Hanging Macaw Puzzle


Hanging Macaw Puzzle

issues-ssw12-macawFrom the Amazon Jungles to Your Home

When my wife, Joyce, and I traveled to Africa, there were birds everywhere. We thought for sure when we went to Peru that we would see lots of birds, too. As it turns out, that wasn’t the case. The ones we had the best looks at were residents at lodges where we stayed. One morning we woke up to see three macaws on a ceiling rafter looking down at us as we slept. What a way to wake up!

This hanging macaw puzzle reminds me of our Peru trip. For you, it’s a nice eye-catcher for your craft booth. Plus, if you know someone who has an itch for a pet bird, as Joyce did when she found out her twin sister got one, make this puzzle instead. It’s a lot less mess and there are no vet bills. (It’s a great puzzle for kids; don’t make the support and use child-safe paints.)

Step 1: Cut two pieces—the Body and the Support—to overall size.

Step 2: Attach the pattern to the wood using temporary bond spray adhesive. Make sure you spray
the pattern and not the wood.

Step 3: Make the outside cut of the parrot using the #5 blade. Complete the cutting by making all the interior cuts for the puzzle pieces.

Step 4: Lightly sand each puzzle piece to remove all burrs.

Step 5: Glue the pattern to the piece of wood for the support and cut it out with the #5 blade. Make sure the dimension labeled “x” on the pattern is the same thickness as the body.

Step 6: The macaw can be painted though it is better and I recommend that you use wood stains. It is best to use fully transparent intermixable wood stains because paint is too thick. I recommend a product called Woodburst; see SPECIAL SOURCES below. (The macaw shown in the photograph was painted.)

Step 7: Pour the stain into a paper cup or other suitable container for easy application or mixing colors.

Step 8: Dip a rag into a cup and apply generously to all surfaces. You can use artists’ brushes, if you wish. Wipe off excess by dragging the towel with the grain. Let dry for 48 hours.

Step 9: Add the eyelet to the support.

Step 10: Assemble the puzzle and attach it to the support. Now if we could only get the darn thing
to talk!


Woodburst is available from Rockler, www.rockler.com or phone toll free, 800-279-4441, or Woodcraft Supply Corporation, www.woodcraft.com or phone toll free, 800-535-4482 for the store nearest you.


  • 5/8″ x 8″ x 17″ pine (body) Note: 3/4″ can be used. Make sure the dimension on the notch is widened
  • 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 8″ pine (support)
  • Temporary bond spray adhesive
  • Sandpaper, fine grit
  • Eyebolt, small
  • Wood stains, colors of choice or paint with bright colors


  • #5 skip tooth blade

Macaw Puzzle pattern