I don’t know about you guys, but I actually enjoy doing puzzles. Granted I never actually do one–I don’t have a specific space where I can spend a month on the same puzzle. But when I do, oh man do I enjoy puzzles. And I love buying puzzles from thrift stores. It’s hours of enjoyment for a fraction of the retail cost!
But of course, whenever you buy a used puzzle, you run the risk of it missing a few pieces. I’ve seen that more than a few times. Then you don’t want to return the puzzle to the store or redonate it, because then someone else will get 99% of the way done and then realize they were missing a piece. But keeping an incomplete puzzle is pointless, so in the trash it goes. All because it was missing one out of a thousand pieces.
Instead of throwing out the puzzles, I started to wonder if I could incorporate them into a craft. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I decided to use my puzzles for that and make a few different hearts!
Aside from being thrifty with the puzzle pieces and not wasting them, this whole craft is affordable since it uses items/tools you probably already have in the house.
For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links to products used in this craft from Amazon.com. Purchasing products from these links does not cost you any extra money, but it does direct a small portion of the profits to me. For more information about my affiliate status, see the right sidebar.
1. The first step is to draw a heart on your cardboard and cut it out. It can be whatever size you want.
2. Once the heart is cut out, cut out the interior using a boxcutter, x-acto knife, or just a pair of scissors (you’ll have to reattach part of the heart with tape if you use a pair of scissors, but it’s a handy trick for people who constantly misplace their knife/boxcutter like I do).
When you cut out your heart, you’ll want the outer edge to be about one inch wide all around. It doesn’t have to be exact all the way around, but do keep in mind that the wider you make it, the more cardboard you have to cover. If you’re short on puzzle pieces, that could prove problematic!
3. Start applying your tacky glue to the heart. I preferred to put it on with a paint brush to cover more surface area. Be sure not to cover the whole heart in glue; it’ll start to dry out by the time you get to the end.
4. Place your puzzle pieces on the heart. As best as you can, connect the puzzle pieces. I tried the method of randomly laying them out, but it looks so much neater if you place them intentionally and interlocking. Be sure to have the puzzle pieces overlap the edges so that the exterior edges of the heart aren’t visible.
5. Continue with gluing and adding your puzzle pieces until the whole heart is covered in puzzle pieces. If you see any cardboard through the puzzle pieces, go back and add a few pieces to cover them up. If it’s a lot of visible cardboard, consider adding another layer of puzzle pieces atop the one that you just put down. Allow it to dry.
Just like that, you’re done! These hearts are gorgeous on their own against a wall, but you can also pair them together for a bigger wall hanging. OR add in a picture in the middle!
For one of the hearts that I made, I didn’t paint the puzzle pieces. I picked out all the pieces that were similar colors and put them on the heart. Then, I used a piece of wood scrapbook paper to fill in the back and used my Cricut Maker to cut out the phrase “We fit together.” If you want that cut file, sign up for my email list by clicking here. Not only will you receive that file, but you’ll also have access to a bunch of other exclusive designs and files!