Glass Creatures

Learn How To Make A Jigsaw Puzzle Saver

Keep Your Table Clear Without Losing Your Work

Jigsaw puzzles are a lot of fun, but the inconvenience of taking up a whole table for days or weeks can make them less appealing. Some people turn to online puzzles to avoid this problem, but there's a better way. It's called a puzzle saver, and it's fast and cheap to make. This free tutorial will guide you step by step through the process, and is appropriate for kids as well as adults.

Puzzle savers are primarily a felt mat on which to assemble your pieces. When game time is over (yes, puzzles are games), you carefully roll the mat around the tube with the pieces inside. Then you secure it. Believe it or not, it works!

First, buy a yard of felt. If you can't find felt by the yard, thick flannel, with the nap side up, might work. The color you choose is up to you, but make sure your puzzle pieces won't fade into it. Unusual colors might be a better choice, and can often be found on sale.

Before you leave the counter, ask the sales clerk if they can give you one of the cardboard tubes found inside fabric rolls. These are usually disposed of once the fabric runs out, so you're recycling by reusing them.

Next, buy a roll of hook and loop fastener tape, such as Velcro (TM). You want the kind that has "hooks" all along one side and "loops" all along the back. These can sometimes be found in multiple colors, so feel free to get creative. Cut 3 pieces from the roll that are about 10 inches longer than the length of the felt.

Press the hook side of the strips along each long side of the felt, as well as up the center. The extra 5 inches will overhang on one end. You'll use this for securing the roll once your puzzle is wrapped.

Puzzle saver

When you prepare to work on a puzzle, first center the puzzle saver on your table with the Velcro side down. Try to assemble your jigsaw so that it's centered on the felt. When you're done for the evening, take the cardboard tube and place it along the inside of the short end that doesn't have protruding strips. Now, carefully and tightly roll up your puzzle and use the excess Velcro to secure it around the tube.

When you're ready to work on your puzzle again, carefully unroll the felt. There may be a few pieces out of place, but it sure beats having to start all over from scratch!