Puzzle Piece Pumpkin

September 18, 2013




There is finally a chill in the air around here and even though fall is still technically a few days away, I am ready to jump on the seasonal bandwagon and decorate for autumn.  This puzzle piece pumpkin has always been one of my favorites.  It is a super easy and very inexpensive craft that can be used as part of a seasonal home d├ęcor vignette or made for or by kids as a holiday photo frame. 

I used to make it in my classroom when I was teaching with kids from age two to grade four.  This year, since I am not teaching and do not have small children of my own, I decided to make it as a frame for a fall saying and employ it in a more sophisticated way.  No matter which way you choose to display it, the directions are the same.  

To show you both outcomes, I put a picture of my pretty kitty in the frame, as my teens did not approve of any of the photos I wanted to use of them. 

Cats do not have the same veto power.


I started by drawing a pumpkin shape on the cardboard from an empty cereal box.  Then I cut the shape out, folded it in half and cut the middle portion out to fashion a frame.  

The shape does not have to be perfect.  If you need a guide, a small paper plate can give you a good start.


I had a some old pieces from my art cabinet, but not enough, so I grabbed a puzzle from the dollar store. The picture on the puzzle does not matter. Since I had a choice, I picked one that had some green in it, as I knew I would use those pieces for the stem of the pumpkin.  It would save me some painting and add a little interest.


I painted both the pieces and the frame, to provide a uniform background in case it peeked out at all.  I painted the back of the puzzle pieces, not the shiny front, as it does not hold the paint as well, also it would require more than one coat to cover the printing.  I used some old craft paint and a foam brush.  

However, when working with kids, either your own or in a classroom, I would suggest spray painting or pre-painting the pieces.  It saves a lot of time and a lot of mess.  

Or you could embrace the mess and use orange finger paint. It makes a really sweet kids' craft, but painting the tiny pieces is a messy job and gets all over little fingers.  

FYI, it gets all over big fingers too!


When the pieces were completely dry, I glued them around the frame, layering several pieces on top of each other, any glue is fine, just make sure it dries clear.  Like I stated earlier, I had green pieces in my box, so I used them as a stem.  I also added some leftover greenery as leaves.  I like mixing textures and finishes, I think it adds more interest to the project.  

When I was happy with my creation, I coated the entire thing in decoupage gel to set it and give it a little shine.  I used the drying time to print out a seasonal phrase on cardstock. I did it on my computer, no fancy tools or programs, I picked a pretty font in Word and was done in minutes! I used scotch tape to adhere it to the back of the pumpkin.


When dry and complete, I leaned my puzzle pumpkin against my pitcher, but the options here are many.  

I could've added another piece of cardboard to the back as a stand if I wanted. If I was going to use it for a child's photo, I would add the picture and then add a piece of paper over the back to secure it, including the child's name, date and maybe even handprint.  

A small piece of paper on the bottom with the words "MY LITTLE PUMPKIN" could be added to enhance the frame and in the past I have tied a green ribbon at the top to make it a hanging decoration. 

If you make this on a larger scale, it would be a really cute ornament for your front door or wall, wreath style.  Smaller pumpkins could be made to just adorn a burlap or twig wreath or you could make acorn, gourd or black crow puzzles.  The possibilities here are truly endless, limited only by your imagination!

For Thanksgiving, I transformed my pumpkins into place cards, simply by adding a name.


I can honestly say that making this project was so much fun and brought out the kid in me ~ hands in paint, bright colors and puzzle pieces! If you try this project I would love to hear from you and know what you thought about it and how you made it your own!


Until then, enjoy the season and like the sign says, Happy Fall Y'all!



Sign up for email and follow the fun ~

Tips, tricks, crafts and giggles delivered straight to you!



   

76 comments:

  1. Genius Kim! There are tons of puzzles everywhere and this is a perfect way of reusing them! Thanks for the great idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vel. You are right! Great way to recycle your old kids' puzzles and they are dime a dozen at Goodwill for sure!

      Delete
  2. This is such a cute idea! How clever of you to make a pumpkin out of puzzle pieces. I saw this on Primp Your Pumpkin and was fascinated by it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gail, I love this craft too! It was a staple in my classroom. I made wreaths for Christmas and hearts for Valentine's Day....I figured why not pumpkins for Halloween! Thanks for your kind comment!

