How To Puzzle: With Le Puzz
How to puzzle! Spoiler alert 🚨 there’s no wrong way!
Our friends at Varyer.com asked us to give some tips and tricks when it comes to puzzling and we took our jobs seriously! From puzzle selection to snack selection, we get into all of it. Read all of our suggestions below.
Above: Let the pieces be your guide.
Above: Varyer created the cutest illustrations to accompany our tips!
If you're looking for a new puzzle, well we have to recommend a little website Lepuzz.com where you can find quite a variety of eye catching titles.Find Your Next Puzz
First things first, take a look around your room right now. Do you have an ideal space to make a puzzle? Maybe its a large kitchen table or a work space. Just keep in mind the dimensions of your puzzle and the dimensions of your work surface. You want to have enough room to lay out all the pieces, spread out, sort them and of course fit the completed puzzle on the table! Seasoned puzzlers will often have a dedicated surface to puzzle on, like a puzzle board. We highly recommend them as they can turn any surface into a puzzle-able space. We love the puzzle boards from Zakco, they are handmade in upstate NY and come in a variety of sizes and finishes. If you're looking to make a quick puzzle board on a budget or in a pinch a large piece of foam-core from an art supply store is an excellent choice.
Our next recommendation (apart from picking out your puzzle) is quite possibly the most important. SNACKS! We recommend things that won't grease up your hands. Really this is up to you we don't want to stand in your way of your favorite munchies. Some of our favorites in no particular order: a glass of wine, a seltzer, Ghia (as a treat), kettle corn, pistachios, a bowl of peanut m&ms. But honestly sometimes we break all the rules and just order some take out. Whatever makes you feel the coziest.
Picking a Puzz
Ok, now we're talking. Undoubtably, this is the most critical step. How do you pick a puzzle?? If you are new to puzzling and you're trying out a Le Puzz for the first time we recommend our 500 piece puzzles. They are challenging but not overwhelming. Go with your gut here as well. Do you want to try a vintage puzzle? a new brand? Try to find an image that looks interesting and that you want to live with for a moment. Maybe it's some really wild vintage food styling, a peaceful serene nature scene, an illustration. As long as you are into it that's what matters most. The larger the piece count generally means a larger more challenging puzzle. If you're looking into picking out a vintage puzzle we recommend Springbok, Eaton or American Publishing Co. Scour your local second hand shops and of course eBay is always a great resource. If you're looking for a new puzzle, well we have to recommend a little website Lepuzz.com where you can find quite a variety of eye catching titles.
You're well on your way now, just dump that box out onto your puzzle surface and start to flip all the pieces over. You will also want to find a place to prop up your box lid for easy reference. More often that not the box top just ends up in a chair or propped up on a window sill nearby, nothing wrong with that we say. If you do want to level up your puzzle game you might invest in a puzzle box stand, this will keep it upright and easy to access. Some people don't even use the box and find their way intuitively through the puzzle. If that's the way you want to go about it, we love that for you!
Sort, Sort, Sort. This is the most tedious process of puzzle making but it can also be super helpful to solving the puzzle. A general rule is to try and locate all the edge pieces so that you can begin to build the boarder. If there is a particular patter that really jumps out you might stack all those pieces in one place. A few bowls or plates will be helpful here - or sorting trays if you have them on hand. It's generally helpful to sort by color and you don't have to be too careful. As you sort things will slowly begin to take shape and you'll likely even start to find pieces that go together. Go for it!
We’ve never done a puzzle and not thought “puzzles are hard” because they are! There’s a lot of concentration and trial and error that goes into completing a puzzle. There’s a certain puzzle groove and once you get into it you’re in the zone. We always attribute it to the moment you start to actually ‘see it’ which takes time to familiarize yourself with the image and the pieces. It’s the best feeling when you get a bunch of pieces back to back. Sometimes you need to reposition yourself to see it from a new angle and sometimes you need to take a break and come back when you’re ready. There’s no wrong way and no time limit, just know that you can do it and not to give up.
Types of Pieces
One thing we enjoy doing when working a puzzle is naming the pieces silly names. All of the Le Puzz puzzles are what you call random cut puzzles because the pieces are all unique from each other. Here are a few of our faves:
The Gemini Piece - a double sided piece that is sometimes an edge piece and sometimes an inside piece, you never know and it keeps you on your toes
The Knife - a sharp fella, cant miss that funky shape
The Caterpillar - one extra long curved piece with a lotta extra legs, this one makes us super happy
Take Breaks and Don't giving up!
This is a super important part of the process. Sometimes you just need to walk away for a little while and clear your head. Giving the puzzle some space almost always guanentees that when you come back to it you will be able to dive back in. Don’t give up too early tho. Really allow yourself to get pulled into the puzzle and the process sometimes it will take some time to really feel like you connect with it. There’s no wrong way to do a puzzle, and no time limit. Just know that you can do it and don't give up.
Although this section sounds like a self-help book it’s really just about how the last piece get’s put in. There are many practices for this and all are correct but some are more fun and satisfying than others. Sometimes in the mad dash of completion, one person just goes for it and puts the last piece in. While this is totally fine, it can be a bit frustrating for everyone else. A way to combat this is for everyone to put one finger on the piece and slide it into the space together. A group finger “high five” is always encouraged.
A lot of seasoned puzzlers like to sign their name and date on the last piece so that when they pass it along to someone else you can see where they ended and compare it to your last piece. Personally we love this method and honestly should start doing it. There’s nothing cuter than buying a vintage puzzle and finding someone named Sharon’s last piece from 1989.
If you’re a sneaky lil puzzle guy you might put a piece in your pocket to claim the last piece as your own — we don't recommend this method.