elder activities; jig-saw puzzle crafts/what to do when the pieces are missing/christmas wreath

dont know what to do with incomplete puzzles?
dont know what to do with incomplete puzzles?

from trash to craft,.... jig-saw puzzle pieces

working in long term care, the jig saw puzzles can stack up over time,... an ambitious resident might take it upon themselves to go through ALL of them,... separating out those that were missing pieces. or you might be at home snowed in with the kids on Christmas break. what ever the circumstances, this is a wonderful time occupier but we were faced with a problem,.... what to do with all the puzzles that were incomplete.

one idea that you are about to read,..... build a 3-D Christmas wreath.

a creative and phisical work out

the eye-hand coordination and dexterity required for this task may preclude some participants from the hands-on portion of the craft, but they can still contribute creatively in picking colors or soring for size.

the list of supplies should be close at hand as none are exotic or hard to find;

school glue,... lots of it

cardboard for the backing

small brushes for aplying the glue

spray paint for coloring the finished project and some pieces

spray clear coat for sealing the finished project

various ribbons or glitter etc for embellishing the project

and of course,.... SCADDS of otherwise useless puzzle pieces

the suplies for this project are proably allready around the house
the suplies for this project are proably allready around the house

the nuts and bolts,.... erh uh,... peices and parts

once you've decided how big your wreath will be and you've cut your cardboard back to size, you can begin gluing the puzzle pieces to the backing. its best to start with the largest pieces first and build layer on layer working your way to the smallest pieces. this will strengthen the illusion of depth.

save some of the small pieces out to be painted seperately. small flashes of gold silver and red will highlight the wreath once it has been assembled and painted green.

one of the nicer aspects of this project is that it lasts several days. the fun can be spread out over several weeks leading up to Christmas, or spread over a few nights in the last few days before the holidays. a sense of anticipation builds as the participants wait to see the finished product.

done in green with a hi-light of silver on the edge
done in green with a hi-light of silver on the edge
close up
close up

the green wreath

the green wreath shown above is simple in design, and comes together as quickly or as lengthy as you like. the project is very accessible to age groups and abilities. the small pieces that were painted gold, silver and red help to add depth and contrast, as does the highlight of silver on the edges, with the finishing touch being the red ribbon.

the best part of this project is the economics. made from supplies that are already on hand or easily acquired, its also a lesson in recycling,... going green for the holidays.

a gold version in which some of the puzzle pieces were left in original state to use the existing colors
a gold version in which some of the puzzle pieces were left in original state to use the existing colors
a close up view,... note the use of three larger green pieces with three smaller red pieces to render the "holly" look
a close up view,... note the use of three larger green pieces with three smaller red pieces to render the "holly" look

the gold wreath

we got a bit creative and decided to honor the original life of the puzzle pieces by not painting the whole project green as with the first wreath seen above.

in just highlighting the edges in gold, the original colors of the puzzle pieces show, adding a bit more color and excitement. in painting some very large pieces green we were able to apply the look of holly leaves coupled with red holly berries in the smaller red painted pieces. a simple red ribbon to Finnish it off ended the job.

closing thoughts,...

we enjoyed ourselves with this silly little time killer, and found a use for something that would have otherwise occupied the land fill. i hope you too can find some crafty fun this Holiday season.

More by this Author


Comments 10 comments

melbel profile image

melbel 4 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

Okay, I've seen puzzle wreaths before, but I've never seen one as nice as yours. I love the "holly" look on yours. It's absolutely beautiful!


stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

thank you melbel!


itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK

What a fantastic idea. I love it!


stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

thanks itsmonkeyboy!


NicholeRLovi profile image

NicholeRLovi 4 years ago from Illinois

WOW who would have thunk LOL!! I Am going to try that!!Amazing idea!! And It looks great to! How did you come up with this?


stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

i am an activities director at a long term care facility,... which is to say,.... i'm a bingo goddess at a nursing home. always having to come up with newthings to do,... one of my assoc. taught a 30 min craft seminar and puzzle piece picture frames were art of it,.... we just scaled it up!

thanks for reading nicholeRLovi


Jlikejulie profile image

Jlikejulie 4 years ago from Atlanta

Good idea.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco

What a cute, cool idea! I love this!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

This was a really cool idea! I like it! I really like the gold one with the holly look!


stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

Jlikejulie, Simone Smith, homesteadbound,...

thank you all so much for dropping in, and thanks for the +'s

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working