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Behind the Scenes – How Jigsaw Puzzles are Made

Behind the Scenes – How Jigsaw Puzzles are Made
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At Gibsons, we pride ourselves on the quality of our jigsaw puzzles. We use 100% recycled puzzle board and work with the best artists from all around the world.

We are regularly asked how we make our jigsaw puzzles, so here is a behind-the-scenes look at our process:

Firstly, we start by finding the right image for our jigsaw puzzle. They have to be bright, colourful and busy – we try not to have large blocks of colour to ensure our puzzlers are entertained and don’t get bored.

We work with a whole host of talented artists, some of whom we have worked with for decades. Often, our puzzle images are created on commission, meaning we give our artists a brief and they paint the specific design we have in mind. Here is an image of the best-selling artist Trevor Mitchell painting “Christmas Chorus.”

Once the artist has finished the artwork, we have it scanned and then use photo-editing software to ensure it is ready for digital printing. We also create the box design.

Next, the puzzle image and box design are printed onto high-quality, FSC paper. The paper is ordered to size and we have designed our puzzle boxes to fit onto this sheet of paper to minimise wastage.

We use vegetable-based, mineral oil free, cobalt-free, quick-drying inks that are made from renewable raw materials.

Each puzzle piece is uniquely shaped, to avoid a piece accidentally fitting into the wrong place. Our puzzle cutters are expertly crafted; first, we use a machine to laser-cut the shape and then the physical cutter is blade cut, one line at a time, all by hand. The edges are then ground down to a sharp point and fused together to make the intricate cutter– the entire process takes over a week!

These cutters are what make our puzzles unique. They must be extra sharp to cut through our thick board. If they start to dull, then our pieces will not be correctly cut.

Then the puzzle image is stuck to the 100% recycled board and gets cut by the cutter.

The cut puzzle is then transported into the scrambling machine and the pieces are mixed up.

The mixed pieces then shoot into a plastic bag, ready to go into the puzzle box.

Next, the sturdy puzzle boxes are made.


The puzzles are placed into the boxes and our biodegradable seals applied to ensure everything is secure.

Finally, the puzzles are shipped to our customers and ready to be sold. The shape and size of our puzzle boxes and cartons are optimised to make full use of pallets. This maximises the space we have and reduces transport costs and emissions.

Here's a snap of Poynton's in Derby, all stocked up!

1 comment

  • Eileen : January 08, 2021

    Could you make me a puzzle if I sent you a photo. Ad the photo brings back happy memories of my childhood. Thank you

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