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This fun DIY project works for kids or adults. Using any photo, craft sticks, Mod Podge and a craft knife you can create a unique personalized puzzle. Recycling a canvas bag with a digital stamp, freezer paper and fabric ink makes your puzzle a perfect keepsake!
To make the bag you can use a regular stamp or in my case I wanted a larger version of the stamp so I used the digital file from Studio Calico’s monthly kit to create a cut file for the Silhouette and cut it out onto freezer paper (smooth side down). If you don’t have a die cutting machine you can just print out the digital stamp and use as a template to cut it out of freezer paper by hand using a craft knife.
Once your stamp/image is cut out of the freezer paper (smooth side down) prepare your storage bag (this is a canvas bag that a Studio Calico add-on came in) by putting a piece of cardboard on the inside so the paint doesn’t go all the way through.
Iron the freezer paper stencil onto the bag with the steam setting OFF.
Using a blot brush blot (don’t use strokes) the paint over the stencil. This will help ink from seeping underneath the stencil. A very textured fabric like this one will likely have some ink link through but it creates sort of a fun stamped look.
Slowly peel off the freezer paper to reveal your finished bag! Let dry and iron over the top to seal the paint. If you don’t want to mess with the digital stamp and cutting, just use fabric markers, sew on a paper label, or use fabric paint with foam alphabet stamps (make it work with what you have!)
For the puzzle – print out a favorite photo onto regular paper and line up craft sticks over the top to see how many you’ll need.
Paint the back of the photo with a thin coat of the Mod Podge (or your favorite adhesive).
Line up the craft sticks over the back of the photo (you can re-apply if needed). If you want to be exact you can use a guide like an old book or rulers to keep the sticks in line.
Turn over and apply a coat of the Mod Podge over the top of the photo. *This step is optional, if you’re using an inkjet print you may get some bleeding/smearing so apply a clear acrylic sealer beforehand. I covered mine just fine without but used a very thin coat with a light hand. I did this just to make sure the paper was adhered well to the sticks so a spray sealer would work as well.
If you want, you can add a secret note on the back!
Next, you’ll need to separate the craft sticks. Using a craft knife carefully cut the photo in between each stick (make sure your knife is sharp unlike mine was)
You may need to coat each individual stick with another coat of the Mod Podge to be sure that the entire stick is coated for longevity.
Add your puzzle to your bag and you have a fun, personalized gift for your Valentine! Don’t want to mess with making your own bag? Check out this post that includes a free printable topper!