How to Become a Jigsaw Puzzle Expert
With winter at our doorsteps, it’s good to have some ideas for family activities that are inexpensive, conversation-friendly, and speed cube indoor-oriented but not so separated as having everyone sitting around the couch or online. Jigsaw puzzles are great for this time of year. 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 my 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 unfinished!
Before You Start
- 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.
- 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.
- Choose a work space
- 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.