Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Puzzle Keeper - Kinda Fail

I love to keep a jigsaw puzzle going when we are at the beach. At our little condo, Paws Awhile, this presents a bit of a challenge.
First, we only have 1 table and if I spread my puzzle over it, there is no place to eat or play games.
Second, there's Lola and Lucy. Lola would have a heyday knocking puzzle pieces to the floor for Lucy to chew. So, I decided to make a puzzle keeper.
These can be purchased pretty reasonably on Amazon, but I thought it should be simple to make. I had some left over felt, so the cost to make it should be negligible.
First, I would need a pool noodle. Even in a beach town, it is almost impossible to find a noodle in December. We went to Wal-Mart, 2 Dollar Stores and 2 Surf Shops before finally getting an overpriced one at Alvin's Island. I needed one with a large diameter, but they only had small ones, so I thought I could make it work.
I wanted it to be the exact size of the table to give me room for even the largest puzzle. My felt was not wide enough so I had to sew an extra section to it.
I hemmed the edges so the puzzle pieces couldn't slip out the sides. Attaching the felt to the noodle was the hardest part. Since I thought I would try to remake this later with a larger noodle, I didn't want to do anything permanent so I hand basted the felt to the noodle. I couldn't get it very tight. When I remake it, I will use fabric adhesive to get a tight fit.
I was going to attach some Velcro straps, but decided to try it out first. I dumped my 500 piece puzzle out and started working on it. (I learned never to dump a puzzle from the box onto a piece of felt.  There is a lot of cardboard dust in the box that is hard to get off of the felt.)
When I got the edges together, I rolled it up and then unrolled it to see the result. The edges stayed together fairly well, but some of the other pieces stuck to the felt and were flipped to the floor or wound up under the felt as I unrolled.
I think it will do for this trip, but improvements are definitely needed.  I shouldn't have made it quite so big for 2 reasons.  1. It is hard to roll it up because it is too long. 2. The table is really too large to see from one side to the other with both leaves extended. When I remake it, I will make it the size of the table with only one leaf extended.
Okay, going to work on my puzzle now (without cheating and looking at the box top).
Happy New Year!