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Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are a fun activity for an individual, a family, or group of friends no matter what their ages. Traditionally made from cardboard, wood, and/or plastic, a jigsaw puzzle is a single image laminated or etched into backing and that has then been cut into interlocking pieces and the pieces jumbled up. The objective is use the shape of the pieces and any identifying colors, patterns, or other information on the face of each piece to reassemble the original picture.

There is a wide variety of subjects, styles, and difficulties available. In additional to traditional two-dimensional puzzles, there are "3-D" puzzles that re-assemble into famous buildings and other structures. There are even computer jigsaw puzzles for those who enjoy doing them either online or downloaded for later use.

Puzzles are usually divided into categories by size, number of puzzle pieces, and what the picture is. Quality puzzles have a strong backing, pieces that fit easily together, and pieces cut to discourage the connection of the wrong pieces. When looking for a puzzle, here are some ideas to consider:

  • Children and beginners usually like small sized puzzles with fewer pieces because they do not have the patience or attention span to assemble a large puzzle.
  • For those who enjoy a challenge, consider puzzles that:
    • have irregular borders
    • have a large number of pieces
    • have pictures on both sides
    • are a 3-D model of a building
    • are all one color such as a paint splotch or spilt milk puddle
    • are photo mosaics where smaller pictures form the large picture
  • If the puzzle is a gift, consider giving a custom made puzzle. Puzzles can be made from photos, children’s artwork, and maps with a variety of options on size, piece count, borders and such.
  • If you are uncertain what type of puzzle to get someone, consider a gift certificate. These sometimes are a puzzle themselves for even more fun.

It's important to carefully disassemble and store a puzzle when you are finished. Nothing is more frustrating then to assemble a puzzle only to find some of the pieces missing. If you have a favorite puzzle but are missing a piece or two, some puzzle websites have a replacement piece service where you may

purchase the missing piece(s). They also may offer accessories like puzzle mats and carriers for working and storing your puzzles, puzzle glue to preserve the puzzle when done, and display frames with permanent or changeable puzzle display options.

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