A jigsaw puzzle is a tabletop game made of a photo printed on wood or thick paperboard and cut into individual pieces that fit together. Unlike other tabletop games like board games, you can put together jigsaw puzzles on your own or together with any number of people. Once the jigsaw puzzle pieces are mixed up, the challenge of the game is in finding the right pieces and colors that fit together to create the finished photo or image.
How Are Jigsaw Puzzles Made?
Contrary to their name, jigsaw puzzles aren’t made with a jigsaw. Instead, a photo is glued onto wood or cardboard and then it’s fed into a press. In the press, steel blades press down to cut the puzzle into unique pieces, which works like a cookie cutter. Only specific pieces fit together if they’re next to each other in the puzzle, making it a fun challenge to find the right puzzle pieces for each section.
Types of Jigsaw Puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles come in a variety of materials and sizes to alter the finished look and challenge level. Most puzzles are rectangular and flat, though you can also find 3-D puzzles made of more thick cardboard or foam materials. There are puzzles for adults and puzzles for kids that have different numbers of puzzle pieces. You can also create your own jigsaw puzzle by choosing the photo that creates the finished product.
Jigsaw Puzzles for Kids
Jigsaw puzzles for kids tend to be smaller so they’re not as challenging. Any 500-piece jigsaw puzzles or less are great for children since they won’t take as long to complete. The puzzle image also makes the puzzle either more or less challenging. More difficult puzzles tend to include images that have a lot of the same colors, which makes it harder to figure out where each piece goes.
An image that has distinct colors in different sections tends to be easier, so it could be a better puzzle for kids to complete. For smaller kids, thicker materials also make the puzzle easier to complete since the pieces are easier to grab. For a toddler or small child, wooden jigsaw puzzles can help them grab onto each puzzle piece and move it to the right place.
Jigsaw Puzzles for Adults
Adult puzzles can vary greatly in size and image. When looking for a jigsaw puzzle, it’s all up to the type of challenge you want. You can choose 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles for a fun challenge that might take a few hours to complete. If the image is very difficult, a 1000-piece puzzle could take several days to complete. By rule of thumb, the more pieces in a puzzle tend to make it more difficult.
Custom Jigsaw Puzzles
Creating a custom jigsaw puzzle is the best way to make sure you’ll have the challenge you want. Personalized puzzles might include your family photos, pet photos, or even your favorite artwork. With custom jigsaw puzzles, you can even glue the finished product to a poster so you can have a beautiful piece of wall art. With your finished puzzle, it’ll look great and also remind you of the fun time you had when putting it together.
How to Create Picture Puzzles
You can easily create your own jigsaw puzzles online with Shutterfly by uploading photos. The best jigsaw puzzles will include your favorite memories, so finishing the puzzle will be that much more of an accomplishment. With Shutterfly’s jigsaw puzzle maker, all you have to do is choose the photos you love and customize the puzzle image with colors or text. Some great themes for picture puzzles include pet photos, Disney photos, animal photos, and family memories.