August 19, 2020 4 min read 0 Comments

After all the uncertainty of this year and the need to stay indoors more often, there's one thing that's had a resurgence: jigsaw puzzles.

No other form of pastime can give you as much reward, fun, and perplexity as completing a 500-piece, 1,000-piece, or 1,500-piece puzzle! To feel that sense of accomplishment, you need to first learn the ins and outs of how to solve it.

Believe it or not, your level of success depends a lot on your setup. See below for several tips and tricks on how to do jigsaw puzzles and solve them in record time!

1. Give Yourself Ample Room

There's no worse feeling than getting halfway done with a puzzle and realizing that you don't have enough space on the table, floor, or counter to fit the entire layout. You'll have to take it apart a few pieces at a time to move it to a wider space.

Instead, find a workspace that has a bit more than the dimensions of the puzzle that you're trying to solve. You can find specifics on the puzzle's dimensions on the box.

Wherever you decide to set up the puzzle, make sure you've given yourself a flat space to work. Try to avoid carpets, rugs, and so on. Reach for wood tables, counter-tops, hard surface floors, and so on.

2. Work Your Way Up

As you solve more and more puzzles, you'll start to figure out a system that works for you and your friends/family. Whether that's a color-first mindset or some other method, it's all developed over time.

For that reason, you won't want to get too crazy with the puzzle piece count early on. Start with a 500-piece puzzle or two to get down the cadence and learn how to chip away at the puzzle. 

If you start with a 2,000-piece puzzle or even a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, then you might get discouraged and abandon the puzzle before it's solved.

You'll find that after a few 500-piece puzzles, you'll be chomping at the bit to look for a bigger challenge. From there, work your way up in different increments. If you find yourself too overwhelmed by more pieces, then you can always lower it the next time.

3. Prioritize the Initial Setup

You might find it tempting to simply open up the puzzle's box, turn it upside down to let all the pieces drop, and start going to work.

However, it's more important to take the first few minutes setting up. After all, a jigsaw puzzle is a marathon, not a sprint. Taking the first 10 minutes to set up will cut off a massive amount of time in the grand scheme of things.

Once you've selected a hard surface with ample space, start by dumping out all of the pieces. Spread them all out so that all pieces are in touch with the surface you've placed them on, then ensure that all pieces are face-up so you can see the picture. 

Get a few different flat boxes (like the bottom lid the puzzle came in) so that you can sort all the pieces by color. 

Next, search for the four corner pieces and any puzzle piece that has a flat base anywhere around it. These are your border pieces that outline the frame of the puzzle. It will give you a great starting point and plenty of options to start from as you move along.

4. Keep the Picture Close

Having the top lid of your puzzle box is of the utmost importance. Without it, you couldn't possibly hope to memorize all the different shades, colors, and shapes that are in the puzzle. The more challenging it is, the more random colors will be involved.

Having the puzzle's full image nearby will help you piece it all together. The more that you look at it, the more features you'll memorize about the image.

Then, when you come across a piece with a certain shade or object on it, you'll know what area of the puzzle it probably applies to. If a certain part of the picture is the only area with a particular color, then you know where to apply all pieces with that color on it.

5. Have a Higher Headcount

Not only will having a higher headcount of people help you solve the puzzle faster, but it will also make the process more fun. You'll find that it's a great time to carry on a light conversation while working and fidgeting with something else.

However, if you have too many people trying to solve the puzzle, then it will be more of a nuisance with two hands digging through the same pile.

Have certain people focus on certain areas of the puzzle. For example, if you are in charge of the bottom left portion of the puzzle, you can scan around for different pieces that have the color, pattern, or odd shape that you're looking for.

Jigsaw puzzles are great to do with family members and friends alike. It gives everyone a middle ground in which to smile, laugh, and talk. It's great for introducing your new partner to the family, throwing get-togethers at your house, and much more.

How to Do Jigsaw Puzzles: Patience and Proper Setup

Now that you've seen how to do jigsaw puzzles the right way, it's time for you to get going with your first one!

Remember to start on the smaller side with a 500-piece puzzle if this is your first-ever time doing one. Better to start small and build a passion for it than start too big and overwhelm yourself.

Be sure to browse our website often for more updates and articles that can increase your love of jigsaw puzzles!

Todd Luebke
Todd Luebke

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