How to Make a Giant Jigsaw Puzzle - Perfect Yard Game
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How to Make an Oversized Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle

Looking for a fun DIY project to work on? If you have some wooden boards lying around and a saw, here’s a one hour project that’s sure to be a puzzling hit with the kids.  

For our little one’s recent birthday, Eileen and I decided to throw a puzzle theme party.  We had the idea to make a giant jigsaw puzzle as a fun yard activity for the kids.

My son is always watching (and pretend helping) me build projects around our home, so I thought that he would love that I was working on a special project for his birthday.

So, I made a 3-foot tall custom-made puppy puzzle.

It was a cute puppy with vibrant colors and caught all of the kids’ eyes. It was really easy to put together too. But most importantly, my son loved it.

When assembled, the puzzle was even firm enough to be a standing toy dog.  So, it worked as a fun prop for photos too, especially since it was almost as tall as the kids at the party.

How to make an oversized wood jigsaw puzzleHow to Make an Oversized Wood Jigsaw Puzzle

When figuring out how to make an oversized wood jigsaw puzzle, I started with some 10” wooden squares, each ¾” thick.

Making the squares was easy as I just bought a piece of 1 x 10 x 6 board from Home Depot and cut it into five 10” pieces (well, technically 9.25” pieces as that was the true width of the board).

How to make a giant jigsaw puzzle from wood and a sawThen I laid out the boards and sketched a simple outline of a dog.  

I used silhouettes from dog images online as inspiration for my own design.  How to Make a Wood Jigsaw Puzzle for KidsAfter I was happy with the sketch, I moved to the garage to complete the puzzle.

To cut out the design, I tried both a jigsaw and a scroll saw.  The scroll saw worked out to be the easiest method.

How to Use a Saw to Make a Giant Jigsaw PuzzleFunny thing about this scroll saw is that I picked it up from the local Habitat for Humanity store for $5.  It looks like it’s from the ‘70s too, but it worked like a charm.

If you don’t have a jigsaw or scroll saw, a regular hand (or hack) saw can work just as well, just a bit slower.

After the pieces were all cut, I placed them in a clamp and sanded the edges smooth.How to Make a Giant Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle for a Kids GameNext I had to attach all the interlocking pieces. One disadvantage of cutting my design out of squares was that the interlocking puzzle connectors would need manual attachment.

I cut the interlocking pieces out of the adjacent pieces.  Then I opted to use pocket hole screws for attaching them. My Kreg pocket hole jig made this a super easy task.  This was the fastest method for me, and also made for a very sturdy connection.

Here I am drilling some of the pocket holes:

Drilling pocket holes with Kreg jig

I also labeled each connection so I would not attach the wrong piece on accident, and put some alignment marks to make sure they were in the correct position (or else the puzzle would look misaligned).Making a giant wooden puzzle for a fun kids party activitySoon all the connectors were attached and the puzzle construction was complete.

How to make a giant wooden jigsaw puzzle for a fun kids party activityThe last step was painting. I used kid-friendly acrylic paints that Eileen had on hand. As far as colors, I used various bright colors.

Awesome yard game activity - giant DIY jigsaw puzzleThe puppy puzzle was all done. I tested it with our little one and he loved it. He quickly put it together and started petting it.

How to Make a Giant Jigsaw Puzzle - Perfect Yard GameThis project fast, easy and cheap. It took only an hour to make, was a simple design and cost $11 for the board. It can easily be extended to other designs too.  

How fun would it be to have a zoo of puzzle animals!

 

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42 Comments

  1. What a cool project. I used to love doing stuff like that when I was a teen in my Dad’s workshop! It looks amazing and sounds like it made your son’s party. Thanks for linking up to the #bigpinklink this week.

  2. That’s so cute! My kids would have loved something like this when they were younger. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty link Party this week. Pinned!

  3. That is too cute! A scroll saw is on my wishlist! So cool. Sometimes the older tools work just as well if not better because everything is made more cheaply nowadays. Thanks for the idea. Pinned. Saw your post through the tues w/ twist party:)

  4. This looks so much fun. My 4 year old is on a huge puzzle kick lately, and I’d love to make something like this for her. I do have a jigsaw, but I definitely think a scroll saw would make this easier — maybe I’ll luck out and find one at the ReStore like you did.

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