How to Make a Popsicle Stick Puzzle

When you are stuck inside with nothing to do, suggest that the kids make a Popsicle stick puzzle. It's an easy kid-friendly craft that will keep the kids occupied for hours, and will cut down on waste.

Steps

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    Lay down 5-6 Popsicle sticks side-by-side on a flat work surface. Push the sticks as closely together as possible. Even up the ends so that they form a solid rectangle. You may need more or fewer sticks according to how big your final picture will be.(Read on)
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    Tape the sticks together by smoothing a long strip of wide masking tape on top while ensuring the sticks stay tightly beside each other.
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    Hold on to each end of the tape. Then, slowly and carefully, flip over the stuck-together rectangle of sticks so that the tape is on the bottom.
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    Think about a picture you would like to paint on to your nearly done puzzle. With a pencil, draw your picture on the rectangle.
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    Use acrylic paint (usually found in bottles at a craft or hobby store) and paint in your picture.
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    Let your painted puzzle dry for a couple of hours. It may take longer to dry, depending on the humidity of the room or area.
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    Once dry, take the tape off the back and separate the sticks. You can also outline your picture with a black felt pen but this is optional.
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    Mix up the pieces and try to put them back together so that your picture is together again.

Tips

  • If you want your puzzle to be harder, paint a more detailed picture, simply add more sticks.
  • Popsicle sticks are also known as ice pop sticks or craft sticks.
  • Be as creative as you can.
  • For a unique look, use various different colour sticks.
  • For a festive idea, paint holiday themes such as a Jack-O-Lantern or a Christmas tree.
  • If you don't have paint, you can use markers to color your picture.
  • If you use dark coloured Popsicle sticks, you may want to use brighter paint.

Warnings

  • Lay down newspaper, an old sheet or something on the table or work surface to prevent staining of the surface.
  • Wear old clothes; acrylic paint can stain.
  • Be cautious. Not all popsicle sticks are smooth and may need a light sanding to eliminate getting slivers.

Things You'll Need

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Acrylic paint or markers
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Black marker or fine-liner (optional)

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