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DIY Puzzle From Leftover Art Projects

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This easy DIY puzzle makes a great craft time activity for your child. 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!


fish colored on paper

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 🙂


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

paper fish cut into pieces


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 puzzle craft
DIY Fish Puzzle


Pop your new DIY 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 🙂

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