Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Puzzled by Puzzles?

Oh, how I love a good puzzle! Food for the brain. This Christmas our family was able to get back to doing our traditional puzzle. You see, we have cats. Cats that like puzzles. Cats that want to participate in the process, keep you company, and help while you are sleeping :D I have looked at the puzzle keepers that you can purchase for between $12-$20. I found some on sale and brought them home - two: one for building the puzzle on and the other for putting all the pieces on. When I opened it, I guess I was expecting some miraculous green fabric thing that came from Jupiter - NOT. It was felt. Just felt and a cardboard tube about 4" in diameter that you put together and rolled the felt onto. 

OK. I'm thinking: 1st, it really isn't big enough; 2nd, I can get felt cheaper than that!; 3rd, a piece of pvc would work just as good as that tube!  So I returned them and was off to Hancock. I purchased several yards of nice thick green felt on sale for under $3 a yard. Then, Lowes for my tube. I was all set! 

First we put together the "Deck the Halls" by Springbok (at the top of the post.)

Fun puzzle...only 500 pieces. Just about right for a two night completion. Love it!  The felt worked perfectly, keeping the pieces on the table even though we had some helpers!

Then for Christmas, we gave our girls (well, it was probably as much for me!) the "Buttons, Buttons" 2000 piece puzzle... Now, that is a puzzle! 
It is about 3' by 2'. It had fantastic pieces and I just LOVED making it. The felt table cover went onto our large dining room table. I measured out the space for the puzzle and marked it. Then started searching for end pieces. At the other end of the table I put the pieces that weren't ends into groups: greens, reds, blues, distinct textures, yellows. The gold tone pieces I pretty much just all put together in one section or tried to leave in the box to save space.

We had to roll up the puzzle about 1/2 way through construction for my daughter's birthday dinner-- I admit it, I was very scared! But, it worked beautifully. We folded the felt over the top and made a sandwich, then used the tube and rolled it up. Held it together with little ribbons that had velcro ends (from the girls' pajama wrappings)... amazing!

I have made Springbok puzzles since I was a kid- they are worth every penny...esp. for the larger ones. Neat pieces and intricate designs. I can't wait for the next one -- I think I'll go raid my stash... snow cones or chocolate?

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a super puzzle... and a good idea to make your own 'keeper'.