Thank you students who helped to assemble four identical puzzles.
(Four??? I'll get to that later)
Puzzles were lightly sanded to remove the glossy surface and painted with three coats of gesso.
I labeled the back of each puzzle piece (A1,A2, A3...). All four puzzles were labeled the same, but with different colored markers. This proved to be invaluable in keeping everything organized and in reassembling the puzzle.
OK, now let me explain why we assembled four puzzles. I thought it would be fun if each student actually received two puzzle pieces: one for the artwork and another to make a pin- WEARABLE ART! I asked the children to make both pieces identical and we called them "twins".
We plan to have a school "Spirit Day" and proudly wear the mini-art pins : )
Cardboard cafeteria trays worked perfectly to keep each class' pieces separate. Every student got two of the same pieces (twins!) from two puzzles.
For anyone else crazy enough to attempt two at the same time, I found it helpful to keep the upper grades' puzzle pieces across the room from the lower grades' pieces.
While most puzzles were designed with colored Sharpie markers, some upper grade students painted a base coat with acrylic paint. Special thanks to teachers who loaned us hair dryers.
This first grader drew portraits of her art teacher : )
Disclaimer: I did not bribe her.
Children wrote their initials and grade at the bottom to make room for attaching pins. Tacky Glue worked really well for this step.
When completed, both artworks and all pins were sprayed with acrylic clear coat. Special thanks to the parents who helped add the shine!