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A Fun Project for Kids at Home | Using Craft Sticks to Make DIY Puzzles

yellow banner displaying puzzle - text: Making DIY Puzzle with Craft Sticks
(learn how to make DIY puzzles with craft sticks)

Looking for a fun project to do with your kids at home? Try using craft sticks to create puzzles your kids can use again and again.

(Psst...If you're looking for activities to do at home with your kids, you can grab my free list of 20 Fun Things to do at Home with Your Kids from The Monster Crew website! Just scroll to the bottom of The Monster Crew homepage to download. 😋)



Here are a few things you’ll need on hand:

  • craft sticks

  • painters tape

  • pencil

  • sharpie

  • paints

  • paintbrushes

  • smock or an old t-shirt (optional)

  • drop cloth (optional)


If you're just looking for the basics...

Here's a quick look at the steps involved (if you want a little more info, just keep scrolling😆)

  • find out what kind of picture your kids would like to paint

  • line up your craft sticks

  • line the back of your craft sticks with painter's tape

  • draw your picture

  • set up the paints for your kids and let them get to it

  • let the paint dry

  • mix up the craft sticks & let your kids put their puzzle together


If you want all the details...

Step 1: find out what kind of picture your kids would like to paint

Does your kid love unicorns? Or, maybe Pokemon? To get started with this project, ask your kids what type of picture they'd like to paint.

Step 2: line up your craft sticks

If you have younger kids, you might want to use jumbo craft sticks. All you have to do is line them up next to each other to make a square shape.

If you have older kids, you can use smaller craft sticks. Just line them up side by side to make a square. Make 4 squares, and put them together so that each square faces a different direction than the one next to it (see pic below).

jumbo craft sticks and small craft sticks set up in the shape of a square
(here is how to set up jumbo craft sticks and small craft sticks)

Step 3: bring out the painter's tape

Once you have the craft sticks lined up just right, place a few strips of painters tape along your craft sticks to keep them in place. Then, flip the craft sticks over to get ready for the drawing portion of this project.

painters tape applied to the back of craft sticks set up in the shape of a square
(here is how to apply the painter's tape to your craft sticks)

Step 4: draw the picture

Now you get to draw! If you love the idea of freehand drawing, go ahead and get started. But, if that idea doesn’t excite you, here’s an idea to help you out…

You can print a picture or maybe use one from a coloring book (if it’s the right size). Cut it out. Then place it over the craft sticks to trace. Once you get the outline of your drawing, filling in the rest is much easier.

Here’s something to keep in mind: Drawing with a pencil first is a good way to avoid having to throw out a bunch of craft sticks since pencils have…yep, you guessed it - erasers. But, once you finish drawing the picture with a pencil, you’ll want to go over it with a sharpie so that your kids can easily see the picture they’re going to paint. Plus, those dark lines really make the picture pop!

how to add a drawing to the surface of craft sticks
(demo of how to add a picture to DIY craft stick project)

Step 5: set up paints for your kiddos

It’s time to paint! We used acrylic paint for this project just because we happened to have it on hand. But, the type of paint you use is totally up to you.

One thing to keep in mind is the potential for mess. If it's a concern, you might want to consider putting down some type of drop cloth or maybe even dressing your kiddos in smocks. Taking preventative steps now can save on clean up time later. 😜

two kids painting drawings on craft sticks
(painting craft sticks for the DIY puzzle)

Step 6: let the paint dry

All you have to do for this step is to wait.

Step 7: mix up the craft sticks & let your kids put their puzzle together

Once the paint is dry, it’s time to take off the painters tape. Then, mix up the craft sticks and let your kiddos put them back together. When they’re finished, they should be able to see their original painting.

rainbow drawing/painting on top of craft sticks
(DIY puzzle out of craft sticks)

One of the cool things about this project is that you can reuse it! Just throw the craft sticks into a baggie and store them in the closet for later. 😀

I hope you’ll try out this activity with your kids. It’s really fun!

Have fun & stay awesome,

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