Here’s a very simple, very fast way to turn a personal photo, doodle or piece of paper artwork into a fairly durable puzzle. For this project you will need a piece of self adhesive fun foam. This material is readily available in stores that carry craft supplies and is certainly available on-line. Self adhesive fun foam comes in many colors and several sizes. For this project you will need one 9 inch by 12 inch piece in the color of your choice. You will also need a pair of scissors. This project works really well with the artwork from outdated calendars. If you use original artwork you will probably want to photocopy it, since once it is made into a picture puzzle it will receive lots of handling. Whatever you use, it will need to be 9×12 inches or more in size. Enlarge, reduce, crop or otherwise manipulate it using a scanner or photocopier until it is the proper size.This project is easiest to do if the artwork is printed on light to medium weight cardstock.
Prepare a work surface, a table or counter top is fine. This is not a messy project, but it is much simpler to do properly on a sturdy, flat surface. Lay the self adhesive fun foam on the work surface foam side down and gently peel off the backing. Pick up your artwork and gently bend it in the middle and place this bend on the middle of the adhesive back of the fun foam, centering the artwork on the fun foam. Once you are satisfied with the placement of your artwork, smooth it down starting at the center and moving toward the edges. Make sure that the entire back of the artwork is firmly attached to the self adhesive portion of the fun foam.
To finish your puzzle you will need to cut it into a variety of pieces. Take into account the abilities of the person you are making the puzzle for when you decide on the number and complexity of the pieces you cut. For a young preschool aged child cutting the puzzle into 4 rectangles may be perfect. For an older child many more pieces will provide a greater challenge. The pieces can be any shape. Lots of square and rectangle pieces will give even experts a hard time. Traditional jigsaw shaped pieces can be a challenge to cut if the pieces are small in size. Also you do not have to cut the entire puzzle completely apart. For example, you may decide to cut out 8 triangle shaped pieces from various places in the puzzle. You might also decide to leave an uncut area as a frame and cut the area inside this frame into pieces. Once you have cut your puzzle pieces the project is finished.