10 tips to start doing jigsaw puzzle (and not get discouraged), part one

Many people claim that they would never be able to assemble 1000+ piece puzzle. They say it is an impossible task for them, for many different reasons.

Puzzle-Maniacs have got several tips to make the process easy and pleasant. Let me share some of them with you. I can assure you that those hints will help all the newbies and unconvinced spend a quality time doing jigsaw puzzle.

I have divided this article into two parts, and first five tips are as follows:

  • 1. Choose the right puzzle picture
  • 2. Find the best place to assemble the pieces
  • 3. Sort the elements
  • 4. See ‘the bigger picture’
  • 5. Take a break

1. Choose the right puzzle picture

As easy as it may sound, this is one of the most important part of the whole process. First, choose a picture you really like. We all love pretty images and designs. Are you fond of abstract painting? Choose puzzles showing your favourite piece of art. Are you a fan of classic vehicles? Search for a picture of a vintage car. Do you like humorous puzzles? Look for Heye or Wasgij.  

Second, consider choosing a box of puzzles containing less than 1000 pieces for a start. The worst thing is to get discouraged at the very beginning.

2. Find the best place to assemble the pieces

The best place is a place you find most comfortable for yourself. Whether it is a floor in your bedroom or a dining table, make sure you and your housemates have no objections to it.  There is a lot of solution for making it easier to assemble, move and storage jigsaw puzzles, e.g. puzzle roll mats. I usually use a hardboard with a neutral background colour which helps to reduce eye strain and which allows me to move my unfinished puzzle picture into another place.

3. Sort the elements

Let’s face it – sorting 1000+ puzzle pieces is tedious. And boring. And pointless, especially when there is too many details in the picture (see some of the Heye puzzles)

On the other hand sorting the elements can save us a lot of time. For example, if you start with assembling the frame of the picture, you will have a great number of tabs and blanks where you can join next pieces.

Next, you can separate the elements based on their colour (the shade of the sky, a dark forest etc) using boxes and other containers available.

Tabs and blanks or, as you may have already heard - knobs, bumps, loops, outies, ‘male’, ‘female’, pockets, sockets, innies, locks and slots are another example of how you can sort certain elements of your puzzle. If you make piles of similar puzzle shapes, I can guarantee you that it will be much easier to find a matching piece.

4. See ‘the bigger picture’

Take a look at what you have already put together and the pieces that still need to be assembled. Notice matching shapes as well as shades and images printed on the elements. When you are focused enough it should be quite easy to cross out wrong elements without even trying to assemble them one by one.

5. Take a break

Rome wasn’t built in a day. When nothing fits anymore and you start to feel irritated and tired – take a break. There is nothing better for a brain than fresh air. Walk your dog, make yourself a nice cup of coffee, stretch. And then you’ll see that somehow all the pieces you couldn’t find before are now right where they should be.

That’s all for today future Puzzle-Maniacs! Stay tuned.