DIY Puzzle From Leftover Art Projects

If you have a preschooler in your midst there is no doubt in my mind that your home is overflowing with art projects. Ours is! Probably 10+ new things a week! We display many of my daughter’s treasures, but at some point, it comes time to memorialize them with Artkive and stealthily move them into the recycling bin. I know that if I don’t sort them now, I’ll forever clutch those sweet little projects with her name scrawled on them.

Recently, we merged two of my daughter’s favorite activities – art projects and crafts. It was a little bit of a learning curve for my girl to grasp the concept of cutting her projects, but she came around to it and is now enjoying the second life of some of her projects.

Here’s how we turned her recent fish coloring project into a DIY puzzle!


Select an art project that is headed to the recycling bin. Be sure to get your child’s approval! Talk them through what the transformation will look like so they are prepared. Also, reiterate that moms and dads are the only ones who turn art projects into puzzles 🙂
fish 650


Cut diagonals, zig zags, moons and other shapes to create simple matches for your soon to be puzzle.

fish 2


Remind your child what the initial art project looked like and help them do their new puzzle a time or two. Talk through how lines match, colors flow and pieces fit together.

fish 3

fish 4


Pop your new puzzle into a plastic baggie for easy on the go activities (like while waiting in restaurants!) or send it on its original path … the recycling bin 🙂

Gretchen hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest along with her husband and two young children. Before transitioning to life as a stay at home mom, Gretchen worked in sales and marketing while earning her Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership. Now her days are focused on managing meal plans and nap times while organizing her sewing stash and children's toy bins. My oh my, how life changes in the blink of an eye! Gretchen writes frequently about natural parenting, becoming more environmentally conscience, her affinity for thrifted treasures, and hopes of making it out of yoga pants each day on her blog That Mama Gretchen (


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