DIY Love Puzzle - Valentines Day Gift

Valentines Day is approaching. Apart from Christmas its my favourite holiday. I know its a bit cheesy. A Hallmark holiday. Florists, Cardmakers, lingerie designers, they all capitalise on it but I just I love that theres a day dedicated to love.  A day where you can show someone how much you appreciate them and just spoil them a little. We really should do it everyday but life can be busy and hectic sometimes. Especially when you have kids.

I decided to make this little gift for Will. This is a great craft to do with kids as well and they will love putting the puzzle together again. 



What you will need: 

For the puzzle: 
- a printed picture - i used two. one for the front and the back.
- some craft paddle sticks ( i would recommend getting the slightly thicker ones - I got mine from Hobbycraft) 
- Mod Podge ( I used Matt because thats the only one I had but I think glossy gives a better effect) 
- a  medium sized paint brush 
- A cutting Board
- A Sharp craft knife (if you are doing this with kids might be best the adults do the cutting) 


For the bag:
- a small canvas pullstring bag (you can make these too - see DIY instructions here)
- fabric paint
- a stencil ( you can make one as well) 
- a piece of cardboard that will fit inside the bag
- a sponge or sponge brush 

Here is the artwork i created for the back, I wanted a little secret message on the back. 



1. Get all your supplies together. Best to do this part in the evening and let it dry overnight. Keep flat and do not use heater or hairdryer. 

2. Cut out your image

3. Paint the back of the sticks with a reallly thin layer of modpodge as well as a thin layer on the picture as well

4. Place your paddle sticks down onto the back of the printed image. Trial out how many sticks you need so you know where to stick otherwise you might end up having to crop down your picture. 

5. You can also use sticky tape to hold the sticks in place and place them all down in one go. 

6. Turn it around and paint a thin layer on the top of the printed image as well. This is where the glossy modpodge does wonders, giving it a nice sheen. Dont use too much or you might smudge the image. Also if you use too much ModPodge the paper will become too damp and tear too easily. 

7/8/9. Now repeat  the same for the back. Thin layer of ModPodge on the back of your image and place it carefully down onto the back of the puzzle. (leave to dry for at least an hour) You might want to make sure its the right way up as well. You can also just write a message using a permanent marker. This I found works just as well if you have nice handwriting. 

10. Time to cut your paddle sticks. Make sure your glue is bone dry. Any dampness and you will get bad tear marks ( i made this mistake as I was rushing it a bit) 

11. Now that you have all your pieces. Time to start the gift bag. 

12. Get your supplies ready - stencil, piece of cardboard, sponge, craft knife, and fabric paint. 

13. Carefully cut out your stencil. (if you are making your own make sure you have thick font and that it is suitable for stenciling) if i did it again i would probably have used my other stencils as this process was quite tedious. Of course if you have a die cutter then even better. You can pick one up for as little as £20. 

14. Now that your stencil is cut out, you can start sponge painting. Before you do anything, insert a thick piece of cardboard into the bag. This is to avoid the paint from bleeding through to the other side. VERY IMPORTANT. 

15. Hold the stencil and bag firmly in place so they dont move. 

16. Lightly sponge down - i say lightly because inevitably you wil get some bleed but not using too much paint avoids it from bleeding too much. I like a bit of bleeding as it gives a nice homemade feel to it. 

17. Once your bag is dry, pop the puzzle pieces into the bag and voila! Your puzzle present is ready to go. 

18. My secret message was '9 reasons why I love you' 9 because its his birthday and because its his lucky number. 





Bella 
(The Secret Hoarder) 





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LIFESTYLE BLOG FOUNDED BY MUM OF TWO BOYS AND FREELANCE STYLIST CHRISTABEL SAUL. A MUMMY'S GUIDE TO STYLE, DIY, TRAVEL AND DESIGN AND THE JOYS OF BEING A MOTHER TO TWO BOYS. FIND POSTS ON UPCYCLING PROJECTS // INTERIOR INSPIRATION // FASHION EDITORIALS // OUTFITS // HEALTHY RECIPES // DIY PROJECTS AND MORE. FIND OUT WHY HER HUSBAND CALLS HER A HOARDER.
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