My husband has recently rediscovered his love of building jigsaw puzzles. We don’t have an extra table where he could build his puzzles and just leave them out until they were done, so we bought a roll-up puzzle mat. It works great, except for puzzles that are too big to fit on the piece of felt provided.
Our solution was to make a larger mat that would fit almost any puzzle Dave chose to work on. Here’s how we did it:
First, I took some green felt that I had purchased for another project. This felt comes in 72” widths and since I am in the habit of buying more fabric than I think I’ll need (just in case) there was more than enough to make a puzzle mat and still have enough left for that other project.
I squared up one end of the felt. Then I measured and marked 36 inches from the squared off end at several places along the felt.
The final step was to line up the ruler along those marks and cut.
It’s that simple, the puzzle mat was done.
It took us a while to find a cardboard tube to roll the mat around but the other day Dave noticed a cardboard tube about 8 ft long laying out along the side of the neighbour’s house. Dave went over and asked, if he didn’t want it, could we have it. Our neighbour said to go ahead.
The tube was the perfect diameter at 4″ but 8′ was way too long.
So Dave cut it down to 38 inches. He used a hacksaw to make the cut.
Here he’s got a puzzle spread all spread out on the mat…
And now the puzzle is rolled up and ready to put away until next time he wants to work on it.
This project was zero out of pocket for us as we already had the felt and the cardboard tube was free.
But even if the felt had to be purchased, it runs around $4.99/yd. Places like Hancock Fabrics, JoAnn Fabric and Hobby Lobby regularly offer 40% coupons that you could use to buy the yard of fabric needed for this project. We think the cardboard tube was one that is used for rolls of carpet or vinyl flooring. You could ask at your local carpet store to see if they have an extra cardboard roll they’d like to get rid of.
One of these puzzle mats would make a great inexpensive gift for the puzzle lover in your circle of family and friends.