same sides, or you could glue them on random places and random sides, so the puzzles for each picture all start from scratch. Just make sure you glue one square per picture onto each block.
Repeat for each picture until all the squares are glued on:
Because this was a gift for a frilly little girl, I chose to add sparkles to the whole thing at the end:
I don’t remember exactly, but I’m guessing I covered five sides with the sparkle Mod Podge, let them dry overnight, then sparkled up the sixth side the next day.
Finished sparkly puzzle: