Monday, June 13, 2011

Father's Day Puzzles

I was browsing around at some of my favorite blogs when I came across a great Father's Day Gift idea. It was a tutorial by Lil Blue Boo. If you haven't been to her site, you need to. I love everything she shares. So go by and let her know I sent you.
Here is my take on this Father's Day Gift....the kids loved helping make these.
What you will need...
Golden's Soft Gel Medium
Jumbo Popsicle Sticks
Paint Brushes (fingers)
Fine Sand Paper
Double Sided Tape
Plain Piece of Paper
Photo printed with laser printer
(not pictured)
Wax Paper
Spray Varnish
Start by placing double stick tape on a plain piece of paper. Add the popsicle sticks. The tape will hold the sticks in place while you work.
Have your image cut to size and set aside ready to lay on the sticks. But first take your Gel Medium and add them to the top of the popsicle sticks. You want to add enough (not too much, not to little) to the sticks.  Apply with a brush or your fingers. I gave each of my kids a brush and they all helped.
Once you have generously covered the popsicle sticks, place your photo face down on top of the gel and sticks. Cover with wax paper.  Grab your brayer tool and smooth out the paper completely. I used the wax paper so I wouldn't get the gel on it while smoothing it out. 
Set aside and let the gel dry completely. It takes up to 20-30 minutes for the whole thing to completely dry. Your paper will curl up, that's normal. Don't worry.
After completely dry, add water and gently remove the paper. To make things easier, I ended up using a razor blade to cut each stick apart, then submersed each stick under water to peel off the paper. This helped keep the ink on the stick, rather than scratching off the image. This will make the sticks warp (curl) a bit, but as they dry they straightened out. You can also place something heavy on top to keep it from curling if you are worried about that. By doing it this way, I was able to save the whole image with very minimal scratches.

Once all the sticks are cleaned and completely dry, you will see a little dry looking residue.  Take the Spray Varnish and spray (outside, it's bad stinky) both the front and back of the popsicle sticks. You now have a nice finish and protection for your photo. Get some twine and make a tag. Finish by tying around your puzzle. You're ready to give it to the daddy, papa, uncle in your life.
You can also drill holes in one of the ends, like Lil Blue Boo did. But I didn't have access to the drill at the time, so I improvised. ;-)
Here's a pic of the kids while they worked on these. We ended up making 9 puzzles. Some for daddy (I made him one too), some for Papa and some for their uncle.
Here is another finished look at one of the puzzles we made. I have always loved this photo of my kids. It was taken a while back, but I just love it and wanted to use it for the puzzles gifts.
I am hoping to post our other gift ideas this week too for Father's Day, so keep an eye out. Have a great week everyone!

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