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Are you ready for an easy step-by-step guide to making a personalized name puzzle? This is the perfect project using the Glowforge Aura to create a custom name puzzle for anyone who has a different spelling name or a unique name! I love this craft to make a personal gift that people or kids that they’ll love!
If you’re looking for a perfect gift for baby showers or a great way to add a pop of fun to your room decor, making a wooden name puzzle is a must. From this post, you’ll learn how to create your own puzzle out of high quality wood to showcase a lovely or uncommon name or to just make something nice for someone.
No matter the number of letters in the name, you can use a wooden board and your Glowforge Aura to create all the puzzle pieces. Are you ready to name your own wood name puzzle? Follow the steps and tips below to get started.
Before starting, it’s important to make sure that you have all the tools on hand to make the puzzle. You can also use this point in time to decide if you’re going to use capital letters in the name or use lowercase letters for them all. Also, choosing a color scheme is key if you’re painting, too. (If you’re unsure about painting it, this could be a great way to build early self-esteem for kids by letting them actually pick out the paint colors and paint it!)
So let’s head on over and I’ll show you how to use the special characters and options in the Glowforge so that you can create a first name puzzle, middle name, or any length of name that you want.
This step-by-step video tutorial actually walks you through the entire process of creating the name of the child or adult in puzzle form.
Quick Links to Information in this Post
Why make a customized name puzzle?
Personalized name puzzles are a great gift or toy for kids! Even my older kids were happy to get one! Plus, in addition to including their name, you can also add fun little icons like hearts, flowers, air planes etc to the puzzle! There are so many ways to customize and use them!
Here are some examples of ways you can use or gift these puzzles:
- Baby shower gift
- Toddler’s birthday present
- Christmas gift for a young child
- Educational tool to teach children their own name
- Nursery decor
- Gift for a child’s name day or baptism
- Montessori learning toy gift
- Personalized gift for a child’s first day of school
- Children’s party favor or giveaway
- Keepsake or memento for parents or grandparents
- Gift for children learning a new language (using their name in that language)
- Special occasion gift, such as Easter or Hanukkah
- Gift for newly adopted children
- Reward for children achieving a milestone (e.g., potty training)
- Gift for children’s caregivers or teachers to use in classrooms
- Personalized Valentine’s Day gift for toddlers or preschoolers (just add a heart to it!)
- Personalized gift for siblings to celebrate the arrival of a new baby
- Mother’s or Father’s Day gift, where the child “gives” an “I love Dad” or “I love Mom” puzzle
- An interactive family activity, where each family member has their own name puzzle
MATERIALS FOR Making a Puzzle Letter Name Board
- Any 1/8″ inch wood and/or Acrylic (Proofgrade is great because it’s already stained and sealed but this works amazingly to!)
- Krazy Glue or Loctite
- Glowforge Aura
For this project, I like 1/8″ wood. I think this is the ideal thickness since we will be doubling up all the pieces and you need to double up the puzzle itself. You could make the letters out of 1/4″ wood rather than 2 layers of 1/8″ wood, but you’d waste material in the process. You’ll see why as we proceed.
You can also use Acrylic in this project as I did with one of the versions you see in this post! I would personally add Acrylic as the top layer for the letters though and not make the whole thing out of Acrylic, but there’s no reason you couldn’t!
I’ve made a few personalized name puzzles and Krazy Glue and Loctite both seem to work really well! This is important because you’ll be gluing the back of the puzzle to the top portion of the puzzle that has been cut out. You’ll also be gluing two layers of letters together. The glue will hold it together to give that puzzle shape.
Clamps are key for this and many Glowforge Aura projects in my opinion! For this project to work well, you’re going to want to make sure that your layers line up perfectly when glued. The last thing you and is to spend all the time and material making your masterpiece, only to have the pieces slide out of place while they dry after you’ve glued them!
Glowforge Aura and Premium
It’s super important to note that you’ll need a Glowforge Aura (or any Glowforge) and Glowforge Premium to make the puzzle using this method. Yes, you can design these puzzles in other ways but those other ways are more involved – so today’s tutorial is going to be the easiest and simplest way – which uses Glowforge Premium! Plus, there are so many benefits to Premium that you’ll love, like fonts, templates, and even more great customer service that I LOVE!