      Delete
  3. Cute idea, especially for those puzzles missing a few pieces. =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely, Yvonne~ upcycling at its best! :)

      Delete
  4. Now that is totally adorable! My boys would get a kick out of this! Thanks so much for sharing, Kim! Have a wonderful week!

    ~Abby =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to love doing this with my preschool classes, Abby. It's a bit messy if the kids paint the pieces themselves, but it washes up pretty easily and honestly, the gluing is almost impossible to mess up. Cute guaranteed! :)

      Delete
  5. We have several puzzles missing pieces -- and a daughter who loves crafts. VOILA! Thanks. I think we'll make puzzle piece Christmas trees, valentine hearts and Easter bunnies too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a great way to upcycle those old puzzles. Unfortunately, I used my stash up years ago in my classroom, but if you've got them laying around and a bit of old craft paint, this project could be virtually free! :)

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful and creative idea, you are fantastic, love it. So many possibilities! Great project to do with the grandchildren or a friend!
    Thank You so much

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so glad that you found some inspiration! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. It always makes my day! :)

      Delete
  7. New subscriber from the post on Hometalk. EXTRA POINTS for using the old cereal box. I am forever looking for ways to reuse stuff so that it does not get thrown out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks LuAnn, yes, I try to use whatever I can around here! It saves the planet and my money! :) So glad to have you along!

      Delete
  8. A few years ago at a family Christmas gift exchange someone gave my husband and I a set of TK puzzles. From there it has blossomed. DH picks up puzzles at Goodwill for $1 all the time! We could have a whole church bazzar dedicated to puzzle-piece crafts!
    Oh! Now, there is an idea for a fun get-together. Thanks for the cool ideas!
    (also over from HomeTalk. Great place!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is an awesome idea, Nancy! Hmm...now you've got me thinking about that, too! :)

      Delete
  9. Another thought: Put the puzzle together first (I always hate taking it apart right after it's finished) and then turn it over to paint the back. Spray one color - or one solid color, then lightly spray another color over the top; paint by hand in several different colors - one per section.
    That would make it a lot easier to paint. Thing is, the edges would still be unpainted. But that could just add to the depth, right??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure couldn't hurt to try it, Nancy! You could always touch up the edges after or take it apart while the paint was drying so they didn't all get stuck together and then you just touch up. If you try it, let me know how it works out for you!

      Delete
  10. That is so stinkin cute, I love it! Pinning now too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow Debbie, thanks so much! It's an oldie, but goodie! Thanks for the chance to link up, too! You always throw a great party! :)

      Delete
  11. What a cute and creative way to use puzzle pieces. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Babs! I had a lot of fun making it!

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by to take a peek at my puzzle pumpkin, Jennifer! It's an oldie, but a goodie! Have a super weekend and thanks for the link up! PS ~ I loved reading about your trip to the Country Living Fair. I have been reading about it for years and have always wanted to go! Maybe when the kids go to college! Ha! ;)

      Delete
  13. This is so cute! I'm a fan of crafts and DIY that allow for lots of options, because I usually screw up something. This looks very forgiving :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very forgiving, Dana, we're talking preschool easy here! ;)

      Delete
  14. how cute and I love the textured look. Thanks for linking to DIY Sunday Showcase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to come by and check it out, Wanda!

      Delete
  15. Ok, now this is really, really cute. I love it. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party that will go live tomorrow afternoon. www.astrollthrulife.net Hugs, Marty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Marty! I always enjoy your parties, I will certainly link up! Thanks for the invite!

      Delete
  16. Your frame is so cute, clever and creative! I could see this in so many holiday themes!

    I hope you have a wonderful week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a very adaptable craft, Laura and it is so super simple to do! I hope you are enjoying the week, as well~ thanks so much for stopping by!

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Shamene. Hope you come back again!

      Delete
  18. SO creative! I would have never thought to do anything like this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really not that creative, I've just had years of immersion in kids' crafts, Jenna!

