Making a picture puzzle is simple with only a few household materials and a couple of simple tools. A puzzle can be as simple as cutting a magazine advertisement or coloring page into several pieces. Children and those who are kids at heart will enjoy reforming the puzzle picture. Puzzles provide valuable one-on-one family time, can reduce stress, and help develop problem-solving skills.
First you'll need to decide on the picture itself. There are many sources for puzzle pictures. Use pictures from magazines, old calendars, scrapbook paper or postcards. You can also use extra copies of family photos. Family photos are best when faces are not cut into pieces.
Next you will need to cut the picture to the exact size of the puzzle. Trim off any jagged edges or parts of the picture you do not want in the puzzle. It's best to trim the puzzle picture to a size that is easy to divide into pieces. Whole inches or centimeters is best.
If your puzzle picture is made of thin paper, you will want to glue it onto thicker paper or thin wood the exact size of your picture. This will make the puzzle more durable and also easier to handle and store. If the puzzle picture is already on thick paper you can skip this step. At this point, make a photocopy of your puzzle picture and set the copy aside.
The next step involves cutting the picture into pieces. Before you start cutting, consider the age of the person who will be working the puzzle. Make fewer pieces for young children and more for adults. Once you have decided on the number of pieces, turn the puzzle picture over and, using a pencil, lightly mark where you will cut the picture making any adjustments as you go. Now carefully cut the picture into squares, rectangles or other straight-sided shapes with a pair of scissors or a craft knife, depending upon the thickness of the puzzle picture. Use a ruler as a guide if needed.
The last step involves finding a box for storing the puzzle. Small, thick-walled boxes are the best choice. Check to make sure all the puzzle pieces fit into the box. Now tape or glue the photocopy of the puzzle picture to the lid of the box for a reference. If the photocopy is too big for the lid, simply fold it and put it in with the puzzle.