Making a Puzzle Board

With our busy schedule it can take a long time for us to complete a puzzle. The cats are constantly knocking pieces on the floor or stuff is being set on the puzzle. So to solve this problem, my husband made me a wonderful puzzle board that can easily be placed on the lower shelf of our coffee table. :)



  • 1 pieces of 3/8" beech plywood, pre-sanded
  • 2 pieces of trim (8 ft. each)
  • miter saw
  • wood glue
  • nailer and nails
  • wood filler
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • nail punch, optional
  • hammer
  • tape measure
  • polyurethane
  • paint brush


  1. Cut plywood to 40" x 24". NOTE: We purchased a 48" x 24" board and had it cut down at the hardware store.
  2. Cut end of the trim at a 45 degree angle. Then lay the trim along the edge of the board and mark it for length.
  3. Cut off the excess trim with a 45 degree angle. Adhere the trim to the board using wood glue.
  4. Then nail the trim in place.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the other three sides of the board. Be sure that the corners as snug when fitting them together.
  6. Using sandpaper, smooth out the corner joints.
  7. Using a nail punch, set the nails into the wood. Then fill the holes and sand them smooth. Apply 2-3 coats of polyurethane to the entire board (following instructions on can).
  8. Add felt feet to the underside of the board, if desired. Now you can enjoy assembling your puzzle at your own pace, without fear of it being ruined!
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August 1, 2013

With our busy schedule it can take a long time for us to complete a puzzle.

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 4


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 3, 2020

How big a board would be needed for 500 piece puzzle?


January 3, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

16 x 24 board or snug 12 x 16 board !

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January 3, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

16 x 20

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January 3, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Normally the box will tell you the completed size of the puzzle. You will need to increase this size by 4 inches on the top and 4 inches on the side. This gives you plenty of room to work on the puzzle. If you want to frame it when completed, you can glue the puzzle down to your board and just cut off the excess wood around the puzzle.

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January 4, 20200 found this helpful
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The box should give the size as all puzzles are different. The board should be 6-8 inches around extra so you have work space to do the small matching before placing.

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September 3, 2020

What things do I need to make a puzzle board for up to 3000 pieces? What kind of board do I need to get? Where can I get it? The size of the board should be 48 x 36 inches.


September 5, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I hesitate to offer advice because I'm not sure we have enough information to answer your question.
Do you put puzzles together now or is this a new adventure?
What do you plan to do with puzzle when finished? Take apart/keep or frame?

Do you have a place - large unused table maybe - to place this heavy piece of plywood that never has to be moved?

You may want to think about all of this before tackling a DIY puzzle board.
Most people do not have a large table that is never used where a puzzle board could be placed on a permanent basis (or at least several weeks). If they did, many would just opp for using the table top for their puzzle.

But, maybe you have other places to rest an almost unmovable board for a long period of time.
Just remember - no matter what thickness of plywood you choose it will be heavy and awkward to move/handle.
But if you're still sure this is what you want to do then there are several very good YouTube videos showing every step (if you need step-by-step instructions). They also give you a list of tools and materials you will need.
Here is a link to a beautiful puzzle board project posted on Thrifty Fun a few years ago.

I did read where someone bought a large picture frame from a thrift store and used this for their puzzle board (not glass).
Also, I use the new colored/decorator Duck tape to seal any wood pieces (along the edges) that I'm using for projects.

Just in case you have not heard of the portable puzzle mats you might want to take a look before starting a big project with plywood.
Check out these links: (Affiliate Link) (Affiliate Link)

Of course, there are many more designs and places to purchase but most mats/boards are expensive.

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April 9, 2014

I just got a 2000 piece Starry Night puzzle for my birthday, now I need a board to put it together on. What do you suggest?

By Barbara Z from Park City, MT


April 14, 20140 found this helpful

I purchased at Walmart/Target or any office supply store a cardboard that folds into 3 sections for 10.00. I use this to put all my puzzles together on. It allows me to fold over the whatever I don't use so I can put it on top of my entertainment unit. or I purchase the foam board for 1.00 at dollar store and use for puzzles.

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July 19, 20160 found this helpful

Buy one on amazonmuch easier!

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July 19, 20160 found this helpful

I think you are better off ordering from Amazon less hassle

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December 13, 20200 found this helpful

The ones I saw were $70. You've GOT to be kidding me.

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October 26, 2015

I saw the instructions on the wooden board to keep a puzzle on. Can anyone tell me how much it weighs when completed? Thank you.


October 28, 20150 found this helpful

The weight of the finished puzzle board can vary considerably depending upon the types of wood used and the exact method of construction.

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Crafts WoodworkingJuly 22, 2013
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