I’m thrilled to be joining the Summer Craft Camp for the 4th year in a row! My kids love to craft and I especially love finding crafting projects that can keep my kids occupied during the long summer days. These DIY popsicle/craft stick puzzles were easy to make and my kids have loved putting their new puzzles together.

The 16-piece puzzles (as shown in the instructions) are surprisingly challenging to put together. For pre-school aged kids, I’d recommend using the fatter craft sticks to make your puzzles, thus making each puzzle piece larger and reducing the number of pieces in each puzzle.


The best thing about these craft stick puzzles is that they are simple enough for kids to help with, supe affordable, quick to make, sturdy, compact, unique and personalized, and great as gifts (for teachers, friends, grandparents, etc).

Supplies needed:

  • 4×6 photo (or any other picture…from a magazine, a child’s artwork, etc)
  • Popsicle sticks (craft sticks) – I used the narrow sticks (4 1/2 in x 3/8 in)
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Tape (scotch tape, packing tape, masking tape. I wouldn’t recommend Duct tape)
  • Rotary cutter or Exacto knife
  • Cutting mat


Step 1- Lay popsicle sticks side-by-side on top of the picture you want to make into a puzzle. We used 16 small sticks for a standard 4×6 photo.

Step 2- Use two straight edges to tap the sticks until they are lined up evenly and close.

Step 3- Replace any craft sticks that are distorted – you want them to lay as flat as possible.

Step 4- Carefully place tape across the lined-up popsicle sticks – use enough so that the sticks will stay together when moved/flipped over.

Step 5- Spread white glue over the entire surface (the side of the sticks where there is NOT tape)

Step 6- Slowly lay your photo on top of the glue and firmly but carefully press down, wiping away any excess glue that comes out the sides.

Step 7- Let dry (I recommend letting the glue dry for a few hours – if you move ahead too soon, there will be lots of slipping and sliding)
Step 8- Lay picture-side down on a cutting mat and remove the tape.

Step 9- Using a rotary cutter, cut in between each stick. This is a step that requires parental supervision!

Step 10- Separate each stick, shuffle the pieces, and enjoy putting together your unique photo puzzle.

About the Author: Laura (aka Lolli) is the mother of five living in the Washington DC area. Between blogging full-time at Better in Bulk, keeping up with her photography business, cooking and enjoying the occasional book, she doesn’t have much time left over for anything else. You can find her on twitter @1momof5 or on Facebook or follow her on BlogLovin’.

Be sure to keep following along with my  30 days of fun crafts to keep kids active and entertained this summer! You won’t want to miss a day of these fun crafts for kids from some amazing bloggers! Please be sure to pay them a visit!

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  1. What a great idea! I was looking for a puzzle idea to use as my craft after I read my children’s picture book, Growing Smarter, at my library’s storytime. Puzzles tap into children’s critical thinking, and current brain research says our brains learn best through trial and error. My picture book is grounded in the brain research by Dr. Carol Dweck (and her book Mindset) about a growth mindset. Let’s give all children the gift of a growth mindset!

  2. This was really helpful. I am starting an in home arts and crafts business and I am hoping to sell popsicle stick puzzles, but I had no idea what I needed and how to make them. This article was extremely helpful. 🙂

  3. This is such an awesome idea! I’m going to use it for birthday party favors, gifts for teachers, “just because” gifts for my kids to send to distant friends & family… Thank you!!

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