This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine. See my full disclosure policy HERE
We are coming up on birthday season here in the Monster house. It’s the time of year that not we have birthday’s back-to-back in our house. It also seems to be the time of year that the kids get invited to a lot of birthday parties. Now that I have a Cricut Maker, I really wanted to put together a kids birthday present that I could easily make myself at home. Either for those last minute birthday party invites, or those birthday party invites that I forget about until last minute. I ended up with this simple DIY puzzle that perfect to preschoolers and older.
Thanks to the new Knife Blade and upgraded power in the Cricut Maker, I’m able to do fun DIY wood projects at home now too. Cricut’s new Knife Blade is a serious game changer for crafters. It’s very similar to a really perX-ACTO knife. It’s only for their Maker model, but it cuts through the chipboard I used for this DIY puzzle like butter. But the Knife Blade isn’t one of those tools you can just snap into the Adaptive Tool System in your machine and cut. There are a couple things you need to do (and a couple things you should do) to make sure you end up with the cleanest cut possible.
Cricut Knife Blade Tips for DIY Puzzle:
- Materials cut with the Knife Blade should not be more than 11″ wide.
- Make sure you move all the white star wheels over to the right before you cut.
- The Maker will only use the Knife Blade when it’s hooked up directly to your computer.
- Make sure you turn off your computers ‘Sleep Mode’ before cutting.
- The Maker will require you to calibrate your Knife Blade before you cut with it for the first time.
- Use the StrongGrip Mat and masking (or painters) tape around all 4 sides of your material for your materials.
- Clean the StrongGrip Mat after you’re finished cutting with the Knife Blade (I run through how to do that in my Cricut Maker post).
DIY Puzzle For Preschoolers and Older (Not Little Ones):
This DIY puzzle is cut out of simple chipboard and I layered it with a patterned and plain contrasting iron-on vinyl. Both which you can find on Cricut’s website. But that does mean that this project would not be suitable to give my 2-year-old (or any little one under that age). My worry with this DIY puzzle would be little ones putting it in their mouths. Even if you don’t use the vinyl as I did if little ones put this puzzle in their mouths they might get a piece of the chipboard off. After all, it’s just compressed cardboard.
I made this DIY puzzle for my 3-year-old since she’s laid up with a broken collarbone for the time being. She is also old enough not to put things in her mouth (unlike my 2-year-old). I also wasn’t sure if my older girls (6 and 10) would really appreciate the puzzle. Turns out I was wrong with that assumption because both my older girls have requested one. And both are currently picking you the vinyl colours they want in my vinyl stash. That should be a fun mess to clean up later. So this is defiantly a craft for older kids as well.
DIY Puzzle Tips:
- Besides following the Cricut Knife blade tips above, there are some other tips to make sure your DIY puzzle turns out amazing.
- Choose a layered font (I used ‘Birthday Bash’ with is a free Cricut font for Access members). The bigger layer will be cut into the puzzle base. The smaller layers will be for the puzzle pieces.
- Contour the font on the puzzle base (more below)
- Press you’re iron-on vinyl onto your wood BEFORE you cut. I did this using my EasyPress 2.
- You can also paint your puzzle is you wish. Be sure to paint it AFTER you cut through.
- Use Cricut’s EasyPress reference guild to double check heat, pressure, timing, and removal techniques (hot peel or cold peel) of the specific iron-on vinyl you’re using.
I’d love to know your thought on this project below! Feel free to drop a comment or question. I will reply soon!
How To Make An Easy DIY Puzzle:
- Cricut Maker (and computer to hook it up to)
- Cricut Knife Blade
- Cricut EasyPress 2
- Iron-on Vinyl of your choice (mine is from Cricut)
- Chipboard (2 – 11″ X 11: pieces. Mine is from Cricut)
- Scissors (or cutting tool)
- Super Glue
Start your DIY puzzle by designing it in Cricut’s Design Space. Be as creative as you wish, or just use my design and switch up the name:
Next, prepare your chipboard:
Lastly, cut and assemble the DIY puzzle:
PIN FOR LATER: