Have you ever wondered how magazines made up their crossword puzzles? Well I hope to show you step by step how to be very creative in making the basics of crosswords. You can then change the sizes and style of grids to suit the different magazines that you may send off your creative puzzles to.

Some companies have a distinctive grid, if this is the case you would need to fill in the blanks first then add your words. So check out who you will work for before making your wonderful creative crossword puzzles.

It may be best to do your research first by applying to various companies before going to too much trouble and then finding you cannot find a buyer for your creative crossword puzzles.

Involve the kids

Encourage the kids to join in the fun. Get them to make their own crosswords by drawing up the squares using the lined paper will mean you only have to rule lines one way. This is a great way to amuse the children, especially in the school holidays. This is also something that won't cost you anything either.

Different topic crosswords. They could make animal, bird, flower named words to make it more interesting or even comic or cartoon names. Kids crosswords would need to be made with bigger squares and filled in with lead pencil so they can rub it out or change the words if they make mistakes.

Another idea for children crosswords would be to have pictures of animals or whatever topic you are using instead of questions. The kids would then have to fit the pictures to the squares. Pictures say a lot more than words for younger children. Although it will help with their spelling to put words in crosswords too. (thanks Deborah for commenting and giving me this idea)

Creating a grid

Begin by opening a word document ( you can do the words in word and create the grid in excel) I did it in both. You can choose which way will suit you best.

On the menu click on Table

Click on insert and then on table

Select number of columns and number of rows

For this exercise example I chose to have 13 columns and 13 rows

You can change fixed column width to 0.62cm then click ok this will make the squares all the same size.

You should now have a grid with thirteen squares down and across.


This is the grid that you will use for your crossword.

Now start by adding any length words and linking them together it does not matter where you put them as long as they fit and make sense.


Once you have added enough words then you will need to fill in the blank squares.

Now all you need to do is fill in words of your choosing both across and down that fit all together.

I copied this into a blank excel sheet. Highlight a blank area then click on the fill icon and choose the black colour. It should now look like this after doing a couple.

Continue this way until you have finished the whole lot. Now all you need to do is write the questions to all your words

Partial example:


  1. Owing something
  2. Something sheep farmers do every year


  1. Tells on their mate
  2. Cool drinks stored in this


You will of course need to add numbers to the squares so that you can connect the questions to the right boxes.

This can also be done on a piece of paper by ruling the squares and filling in the blanks with a black pencil. Then you can scan the paper into your computer and save it by giving the document a name.

When creating your words try to find ones that have several meanings so it will not be too easy for people to finish too quickly. Also make use of sections where two or three words interlock together.

Hope this helps you to create your own crossword puzzles.

You could do this for a hobby and send them away to magazines and online sites. It may be a way to earn a few extra dollars once you become known for your good work.