JIGSAW PUZZLE STRATEGIES, TIPS, and HINTS
JIGSAW PUZZLE STRATEGIES, TIPS, AND HINTS:
A GUIDE TO BECOMING A PUZZLE EXPERT
At any time of year, it’s good to have some ideas for family activities that are inexpensive, conversation-
friendly, and indoor-oriented for sudden rainy days. Jigsaw puzzles are a great alternative to hours of television
or video games. But if you’re new to puzzles (or your puzzle strategies aren’t working out as you’d hoped and
you’re looking for some more tricks), here is our guide to some jigsaw puzzle tips and hints to help you
assemble puzzles like a pro.
Hopefully these suggestions will ensure your puzzling is a fun time for all and that no puzzles are left
Before You Start
1. Choose a puzzle
• Seems obvious, right? But sometimes we’re drawn to the 3000 piece jigsaw puzzles when our skill level might
actually be somewhere around 500 pieces. And that’s okay! Our brains like challenges, but not impossible
ones! Build up your skill level first before tackling expert-level puzzles. It’ll make it more enjoyable along the
way and deter you from abandoning your puzzle halfway through.
• Pick a puzzle that everyone participating in building it enjoys. Investment in the end product will keep everyone motivated.
2. Have an-end plan
• What do you plan to do with your puzzle afterwards? If it’s going to be deconstructed and put back in the
box, you require less planning than if you are going to glue and frame your puzzle.
• If you do glue and mount, learn about gluing jigsaw puzzles before you start. Gluing puzzles can be messy, so
if this is your end plan, work your puzzle out on a surface you don’t mind getting sticky, like a piece of
cardboard (but make sure it’s big enough to hold your entire puzzle—you can check the dimensions on the box)
or a roll up puzzle mat. Wax paper is great for keeping the sticky mess to a minimum.
• We have some great storage options for jigsaw puzzles - from mats that you can roll up to entire cases that
keep all your pieces flat and in place. The cases even come with sorting trays and some are made with felt to
create the perfect work surface for assembling your puzzle.
3. Choose a workspace
• Workspaces that have another function (like a dining room table) are fine if you have a puzzle mat or a piece
of cardboard or other portable surface that will allow you to move it if you need to make room.
• If your building space is permanent but you don’t like the clutter and don’t have a roll up puzzle mat, plastic
baggies or tupperware containers for your extraneous pieces keep everything organized and ensure that you
don’t misplace any small pieces along the way.
• Make sure your workspace is large enough to accommodate the full size of the jigsaw puzzle, but also the
extra pieces that you organize and build with as you go. 1000-piece puzzles are usually around 20" x 27", for
example, so you'll need at least a 3-5 foot workspace to have room for the whole puzzle and loose pieces
you're working on outside the edges.
to be continued…
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- Anatolian Puzzle