Introduction: Tackling a Puzzle for the First-time
I always thought puzzles were B O R I N G...that is until I tried one.
Completing a puzzle is very rewarding because you can see the progression of your hard work. In addition, there is nothing more rewarding than snapping two puzzle pieces together. It's an activity that requires utmost focus and has been compared to a meditative practice.
I encourage you to try one puzzle. You will not finish your first puzzle in an hour, much less a few hours. Pick a puzzle...spend some time on it...take a break...then come back to it.
You will begin to see the pieces coming together with time.
- a table or large area where you will laying out the puzzle
- plenty of light
- and a whole lot of dedication and persistence
8.5 x 11 paper to line the cookie sheet, so you can better see the colors of your puzzle pieces
Step 1: Go Shopping!
So, you've decided to start a puzzle! Good for you!
I would recommend starting with a 300 piece puzzle. Pick something colorful and fun.
Step 2: Avoiding the Puzzle Disasters...at Least for Now
The puzzle of the mountain and the Cinderella scene may look pretty, but are difficult...and not in a good way. Puzzles like these are incredibly frustrating and not fun...at least for your first puzzle. Put them back on the shelf and find another one.
Fifty-percent of the mountain pic is composed of sky that is one color. Ugh...not fun. Similarly, the Cinderella puzzle will be difficult because most of the picture is all light blue.
Step 3: Picking the "right" Puzzle - Something Fun Please
First and foremost, pick an image you like. You will be dedicating a few hours, if not days to this project, so pick an image you enjoy.
I recommend colorful images. I also like pictures within a picture, so if you become overwhelmed with completing the whole puzzle, you can focus on a subsection.
Once you see the image coming together you will feel like you have completed a major milestone and will be encouraged to persist. :)
The puzzles of the Disney princesses and the Crayola crayons look fun to me.
Step 4: Narrow Down Your Selection
I picked a 300 piece puzzle of colorful popsicles.
If I am short on time, I can focus on completing one popsicle at a time.
And most importantly, I love the colors.
Step 5: Start Sorting Your Pieces
Open your puzzle box and empty out the pieces onto your table. Make sure you have plenty of light.
I like to turn all of the puzzle pieces face up and have them in a single layer.
I begin by picking out the puzzle pieces with a flat edge. These will build the frame of your puzzle.
At the same time, I also start to build piles of puzzle pieces with a similar pattern or color scheme.
An optional thing thing you may try to sort out your puzzle is to use a cookie sheet. You can use a cookie sheet with two 8.5X11 pieces of paper to help store and sort out your color piles. I find this helpful because I may need extra space on the table to complete the edges of the puzzle first.
Keep the final picture of your puzzle handy, so you can group the colors appropriately. Some may be in the wrong color group, but at least it will make tackling the puzzle a bit easier.
Step 6: Start to Build Your Edges or the Frame of the Puzzle
When building the edges of frame continue to refer to the original image of the puzzle
Step 7: Start to Complete the Inside of the Puzzle
Since all of my pieces are now grouped by color, I can easily build a subsection of the puzzle. Again, I always refer pack to the image of the puzzle to see if I'm headed in the right direction.
Step 8: Jump Up for Joy Once You Have Snapped the Final Piece in Place
Yey! Congrats you have finished your first puzzle!