I may have mentioned that my family enjoys puzzles and games. One of the problems with puzzles is that they take up a lot of space when you’re working on them.
Sometimes you need your table space for things like dinner. You can buy special puzzle mats that allow you to store your puzzle while you’re working on it, but they can cost $15 or more.
You can make your own puzzle mat in just a few minutes that will cost you less anywhere from $2 to $6. And making your own puzzle mat is even easier than putting together two puzzle pieces.
How to Make Your Own Puzzle Mat
For a video with complete instructions, click here.
To make your own puzzle mat, you’re going to need two things:
Some kind of tube. I used a 2-ft length of PVC pipe I got at a home improvement store for about $4. You could also use a cardboard tube from a tube of wrapping paper.
A large piece of felt. I used a 1/2 yard of tan colored felt, which cost me about $2. You can get felt in just about any color you want and if you watch for sales and coupons, you can pick up the felt for dirt cheap.
1. Cut the felt to the size you want. I left my felt square pretty large (about 3 ft by 3 ft) because I wanted to have room to do large puzzles.
2. Build your puzzle on the felt, leaving room for your tube on one end. The felt does a great job of holding your puzzle pieces in place.
3. When you need to reclaim your table space, simple begin slowly and carefully rolling the felt around the tube and then begin rolling up the puzzle.
4. You can now easily and safely move your puzzle without it coming apart or losing pieces. If you’re nervous about it coming unrolled while storing it, you can tie the roll with ribbon or put some rubber bands around it.
5. When you’re ready to work on your puzzle again, simple unroll the puzzle and press it flat.
This DIY puzzle mat is a great solution for those times when you want to work on your puzzle and you still want to be able to move it out of the way when you need the space. Just remember that this isn’t a great way to store your puzzle for the long-term because your puzzle pieces will curl over time. This puzzle mat is really designed to allow you to move your puzzle and store it while you’re working on it.
This puzzle mat is incredibly easy to make and easy to use. If you know someone who loves puzzles, you could pair this with an inexpensive puzzle to make a great low-cost gift. If you want something easier, and you aren’t a DIY’er then you can always purchase a puzzle mat complete with the puzzle pieces. Ravensburger Stow & Go is an affordable option that comes with everything you need to get started.
You can watch the video below to see how easy it is to make and use your own puzzle mat.
Cathy @ Chief Family Officer says
I’d never heard of a puzzle mat before but it’s brilliant! And I love the gift idea :)
Christina @ Northern Cheapskate says
Thanks, Cathy! I love how simple it is to make and to use!
Came across your youtube video and now your webpage. Thanks for the info!!!! A family member is asking for a puzzle mat for xmas and being someone who sews I just couldn’t see paying to buy a puzzle mat when it’s just felt and a tube.
Gonna get myself to the hardware store for PVC and arm myself with a Joann’s coupon for the felt, now I can make a custom one for the exact size needed.
Christina Brown says
Glad I could help!
I was wondering what make and kind of felt did you use? And do you actually use this?
I want to make one but I have been reading up on it and there seems to be a lot of people having problems with theirs not keeping the pieces together when you unroll it. A lot of them did say theirs didn’t work as good as the store bought ones.
I was hoping you could tell me what felt you are using so I could try and find it in my area.
Thanks for the post.