Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas Gifts, wooden nativity puzzle
Steve’s mom made a nativity puzzle just like this years and years ago and it has become a favorite holiday decoration for the grandchildren. When my sister-in-law mentioned last year that she wanted the puzzle – I immediately knew I wanted to re-create it for their family this year when the family gift giving rotation had us giving to them (we won’t give to them for another 8 years!)

This gift has been on my mind most the year. I figured I’d purchase a scroll saw sometime this year which would make this puzzle a breeze. But I didn’t buy one. So I looked to use someone else’s. I couldn’t find anyone. The other problem was trying to find the pattern. The original pattern was out of print and try as I may, I couldn’t find it. By October, I was starting to think of new ideas for gifts. But I couldn’t let this great gift idea go.

In November, I found a laser cutting facility in the area, Phoenix Custom Lasering. They were great to work with and totally affordable. I took a picture of the puzzle and created a pattern from it using Illustrator and they cut it up for me – I figured if I was going to the trouble I might as well make two so we could enjoy one.

I’ve never tole painted so it was a little daunting. But I painted and painted…and painted some more.

For three whole weeks our kitchen table looked like this:
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas Gifts, wooden nativity puzzle
There was sheer panic when my sister-in-law was stopping by and this is how the table looked. We threw it all in a box and put it in the back room!

I finished it with 18 hours to spare! Painting it wasn’t necessarily difficult – just very detailed and time consuming. If I never tole paint again…it will be okay!
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas Gifts, wooden nativity puzzle
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas Gifts, wooden nativity puzzle
Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas Gifts, wooden nativity puzzle

Life with Fingerprints: Homemade Christmas Gifts, wooden nativity puzzle
Like the Lego costumes of Halloween…the puzzle was a lot of work that I won’t do again – but still totally worth it.

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