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How to Do a Jigsaw Puzzle Like an Expert – Fast Tips & Tricks for Puzzle Strategy

How to Do a Jigsaw Puzzle Like an Expert – Fast Tips & Tricks for Puzzle Strategy


Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to unwind after a long day and bond with your family. Taking the time to put a puzzle together is a relaxing exercise that works parts of the brain that are often left unchallenged throughout the work day. Puzzles come in many different shapes, sizes, and levels of difficulty, making them a perfect hobby for any age group. 

Many prefer to start with smaller puzzles and work their way up to puzzles that feature 1,000 pieces or more. If you are thinking of taking on larger puzzles, consider looking into puzzle accessories and supplies to help you along the way. These mammoth-sized masterpieces are daunting to take on, no matter how skilled of a puzzler you are. Luckily, we have a few easy jigsaw puzzle tips to follow that will work on any type of puzzle, no matter how big or small it may be.

Where To Start With Your Puzzle

Your instinct might be to dig into a puzzle and problem-solve as you go along, but this might make things harder for yourself. If you are new to the hobby, the following guidelines provide a good starting point. Many puzzles feel overwhelming when you cut open the box and pour out all the pieces onto the table, but if you stick to these guidelines, you should be able to complete any puzzle in a timely and efficient manner.

Choose Your Puzzle

The first thing you should do is decide on a puzzle. With so many different puzzles available, it can be challenging to find one everyone can agree on if you’re working together in a group. If you are having trouble finding the right puzzle to solve, think of your favorite piece of artwork or something that makes you laugh; chances are, there is a puzzle available with precisely what you imagined. A few of the most common genres of puzzles are landscapes, paintings, and animals.

If you are looking for puzzles that are great for new puzzlers in training, try taking on 100 piece jigsaw puzzles first and then work your way up to something a little bigger, like 300 piece jigsaw puzzles. These puzzles should give you good practice before you take on something that has 1,000 pieces or more.

Choose Your Work Area

Once you have chosen your dream puzzle, the next step is finding the appropriate place to begin working on it. Finding the perfect location to work is crucial because the last thing anyone wants to do is get halfway through completing the puzzle and later realize they have to move it.

When choosing the perfect puzzle-assembly area, there are a few things to consider. First, you want to ensure that the surface you are working on is large enough to house the puzzle; while the pieces might fit on a smaller table in a pile, they might start to hang off as it comes together. Puzzle tables are great because they are tailor-made for puzzles and have borders that can keep pieces from falling off the table and getting lost.

Lighting is also important to consider when working on a puzzle well into the wee hours. Working on a puzzle with smaller pieces in a dim-lit space can make it harder to see the finer details in the picture and hurt your vision. If possible, pick a room with a lot of natural lighting during the day to be your designated puzzle domain.

Using a communal space like the kitchen table can be tempting, but pieces can go missing if someone else has to use the area to eat. Additionally, puzzle pieces could get messy and wet if they are around food. Not ideal for framing at all!

Complete The Setup

After picking out your puzzle and claiming a puzzle-building territory as your own, you’re ready to get started! It’s time to cut the box open and dump those pieces out onto your desired surface. Once all of the pieces are laid out, be sure to flip them over so the images are facing upwards.

Sort the pieces by color and pattern because these are the most easily-distinguishable characteristics and offer a way to break down the puzzle into a series of more manageable sub-tasks. Sorting is a helpful strategy for solving large puzzles with small pieces that do not have much of the image on them. Sorting them by color takes a lot of guesswork out of puzzling, as you will have all the similar colored pieces you need at your disposal.

Lastly, you should separate corner and edge pieces. Border pieces are the first pieces to be put together, so it’s important to set as many of them as possible to the side for this step.

How To Put Together A Jigsaw Puzzle

Now that all of the conditions are right, it’s time to talk about puzzle strategy. At this point, you should be in a well-lit area with plenty of space and have your pieces sorted into similar groups of color and pattern with bordering pieces in a separate pile. Finally, you can begin the process of putting it all together with these simple jigsaw puzzle tips:

Build The Border

The quickest way to finish a puzzle is to know how the border structures around the rest of the jigsaw. Begin puzzling here and then slowly work inward as you find and put together each corresponding border piece. Piecing the border together first allows you to better define your workspace and visualize the scale of each section.

Focus On Details

Next, work on the unique details of the image you are putting together inside the puzzle. High-contrast parts of the picture should be easier to piece together because of their striking features and attributes. Depending on the genre of puzzle you are solving, these pieces typically include faces, groups of people, windows, doors, chimneys, text, skylines, and outlines of buildings. If you cannot put these pieces together right away, leave them in an organized pile as you come across them and come to them later.

Work Inwards

Once you complete the border of the puzzle and begin working inward, you start to run out of clues to work with as you reach the halfway point. At this point, the puzzle becomes more challenging to finish as some features on the pieces become less distinguishable. Power through this hurdle and continue putting as many pieces together around the edges and into the image details.

Complete The Jigsaw Puzzle

As you near the end of your puzzle journey, there should only be a few more incomplete areas to flesh out. Only a handful of pieces remain, and you can clearly see the finish line while filling in the remaining gaps. You find the last puzzle piece, and voila! Just like that, you’ve completed your very first puzzle!

Congratulations on seeing this epic problem-solving journey to the end!

What’s Next?

Well done! We know that a lot of time, energy, and effort goes into solving a puzzle, but if you stick to these tried and tested puzzle strategies, you should be able to make relatively quick work out of any jigsaw you take on.

If you’re proud of the final product and want to preserve it for future puzzlers to see, you can use puzzle glue and frame the puzzle. If you want to compete for the best time of putting together a puzzle with someone, scramble the pieces and offer them a chance to put the puzzle together quicker! Puzzlers who want to keep testing their skills should try a challenging puzzle or even a shaped puzzle

Remember, as with any hobby, practice makes perfect. These jigsaw puzzle tips and strategies will become second nature as you continue to challenge yourself with more puzzles. Feel free to save these steps for later and refresh your memory during your next puzzle adventure!

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