Several LJs have asked for a blog entry sharing how I made the mini-puzzles that I use to encourage “re-gifting”. They are really very easy to do for those comfortable with using a scroll saw. Here are the steps…
1. Select the subject of your puzzle. I use business card sized cards that are available at Christian bookstores. They are bright, colorful and have inspiring messages. However, you could do the same project with sports or non-sports trading cards, etc. They would make great giveaways at your next Superbowl or World Series Party!
2. Cut a blank out of 1/4” plywood the exact same size as your card. I use baltic birch plywood that is finished on both sides.
3. This is an optional step but I spray paint the back and sides of the blanks with a color that compliments the subject matter to give the puzzles that finished look. I prime, sand with 400 grit, then apply the color coat. Do not spray the surface where the subject will be glued.
4. Glue the subject to the blank using any clear drying glue. Aileens or Elmers works just fine. Use a glue brush to make sure all of the wood surface is covered under the picture, no gaps or your puzzle will come up after cutting. Apply the picture and clamp.
5. When the glue is dry, top coat the subject matter with a triple thick spray topcoat to protect the image.
6. When dry, cut out your puzzle using a scroll saw and a 2/0 blade. I like Carter Johnson’s method of cutting jigsaw puzzles where you look for natural keys in the image. Just remember there must be a key on each side of the each piece.
7. The finished puzzle goes in an organza bag that you can get at any craft store where they sell wedding or baby shower items.
8. I use Avery business card sheets in my inkjet printer to print the tags and a hole punch to secure the tag to the bag.
9. Then I give ‘em all away and start on another batch.
I hope this helps. Feel free to write if you have questions.