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Homemade Name Puzzle & Frame Tutorial

I am excited to introduce to you Becky, from an amazingly creative little blog called Creatively Content.  Becky has been sharing her fabulous ideas at the weekly parties that I host here at Sun Scholars, and I am in love with her simple yet fun (and playful) ideas she has to share.  Check out this amazing tutorial she has for you all today... and PLEASE hop on over to her blog and see what other great things you will find there!

Some of my personal favorites over at Creatively Content...


1. Patchwork Bookmarks    2. Traveling Chalkboard Buddies
3.  DIY Fabric Bookmarks           4. Scrap Fabric Wall Mural

Hi there. :)
I am Becky from a little blogging corner called Creatively Content

I am totally smiling from ear to ear to get to be here at Sun Scholars. I am an American living in Turkey and have adopted a theme 'use what you have, living where you're at'. Cardboard boxes, tp tubes are some of the favorite craft supplies in our house. Living here in Turkey has put my life in perspective and I am very glad at times for not having everything at my finger tips. It is good to live simply and 'use what I have'. I love color, originality and being real. I have 3 crazy and fun kids, 2 girls and a boy.

My two older girls attend the Turkish schools here during the school year. So Summer time is our time to work on English, unless of course we want our children reading & writing like Tarzan, summer school is a must.  (No offense Tarzan!)  I am always trying to find ways that work for each of my girls learning styles.  
One of my girls is very visual and the other kinestatic (shes a mover). So I went to work at creating a puzzle that could help them learn.  The Turkish language is very phonetical and so my oldest daughter struggles with spelling in English... especially our last name. :) Schneider.  

Thus the last name puzzle was born!

How I made our Homemade 'last name' puzzle:

I prepared the letters on construction paper and used a large piece of card stock to start off the process.  Also Mod Podge is not available here (someone gave this to me, lucky me!!)  Before Mod Podge arrived at my house I would make homemade Mod Podge: using white glue and water to water it down a bit.

I glued each letter to the construction paper 
I had cut and prepared.

After cutting the card stock to a size I liked, it was time for some mod podging .I applied the first coat and let it dry and then applied the second coat.

Again I cut the card stock to size.

I free handed the puzzle pieces on the back. 
I started with large pieces and then drew a line down the middle to create smaller pieces.
One mistake I made on this first puzzle - not all the pieces were nobs!
(the green arrow above points to what I mean by a "nob")
As I do it again I will do it all this way.

I cut the pieces with an X-acto knife into the random pieces on my cutting mat.

Tada, Tadum delightful puzzle pieces. 
I could stop here.  However I wanted a frame for the puzzle.

Follow on down to view the
 2nd part of this tutorial.

Homemade puzzle Frame:
*For the frame I used a piece of sturdy cardboard that
I have from one of the cardboard boxes I am hording collecting.
*I measured the size of my 'lastname' puzzle and marked accordingly on my cardboard frame to be. 
I then used my X-Acto knife and cut out the center.
*I glue gunned a piece of card stock for the backing. 
I did try my puzzle pieces several times to assure
they would fit properly and without bulging.
Something I added at the last minute was to add some color 
to the inside of the frame (the backing) where the pieces fit.
I color coded them.  
You will see the example of this if you scroll down to the finished product.

The above and following pictures are the fun part; 
making it visually fun
I am a dot lover. 
 After I decorated it, 
I then put modge podge on it one more time for a shine.  
Here is the end result. 
Pure visual, manipulative learning fun.
Ok ~ so you can tell it's the one that looks homemade among our puzzle stash.  However, I am willing to bet this one wins out on the amount of love given when being made. ;) Plus I think homemade is super cool.
*I am also in the process of creating a few more puzzles to fit into this same diy frame:
phone number, address etc.

Thanks for allowing me to share a bit of our cultural life and learning with you all.  
Much care from our little corner of Turkey.
Rachel I look forward to seeing all the fun creative things you come up with living in China.  
I will be anticipating your posts.

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