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How to Make a Classic Tangram Puzzle

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

A tangram is a classic Chinese puzzle consisting of seven pieces that can be recombined into many different shapes and figures. Here’s how to make one.


  • 1⁄4″ x 8″ x 8″ square of smooth plywood. If your plywood is a little rough, sand it smooth. You can use other thin materials such as rigid foam or cardboard.
  • Fine-toothed saw, coping saw or fine-toothed keyhole saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Wood finish of your choice. The tangram can be one color, left natural or stained, or you can paint each piece a different color. It’s up to you.


Step 1: With the pencil and ruler, follow the diagram and lay out the square of plywood.

Step 2: Saw the plywood into the seven shapes shown. Sand the top, bottom and edges of each piece.

Step 3: Apply the finish of your choice. Put a mark on the bottom of each piece so you’ll know which side is the top. It can be confusing if you try to make shapes with the bottom of some pieces facing up.

Step 4: Your tangram is complete. Start creating, and have fun!



Check out these photos of tangrams sent to us by Boys’ Life readers. If you have a photos of a BL Workshop project, please use the form below to send them to us.

Submit a Photo of Your Project

Important Note: Please only upload photos of your project. Because of privacy rules, we can't post any photos that show people's faces. Always ask for your parent's permission before uploading anything to a website.

8 Comments on How to Make a Classic Tangram Puzzle

  1. I like this type
    and its helpeful for me

  2. ok cool love it

  3. Cryastal shards 64 // July 23, 2021 at 10:03 am // Reply


  4. tangram

  5. I like my aeroplani

  6. Bear Den Leader // January 2, 2017 at 11:35 am // Reply

    I made this with thin cardboard, works great and my Bear loves it! I’m making more for the den rainy day bag.

  7. nice idea

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