My sister is sharing a cute little craft puzzle that she gave our little guy. Not just a puzzle, it had a sweet request for her upcoming wedding. Below she shares the details so you can make your own 🙂
I love a good excuse for crafting. With my busy schedule, I feel like I never have a reason to make fun things. So when an opportunity arises, I jump on it.
I recently got engaged to be married, and I could not pass up the opportunity to make some sentimental gifts for my immediate family members, who have always known they’d be included in our wedding.
Backtracking a few years, Eileen and Ash decided to announce their first pregnancy with a surprise photo puzzle. We all love puzzles and thought nothing of being given a puzzle to complete.
Totally clueless, we worked on the puzzle and were completely surprised and excited when we figured out it was a pregnancy announcement for our sweet little nephew.
Fast forward to present day, our nephew just loves completing jigsaw puzzles. He assembles 100-piece puzzles with ease and a lot of excitement, shocking the adults around him. If the puzzle has numbers or letters, he recites each, one-by-one.
It’s endearing and sweet and helped us decide exactly what we wanted to do to ask him to be our ring bearer – with a custom jigsaw puzzle!
How to Make a Custom Jigsaw Puzzle
I looked at various DIY puzzle products and wandered around the craft store for quite some time to decide on the best materials.
Then I found a pack of 9 plain, wooden puzzle pieces that were 2.5 inches – ready to decorate!
I grabbed two just in case and went looking for some letter stickers.
I decided on stickers from the scrapbooking section, about 1.25″ in height, in a very dark navy blue so they would be in a good contrast with whatever I decided to paint behind the letters.
- Wooden puzzle
- Acrylic Paints
- Alphabet Stickers – like these
- Xacto Knife
- Sand paper
- Paint brush
Planning the Wedding Message
I anxiously assembled the puzzle pieces and was pleasantly surprised at how well they fit together out of the package. A few were snug but I knew I wanted to sand them down to be safer for my nephew’s hands.
I also couldn’t wait to test out the letters, so I cut out each letter of our intended message to place over the square puzzle before getting the sandpaper.
The three rows of pieces easily fit:
I ran out of lowercase Rs, but I improvised.
As awesome as I thought it looked, it was really missing the personalization of all of our names!
Then I remembered I got a second set and I could easily add one more row of pieces.
So, I combined the two sets to make a larger puzzle.
Sanding the Rough Edges
These new pieces were not as easy to fit with the rest, but I was ready to get sanding!
I grabbed a sheet of sandpaper and smoothed each side and divet until each piece fit well with its adjacent piece and made sure each pair worked well whichever one was placed in on top.
Painting the Puzzle Background
While working on the letters, I decided to paint a landscape of a grassy hill on the pieces, just like our ceremony venue! I gathered my painting supplies and assembled the now 12-piece puzzle on a few layers of newspaper.
Then, I painted a cartoonish outdoor scene with colors overlapping the puzzle pieces so each looked unique.
I made sure to paint lightly to avoid getting excess paint in between the pieces. It was quick-drying acrylic paint, but I let it dry overnight before placing the stickers.
Next, I took the pieces apart and sanded some of the pieces again as needed for one final run before placing the stickers.
I cut more of the excess white off the back of each sticker for a better idea of the background before calling it a finished picture.
Attaching the Letters
Ready to go, I grabbed a book slightly larger than the puzzle for easy transport later. Then I pulled off the backing of the first letter and not entirely to my surprise, the outline was much thicker than I thought.
I immediately pushed all of the letters closer to the center of their row then placed the first letter more to the right than planned.
After adding the letters, I placed another hardcover book on top and put the two books on a table puzzle-side down. For good measure, I added another stack of books on top and let it sit overnight.
Making the Puzzle Piece Letter Cuts
Next, I grabbed an x-acto knife to carefully slice the stickers between puzzle pieces. This was a daunting task, but I was very happy at the level of sanding I had done.
I originally thought I would have to turn the puzzle over and run through each, but it was not necessary!
To secure it once more, I put the pieces unassembled under a stack of books again. I left it for a day while I decided how to box up these pieces!
If you’re looking for a unique gift idea for your wedding (like us) or just a simple craft to make for the kids, these custom-made jigsaw puzzles are cute as can be and very simple to make 🙂