Valentine’s Popsicle Stick Puzzle (With Free Printable!)

One of my favorite things to do is to visit the craft store. There’s always so much creativity in store, so many blank canvases and exciting things to try. I can’t resist buying something new to create. When I stumbled upon Jumbo Craft Sticks, I realized they’d be an incredible blank canvas to work with, but… I didn’t know for what.

Then, I remembered seeing some fun projects using popsicle sticks as puzzles, in addition to ideas where you could build with them, make puppets with them, and more.

This craft is so simple– all you need is an 8×10 image, 10 jumbo craft sticks, some glue, and some scissors. In this post, I’m providing you with a printable that is perfect for Valentine’s Day, but using a copy of a family photo or any picture your child loves is another great option.

Start by trimming the excess paper off of the printable or off of your image using a paper cutter or scissors. This is a great project for kids who are old enough to manage scissors themselves. I printed mine on a thick cardstock, but a photo paper will also work.

Spread a thin, even layer of glue across the back of the paper. This is definitely a task that even young kids can do!

Arrange the jumbo craft sticks on the glue, making sure to leave a small gap to allow for your cutting device (scissors, x-acto knife, etc) to cut between them when it’s dry. Let this dry for several hours (or overnight, if you can wait! The longer, the better).

After your glue is dry, cut the craft sticks apart carefully. An x-acto knife will leave you with fewer touch-ups later, but scissors work in a pinch, too. If you notice any loose edges, of course, they can be glued back down.

You can also use a nail file or some fine-grain sandpaper to soften the slightly rugged edges if you have jagged stuff like I do.

Now, let your kiddo play and assemble the puzzle again and again! This makes a great quiet game for church, a fun snowy day craft to create and then play with together.

You can also create multiple copies, tie them up with pretty bakers twine, and hand them out to friends or as class Valentines! It’s a fun twist on a typical card or sweet treat. If you’re using cardstock, your child can even personalize it with a message by writing directly on the image/printable!

You can download your free printable for this popsicle stick puzzle here!


If you do this craft, I’d love to see pictures! You can share your pics on Instagram with the hashtag #digitaleramom!



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