Jigsaw puzzles are one of those things that everyone can enjoy. We saw sales increase dramatically throughout 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic with people turning to jigsaws as an inexpensive, indoor activity away from screentime. Even people who haven’t touched a puzzle since they were children have been enjoying them and we have had people write in saying about the benefits they’ve had of puzzling through the pandemic.
But if you’re new to puzzles and you’re looking for some tips and tricks to piece them together, here is our guide to getting started.
1. Make sure you have enough space and good lighting
Before starting to piece your puzzle together, it’s important to know the dimensions of the jigsaw to ensure that your workspace is going to fit it all. You might have the puzzle laid out for a few days (or even weeks) while you complete it, so make sure that you’re puzzling in a space that won’t be disturbed. Otherwise if you don’t have a lot of space, a jigsaw roll or puzzle board may be helpful for easy movement and storage.
2. Turn all the pieces up the right way
By turning the pieces all to face upwards, you’ll be able to see the image clearly and it will save time having to go through each piece individually. It is also easier to look at pieces and see if they match colours or patterns and be able to sort them together (see tip number 4!). It might take a while but it will definitely make building the puzzle easier.
3. Start with the borders
The edges are possibly the easiest part of the puzzle to complete. There are fewer pieces, and it is usually simple enough to identify and pair the matching colours with each other to see where they join up. By piecing the border together, it also provides a defined space that you can work inside as you build the rest of the puzzle. Don’t worry if you can’t find all the edges pieces as they will emerge as you piece the jigsaw together.
4. Sort the pieces into similar colours and build from there
If a jigsaw has an area that is a similar colour (such as sky, trees, etc), sort these pieces together so that they are all in one area. Sometimes this might be done through pattern instead, like someone’s item of clothing, the texture of a building, or even words. Dividing the green of grass and the green of trees is also useful, as that way you know where each zone of the puzzle is.
5. Work on smaller images within the bigger image
If there is a horse (for example) in one area, find the pieces that go together to create the horse and build outwards from there. Place this part of the puzzle inside the border in the general area that it should go so that you can get an idea of the rest of the space around it and work outwards from there if you need to. You may also find that it’s easier to connect up with the borders, or with other parts of the puzzle once they are inside the edges.
6. Sort pieces into the same shapes (especially if you're struggling at the end with one block of colour)
Towards the end of the puzzle, you might be getting a bit frustrated with a part of the image that is all the same colour. Not to worry though! Sometimes all you need to do is sort the pieces into the different shapes they come in. If there are a bunch of pieces that has two knobs opposite each other, group them together. If there are three knobs and one hole, put them all together as well. That way you can look at the shape of the pieces that are needed from the puzzle, and see if there is a piece with a certain shape that would fit, rather than focusing on the colour.
7. Take breaks and don’t give up
Every so often, puzzlers can get so fed up with their jigsaw that they stop all together. Keep persevering! We receive a hit of dopamine with each success, from individual pieces to the completion of the entire puzzle. Sometimes it’s just as important to not be puzzling, as having time away from the puzzle may help you refocus and pick up on pieces that you missed before. The satisfaction that you will feel when you place that last piece will be worth it.
If you have any questions about our products, please reach out to the Customer Service team by completing the relevant form on our website. We will get back to you as soon as we can.