Probably the vast majority of people in the world know what a puzzle is. It is basically an image broken down into tiles or puzzle pieces which are cut into odd shapes and which would have to be assembled correctly to be able to complete the image.

Each and every piece of the puzzle has part of the image printed on it so that when it is connected with the right pieces, you would be able to form the image which is usually shown in the box the puzzle comes in. Puzzles and puzzle piece templates have evolved from traditional, flat ones to more complex ones with different shapes and optical illusions.

Puzzle imagesused to be printed on wood then cut out into little puzzle piece templates but now, modern puzzle makers have been making puzzles using thick cardboard. Usually, puzzles come with images of nature, world landmarks, flora, and fauna or even repetitive patterns and designs. Nowadays though, you can order personalized puzzles with any image you wanted to be printed on them.

Puzzle Piece Templates

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These days too, a lot of puzzles come with fully interlocking puzzle pieces. This means that when the pieces are connected together when you move one piece, the others follow so that you won’t have to keep on connecting and reconnecting the pieces whenever they are moves.

Some of these puzzles have pieces which are all similarly shaped while others have pieces blanks and tabs arranged differently, which can be more challenging for other people to assemble. One common denominator though is that most puzzle pieces have four sides even if the entire puzzle is found to be in different shapes. These are as follows:

  • Round
  • Rectangular
  • Square
  • Miscellaneous

This article is all about puzzles, puzzle pieces and making your own puzzle piece template. Read on and learn all you need to about puzzles!

Benefits of Working with Puzzles and Puzzle Pieces

Puzzles may seem simple to you but actually doing them has quite a lot of benefits for adults. The act of assembling the puzzle and putting all the pieces together is not only relaxing but have a number of other benefits as well.

Boosts Your Memory

When you are working out a puzzle or trying to assemble the puzzle pieces, the connections in your brain cells are strengthened which augments your mental speed and how you process your thoughts.

Puzzles are not only beneficial for little children but for adults as well since the process of connecting the pieces together strengthens your memory. Short term memory, in particular, is enhanced through puzzles since you would be trying to connect the image on each piece with each other while you are trying to picture the whole image in your mind.

Speeds Up Your Ingenuity

Trying to solve a puzzle and connect the pieces together correctly would require resourcefulness and ingenuity. To be able to assemble the whole puzzle, you would have to go through different trial and error processes, which stimulates your brain function and speeds up your ingenuity. Problem solving skills are exercised through puzzles and the more you do them, the faster you would be able to complete different kinds of puzzles.

It Reinforces Your Whole Thought Processes

In solving puzzles, you would have to identify and recognize each of the puzzle pieces and relate them to the whole puzzle as you see the image in your mind. This process, from start to finish requires superior logic and cleverness. Different parts of the brain are involved in solving puzzles even the parts which you don’t normally use in ordinary situations. This means that your entire brain and thought processes are working together as you are working through something as simple as a puzzle.

It can be a Form of Meditation

Though puzzles stimulate your brain and activate it, they can also serve as a form of relaxation and meditation against the stresses of daily life. In fact, a lot of people choose to assemble puzzles in order to unwind after a stressful day. Relaxing and unwinding through working with puzzles actually improves your psychological state as well as your brain functions.

There are really a lot of benefits to working on puzzles, both for your mental processes and your psychological condition as well. Now if you’d like to start making your own puzzles at home, let’s look at the different materials you would need to prepare before you make your puzzle. 

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Materials You Need to Make Puzzle Pieces 

Before you start making your own puzzles at home, you should prepare a number of materials and have them on hand so that when you start making your puzzle, you will be able to finish it completely.

An Image and Paper to Print it on

When you make a puzzle, you would need to have a design, a photo or an image in mind which you can either directly draw or paint onto a piece of paper or print out using a computer and a printer. You should also have a good quality piece of paper to place your image on so when you’re ready you can print or paint on it.

Material for Your Puzzle Backing

This is usually a good piece of cardboard which you will be able to cut up easily once you have attached your image on it. It should be thin enough that you will be able to cut it with a sharp pair of scissors but also be thick enough that it will be durable to use as a puzzle again and again.

Gluing and Cutting Tools

To be able to attach the first two materials fully and well, you’d have to have the right kind of glue. Usually,spray glue would work best as it would allow you to apply glue evenly so that when you’ve cut up your puzzle, none of the pieces would be peeling off. You should also have a good, sharp pair of scissors so that when you’re cutting up your puzzle, the edges are clean and you won’t have any trouble putting the puzzle pieces together when it’s time to assemble your puzzle.

These are the most important materials you must prepare and have on hand when you are planning to make your own puzzle. Now let’s move on to how you will actually make your puzzle and puzzle pieces.

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How to Make Your Own Puzzle Pieces Template 

Now that you know the materials you would need to make your own puzzle as well as how beneficial it is to work with puzzles, let’s talk about how you would actually make your own puzzle template. Being able to make your own template would allow you to pick your own image and assemble your own personalized puzzle! Here are some steps and tips to help you out:

  • Choose a photo or image you’d like to use for your puzzle and print it on a high quality paper. You can choose any image or photo you want, you can even draw or create your own.
  • Find a backing for your puzzle. For making puzzles at home, a piece of good quality cardboard will work best since it’s not too thick and not too thin either. Your cardboard has to be flat so that when you are trying to assemble your puzzle, the pieces will fit well together.
  • Gather your tools and start making your puzzle. Using glue, stick your image to the puzzle backing then cut out any excess cardboard so that it’s the same size as your image.
  • Make sure all the parts of your puzzle are stuck to the backing so that when you cut it up, your puzzle pieces won’t be peeling off. Once you’re satisfied with how you’ve glued down your image to the backing, let it dry for a few hours.
  • When it’s completely dry, turn it over and draw a grid at the back of your cardboard. You decide how many pieces you would like and what sizes they would be.
  • Complete the puzzle piece templates by adding ball and socket shapes on each side of the pieces. If you want a more challenging puzzle, you can use different shapes instead of balls and sockets on the edges of the pieces.
  • With a sharp pair of scissors, cut out your puzzle pieces. To make it a lot easier for you to cut, cut out each row then cut the pieces one by one rather than cutting the pieces while still connected to the main puzzle.
  • There you have it! Now all you have to do is start assembling your puzzle.
TemplateLab August 11th, 2017