Introduction: How to Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle

Picture of How to Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles are fun, they can also be not fun, if you are building a hard jigsaw puzzle (or an easy one) these few tips should help.

I have compiled a full step-by-step how to complete a jigsaw puzzle.

I am using a 100 (108, the box was wrong!) piece jigsaw puzzle, I used a smaller puzzle to work on because I had to pull it apart and put it together a few times.

Well, enough of the intro, lets get started!

Step 1: Separation.

Picture of Separation.

The first thing you should do before starting any jigsaw is separate the pieces (actually, you should take it out of the box...) start this by separating the edges from the middle pieces.

Once you have done that, take out the corner pieces.

Now, with all the straight edge pieces it is time to color sort, put light pieces with light pieces, dark with dark and medium color with medium color, if you don't have many medium color pieces just put them with the closest category.

When you have done that you should scroll down to the next step!

Step 2: First Placement!

Picture of First Placement!

Now, you should start to see the patterns in the edge pieces, put together the easy parts and then the harder parts, when you have finished that, you have made what is known as "the frame".

Now you can start separating the middle pieces into colors!

Step 3: Middle Pieces!

Picture of Middle Pieces!

To separate the middle pieces you will use the same principle as the edges, if you see any patterns appearing in certain pieces separate them, I have 5 piles, going from top to bottom-left to right I will explain them;

Light color pieces, these are going to go together so I pile them up.

Mostly blue pieces, these have no "light or dark" category but I saw a pattern.

Random pieces, these couldn't fit in any of my 4 categories so they got a category of their own.

Fish and coral, this particular puzzle is an underwater scene so these will go together.

Last but not least I have a pile of black pieces, judging by the patterns depicted on these pieces I can tell that they will go together.

Step 4: Category Placement.

Picture of Category Placement.

I chose to work on the black category first because I saw it made a turtle, putting this together was easy so I did it first.

When putting together a smaller category (like the black one) be sure to make it inside the frame or it may be hard to transfer later!

Step 5: Category Placement (2).

Picture of Category Placement (2).

Now I chose to do the light category.

The reason for choosing this category next was because I could see it went on the top of the puzzle.

At this stage I could see that the blue category completed the dolphins so I put it in.

Step 6: More Placement!

Picture of More Placement!

Now, I have two options, I can put in the random pieces or the coral and fish pieces, I choose the coral an fish because I only have 8 random pieces and I will be able to easily see where they go after putting the fish and coral in.

BTW, at this stage I have placed 100 pieces, I still have 8 left, the box states that it is a 100 piece puzzle!

Step 7: Finishing the Puzzle!

Picture of Finishing the Puzzle!

Now, I can very easily see where the 8 remaining pieces go so I put them in and complete the puzzle.

The principles of separating and placing are the same throughout jigsaw world, if you have a different method that you like my advice to you is: "Stick to it!" Why change something that already works?

Thanks for viewing, please check out my other instructables I am on a mission to reach 50,000 views!

Comments

tscott25 (author)2014-09-06

Thanks for the share. Like you I do the frame first! most of the puzzles I do have many pieces so when I do one. I choose to frame it. However I usually count the piece's first. Cause nothing worse than doing all that work only to have a piece or two missing. With that said. ...do you count the pieces first? And with separating the piece's. ...how long does it take for you to put a 1000 puzzle difficult level together with your process? ?? Thanks So Much for sharing ?☺

JM1999 (author)tscott252014-09-06

We are currently working on a 1000 piece puzzle, I don't know the rating though, it has taken us 4 hours so far, mainly because it has only two color sections-yellow and grey!

we are about 80% through it and has a large grey section that we are "stuck" on.

Most times I don't count the pieces first for three reasons - Our puzzles are mostly brand new, when you realize that a piece is missing you are less likely to search for "that piece that will complete the-" and the third reason is because it takes a long time to count 1000 pieces in the morning-complete the puzzle and then count out another 1000 pieces for the next puzzle.

JM1999 (author)JM19992014-09-09

The 1000 piece puzzle was terminated via a house cleanup while I was away, we managed another 1000 piece puzzle I did get a photo of an we did it in about 5 hours, there were a few hard parts: the clouds, the sky an that black landmass on the left, they were the most time consuming parts despite all our sorting!

iceng (author)JM19992014-09-06

Are you a player on jigidi.com ?

JM1999 (author)iceng2014-09-06

No, what would make you suggest that? I just visited the site after seeing your post and it looks cool!

iceng (author)JM19992014-09-06

I spend time there and manage to occasionally get on the leader board by doing a puzzle at under 2 seconds per piece !

AliceC13 (author)2015-11-09

the puzzles can surely help the kids develop their brain development.. these educational puzzle games for kids can also help them a lot with the brain development http://goo.gl/ELZX0l

AliceC13 (author)2015-11-09

the puzzles can surely help the kids develop their brain development.. these educational puzzle games for kids can also help them a lot with the brain development http://goo.gl/ELZX0l

PanaitC (author)2015-10-22

My method actually opposes yours. I usually separate the puzzle in areas, each are having a different base color for the background. then I search for the most easily identifiable elements. I worked with friends on a 5000 pieces one. For me the most identifiable were those containing words or human faces. In you case where you have only animals the eyes are very easy to find in the beginning. The complete around them as much as possible. If I din a piece that is not there but i know where it is just set up temporary. I find that method you use to take more work and kinda spoil the fun of solving a puzzle. My way is based on pattern recognition. Also unique colored pieces are good starting points.

JM1999 (author)2014-11-04

55,555 views!

mrozowski123 (author)2014-09-20

That is so cool, I love it!

I can't do large jigsaw puzzles, they take up too much space!

desmondtheredx (author)2014-09-06

NICE! :)

skiedra (author)2014-09-06

Some good ideas there, thanks for sharing.

rupin.chheda (author)2014-09-06

after solving a puzzle, just mark out the numbers on the back of the pieces.

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-09-06

This is so informative! I'm really bad at jigsaw puzzles so this is hugely helpful to me. Thanks for sharing!

NetWt4Lbs (author)2014-09-05

I use this method with jigsaw puzzle apps! ^_^

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