Halloween Cat puzzles on LED light up stand

Front loaded with pics, since we all know that is what we are here for :joy_cat::jack_o_lantern::joy_cat:

Last year I did a tiny run of Cat-O-Lantern puzzles with Colorshop woods (that I had leftover from when they were only !$7 a sheet). It was a bit of a last minute idea, so I ended up constructing a display stand/frame from black spray painted plywood, and included a CR2032 with a couple of LEDS, a small acrylic holder for the battery, and masking tape to keep it all together :joy_cat::sweat_smile:

This year I knew that I could definitely sell more, so I upped my display-stand game by cutting and engraving LED light up stands, a much more professional looking option!

And because I love cats, of course I added a new puzzle design – a Scaredy Cat! I found that the black Colorshop wood doesn’t need masking on either side when cutting, so that saved me oodles of time. I would just use a soapy squeezed out microfibre cloth to clean off as much smoke/resin deposit as possible on both sides.

This is the biggest puzzle project that I have made so far – most steps involved (cut puzzle, clean/remove masking on both sides, cut and engrave acrylic, cut stickers, cut bases, bend acrylic, glue on bases, not to mention ordering all the supplies: acrylic, Colorshop woods, bases, gauze bags, and more logo stickers to label the tins I already had, then QCing all the bags and bases to check for holes or non-working electronics :dizzy_face:), and most individual orders shipped out in a week (22!).

I also cut out custom masking stickers for the backs of the puzzles (stuck on overhead clear plastic sheets, which worked much better than the sanded parchment paper that I used last year!). And bent the acrylic at the base to give it a slight viewing angle, and glued on a base to the acrylic for resting spot for the puzzle. Did you know that a flat iron for hair gets hot enough to easily get acrylic to the bending point?

I did one batch release and held a Facebook Live birthday party on October 8th at 3 Cat Max (celebrating being in business with my Glowforge for 5 yrs!), and sold out later that weekend. I’ve been madly finishing, packing, and shipping, and making more for another batch update – I’m crossing my fingers that once some of the puzzle people start posting their new puzzles on social media, I’ll be able to sell out of the rest of the Halloween puzzles and not have to carry over stock till next year!

Have you ever done a Facebook Live event? Or has an item that you make gotten popular in a specific community? I’m lucky to be in the smallest niche of puzzle-making, where it is a tight but large community, and I can design crazy elaborate puzzles that people want to collect. Granted, I don’t make as much as some of the high-quantity producers on here, but it is nice to get virtual wedding invites, family puzzle night photos, and cat pics from my customer/friends! :heart_eyes_cat::heart_eyes_cat::heart_eyes_cat:


Well done! I remember when Colorshop woods were less expensive (sigh).

I bet you have big things in store for Christmas as soon as these sell out.


Ha ha these are great


Thank you for that. This place is starting to be like the average recipe site where you need to learn a person’s life history before they get to the point.

As for the project, clever and well executed. Nice work. I’m surprised you don’t see more light sneaking through the puzzle cuts.


Did not know that! Will have to try it. Hmm…maybe my round curler will work as well?


Love your whimsical puzzles!


These puzzles are so awesome!! Love that you made them into lights as well!


Thank you! I didn’t know how good I had it when I bought about 20 sheets of the Colorshop back in the day :sob: And nope, nothing for Christmas. My GF laser tube is getting weaker and can’t cut through 1/4" maple HD ply nice and reliably anymore. My in-house engineer (aka spouse) and I have decided to build an additional laser over the next couple of months, so I’ll be on puzzle-hiatus till January! Also, gotta recharge that creative sponge – it has been well rung this past year :heart_eyes_cat::sweat_smile::dizzy_face:


Thank you @wenning08, @arh2, and @ptodd!

I don’t lie when I say I get to try all sorts of weird ideas for puzzle making :joy_cat: I have the supplies to cast my own molds, and make resin or concrete puzzles in the future. The place that I purchased the resin from also sells the gummy stuff that fish bait worms are made off, and I have been known to consider making some disgusting and squishy puzzles :joy_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat:

@ellencadwell, if you try it, leave the masking on if you can. I used clear acrylic from Estreetplastics.com, and it comes with the brown, slightly waxy feeling masking. When I tried heating up the acrylic straight with the hair tongs, it had a tendency to stick and had to be popped off. I picked up the flat hair iron from a local thrift store – my hair is straight as a pin, so I have never used one before!


Love the cat, nicely done.


Thank you @timjedwards! The Scaredy Cat has tiny pieces – about 1/2" average, and about double as many as the Cat-O-Lantern. I put a warning on it on my site, because old hands and old eyes might not liking working with teeny dark pieces :grimacing:

@evansd2, recipe sites tend to drive me up the wall too! At least most of them now have a link at the top that says “Take me to the Recipe” :joy_cat: Sometimes the story has a useful tip about how to make the item, but it is so buried in dross… in other words, I feel ya!

There is probably more light, but my crowd would consider that a feature :joy_cat::jack_o_lantern::heart_eyes_cat:


Both of these designs are great! Love the cat-o-lantern.


I always love your puzzles!


Awww, thank you @cynd11 and @laughingmoonleather :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I recently made a hybrid puzzle – half lasered and half scroll sawn. It turned out pretty interesting, but I sure do need to practice on the scroll saw to get anywhere near the fluidity of puzzle cut shapes as I can make with my tablet+inkscape! :joy_cat:


You can make your own very easily! Introducing the spit of the unicorn, formally known as “unicorn spit” (yes, that is the name!) Making your own colored woods The blues and the greens are same color; varying the number of layers to make it darker.

My butcher block desk from IKEA was a plain unfinished butcher block. My boyfriend (permanently promoted after that) stained the butcherblock with Unicorn Spit.

Helpful Tidbit: Do NOT use Frog tape with the Spit; it goes under the tape and will spread like stain does. You can see a few spots in my picture. But 6-7 years later, this desktop (on top of the standing powered desk base)…still brings a smile to my face.


Even with a little bleed through it still looks great…


That looks great! It isn’t quite the same as Colorshop, because Colorshop wood is clear finished on both sides, much like Proofgrade. I tried Unicorn Spit, found it was an thinned down acrylic instead of gel stain like I thought it might be. Still cool though, and the name is great :joy_cat:


Thanks! I’ll let my husband know. :slight_smile:

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Interesting. I bought it from the lady that created Unicorn Spit (from city we lived in) and was in her shop where she mixed it all up. I didn’t get the impression it was like an acrylic, but it also wasn’t a gel stain…but it worked well for our purpose. If it stains the wood in a color wouldn’t it be about the same and much cheaper? Or would the clear finish not be the same? Really curious. Yeah I thought it was a funny name and the look on my mom’s face when she asked me the name of the stain…was priceless! :rofl: