So you have taken up the challenge of a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and are not sure where to begin or just feeling stuck? If that’s the case, this is a great guide to follow whenever you feel stuck finding those fitting pieces.
The difficulty of a puzzle will vary because of numerous factors like experience, the number of pieces and patience and even the kind of brand you've chosen. However, there are a few things you can do to make this whole experience easier, more enjoyable and actually get to that gratifying finale of putting the last missing piece.
Get a dedicated surface for the puzzle.
This can be a roll-up mat, cardboard sheet, or plain tabletop. Our personal favourite is the cardboard sheet (more on it below)
Jigsaw Roll-Up Mat
These come in different sizes, shapes and surfaces, but for the most part, we find that they’re made of felt.
These can save your progress of the puzzle by rolling it up and packing it away for another day. This will also free up your table space that can be used for other tasks while you’re not puzzling.
Often made of felt which creates friction and does not allow the user to slide or move the puzzle pieces around easily. In addition, puzzle pieces tend to get caught up by the small fibres of the mat.
Just a plain simple piece of flat cardboard from moving carton boxes or from packages of larger appliances.
If you don’t need to store your puzzle away between sessions, good old cardboards will do the job just fine. In fact, it is much easier for users to move jigsaw pieces around on a cardboard surface. Due to its sturdiness, you can also easily rotate the cardboard around should you wish to work on another area of the puzzle without having to move physically.
It is easy to save the progress of your puzzle with all the loose pieces if you have a flat space where to store it away, like underneath a bed. Also, the pieces will slide across the board a lot smoother, and thanks to its sturdiness, it will be simpler to rotate the puzzle and try a different angle when you get stuck.
Harder to store away unless you have a free and flat surface area, like under a bed or a sofa.
It might be harder to come across larger size boxes. If you’re in Australia, we would suggest trying these mirror moving boxes from Storage Kings.
This is the most common go-to place to assemble a jigsaw puzzle. Just consider that you won’t be able to use the table for anything else for a longer period of time.
Sort out the puzzle pieces
Now that you have chosen a place to assemble the puzzle, here comes the strategising part that can save you a lot of headache and frustration and set you up for a fun time.
Open the puzzle and start sorting the puzzle pieces in similar clusters.
Search out all the edge pieces of the puzzle. This will help you make a start.
Then make as many groups of pieces as it would be reasonable. For example, all the sky pieces make one pile while all the flowers or buildings make other piles.
Build the outline of the puzzle
This will help you to get a better idea of the overall size of the puzzle as well as provide you with multiple starting points that you can switch back and forth as you build the puzzle.
If you have done a good job with sorting, then this will be the fastest process you will have for the entire puzzle.
Follow leading lines
Now that the puzzle has started to take shape, tackle the simplest part by assembling any leading lines. This can be an edge of a building, horizon, coastal line or anything that has a strong contrast in colours. Below is an example of our Holiday Pass 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle and the coastal edge being assembled.
Let it go
If you're feeling stuck, it's time to let go of the puzzle and allow your brain to take a break. Especially since this is such an engaging activity for your brain. In this article, we have covered how the Jigsaw puzzle enhances your thinking and explain why it can feel tiering other times.
By simply taking a break for a few hours to a few days, you will allow your brain to rest and store the information. This way, when returning to the task, it will feel as if you have entered a flow state, and many of the pieces appear to click in their place more easily than before.
(Bonus) Frame your jigsaw.
If you have finished all the 1000 pieces, then Congratulations! You should be proud of yourself as not that many people can see it all the way through. Now, since this has been a task that has come with some serious dedication and persistence, it is worth putting it in a frame.
While each jigsaw puzzle will differ in its sizing depending on the manufacturer and quantity of pieces, they all would still fall into some standard size category for which you could find a frame.
All our 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles measure 50 x 70 cm and would fit most off-the-shelve frames. We also offer to purchase our DIY frames as they're designed to exactly match the outline of the puzzle without leaving any empty spaces around the puzzle.