"The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity" - Doug Horton
I love coming up with new ways to display all the pictures of our family. This project was done last year when I made my parents this photo block puzzle of their grandson. It is a wonderful and creative way to share memories with everyone and test their puzzle skills at the same time! Plus, instead of just getting one puzzle, you actually can get up to 6! My mom has it on her coffee table and you'll be amazed at the people who actually give it a try. Its an easy project, however, be prepared to give it some time. I'm going to give you the detailed how-to for the actual puzzle, not the box. However, don't forget to give those puzzle solvers a little help by providing pictures of the different puzzles on the front. :)
This puzzle measures 6 x 6 inches. Each block I chose was 1.5 inches on each side. The blocks come in various sizes and you, of course, can essentially choose your own size and number of blocks for your puzzle. I'll give you the materials for the size of puzzle I chose to do.
16 - 1.5 inch wooden blocks
Black craft paint, Sponge brush
Mod Podge, sponge brush
Up to 6 pictures printed on your computer
1. Paint all 16 blocks black, on all 6 sides. Let dry.
2. Choose your pictures that you will use for your project. Re-size them to 6 X 6 in. Print your pictures and let them completely dry. Cut the pictures out along the edges. TIPS: When choosing your pictures, try to choose close-ups or ones that won't be too hard to solve. Once you print it out, imagine where it would be cut into squares and make sure their are distinguishing marks that will allow your solver to put the clues together.
3. Turn your picture over. On the back, using your ruler, start to mark the measurements of where you are going to cut. Put a mark every 1.5 inches along the top and bottom, and then every 1.5 inches along each side. Connect the dots using a straight edge to give you your grid. Use a scrapbook paper cutter or scissors to cut along the lines. TIP: I wanted to see the finished puzzle and wanted to apply them in order so I put a number from 1-16 in each box on the grid on the back of the paper to help me keep them in order when applying in case they got mixed up. Repeat with all other pictures. I chose to only do 4 pictures and one note with stickers that read "I luv nana and papa" and then left the last side black.
4. Using your spray adhesive start to apply each picture square to the wooden block. Do all 16 squares of the picture. After you finish one picture move on to the next. Complete all 6 sides. Then allow to completely dry and adhere so no bubbles will pop up when you mod podge. Read your spray adhesives directions to find the time.
5. Next, using your sponge brush, mod podge over each photo square. Be careful to not have the blocks touching when you are having them dry so that they don't stick. Again, do all 16 of one side, let dry, and do another side. You most likely will have to do at least 2-3 coats of mod podge. This is the time consuming part!
6. You're done! While your blocks are drying you can work on your box.
I really hope you enjoyed this idea, because it really is a keeper!
Be inspired, get creative, and have fun!