Jigsaw puzzles have been providing entertainment and challenges for people since the 18th century
They're a great, cheap form of entertainment that can amuse some people for hours and hours. It's quite easy to make your own jigsaw puzzle that can make great personalized gifts or even a source of your own entertainment.
The basis behind a satisfying jigsaw puzzle is beating the challenge of putting together interlocking pieces to create a completed picture or pattern.
Many jigsaw enthusiasts specifically choose more difficult pictures or patterns to hopefully extend the time it takes to complete, thus increasing the challenge and prolonging the entertainment value.
If you plan to make a homemade jigsaw puzzle then you have the freedom to choose any picture or pattern you want to use.
Below is an interesting video followed by the simple steps to make your own jigsaw puzzle!
Select a picture you want to use on your completed puzzle. You can use an enlarged family photo or a digital montage of several photos blended together to make solving the puzzle a little more difficult.
Sometimes pictures of buildings or landscapes or animals can be tricky jigsaw images to solve and offer a lovely completed image. You can choose to use some lovely artwork or images you've found.
Perhaps you want to use drawings your children have created. Your options are only limited by your imagination.
Remember to keep a second copy of the original picture so you have a reference to look at when you're trying to solve the jigsaw.
To make your own jigsaw puzzle you will need to find some suitable backing.
Heavy cardboard backing works well as it will retain its shape and be more resistant to breaking or tearing.
If you intend to create your jigsaw for young children to use, you might consider using foam instead of cardboard so the pieces are soft, but be sure to make the pieces bigger.
Mounting your picture or image onto your chosen backing should be relatively easy, but you will need to choose your glue or sticking medium carefully.
Craft glue or white glue can sometimes cause your image to bubble or wrinkle, which will give you an uneven finish on your picture.
Glue sticks will stop the wrinkling problem, but you may find that the glue will often not be strong enough to stick properly and your picture may begin to lift from the edges of the jigsaw pieces.
A dry glue spray designed specifically for mounting pictures to backing board or cardboard will work very well for your needs.
When your mounted picture has dried completely, turn your picture over and use a pencil and ruler to lightly trace a grid of squares onto the back of the board.
Don't make the pieces too small, as you will need to cut them and work with them when it's time to assemble your jigsaw.
When the entire back section has been turned into a grid of even-sized squares, use your pencil to create the little interlock shapes between each piece. Make them unusual sizes or individual shapes.
The best way to get a feel for what shapes will work well for your jigsaw pieces is to check some of the pieces you have in existing jigsaw puzzles. They're not all the same and they're often quite irregular.
However, don't get too crazy with your pieces as you don't want anything too thin or too sharp or your pieces may break.
When you've completed outlining your pieces and shapes with pencil, it's time to cut out your shapes. You can use a sharp utility knife to cut your pieces.
Follow the pencil lines you've drawn on the back and cut carefully so you don't tear the picture on the front.
Break apart the cut pieces and place them in a large zip-lock bag. You can purchase small plain boxes from many stores, so find one that is small enough to be convenient, yet large enough to fit your zip-lock bag of jigsaw pieces into.
Paste the second copy you made of your picture to the top of the box using your dry glue spray to use as a reference picture for the person solving the puzzle.
We hope you enjoy making your own jigsaw. If you make your own jigsaw puzzle at home or if you've tried our easy steps, we'd love to read your comments about how your project turned out.
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