I don't entirely recall the conversation previous to how we came up with the idea for this project, but you are welcome to call us geniuses, if you wish. Remember those hand held puzzles, in which the picture was all scrambled, and you had to unscramble it by sliding the pieces around?
Well, this project is like that, but on a larger scale. We (Bryan and I) decided to make one the size of our coffee table. However we forgot to measure the size of our coffee table before going through with making it, so the puzzle hangs over the edges of the coffee table a bit, ho hum.
After the plans were drafted, we had to buy the supplies. We headed to both Lowes and Home Depot for this project. In which, we bought fiberboard for the base, balsa wood for the trim, and tiles, lots of tiles.
The most time consuming part of this project was printing off the individual squares (4.5 in x 4.5 in) from the original photo. This is really where Bryan's knowledge came in handy. After printed the squares were cut carefully with a paper cutter and Mod Podge-d onto individual tiles, much like the process done when I made Tile Coasters.
To created the frame for the puzzle, Bryan constructed the frame by cutting the balsa wood at a 45 degree angle in order for the corners to meet. He created a 45 degree angle by folding a perfect square in half diagonally and marking a line on the balsa wood before cutting it with a hand saw. So glad he did better in geometry than I did, I would have never thought of such an easy concept for creating a 45 degree angle!
Before the frame was assembled, the individual pieces were painted black. I was scolded for "messing around" while painting the fiberboard. So serious!
The balsa wood was attached to the fiberboard with wood glue. Books and tiles were used as extra weight as the wood glue dried since the balsa wood ended up bowed, and refused to stick by itself!
Once the wood glue dried, Bryan spackled any gaps in the framing and touched-up the paint.
By removing one tile, the picture can easily be scrambled to created a photo puzzle or can be left alone as a unique piece of art.
Since the tiles are 8 x 3, it adds to the difficulty of the puzzle, but it can be done. A square would be the ideal shape for this project, but I am extremely content with the results of this project. Plus, we will never run out of coasters!
If you would like a photo puzzle yourself to document a special occasion, please contact me for pricing!