This easy tutorial on how to make your own puzzle takes upcycling to the next level. All you need is your Cricut machine, Design Space, and a little bit of cereal!
Making Your Own Puzzles Made Easy
Time goes by way too fast – it’s already time for month #2 of the “Create with Cricut” monthly mystery challenge!
For those who missed this last month, my friend, Amber (from AmberSimmons.com) and I put together a group of awesome bloggers that we give a different mystery material to work with each month. We all come up with a new and fun idea featuring that material, and then we share them all with you!
Last month’s challenge was all about using craft felt! I made this fun conversation heart garland – be sure to hop over there to see what everyone else made, too.
This month, Amber and I decided that it would be fun to have everyone use cereal boxes. This is something I had never worked with before, so I was up for the challenge!
Cricut actually has a preset for cereal boxes, so I started experimenting with that. However, I quickly found that the setting didn’t cut through all the way – despite using the deep cut blade (Dear Cricut: pleaseeee release the knife blade!), it wouldn’t cut through all the way.
So I experimented a little bit, and I ended up getting it to cut all the way through by going into the custom material settings and changing the setting for cereal box to cut three times – and it worked perfectly.
I decided to make a DIY jig saw puzzle with my cereal box. It seemed like it would be a good base for a little puzzle – and really, the possibilities are endless!
I really love how it turned out, and I think it makes for a great little gift, an invitation to a party, or just something fun to do with your family.
In this tutorial, I will share how to create your own puzzle in Design Space and then how to cut it. I have also created several puzzle templates for different major holidays that you can get started cutting right away. Be aware that I do use images from Cricut Access in these, so if you don’t have Access and you go to cut them, you will need to purchase them. You can customize them as well 🙂
- Christmas (nativity based)
- Christmas (santa themed)
- Fourth of July
- Valentine’s Day
So let’s get started (and make sure to check out everyone else’s amazing projects at the end of this tutorial!)
Oh, and for those of you who enjoy videos more…here you go. Please ignore my terrible lighting and my incessant use of the sound “um”.
Don’t forget that you can save 10% on materials purchased from Cricut.com using the code CLARKS10.
How to Make a Puzzle
One side of Cereal Box**
Square photo (or you can select any image from Design Space)
Image #M68E363 – Puzzle by JGoode Designs (.99)
**you can choose to use another material that you can just print on and then cut directly – such as card stock. I do find that the cereal box is a bit more sturdy.
Go into Design Space, open a new canvas, and go to “image”. Search for “puzzle” and select #M68E363. Add to your canvas.
STEP TWO :
In the layers panel, press the eyeball next to the white square. This will make the puzzle pieces transparent.
If you are using your own photo, make sure it is a square and upload to Design Space and save as a print and cut image.
If you want to make a design using different elements, I recommend starting with a plain square and changing it to whatever background color you want. Then, add the different elements to the background square. When you have it how you like, select all (except for the puzzle outline) and press “flatten” in the layers panel.
Size the puzzle outline to whatever size you want the puzzle to be. Keep in mind that for Print and Cut, it needs to be smaller than 6.5. You may need to press the unlock button to get the dimensions how you want them.
Change the dimensions of the image with your design or the photo to match that of the puzzle outline. Place the puzzle outline on top of the image/design, select all, and press “attach.”
Press “Make it” and preview your mats. Make sure it is showing that you are going to print and cut.
You will purchase the puzzle outline at this point – just press the green “purchase” button. After you enter your information, you will be sent to the material cutting page.
You will be instructed to print your material. Place printable vinyl or sticker paper into your printer and print.
Place the sticker on the colorful side of the cereal box. Make sure you press on it very firmly to ensure it’s on the box. You want it on the colorful side because it’s better for the puzzle to have a solid brown background – otherwise it gets a little confusing if both sides have color 🙂
Under step 2 on the cut screen, you will select all materials, and then at the bottom of that screen, the button that allows you to adjust settings. Look for the cereal box and change to 3x cutting.
Click out of that box and then go into materials again and select cereal box.
Place the cereal box onto a StrongGrip mat and make sure the deep cut blade is installed. Press go and wait for it to cut!
And now you are done! Be careful as you take the pieces apart, as there can be some snags.
Make sure to tag us on Instagram (katie_clarkscondensed) with any project you make and be sure to pin this post for later if you enjoyed it!
Check out all these other great cereal box projects!
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.
Looking for even more Cricut help? Be sure to check out our Cricut Tutorials guide which has all of our best tips, tricks, and tutorials for mastering your Cricut machine!