For us puzzle makers, there can be nothing worse than losing a few puzzle pieces and not being able to finish what we started. In all my time building jigsaw puzzles I have only ever lost pieces to a puzzle once. I was so frustrated that I vowed never to do it again.
And do you know what? I never have. Now the secret to my success is very simple. I invested in a quality puzzle board and case that did all the hard work for me. But how do you use these wondrous things you ask? Let me help.
How do you use a puzzle board?
A puzzle board is a simple yet effective aid that provides a large smooth space for you to build and solve your jigsaw puzzles. You simply open up the case or box and start doing your jigsaw on the mainboard. Most will have retractable compartments so that you can store your extra pieces, and also group them into common colors or shapes.
The boards will have a soft fabric cover so that you can place them on house furniture and not damage anything. Most can be zipped up securely and the half-finished puzzle saved as it is to continue another day.
Step by step on using a puzzle board
- Puzzle boards come in a range of different sizes. The largest common size is around 1500 pieces. This means that they can get quite large and that they are best placed on an equally large surface or even the floor. They can always be moved in between puzzle building sessions. The most important thing is that the surface is flat and your puzzle board is flat.
- Next, empty all the puzzle pieces from your chosen jigsaw onto the main puzzle board. Take time to arrange each piece so it is facing upwards and the face design can easily be seen. This may seem boring but it is essential. If the set up is done right it can save you a lot of pain down the road.
- The next step involves separating the puzzle pieces out into different colors or shapes and placing these groups into different compartments of the puzzle board. If your design does not have compartments just use the surrounding table or floor space. Don’t be afraid to go further and organize the pieces into smaller groups such as the number of tabs (the bit that is curved and sticks out) or blanks (the curved inwards bit) on each one.
- Continue to build your puzzle piece by piece. When the time comes to stop doing the puzzle, there are two ways to go about it. One is to simply leave everything as is and store the board away under the bed or in the wardrobe. As an alternative, some designs have an attachable cover material that will hold the pieces in place.
- Puzzling can be a long and time-consuming process and it is always important to remember to take a break from the activity if you start to feel tired. Building jigsaws should be challenging and fun, not stressful.
- When the puzzle is finished, the best option is to frame it. Slide the finished article off the board and onto the backboard of a frame. Jigsaw puzzles look great hanging on a wall. Of course, you can always break it up and use it again another day if you so wish.
How long does it take to solve a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle?
This is a very hard question to answer because everyone is different. Some people like to speed through a puzzle and others like to take their time. Just sorting the pieces into straight-edged pieces and grouping them by color will take a couple of hours.
The jigsaw itself can take anything from a solid day to weeks depending on the speed taken. We recommend taking your time and enjoying the process.
What to do with a jigsaw puzzle after you put it together?
This is often a big point of discussion. When you finish a jigsaw puzzle, what do you do with it? There are more options than you might think – here are a few.
Take a picture – Pictures will last a lot longer than the finished puzzle that’s for sure. Take a picture on your smartphone or camera and upload it to the cloud. It will then last a lifetime and you can easily show off to your friends.
Frame it – Measure the finished puzzle and find a suitably sized frame to hang it in. The frame will need to be a few inches bigger than the puzzle. Only certain types of frames will do. The ones with detachable sides are best.
Hoard it – Another option is to simply keep it in the cupboard or under the bed, sure in the knowledge that you will have use for it again someday.
Give it as a gift – You could always give it to a friend. They could either redo it or put the finished piece on their wall.
What makes a jigsaw puzzle difficult?
There are three things that can most affect the difficulty of any particular jigsaw. The first is the number of pieces that the puzzle is made up of. When the numbers start getting to the thousands then the difficulty really starts to spike.
The second is the design of the image on the front. Images with a lot of repeated colors or items are harder. Images with little difference in the details like lots of blue sky or sea are harder as well. Lastly, the way you approach building the jigsaw affects the difficulty greatly.
If you are prepared to follow the instructions above, have a proper puzzle board and make groups of pieces then you will make life a lot easier on yourself. If your setup is not ideal, it can add many hours onto the build time.
Be sure to invest in the products that most suit your needs and we know you will have a blast!