Create It Yourself

PUZZLE ME THIS – With A Homemade Jigsaw

Fun for the family with this DIY wooden jigsaw puzzle

Print Page

Nurture your kids' creativity and woodworking skills with this family-friendly project you can complete and enjoy as a team. Teach your kids measuring, tracing, sanding and painting, but keep the cutting to the adults.

  1. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 03

    Create evenly sized puzzle pieces by dividing the plywood sheet into a grid. Measure and mark vertical and horizontal guides, in this example every 20cm, by making incremental tick marks in pencil along each edge of the board and connecting the marks with a straightedge or yardstick. You will be left with 36 grid squares for creating each interlocking puzzle piece.

  2. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 04

    The quickest and most consistent way to create puzzle piece knobs is to start with a stencil. You'll speed production by cutting out four to six shapes from a piece of card and enlisting the help of friends or family members to tackle the next few steps. Draw rounded freeform shapes along the straight edges of the card and cut them out with scissors. Avoid making complicated shapes with abrupt turns or several straight edges, and keep the scale around 1/3 of the grid square.

  3. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 05

    Trace knob shapes in pencil onto at least three sides of each grid square, excluding the outside edges. The shape can face the interior or exterior of a square, with the straight edge flush with the grid line, to create classic puzzle knobs or inlets on each piece. Just take care to randomise your pattern and utilise all of your stencil shapes.

  4. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 06

    Clamp your plywood piece flat to a work surface or sawhorses with your sketched puzzle facing up. Starting at one corner, slowly cut along your pencilled guidelines with your Jigsaw and a fine wood-cutting blade. Avoid cutting too quickly, which can increase splintering. Take care to not to over-rotate the blade while turning corners, and always keep two hands on the saw at all times during operation. You may find that approaching a cut from a different angle will allow you to make the cut more comfortably.

  5. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 07

    Make the giant puzzle pieces easier to connect by rounding the sharp edges of individual pieces with your sander. The narrow tip of this sander is perfect for sanding the interior edges of the puzzle pieces' knobs and inlets.

  6. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 08

    After sanding the edges of each individual piece, prep your assembled puzzle pieces for painting by sanding the entire surface. This will remove any remaining pencil marks or splintered edges resulting from cutting. Brush off the sawdust from all surfaces of each piece, using a clean cloth.

  7. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 09

    Reassemble the puzzle and sketch out a rough design or pattern with a pencil or oil pastel before painting with acrylic paint. Oil pastels draw easily on wood and can be used to add contrasting outlines to shapes or intricate details to your finished puzzle. Make the artwork a collaborative family masterpiece!

    Tip: You can make the puzzle more challenging by painting a smaller pattern or identical repeat on pieces.

  8. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 10

    Protect your painted puzzle from heavy use with a light coat of polyurethane spray sealer. Opt for a waterproof sealer and spray all surfaces to protect against moisture.

  9. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 11

    Bring the puzzle to a large area, such as the living room or backyard, for the whole family to assemble together.

  10. Oversized Jigsaw Puzzle 12

    Keep the puzzle pieces dry and within easy reach by storing them in a large wood crate indoors.

PUZZLE ME THIS – With A Homemade Jigsaw