How to Turn a Photo Into a Puzzle

Have you ever thought of making your own jigsaw puzzle? You can start with any photograph you want and come out with an unusual gift or fun conversation piece.


  1. Image titled Take the photo that you would like Step 1
    Take the photo that you would like to make into a puzzle and blow it up to the size you want to make. A4 or A3 is recommended. You can do this with a normal photocopier or go through a photo processing store for a glossier print.
  2. Image titled Get a piece of thin cardboard Step 2
    Get a piece of thin cardboard (colored card) the size of your photo.
  3. Image titled Glue the photo to the card. Step 3
    Using an acid-free glue, glue the photo to the card. Make sure you get it corner to corner. A paper cutter can clean edges so they are aligned.
  4. Image titled Let the glue dry thoroughly Step 4
    Let the glue dry thoroughly.
  5. Image titled Cut out shapes Step 5
    Cut out shapes using a Stanley knife or X-Acto knife. It may be helpful for you to use a pencil to trace out shapes on the back of the puzzle before you begin cutting. You could do this freehand, or trace around jigsaw puzzle pieces from a commercial jigsaw puzzle.
  6. Image titled Jumble the puzzle pieces Step 6
    Jumble the puzzle pieces and hand them to a friend to solve.


  • If you're cutting deeply enough, you should cut right through the cardboard, possibly damaging the surface underneath. To protect surfaces, place a cutting board, mat, or old magazine underneath the cardboard.
  • Use a photo-safe glue or glue stick, preferably without acid.
  • Homemade jigsaw puzzle pieces would be a good addition to a collage.
  • Use a Stanley knife, not scissors, when cutting your puzzle into shapes.


  • Stanley knives have extremely sharp blades. Have an adult do the cutting for you.
  • The blade may break on the knife. Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
  • Never cut toward yourself. Always point the blade away from you, and away from any one standing near you.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Stanley or X-Acto knife
  • Photo
  • Acid-free Glue

Article Info

Categories: Craft and Photography