DIY puzzles are extra fun, since not only do you get the pleasure of solving them, but you also get the pleasure of making them!
It’s like a bonus that you’ll also probably find a lot of supplies around the house to use on your DIY puzzles, making them great for upcycling AND a good money-saver, if you’re looking for some homemade gifts this summer that won’t blow your entire vacation budget.
While you can make a puzzle out of just about anything that you find, here are my favorite DIY puzzle tutorials. Check them out, get inspired, and then get crafting!
1. calendar puzzles. THIS is what you do with last year’s calendar.
2. cereal box puzzle. You can glue a child’s artwork onto the puzzle, or just draw on the cereal box with markers.
3. exploring lines. This puzzle is simply lines drawn onto rocks. Easy to make, easy to play with, and easy to toss back when you’re done!
4. friendship puzzle necklaces. You’ll never believe that these are made from paperclips!
5. geometric fabric puzzle. If you don’t do woodwork but DO sew, then there are still plenty of puzzles for you! This particular puzzle is especially good for open-ended play AND using up fabric scraps.
6. LEGO picture puzzles. You can also use blocks for this, and any picture that appeals to you. An image from a vintage book would look especially sweet!
7. nail in wood. Ever wondered how those “impossible” puzzles are made? Here’s the secret behind one of them.
8. name puzzle. You could do this out of corrugated cardboard, but a scroll saw is actually fairly easy to use, if you can get your hands on one.
9. pizza puzzle. Little kids will love to cut pictures of their favorite foods out of magazines or the grocery store flyer. Save the box the next time you order pizza!
10. puzzle ball. Here’s another puzzle that you can sew! This one is unusual, as it’s a three-dimensional puzzle.
11. puzzle blocks. Upcycle these from your kid’s old building blocks.
12. scroll saw puzzles. If you want to cut puzzles out of wood, this is how you do it!
13. Tetris puzzle blocks. Use Tetris as your inspiration to make this puzzle from wooden cubes. Here’s how to stain the blocks with liquid watercolors.
14. felt puzzles. Felt, whether it’s wool or Eco-fi, is actually surprisingly easy to source sustainably, and its cute colors make it a pleasure to craft–and play!–with.
15. Tower of Hanoi. Although the tutorial calls for a lathe to make the round pieces, you can also use found twigs and branches that are naturally different diameters.