I’ve been working this week on putting together some new busy bags for my preschoolers that fit with the holiday season. While going through a box of Christmas craft supplies, I came across a ziplock full of old Christmas cards that I had saved.
As soon as I looked at these cards, I just knew they’d make great craft stick puzzles!
This project is both quick AND really cheap! All you will need is some cards, regular old bottled school glue, and a package of wide craft sticks. Mine came from my local dollar store. Since each of my puzzles uses about 8 sticks, it cost me about 12 cents per puzzle to make these. That’s hard to beat!
The first step is to cut the back off your card, and then trim down the edges to whatever size you want. Then lay out the appropriate number of craft sticks to fit your card, trimming your card again if necessary to make it fit.
Squeeze glue on the back of the card, and spread it thin (I just used my finger), making sure you get the glue all the way to the edges of the card. Carefully lay the card on the laid out craft sticks. If any of them wiggle out of place, carefully push them back until they are lined up. Put something heavy on the corners as it dries to keep it from curling up. I used my glue bottle and several small craft paint bottles. I’d recommend using something plastic, that way if any glue seeps out and adheres to your “weights”, it will pop off the plastic rather than tearing the image off your card. (Ask me how I know this…)
Once it is dry, you will need to turn it over and carefully cut between the sticks. An x-acto knife should work, but I used my handy rotary cutter.
I just used an old blade that is too dull to cut fabric anymore, but is still fine for paper. Easy peasy. Whatever you use, cut slowly and carefully to avoid cutting into the edges of the sticks.
Here are 3 of the puzzles I’ve made…
And here they are being tested by one of the resident preschoolers, Joanna:
They are a hit! Joanna worked each puzzle, then took them all apart and worked them several more times.
Please let me know if you make these and enjoy them! I’ve finished several other holiday-themed busy bags this week, as well as several that aren’t themed. My kids were getting bored with our old ones…and this momma loves to craft more!