DIY puzzles are low prep, low cost and double as toy. How could you not love that easy kid craft! I love to make puzzles out of cereal boxes because they are thick enough to hold paint, but not too thick to cut easily with scissors. I’ve also made smaller puzzles out of index cards or any other cardboard food box you happen to have in the recycle bin.
Materials for DIY puzzles
- Cardboard food box
- Permanent marker
- Paint (or markers)
How to make a DIY puzzle with kids
These puzzles are fun to make because it is so easy to personalize them to your kiddos current new favorite thing. You probably don’t want to buy a new puzzle every time your child declares their love for a new TV show character or mode of transportation, but when puzzles are this cheap and east to make, why not?!
Step 1- Flatten a cereal box
Carefully use the side of your hand, and rip the seams on a cereal box so that the box lays flat. Next, cut one of the large rectangles out of the cereal box.
Step 2- Draw
Use a permeant marker to draw a simple design on the blank side of the cereal box. Things like a peice of fruit, animal, or a child’s name work really well. If you have older kids, they can obviously make a more detailed picture of whatever they want.
Step 3- Paint
When my kids were really little, I typically did the drawing and then let them paint it. My 5 year old now does the drawings and painting on his own. Feel free to substitute markers or crayons for paint too. Less mess and drying time if you go that route.
Step 4- Cut
Once the paint it dry, turn the puzzle over and use the permanent marker to make puzzle pieces. The easiest way to do this is to make a 4×3 grid so that you have 12 boxes. Next, add half circles to the sides of the boxes to form puzzle prices. I go back with the marker and mark out where not to cut so that I don’t get confused. Once you have them pieces drawn, carefully cut out each peice.
Step 5- Play
The best part of this craft is that it doubles as toy! Play with it and then save it in a zip lock bag for later. We like to make DIY puzzles and send them to friends in the mail. They package up nice and flat.
Another fun way to make a puzzle is to paint over an old, existing one. Check out this tutorial from Alisa Burke for more on that technique. Have you ever made a DIY puzzle out of a cereal box? I’d love to hear…