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 saw

Then I laid out the boards and sketched a simple outline of a dog.  

How to Make a Wood Jigsaw Puzzle for Kids

I used silhouettes from dog images online as inspiration for my own design.  After 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 Puzzle

Funny 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.

How to Make a Giant Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle for a Kids Game

After the pieces were all cut, I placed them in a clamp and sanded the edges smoothly.Next, 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
Making a giant wooden puzzle for a fun kids party activity

I also labeled each connection so I would not attach the wrong piece by accident, and put some alignment marks to make sure they were in the correct position (or else the puzzle would look misaligned). Soon all the connectors were attached and the puzzle construction was complete.

How to make a giant wooden jigsaw puzzle for a fun kids party activity

The 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 puzzle

The 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 Game

This 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!


  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.

    1. Aww thanks Louise! It did:)

  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!

    1. Thanks Teresa! Have a great week:)

    1. Thanks Richelle! You could make it with a hack saw too:)

  3. kathleen Rupp says:

    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:)

    1. Yes totally agree on the other older tools:) Have a great week!

    1. Thanks Kerrie! Yes just wish we had the time to make more before the party:)

  4. MY children would enjoy this. I remember making a puzzle in woodshop at school. FIddly thing, but great fun.

    1. Hahaaa yes old wood shop projects were the best!

    1. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed it:)

  5. 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.

    1. You could use a hacksaw too. Yes we LOVE the Restore!:)

  6. Oh, how fun! Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. Yes! The Restore is awesome!:)

  7. We love jigsaws this sounds a fab idea Thank you for linking to #Thatfridaylinky please come back next week

  8. Super impressed. You have far more patience than me! Thanks for joining in at #TriumphantTales 🙂

  9. Love this idea! So simple and effective! Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

  10. such a great project! We are planning activities for a summer family reunion – wouldn’t this be a fun activity for the grandkids?

    1. Yes!! I bet they would love it:)

  11. What a fun project! Thanks for joining the To Grandma’s House We Go link party! Hope to see you next week.

  12. What a great idea. I wish my husband was a DIY kinda guy, but he can’t even put up a picture on the wall! Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  13. This is such a great project, and so much fun too!

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