To learn more about the Glowforge Aura and Premium, check out my full Glowforge Aura Guide!
Knowing what materials work with the Glowforge Aura and what settings to use for them can be tough! That’s why I put together a list of over 100 products that I’ve tested, the settings for each of them if they worked, and even gathered coupon codes for you from my favorite vendors!
To get access to that and much more, fill out this form!
If you love this project, be sure to check out my other Glowforge Projects and post!
How to make a personalized name puzzle
Make a wooden name puzzle easily by following these steps.
- Open a browser and go to app.glowforge.com then navigate to a new project. (Click on "Create new Design" and then "Create Blank Design".)
- Click on shapes the shapes icon and select the square. (If you want to make rounded corners, you can just go to the side where it says “shape”, and just use some value in the rounded option)
- Create the square on the cutting area and then stretch it into a rectangle. You do this by clicking on the ruler on the bottom left. Then go over to the lock area where it says “lock aspect ratio or unlock”, and click to unlock it. Then you can stretch your square into a rectangle.
- Make 2 copies of your rectangle. Select it and do CNTL+C and then CNTL+V if you have a PC. Or just right click and do copy and then paste. We need two because one will be the base and one will have the letter cut outs.
- Now that we’ve got our 2, put them a little bit closer together to save material.
- Now it's time to add the text! To add text, click on the text tool.
- Click on the text field, and add the letters in the window that pops up. You can change it to whatever font you want. Play with the font and see what you like best. Just know that different fonts will take up different spaces and look different. Not all fonts are easy to read, either. I recommend using a thick bold font. It’s important that you pick a font that won’t make hard or thin places that are difficult to work with.
- Move your text so that it's centered inside one of the rectangles. To center the text inside the rectangles, select the text and one rectangle. Then click the icon on the bottom left again and choose the "align" button and "center" and "middle".
- Now, select the letters on the puzzle and make another copy. This second copy should be outside of both rectangles.
- Now select your material you want to use and place it in your machine. For this tutorial, I"m going to assume we're using all wood. Place your wood in the machine.
- Now change all the objects on the left hand side to "cut". It will say "Enter Settings", click that, choose "cut" and then "Manual settings" and then add your settings. If you already have tht material saved in the app, you can select that. If you are using Proofgrade material, your Aura will read the barcode and auto adjust the settings for you! Need settings for your material? Click here to get my full list of 100+ material settings for the Glowforge Aura!
- Cut out your two rectangles, and second set of letters.
- Now gue the rectangles together with the one that has cut outs being on the top.
- Then grab both set of letters, and glue each letter together.
- The clamps can be used to hold the pieces together while the glue is drying.
- Once the glue is dry, you are ready to unclamp and proceed in either painting the letters, or leaving them as they are.
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING A Wooden Name Puzzle
You bet. If you want to make puzzles for preschool children or just try to make a super cool puzzle, you can easily use the Glowforge Aura to do so. In that case, use the “puzzle” feature in Glowforge Premium!
Not necessarily but you won’t want to make this puzzle too big or too small! With the Glowforge Aura, you get the Passthrough function which is AMAZING! It let’s you cut 12″ wide and any length you want. So because of that, you could in theory make a 12″ wide and 12 foot long puzzle, but why would you want to? 🙂
If you decide to use wood, then you have 2 options. You can paint it with vibrant colors or your favorite color palette or leave it natural looking. You can also use acrylic and not need to paint but still get beautiful color options! If you decide to leave the wood natural, I recommend using prefinished wood so that you don’t have to stain and seal it after cutting. If you want to paint it though, you’ll definitely want to go with unfinished wood.
Literally everyone! You can make them for birthdays, baby showers, wedding gifts, and Christmas gifts. You can make puzzles for so many different occasions because they’re fun and easy to personalize.
I’d love to see YOUR puzzle boards and projects and how you created it! Please share a photo in our Facebook group or tag me on social media with #analyticalmommycrafts or @analyticalmommy! I can’t wait to see how they turned out!
More of the Best Glowforge crafts and tips
- Fall Gnome (FREE SVG file) using Glowforge Aura Passthrough! (or Cricut!)
- Fall and Halloween Themed Pumpkin laser cut earring designs (Made with the Glowforge Aura!)
- Glowforge vs Cricut 2023 Comparison – Which is best for you?