Creativity Portal
Home  ·  Main Creativity Portal  ·  Art & Craft Projects  ·  Word Search Puzzles  ·  Valentine's Day Crafts
  What's New » Crafts » Be Creative! » Submit »
Share |
Puzzling ARTifacts Project
Projects : Puzzling ARTifacts: Mini-Painted Puzzle Canvases

Found Art! Painted Puzzle Pieces

Puzzling ARTifacts: Mini-Painted Canvases for Found Art, Altered Art, Art Trading Cards

By Chris Dunmire

Puzzle Pieces6/22/09 Update: When I originally wrote this article in 2004, it was geared towards the then-active Found Art Project Web site run by Shari Vogt at The original site is no longer available, so links have been removed. However, because other sites, blogs, or social networks with a found art twist surely exist, this project remains here and is expanded to inspire not only found art, but altered art, collage, or art trading card (ATC) projects. —Chris

Featured in USA Today, the Found Art! Project encourages creative participation in a global art project that "strives to make the world a better place right now by empowering people across to globe to share on a soul level."

What is one divided by twelve? In this case, twelve! Wouldn't it be wonderful to create one work of art, divide it into a dozen pieces, and send it out into the world? I thought so too, which is why I selected this multi-pieced work of art for my very first Found Art! experience. Titled, "Puzzling ARTifact" this painted puzzle canvas holds 12 individual and unique artistic paintings that come together as one whole unit. Each piece has been numbered and tagged separately in anticipation of a dozen responses by found art recipients. At the very least, a dozen new people will learn about the wonderful Found Art! Web site!

Would you like to try your hand at participating in the Found Art! Project, but don't know what to make? Why not try painting a Puzzling ARTifact full of mini-canvases you can break apart and leave behind for others to find? Learn how I made mine below.


  • Blank Puzzle Canvas
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Sponge or Paint Brush

NOTE: You can find blank puzzles at educational stores and places that sell teaching supplies (such as Let's Learn). Also, you can use other non-painting techniques (collage, markers, graphic pens, etc.) on the puzzle pieces instead of paint. This project is just a starting point for the endless possibilities that exist between you and your imagination.

Entire painted canvas.


1. Paint the puzzle. The first step in this project is to paint your puzzle canvas. Be creative in your design and technique! Make it abstract or representational. Make it fun!

TIP: The puzzle will warp if you apply too much wet layered paint. To combat this, apply the paint in stages, and make sure the canvas dries completely before proceeding to the next step.

Seperate the pieces.

2. Separate the pieces. If the pieces don't come apart cleanly, trim off the hanging paint or puzzle snags. If the paint pulls off a puzzle piece, simply touch it up.

Finished artifacts.

3. What's the next step? Tag and register your art on the Found Art! Web site, and then it's ready to release into the world! •

© 2004, 2009 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.

More with Chris Dunmire

ColorCreativity Portal™ founder Chris Dunmire inspires artists, writers, teachers and children with her creative prompts and writing activities. She's trained as a creativity coach with both Eric Maisel, PhD, and Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching™ founder Jill Badonsky, MeD. Her sense of humor and witty wordplay is woven throughout the corridors of Creativity Portal where she encourages others towards engaging in deeper, more meaningful levels of artistic expression and playful creativity, sustained in part through the support of Creativity Portal Access Pass Holders. Please sign up — your support counts and is appreciated!

Updated 6/22/09