If you want to learn how to do your jigsaw puzzle like a pro, look no further than these 6 easy tips on how to make your puzzle journey easier, faster and hassle free. If you already started a puzzle and find yourself stuck, there are tips for you too!


1. Choose the right place, surface and lighting for your puzzle

First things first, when it comes to completing a jigsaw puzzle, where you do it matters. I recommend choosing an area that has good natural light or great lighting because when it comes to seeing small colour variations on puzzle pieces, good light is a saviour. 

When it comes to where to do your puzzle, choose a clean and smooth surface and make sure to think about whether you will need this space in the near future as a puzzle might take longer to complete. If you’re like me, and like doing a lot of puzzles but also enjoy a clutter free space, I highly recommend getting a puzzle table that you can move around as you please. 

2. Sort the puzzle pieces

Once you have the spot for your puzzle, it is time to start sorting the puzzle pieces. Sorting becomes more important the larger the puzzle becomes, especially when the puzzle is over 500 pieces, as the pieces usually have smaller colour variations and are therefore harder to differentiate.

So start by taking your puzzle pieces and sort them according to:

  • Edge pieces (pieces with a straight edge on one side or a corner piece);
  • Colours;
  • Texture (if colour is the same but the texture is different)

When you sort, make sure to lay down all the puzzle pieces with the image up and keep the sorting as neat as possible. 

 Sorting a jigsaw puzzle by colour


3. Do the edge of the puzzle

Now that you have sorted all the pieces, start by taking the edge pieces and joining them together. Having the frame done first, helps you get an idea of how large the puzzle is and what size different parts of it could be.

If you realise that you have missed an edge piece or two in sorting, don’t worry about that now. You will without a doubt find the missing edge pieces as you go through the next steps and can just add it (or them) then.

If your puzzle has irregular edges rather than straight, you can leave this step for now and move on to step no 4. 

Completing a jigsaw puzzle

4. Puzzle as you please and do what comes natural 

Now that you have your pieces sorted and the edge done, it is time to start your puzzle journey. There is no need to start at a particular place, just start by putting together the pieces with patterns and colours that stand out to you. Once you have started piecing together a part, place it where you think it belongs within the edges and continue the process until there are no pieces left.

As you puzzle, you will notice your eyes becoming more attuned to the shapes of puzzle pieces and it will get easier to naturally understand what shape fits where. It’s one of the funny benefits of puzzling.


5. What to do if you get stuck on a jigsaw puzzle

If you have followed the earlier instructions and feel stuck no matter what, the best thing to do is to take a break. Staring at something for too long, never does anyone any good and neither does staring at your puzzle for too long. When you come back to it after some rest, you can usually spot just what you were looking for earlier. 


6. But what if I’m really stuck..?

If a simple break does not help, it’s time to re-sort the pieces you have left  in a more precise manner. This time, keep the original colour sorting but focus on sorting and displaying the pieces by their piece shape. Then, you can more easily look out for what kind of piece fits where in the puzzle according to shape and colour too. 

This re-sorting process can be especially helpful when it comes to gradient- or monochromatic puzzles as you are aided by the shape of the puzzle as much as from the colour of it. Re-sorting can take a bit of time depending on how much of your puzzle is left, but if you’re stuck it is well worth the effort. 

Re-sorting is easier when it comes to regular cut puzzles and does not work irregular cut puzzles as these can not be sorted according to shape as easily. If you are working on an irregular cut puzzle, instead re-sort the colours again. 

Sorting jigsaw puzzle pieces


What are your best puzzle tips? 

If you’re still struggling with your puzzle and need help, email me at hello@mai-mo.com and I’ll do my best to help you out! 
For more playful and creative inspiration straight to your inbox twice a month, sign up to our newsletter here!


Pin this post

How to a jigsaw puzzle with 6 easy tips and tricks

Leave a comment