      Delete
  19. Love this, Kim! This would be perfect for our Get Your DIY on Fall Party Challenge! This week's theme is thrifty upcycles! Hope you'll join us again :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christy! I will check it out! :)

      Delete
  20. What a cute idea! This would be perfect for the kids to make too!

    Pinned it!

    Sam
    The Kitchen is My Dance Floor
    http://cooksandcreates.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup~ super easy for the kiddies and there's no need to color inside the lines, so everyone can be very successful with this one! ;)

      Delete
  21. Kim, This is so very creative. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this before. Thank you so much for linking up at Live Creatively Inspired. We are so happy to have found your blog! ~Tammy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tammy! I'm so glad you popped by to check it out and I'm glad you liked it! It's just a reinterpretation of an old teacher craft! So easy!

      Delete
  22. Replies
    1. Thanks Diana~ so glad you popped by to check it out! :)

      Delete
  23. Really adorable! Thanks for sharing at the Creative Muster Party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Denise! I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for the chance to link up! :)

      Delete
  24. This is very very cute! How clever! I would just love to have you share this and anything else at my link party! http://www.madetobeamomma.com/2013/09/homemade-by-you-69.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katie! I will check it out for sure! :) Glad you popped by!

      Delete
  25. Such a cute craft! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Danielle. It is one of my favorites. Hope you are enjoying this first full weekend of fall! :)

      Delete
  26. Absolutely awesome!! Oh, I love it, and so did lots of other people! You had one of the top view features at A Bouquet of Talent last week. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing with us! Hope you are having a fabulous weekend.
    HUGS
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, I am having a fabulous weekend NOW!! Thanks so much, I am so very flattered! :) Thanks so much for the opportunity to link up each week!

      Delete
  27. Very impressed with your up cycle thinking on this project!! Love It!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks JoAnn! It's an old favorite, modified from my teaching days! Thanks for checking it out! Happy October!

      Delete
  28. This is such a creative and cute project! I love it,

    Lina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lina and it's super easy too! :)

      Delete
  29. super cute! puzzle frames would make awesome gifts! thanks so much for linking up at The Humble Brag last week and hope to see you back tonight!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks much, Jocie. Yes, they are really cute gifts...or holiday ornaments or gift tags....you get the idea! ;) Thanks for the invite...I love a party!

      Delete
  30. Hi, I just saw this at the DIY party. One of my kids did one for Christmas one year, and I've always loved it. You've inspired me to actually attempt it--lots of old, missing puzzle pieces here! Dee :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try it Dee! It is so simple and a great way to use up all those old pieces! :)

      Delete
  31. Replies
    1. Kim, thanks so much for popping by to check out my puzzle piece pumpkin! I'm so glad you liked it! :)

      Delete
  32. Replies
    1. Thanks Crystal~ it is super easy, very cheap and adaptable! :)

      Delete
  33. Great idea! Found you via Pin Junkie!
    Carolyn
    http://www.ccmcafeeperspective.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn, glad you popped by! :)

      Delete
  34. Oh goodness!! ADORABLE! Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.

    xoxo
    Denyse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Denyse, it's one of my favorites! :)

      Delete
  35. What a great fall project! Thanks for sharing this at The Pin Junkie Link Party! It was featured in a collection of fall decorating ideas. http://www.thepinjunkie.com/2013/11/fall-decorating-roundup.html. Make sure to link up your fall recipes at Friday's party!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! Thanks so much~ I'm totally flattered! :)

      Delete
  36. Very cute! What a great project, and for kids, too. Happy Fall! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Well, I don't know how I missed this cute thing, Kim! I love this, and now my mind is spinning with all kinds of ideas! Leave it to a teacher to come up with something so darn cute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just can't get enough of the puzzle pieces Carol, they really are very versatile! Have fun!

      Delete
  38. What a GREAT idea! I so have to make this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alexis! They're super easy and super versatile! Have fun! :)

      Delete
  39. Hey Kim! Congrats on making the Huff Post 45 Fabulous (and Fast!) Ways to Decorate Your Home! You're #13!

    ReplyDelete

Hey~ before you go, let me know what you think! I love comments and respond to them all. Thanks so much for visiting! *Please note that if your comment contains a hyperlink it will not be published.