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DIY Puzzle Mat

DIY Puzzle Mat

Do you like building puzzles but don’t have space where you can build them? A puzzle mat is the perfect solution!

It can be laid out on the floor or dining room table, then when you’re done working on it for the day, it can be rolled up and put away for later.

The only problem with the Puzzle Mats (<<affiliate link) you purchase, is that you are limited in the size of puzzle you can build on them.

This is what my husband, Dave ran into when he rediscovered his love of building jigsaw puzzles. The roll-up puzzle mat we bought worked great except for puzzles that were too big to fit on the piece of felt provided.

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Our solution was to make a larger mat that would fit almost any puzzle Dave chose to work on.

Want to make one for yourself?

DIY Puzzle Mat

Here’s what you’ll need to make a Puzzle Mat:

Green felt (It comes in 72” width. I used felt leftover from another project.)

Tape measure


Rotary cutter & Cutting Mat or scissors

To Make the Puzzle Mat:

Square up one end of the felt.

Measure and mark 36 inches from the squared off end at several places along the felt.

Measuring 36 inches from squared off edge of the felt in order to create the DIY Puzzle Mat

Marking the felt at intervals to measure it to the correct length for the DIY Puzzle Mat

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

Cutting along the marked lines to make a DIY Puzzle Mat

It’s that simple, the puzzle mat was done.

Don’t have felt on hand like I did? Then making a puzzle mat is even easier. Simply buy a yard of felt at a fabric store and you’re good to go!

You may have to do some hunting to find a cardboard tube to wrap the puzzle and puzzle mat around.

We got ours from a neighbor who was putting in new flooring. It had come wrapped around a large 4″ X 8′ heavy duty tube.

8′ was definitely way too long.

4 inch 8 ft cardboard tube to be cut to size to roll the DIY Puzzle Mat around

So Dave cut it down to 38 inches using a hacksaw.

Cardboard tube cut to size for the DIY Puzzle Mat

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

Jigsaw puzzle being built on the DIY puzzle mat

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

DIY Puzzle Mat - Puzzle Mat rolled around cardboard tube for storage

This project was zero out of pocket for us as we already had the felt and the cardboard tube was free.

But even if you need to purchase fabric, it runs around $5.99/yd. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores regularly offer 40% coupons that you could use to buy the yard of fabric needed for this project.

For the cardboard tube, ask at your local flooring store to see if they have an extra cardboard roll they’d like to get rid of.

One of these DIY puzzle mats would make a great inexpensive gift for the puzzle lover in your circle of family and friends.

Make one for yourself and several more for gifts!


Interested in some more No Sew Gift Ideas?

Create a family favorites recipe box to give to a newly wed couple or to younger members of the family for Christmas.

These simple and inexpensive Busy Bags for Children made from dollar store items are great gifts to have on hand when you need a quick gift.


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Jigsaw puzzle being built on a DIY puzzle mat and then shown rolled up in the puzzle mat




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  • Amanda
    March 5, 2020 7:39 am

    Could you use a pool noodle rather than a cardboard tube?

    • Super Mom No Cape
      March 5, 2020 11:35 pm

      Hello Amanda,

      I don’t think the diameter of the pool noodle would be wide enough to allow the puzzle pieces to stay connected when you roll the mat up to put it away until the next time you want to work on the puzzle. The cardboard tube we used is 4″ wide while most pool noodles are only about 2 to 2 1/4″.

  • Gregg
    September 30, 2019 10:02 pm

    Would a section of 4″ PVC work as well? Also does it matter what *kind* of felt works best in this case? I read one article that says there are FIVE different kinds of felt!

    • Super Mom No Cape
      October 1, 2019 11:37 am

      Hello Gregg… I don’t see why 4″ PVC wouldn’t work, if that’s what you have available. But if you have to buy it, it would be more expensive than cutting down one of those large carpet/vinyl roll tubes which you could likely get for free from a local flooring shop.

      The felt I used can be purchased by the yard from Joann’s.

  • Kellie
    January 25, 2019 10:35 pm

    I also tend to do super large puzzles. Does this work well with puzzles over 40” wide? The 72 inches would work well for length.

    • Super Mom No Cape
      February 4, 2019 8:04 am

      Hello Kellie,

      It will work just fine. Simply ask for the felt to be cut at least 45 inches. That way for a 40″ puzzle you’d have 2.5″ on either side of the outside edge of the puzzle.

      Then you can cut the large cardboard/paperboard tube to 46″ long, for rolling up the puzzle mat between uses.

  • Sue McLaughlin
    January 19, 2019 1:47 pm

    What are the finished dimensions of the puzzle mat?

    • Super Mom No Cape
      January 20, 2019 8:40 am

      Hello Sue,

      The finished dimensions are 36″ X 72″.

  • Christina
    December 8, 2018 12:18 pm

    You think I can use a posterboard rolled up and taped to create the tube part? May I ask how much the project cost?

    • Christina
      December 8, 2018 12:19 pm

      Sorry didnt notice you already posted cost.

      • Super Mom No Cape
        December 8, 2018 1:39 pm

        No problem. 🙂

    • Super Mom No Cape
      December 8, 2018 1:37 pm

      Hello Christina,

      I don’t think poster board rolled up would be sturdy enough. You don’t want anything that’s going to flex when you roll up the puzzle, otherwise the puzzle might not stay together.

      You could try buying a mailing tube from somewhere like Staples. The largest I found was 3″ in diameter. It’s not as large or as sturdy as the tube we used for ours but it could work.

      Our puzzle mat didn’t cost us anything because I already had the felt and the tube was free. But if you were able to get the felt with a coupon from Joanns and had to buy a mailing tube, the cost would be under $10.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

    October 10, 2017 8:12 pm

    Is the puzzle still together when unrolled? All the diy I’m reading no one shows the puzzle after it been unrolled.

    • Super Mom No Cape
      October 11, 2017 5:08 pm

      Hello Lynette,

      There may be a few pieces that have come partly dislodged but the parts of the puzzle that have been put together will be intact.

      But you have brought up one thing I hadn’t thought to take a photo of. Thank you!

      I’ve been planning to redo this post with more detailed photos, so next time hubby is working on a puzzle, we’ll do that and make sure to add photos of him unrolling it. 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • Brenda
      June 26, 2018 5:49 pm

      One word: POOL NOODLE 😉 Okay. Two.

Comments are closed.