Tuesday, August 18, 2015

DIY Craft - Puzzle Artwork



Sid is obsessed with TRAINS. And Thomas and Friend for as long as I can remember. I thought eventually his craze with Thomas will wean off. But it seems to grow stronger every day. The six year old is eagerly waiting for the next Thomas movie to be released this September. I bet not many of you knew that there are Thomas movies and they release (DVD release) a new movie almost every year.



The guys has over 300 wooden tracks and has recently started his very own collection of wooden engines. He has 10 right now and is saving to buy a few more this Christmas.

When we moved to our new condo, we donated a lot of Sid's old toys. He had very willingly given them away. Except for a 24 piece Thomas wooden puzzle. He had them since he was two and a half. Those puzzle have been chewed on, puked on and may been even peed on. They have even endured a sanitizing cycle in the dish washer! I was sure the dishwasher would be the final nail in the coffin, but they withstood that too. Sid has outgrown a 24 pieces puzzle a long time ago, but this particular 4-in-1 jigsaw is too close to his heart. He pouts and wells up at the mere mention of the word 'donation'. 

It was time to immortalize them.




Meet Mod Podge. My latest crush. I totally totally love it. Its very quick drying. Dries clear and give a nice glossy look to the finished product. Its a sealant too. And comes in a variety of finish from Antique Matte to Satin to Gloss. 

What I plan to with the puzzle, is to glue the pieces and hang them in Sid's play room. Dirt cheap wall decor. It doesn't get better than this!



First select a sturdy work area. The dining table in my case. Tape a wax or parchment paper (big enough to hold the puzzle) on the work surface. This will protect your table and wont let the puzzle glue to the table itself. Now lay our the puzzle. See how worn out the puzzle pieces are. That's the amount of torture they endured in the past 3 years. Look at the hole. The then 3 year old managed to chew off a wooden puzzle piece!




Shake the bottle of Mod Podge very well. With a nice, clean, sturdy nylon bristle brush, paint the entire puzzle with the Mod Podge, ensuring every crack and crevices is covered in Mod Podge. Take a small wet sponge or rag and gently clean the sides of the puzzle so that it doesn't stick to the parchment.


Let it dry. It should not take more than 15 to 20 minutes, but I like to keep it undisturbed for 30 minutes. Please wash the brush immediately after the application with warm tap water. If the Mod Podge dries on the brush, it is hell of a task to clean it. This is how it looks after the first coat. See how vibrant and glossy the colors are. No Photoshop, I promise. Give it another coat. 



Once the second coat had dried properly, flip it and give an even coat of Mod Podge on the reverse too. Let it dry. Give another coat just to be on the safer side. 


Once both the coats on the back of the puzzle is done, turn it back. You can leave it here. But the paranoid me, wanted to give one last coat of Mod Podge. So I did 3 coats of Mod Podge on the front and 2 coats at the back of the puzzle. See the refection on the above pic. That's how glossy the final product is. If you look it from a distance, it actually looks like a photo or a painting and not like a glued up puzzle!


I repeated the entire process on the other 3 puzzle as well giving 5 coats of Mod Podge on each of them.


There are quite a few ways to display these puzzle. Craft stores like Michael or Hobby Lobby dry mounts your finished puzzle and you can just hang them. But they are really expensive. They might work well for bigger puzzles but not these small ones. Framing them is also another option. I actually spent pennies on these 4 "puzzle paintings". I do not intend to buy $15 each, frames to display them. I am the frugal mama... I use double sided tape! Don't worry, they won't ruin your walls. A little gentle seat from the hair dryer and they come off in a snap. You can wipe off any residual glue with some white vinegar or Goo Gone









And here they are. Brightening up Sid's 'not-so-bright' basement play room! The cheeky little Tank engine and his friends immortalized!



The entire project was a very hush-hush one. I wanted to surprise him and so most of the work was done when he was off to school or sleeping. Yesterday afternoon was the "big reveal" and he was ecstatic. He wanted to hug the wall. 

If you have a puzzle you love or emotionally attached to... gleu'em up! I won't decorate my living space with puzzles but they seem perfect for little kids room or playroom. What do you say?



You will Need:
a puzzle
Mod Podge
a sturdy clan nylon bristle brush
parchment paper 
sturdy work area

How to:
Tape a wax or parchment paper (big enough to hold the puzzle) on the work surface. Lay our the puzzle.  

Shake the bottle of Mod Podge very well. With the brush paint the entire puzzle with the Mod Podge, ensuring every crack and crevices is covered. Take a small wet sponge or rag and gently clean the sides of the puzzle. 
a smidgen 
Let it dry. It should not take more than 15 to 20 minutes, keep it for 30 minutes to be safe. Wash the brush immediately after the application with warm tap water. 
 Once dry, give it another coat.  
Flip it and give an even coat of Mod Podge on the reverse too. Let it dry. Give another coat just to be on the safer side.  
Flip it again and give one last coat in front. Let it dry completely. 
Leave it undisturbed for 24 hours to cure. 
Hang on walls with a double sided tape. Alternatively, you can dry mount or frame the puzzles too.

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