Have you ever been so stuck on a jigsaw that you're ready to just throw the towel in? Well, Karen Puzzles has got some amazing tips to help you through the difficult puzzle periods and yes, she's even gone as far as showing you the intricate little details that typically trip puzzlers up.
So without further ado, let's get into the top tips to help you through your puzzle rut...
1. Space, light, and a good background.
Karen stresses how important it is to have lots of open space so you can lay out your pieces to help evaluate the overall picture. Good lighting is also key to help the process along. And probably the most important one of them all, a nice, contrasting background, so your puzzle pieces can stand out.
2. Approach it methodically (specifically for solid-colored puzzles).
When embarking on a solid-colored adventure, it's important to start off by separating all the pieces by shape. Similar shapes need to be put together so it's easier to work with.
"This is the kind of puzzle where you need to put in the time into sorting before starting the actual puzzle," she says.
3. Start with the edges.
Build the edges, connect them and then work your way into the center of the puzzle.
4. Get yourself a foam board.
Now that you've only got the middle pieces left, place them onto a separate foam board so you can bring them and take them off the table as you please. Try and put short pieces with the short ones and tall pieces with the tall ones.
5. Keep re-arranging the pieces on the foam board as you go.
There's nothing worse than there being gaps in your puzzle board, so keep re-arranging the empty slots so you can see all the pieces properly.
6. Save tons of time by bringing the puzzle to the loose pieces in order to find a match.
When you're stuck on na section and can't find a piece to match, Karen's tip is to remove the piece from the actual puzzle and bring it to the loose pieces and try and fit them and when there's been a match, bring them both back to the puzzle together.
7. The "Light" Trick.
If you're not sure whether a piece fits properly in that section, hold 2 pieces up to the light and if no light shines through the gap where they connect, they're a match.
8. Difficult vs Frustrating.
Karen stresses you need to differentiate between puzzles being difficult and frustrating because it a frustrating puzzle will never be fun to do. Top tip: Unique shaped pieces or a unique image helps puzzles fall into a "difficult" category rather than a frustrating one.
Take this Red puzzle by Blue Kazoo.
Each piece is unique so it makes it easier to solve the puzzle. This is a limited edition jigsaw so if you're looking to get your hands on one today, click here to see if they're still available on the Blue Kazoo website.
Here's a visual of what falls into each category:
We have to say, and I'm sure Karen Puzzles would agree, Blue Kazoo's puzzles are the perfect pick no matter what you're looking for.
Maybe you're looking to do a puzzle with unique shapes? Then the Color series would be the perfect pick for you...
It's vibrant, challenging but it's not impossible and that's the beauty of it.
Or maybe you're looking for a puzzle with more unique images? Then the Vintage Travel Series is the best option...
If anything could take you back in time, it's an amazing jigsaw puzzle and this one combines the rich history of transport with the nation's favorite pastime. And again, it's not impossible, but it is pretty goddamn difficult.
So what do you say? Grab yourself a jigsaw via the website and watch Karen's video here for the best puzzling tips:
Happy puzzling, folks!