This puzzle is over a year old, but we just got it out again.  My son has been a big puzzle fan since age two.  This was a wooden one that I had, but the design on it was all green leaves, which made it very difficult to solve, even for me.  So I painted a little safari painting on the wood back of the puzzle and gave every object a unique color, making it much easier to put together.  He is still able to do it.  Nice!

21 Responses
  1. Maxabella

    It looks awesome. Definitely a keeper. I wish I was as clever as that as we have stacks of really difficult puzzles floating around. x

  2. Janka

    A great idea to "reuse" puzzles, that would otherwise get dusty because they're too difficult or shabby or have ugly images.

    Thank you for showing!

  3. Paul & Paula

    I will definately check if I can find a blank puzzle, I love to paint…
    I want to do this for my little one!
    Thank you…

  4. The Telfords

    Joel, i LOVE your blog. My husband and i are huge puzzle fans ourselves. Not only do we do what you did (only we paint right on top of the original picture), but we get a LOT of puzzles from the Salvation Army, put them together, and when those few pieces are missing (it's a MIRACLE if they aren't!), we trace the hole and make our own pieces, which are usually our family's photo! So fun. Keep up the awesome ideas!!!

  5. Lori Henriques

    ooh, yes, i love this! there is something very pleasing about the white background, too. fantastic, as always! :)

  6. stacey

    joel! just recently found your blog and I LOVE IT! your projects are fantastic! so fantastic that i've already borrowed the paperclip pick up game and re-blogged it on my own blog (giving you credit of course and linking everyone back to you!) check it out!…and THANK YOU for the creative inspiration!

  7. liz stanley

    such a great way to reuse puzzles. i get so annoyed by those kid puzzles that are difficult for me to put together

  8. Joel Henriques

    Thank you so much everybody! I love hearing all of your great ideas for repurposing old puzzles too. Cool!

    stacey – I'm glad you found my blog! Thanks for the very kind post too. Your tutorial and photos of the paper clip pickup game are fantastic!

  9. nicestuff

    I love that idea! it is just so simple, but I would never have thought of this! and of course the design is so nice! I already tried a couple of your projects with my kids and they just love it…

  10. Ayunie Evans


    I am a GCSE ICT student, and as I was not able to find out whether permission would be needed to use any of your images, I thought it would be better to ask you personally – the first puzzle image is lovely (, and I thought that it would be nice to use in my ICT coursework where I am required to make a webpage on an Upcycling event. It will not be published and is only for educational purposes; will I be allowed to use it?

    Thank you.