I bought this puzzle of Luke Skywalker gazing at the setting twin suns over Tatooine at Goodwill, so I didn’t let myself get too broken-hearted when my family and I put it together and discovered that it had SIXTEEN missing pieces!
But even with sixteen missing pieces, I still love Luke Skywalker too much to subject him to his rightful fate at the hands of our Family Puzzle Policy; instead, I recycled only the landscape bits (So. Much. BROWN!), kept the box with the image for another project, and made my awesome sweetheart Luke into a puzzle Christmas ornament.
I think it turned out WONDERFULLY, and here’s how you can make your own!
1. Coat both sides of the puzzle with Mod Podge. Mod Podge, of course, is the favorite weapon of all puzzle enthusiasts. Coat the top of the puzzle with it, let it dry, then turn it over and coat the back:
This time, put a piece of waxed paper over the Mod Podge, then something heavy on top of the waxed paper until the glue is dry; otherwise, the puzzle will curl.
2. Frame the ornament. With the puzzle face up, frame out your ornament (I’m using a cookie cutter), and trace around it with a pencil.
3. Cut out the ornament. Use an x-acto knife to cut out the ornament. You’ll need to take a few passes, but the cardboard isn’t super dense and so won’t require a lot of muscle to cut.
4. Embellish the cut edges (optional). If you’d like, you can run a metallic Sharpie or a little paint around the cut edges of the ornament, just to make it a little more decorative.
5. Add a hole for hanging. Use an awl or sewing needle to carefully poke at hole near the top of the puzzle ornament. Attach your favorite ornament hanger, and you’re done!
You can also make a puzzle Christmas ornament that highlights your own artwork–just embellish that plain back, and you’ll have a custom piece!
P.S. Don’t forget the other ways that you can upcycle a puzzle!