How To Solve A Jigsaw Puzzle Like A Boss

How To Solve A Jigsaw Puzzle Like A Boss

So you want to solve a jigsaw puzzle, do ya? Well, what may seem so simple a baby could do it can actually be frustrating if you have no strategy. Don’t worry, young grasshopper. We’re like the Mr. Miyagi of puzzles and will help you wax on, wax off and assemble your jigsaw so you can win that karate tournament!... Er, or just have a fun evening. Peep these super fresh tips—your friends will be super impressed.

Before You Get Started

Whoa! Slow down there. Before you just jump in to your puzzle experience, we have some preliminaries. We’ll make it quick since we know your attention span is super short.  

  • Pick a puzzle that doesn’t suck.

Obvious, right? It’s all about the warm fuzzies, my dude. Ask yourself, “Do I even like this puzzle? Or do I hate its guts?” Does the image, as Marie Kondo would say, spark joy?

  • Make sure it’s not too challenging.

We know you’re a smarty pants, but if you haven’t puzzled much before, look for something around 250-500 pieces. And be sure to look for something with lots of bright colors and defined lines.

  • Find a flat surface to work on.

Use a kitchen table, desk, or a Flat Earther’s back. If you’re like us, you’ll find a flat piece of wood just slightly bigger than the puzzle so you can move it without ruining your hard work.

  • Lay out the pieces.

Pour out the puzzle pieces and flip them all picture-side up so you’re ready to go. If you’re assembling the jigsaw with a group, spread out the pieces so you’re not bumping into each other, and make sure everyone can see the finished pic on the box.

  • Don’t forget snacks & your fave party beverage.

In our opinion there’s nothing better than popping some vino and face planting into a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos while assembling a puzzle (though that delicious dust does sometimes get on the pieces). Make sure you have ample refreshments of choice.

Now you’re ready for our expert, step by step tips on how to solve a jigsaw puzzle. 


Step 1: Locate & Assemble The Edge Pieces

Once you’ve spread out all the pieces, find the edges of the puzzle and put them all in one big stack. Once you have ‘em, assemble the outside edge of your puzzle. This will give you a canvas to work off of.


Step 2: Sort Pieces by Colors, Patterns & Shapes

Depending on your puzzle, you may be able to make some piles of pieces according to colors, distinguishable patterns from the image, and piece shapes. If you’re organizers like us, this might be your favorite part of the process.

Pro Tip: Play around with putting a few pieces together based on shape — sometimes you’ll find that pieces that look like they’d fit, don’t. It’s good to familiarize yourself with this to make it easier as you go along.


Step 3: Work on Small Sections First

Are there areas of the puzzle that have a standout subject, high contrast colors, or shapes? Start by trying to assemble those parts first.


Step 4: Fill in the Negative Space

Once you have parts of the image assembled, you can start filling in the space around them. It helps to try to place your assembled clusters inside the edge pieces, trying to approximate where they’d lie in the puzzle image. Just eyeball it—you got this.


Step 5: Complete Your Puzzle

There’s nothing more satisfying than slipping in that last piece and hearing the final snap. Make sure to savor it, then bask in the knowledge that you’re a super smart person who can do just about anything. You did it. You didn’t give up. Some might say, you’re a hero.

Just for good measure, take a shot of your favorite spirit, slap yourself in the face and do a little dance.


Step 6: Immortalize Your Achievement For Future Generations

So you completed a puzzle. Now what? Achieve world peace? Take down the NRA? Hang on there, Mother Teresa—how about we give you a few of our many ideas for what to do with your finished puzzle. 

  • Glue it together so it can never be undone.

Imagine how powerful you’ll feel knowing no man, woman or child can ever disassemble your puzzle. It’s like you’re Thanos with all the Infinity Stones.

  • Frame it and mount it on your wall.

If you followed the first tip we gave you in this article, you’ll have a piece of art that sparks joy. So why not put it up on the wall? Make sure you glue the pieces together first, though.

  • Give it to your grandma.

Are you kidding?! Grandmas eat this sh*t UP. You can be like, “Gammy look what I made” and she’ll be so proud because she’s always proud of you, boo.

  • Trade it with a friend.

Spend months manipulating your friends so they are also buying puzzles you actually like then get them to trade with you when you’re done. Make them think it was their idea.


That’s it! Hope you enjoyed these tips on solving a puzzle. It’s not rocket science but it helps to go in with a little info so you don’t look like a total a-hole.

Have any more hacks to share? Let us know in the comments below. 

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