One mother sharing her knowledge with others.

DIY Puzzle Mat

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.

DIY Puzzle Mat - Measure 36 inches from the squared off edge.
Measure 36 inches from the squared off edge.
DIY Puzzle Mat - Mark at 36 inches all along the width of the fabric.
Mark at 36 inches all along the width of the fabric.

The final step was to line up the ruler along those marks and cut.

DIY Puzzle Mat - Cut along the marked lines.
Cut along the marked lines.

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.

DIY Puzzle Mat - Carpet Tube is Way too long
Way too long

So Dave cut it down to 38 inches.  He used a hacksaw to make the cut.

DIY Puzzle Mat - Cardboard tube cut to size
Cardboard tube cut to size

Here he’s got a puzzle spread all spread out on the mat…

DIY Puzzle mat in use.
Puzzle mat in use.

And now the puzzle is rolled up and ready to put away until next time he wants to work on it.

DIY Puzzle Mat - All rolled up and ready to put away.
All rolled up and ready to put away.

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.





  • Jax
    September 26, 2011 12:47 am

    Thank you soooooo much for sharing your DIY puzzle roller project. You inspired me to make one of my own. My puzzle is now safely tucked away and I can start using my dining table again. Then when “puzzle fever” strikes I can start where my boyfriend and I left off.

  • veganboyjosh
    July 16, 2012 11:04 pm

    i was looking at buying one of these from Amazon, but found this post, and am definitely going to make my own now. the carpet tube is a great idea.

    one addition i might make is to sew on some velcro straps on the non-tube end of the mat, so that once it’s rolled up, you can strap it together so that it doesn’t unroll if it falls over or a curious 3 year old gets his hands on it.

    thanks for the idea!

  • Monica
    October 10, 2016 1:13 am

    I’m searching for an answer to using a different fabric for the mat…. For those if us who may NOT have felt and don’t want to buy any felt. Stuck at home during storm in desperate need of making a dyi puzzle storage mat so we can start it puzzle right now!!!-
    Anyone try using a cheap yoga mat??

    • Super Mom No Cape
      October 13, 2016 12:49 pm

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner, Monica. It’s been super crazy busy and I’m just now getting a chance to reply to comments this week.

      I did send you an email but thought I’d reply here too in case anyone else has the same question.

      I don’t see why a yoga mat wouldn’t work just fine for a puzzle mat. It might not work for really large puzzles, but would work fine for any that fit within the width of the mat.

Leave a Reply