How To Make a 3D Puzzle

Have you seen those 3D puzzles made of wood, cardboard backed foam, or glass? Well, now you can make your own 3D puzzle for your friends, family, or loved ones. It is not a lengthy process, and is very inexpensive to make in your own home.

Gather your materials. Your first step is to gather the things that you will need for this project. Since it is the easiest material to work with, I would suggest buying some large foam balls such as the ones used for planet mobiles or DNA models at science fairs in grade school. You will also want to purchase acrylic paint in the colors of your model.

In the example, we will be making an apple puzzle, so red, an off-white, and green paints are all that are needed. You will also need a craft knife with a longer blade. If you are old enough to work with your stove or an open flame, this will make cutting easier. You will also need glue appropriate for the materials at hand. A super glue or something that will 'weld' the foam together will be your best option, so wear gloves if you are using it.  These glues can adhere skin to nearly any surface.

Cutting your puzzle pieces is much easier than you would think. First you want to sculpt your puzzle. In this case we will be carving an apple out of foam. Include a 'stem' at top. If you can find pre-formed foam shapes, that will make your puzzle look better and more professional. Cut your formed apple slightly off center so that the stem is on one side or another.

Cutting at right angles, cut out the stem. Cut your apple into even slices. The next step is where the 'puzzle' creation comes into play. Carve a small chunk from one slice of your apple and attach it in the appropriate place to the slice next to it. Again, work in squares and rectangles for your first 3D puzzle.

Glue the pieces into the appropriate places so that your puzzle pieces become interlocking. When you are satisfied that your puzzle is sufficiently complicated, allow the glue to dry fully, and then reassemble the puzzle. Paint the outside of your puzzle red, except for the top. Paint your stem green, and paint leaves onto the top of the apple. Now allow the paint to dry. Paint the insides of your puzzle to resemble the inside of an apple, and let each piece dry completely.


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