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How to Make a Jigsaw Puzzle

Do you love to do jigsaw puzzles but hate the corny pictures? Here's how to make a puzzle with any picture—your pet turtle, your favorite cartoon character, your little brother... okay, maybe not your little brother.


  • Step 1: Choose picture Choose a picture that you want to make into a puzzle, and then choose a piece of cardboard or foam board that's slightly bigger than your picture.
  • TIP: The lid of a pizza box can make a perfect puzzle board—as long as it's not all cheesy and oily!
  • Step 2: Glue image Glue your image to the board you've chosen and let it dry overnight.
  • TIP: Place a flat, heavy object on top—like a book—so the picture dries nice and evenly.
  • Step 3: Trim board Ask a grown-up to help you trim off any of the extra cardboard or foam board that's around your picture with the scissors.
  • Step 4: Draw jigsaw shapes Turn your picture over and draw jigsaw shapes on the back of the board.
  • TIP: Shapes with at least two semicircular parts, facing either in or out, work best—small, complicated shapes will be hard to put back together.
  • Step 5: Cut picture Again with a grown-up helping you, cut the picture along the lines you've just drawn.
  • Step 6: Do puzzle Now jumble up the pieces and see how long it takes you to do your handmade puzzle—or challenge your friends to try it.
  • FACT: The first jigsaw puzzle was made in England in the mid-1700s—it was a map to help kids learn geography.

You Will Need

  • A grown-up to help with cutting
  • A photo
  • a poster
  • a picture from a magazine
  • or a drawing
  • A thick piece of cardboard or foam board
  • Some glue
  • Scissors
  • A pencil

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