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So you're tired of hosting keggers. What about trying something different for a change? Did you know you could have a freaking amazing party centered around putting together a jigsaw puzzle with your friends? Here's our handbook for hosting the perfect puzzle party.
What Is A Puzzle Party?
Wondering what the heck we mean when we say a "jigsaw puzzle party"? Well, it's a social gathering that centers around laughs, snacks, drinks ,and solving a jigsaw puzzle with a group of friends. While one of the many benefits of jigsaw puzzles is getting some solitude, it can also be a great activity to do with a group. And if you're like us and love any excuse to throw a shindig, here's another fun party idea for you to try.
Keep reading to see our recommendations for throwing a #puzzyparty.
Planning The Party
1. Make An Invite List
Make a list of the people you'd like to invite. Unless you'll have multiple puzzle tables going, we recommend keeping the guest list short. Aim for 5-8 people max.
2. Pick Your Puzzle
Unless you're all hardcore puzzleheads, we recommend going for a 500-piece puzzle for your group. That way you stand a chance of finishing it before the night is through, but it'll still be challenging for you. When picking your puzzle, consider your guests—would they appreciate a beautiful or artsy puzzle? Or perhaps something funny or cheeky? Pick a puzzle with a picture that you think would please your guests.
3. Choose A Fun Theme
Add some pizazz to the party by giving it a theme! It doesn't need to be anything too elaborate, and maybe it can relate back to the subject matter of the puzzle you'll be doing.
Here are a few ideas for themes that could match up with a puzzle:
Puzzle: Cuddle Puddle
Pride Theme: Is Pride coming up in your area? Celebrate the LGBTQ community by wearing rainbows or bright colors!
Animals Theme: Ask guests to wear animal print, kitty ears, graphic tees with animals on them, etc.
Puzzle: Bouquets for Days
Garden Party Theme: Serve tea, finger sandwiches and ask friends to dress up in vintage finery perfect for a garden party. Decorate your space with ample greenery.
Nature Theme: Ask friends to wear natural colors, floral prints, or come wearing flower crowns!
4. Plan Out The Space
When planning any party, it's a great idea think about the room(s) you and your guests will be in. Where will the puzzle be? A kitchen or coffee table will work—make sure there's ample comfy seating. If you need to rent any furniture, take note! Where can guests grab drinks or food? It's good to make sure tables aren't crammed together and that you have a station for refreshments to ensure a smooth flow of foot traffic through the space.
Be sure to also consider music: what will you play and what will the speaker situation be like? Lighting is also a consideration—you'll need ample light to see the puzzle, but you may want to opt for more dim, ambient light elsewhere.
Need puzzle playlist recommendations? Check out our Spotify!
5. Create Your Food & Drink Menu
It's just good etiquette to feed your guests, especially if your party is happening during a meal time. You don't have to spring for a 10-course meal or anything, though. Write down what you'd like to serve and keep it simple. Here are a few added tips:
- Consider whether you want to serve finger foods or a meal. Keep in mind hand-held items like pizza can result in grease all over your puzzle pieces. Doesn't mean it's a bad idea, just plan to have enough napkins handy.
- Pick your favorite adult (or non alcoholic) beverage. Even if you ask guests to bring booze, it's a good best practice to have a few bottles at your house as backup. When choosing adult bevs, we recommend beer or wine so the evening doesn't get sloppy too fast.
- Make a shopping list so you know what you need to buy and plan a cooking schedule if you're making food. Note what can be made ahead and what you need to cook day-of.
6. Send Out Invites
Facebook is a perfectly adequate way to invite guests, assuming you and your friends didn't #deletefacebook. If you want to get really fancy, send card invitations, courtesy of our favorite artsy snail-mail service Punkpost.
Be sure your invitations...
- Include the party date, time and anything folks can bring. If you want them to bring booze, say so!
- Give guests a call to action to RSVP so you know how many people are coming.
Decorations are totally optional, but can be a fun way to set the mood for fun times. Be sure to make a Pinterest board and pen a list of decorations you'd like to buy.
During The Party
Now that you're party's here, make sure you go down this checklist to ensure everything goes smoothly:
- Puzzle setup: If you'd like, pour the puzzle piece out on the table and flip the pieces picture-side up. Don't sort them yet—that'll be part of the fun!
- Music & Lights: Turn on the stereo to the volume you'd like and set up lights as needed.
- Guest Arrival: As guests arrive, show them where they can hang coats or store purses.
- Party Supplies: Ensure you have plates, cups, cutlery and cocktail napkins out.
- Bathroom Check: Ensure there are clean hand towels and extra TP rolls in your bathroom—you guests aren't animals.
- Ice: If you're serving beverages that need it and you have a sh*tty ice situation in your house, go out a buy a bag from the supermarket.
- Drinks: Chill any drinks you have on hand as needed.
- Food: Set out any snacks and put warm food in the oven on low so it's ready to serve when the time is right.
- Clean-up Prep: Ensure you have enough garbage bags, dish soap, and any other items needed to clean up messes during or after the party.
- Pics: Take grams of your puzzle progress and hashtag it #puzzyparty!
Have more ideas or tips for throwing a puzzle party? Let us know in the comments below!