Friday, October 11, 2013

Little Christmas Bird Puzzles

This past year I've had somewhat of a "bird" theme going with several of my letters to my kids, so to top it off, I'm sending these gorgeous Jane Maday bird puzzles for my Compassion kids with their Christmas cards & letters.  We're always on the lookout for nice paper items to send to our kids for gifts, and these were perfect.  Fortunately I found 17 boxes of these at the Dollar Tree... just what I needed for my Compassion kids!

However...  lol... what I didn't realize at the time, was that I needed to send these assembled to fit the 1/4" thick mailing guidelines.  Yikes!  After spending a couple hours putting the first one together with my folks after dinner a few nights ago, reality set in that I simply didn't have enough time to put these all together by myself, given my work and school schedule... not unless I was planning these as gifts for next Christmas, that is!  So I put out a desperate plea for help on my Facebook page, and ahhhhh...  I was so blessed to have several people volunteer to put together 1-3 puzzles each, and I had the puzzles back in a couple of days.

So for those of you who are interested in sending puzzles to your Compassion kids, here's my tip on packaging them for mailing.  Since the finished size of the puzzle is too large for the allowed mailing size, I divided the completed puzzle in half, stacked the two layers on top of a thin but sturdy piece of cardboard.  It's important that the cardboard does not buckle or bend, or else it defeats the purpose of assembling the puzzle... you don't want it crumbling into pieces!  I found that the easiest way to do this was to slip a sheet of cardstock paper under the completed puzzle so I could then slip the cardboard underneath without breaking apart the puzzle.  Just barely slide the cardboard to the halfway point... this gives you just a tiny bit of a "shelf" making it easy to press down the puzzle where you need to divide it in half.  I included a 5x7" manila envelope with each package for the children to store their puzzle when not in use, and included one of the little designs from the side of the box on the envelope.  Then I taped 2 pieces of sturdy cardstock paper around the top and bottom of the stack.  It didn't need the piece on the back, but I just liked the finished look of it.  :o)  Then I finished it off with the cut out puzzle design taped to the front of the package.

So here is my stack of packaged puzzles ready to mail off... this feel so good!  I am just so grateful for each person who helped me to get this project completed.  And here's the kids' Christmas cards... I'm finally sending out the "Little Bird" Christmas cards that I started last year...  I just need to finish stamping "God Cares for (child's name)" on the front of the cards for my new kids from this year.

And of course, my new kids are getting all the sweet bird swag/mobile/ornament designs I sent out last year... I love these watercolor designs!

All of the children are getting a couple of these 3D chickadee ornaments to make on their own... check out the gorgeous photos and step-by-step instructions with the pattern to download!  I cut out one set to try my hand at it, and they're pretty simple to assemble.  They would also look nice if the kids want to color them... I might try my hand at doing a few with watercolors... someday...   :o)


  1. I love all your ideas!! I had been staying away from sending puzzles as I wasn't sure the best way to send them....but I think you've inspired me to try! Not for Christmas, though...I'm thinking birthdays because then I'll have fewer to assemble at one time :)

    1. Thanks, Hannah! Doing them for birthdays is a great idea if you need to put them together by yourself. Otherwise consider asking for help and maybe even throwing a "Puzzle Making" party with friends where everyone works on the puzzles with you... would be a lot of fun! :D

  2. Kris (georgedarling)October 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Whoo-hoo! Your kids are going to have a Merry Christmas indeed! I love everything you did, and kudos to your puzzle builders!

    1. Thanks, Kris! I hope the kids have as much fun as I did as a child working on puzzles. I actually had a lot of fun working on the 4 puzzles that I did by myself, and am soooooo grateful for all the help to put together the other ones... everyone was such a blessing! :D