Make Your Own Puzzles

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Teach your students how to make puzzles using their artwork.

By Anitra Redlefsen [Anitra is a teaching artist from Medina Ohio. Visit her website at]

What You Need:

  • 8 1/2″ by 11″ white cardstock
  • black magic marker
  • magic markers (all colors)
  • scissors

What You Do:

Fold an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of white card stock paper into fourths, using the 11″ side.

Make your own puzzles.

Go to the crease to the left, and beginning at the top, go down the crease and draw (with a sharpie) four “puzzle notches.” Begin with one that goes out to the left, the next notch goes in to the right, left and then right.

Make your own puzzles.

Move to the next, second crease and mirror the pattern you have just drawn. Explain the concept of symmetry to your students.

Make your own puzzles.

At the third crease, mirror the pattern from crease two.

Make your own puzzles.

Using the 8 1/2″ side, fold the paper this time in thirds.

Make your own puzzles.

Repeat the pattern steps above.

Explain warm and cool colors to the students. They are to color in (using markers) the puzzle pieces using both warm and cool colors. Do not paint adjacent (next to) puzzle pieces the same color.

Make your own puzzles.

Make a color copy of the colored in puzzle. This will be used as a reference when students put their puzzles together.

Make your own puzzles.

Cut out the puzzle pieces.

Cut a white surface about 9″ x 12″ to use to put the puzzle pieces on when putting together the puzzle.

Another Puzzle:

Using a color copy of a master art work, divide up the space as described above and repeat the symmetrical lines. Cut out the puzzle. Talk about the artist who painted it, when, the title, etc.

Make your own puzzles.
Vincent Van Gogh (Dutch painter, 1853-1890)
Van Gogh’s Chair
Oil on jute, 1888

Yet Another Puzzle:

Follow the same steps as above only use a color copy of a work of art completed by a student.

Make your own puzzles.
“The Smart Giraffe in the Tall Grass”
18″ x 24″
Oil on canvas board
Miranda, 2009

Make your own puzzles.Make your own puzzles.

Below: to scale copy of the folded paper and puzzle lines (click on image for PDF template!).

Puzzle template

Puzzle Template