Cardboard layer puzzles

Cardboard layer puzzles

I’ve become enamored with all things wood, but I still love a good recycled project that can help me use up whatever is lying around the house.


We’re playing around with some layer puzzle ideas for the shop, so we thought we’d try out some ideas in cardboard first. We broke up the project to span two afternoons, but this could be easily be done all in the same day with enough time given for paint to dry. It was a really fun activity and one I’m sure we’ll come back to another time. Here’s what we did in case you’d like to give it a try too!

Gather Materials:

  • cardboard scraps

  • piece of paper and pencil (to sketch ideas)

  • scissors (or Xacto knife and cutting mat for thicker cardboard)

  • paint and brushes

  • glue

  • black or white Sharpie markers (for detail work, shown above)



To start, my daughter and I gathered our materials. Then we began sketching ideas, asking ourselves the question: “what kinds of things have layers or stages of growth that we could represent?”

After we made our sketches, we painted the cardboard and let them dry overnight. The following day, we cut out the pieces, taking care to make our circles bigger with each layer. Since some of our cardboard was thick, we used a combination of an Xacto knife first, then scissors to clean up the edges. Then we glued the bottom pieces together, making the base for the puzzle. Last, we drew and painted on our designs and outlined everything with Sharpie markers.



What kind of layered puzzle would you make?


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