Are photo jigsaw puzzles a good gift not only for jigsaw lovers? Yes, because they may be used in different ways! Today, I will advise you how to make photo jigsaw puzzles to provide fun for all.
I have made and received photo jigsaw puzzles on many occasions. My first photo jigsaw puzzle ever was given to me in kindergarten, which proves that this gift is not a novelty. Yet it is only recently that it has become so easy to make and available to everyone. The only thing you need to consider is how to make it to satisfy the recipient.
How to use photo jigsaw puzzles?
1.Photo jigsaw puzzles may be used as ordinary jigsaw puzzles with a unique picture.
Jigsaw lovers will definitely enjoy solving photo jigsaw puzzles that bring back pleasant memories: first days of life of a grandchild, summer holidays or marriage vows.
However, photo jigsaw puzzles may also serve other purposes.
2.Photo jigsaw puzzles as a challenge
3.Photo jigsaw puzzles as a surprise picture
I have already recommended this idea as a Christmas gift. Creating jigsaw puzzles may be a way to make an ordinary or a remade photo gift more attractive. E.g. you may create jigsaw puzzles from a photo from a journey that never happened. This way you may invite someone to a round-the-world trip, present a different gift that is yet to come or even propose! Last Christmas, I received a jigsaw puzzle with a photo of a rather bulky gift that waited for me at home.
4.Photo jigsaw puzzles as a greeting card
Some tourist destinations offer landscape postcards in the form of puzzles. First, you write your greetings on the back, then you disassemble the puzzle and send it to the recipient, who has to fit the pieces together in order to read what you have written. You may easily make such jigsaw puzzles yourself. Not so long ago, instead of a traditional greeting card I have given a jigsaw puzzle with a party photo of my friend for her 30th birthday, with my wishes written on the back.
How to make photo jigsaw puzzles?
1.Photo jigsaw puzzles from a photo lab
Most photo printing services have photo jigsaw puzzles in their offer. The price usually includes a box with the printed picture and from 30 to 1000 puzzle pieces. Such jigsaw puzzles are durable and can be used many times. This makes them a perfect gift for jigsaw lovers. They can also be easily turned around to reveal the text written on their back, so they are the best solution for a greeting card.
DIY photo jigsaw puzzles
Nowadays, when more and more people have digital cameras, colour printers and know how to use simple graphic editors, photo jigsaw puzzles can easily be made at home. This option is definitely cheaper and is more advisable when you prepare a surprise gift for people who would quickly get bored with solving traditional jigsaw puzzles.
DIY photo jigsaw puzzles may be done in several ways:
2.Photo jigsaw puzzles with traditional puzzle pieces
Photo jigsaw puzzles can be made in traditional shapes e.g. with the Jigsaw Puzzle Photo Effect tool of a free online graphic editor PictureToPeople. Upload your picture to the editor, choose the jigsaw size (from Tiny to Very big), and the program will draw the pieces for you. The effect is truly amazing as long as it stays on the computer screen. Cutting the printed shapes up can, however, discourage even the most enthusiastic DIY lovers. It is viable if you have only 4 pieces to cut out because you wanted your puzzles to look good, not to pose a challenge. Yet if you want to cut out more than 20 pieces, consider the remaining two options presented below.
3.Photo jigsaw puzzles with square shapes
Squares are much easier to cut out than traditional pieces. The outcome may be less impressive, but it has undeniable advantages. Above all, you may achieve a more challenging jigsaw with less effort. Square pieces don’t give a hint about their position: centre or border. Moreover, you can only fit them together by looking at the picture, not at the shape. That is why even a 9-12-piece jigsaw poses a challenge and may be used as one of the tasks during a treasure hunt, a hen night or a different party. If you want to write something on its back, advise the recipient to turn the pieces carefully or prepare an adhesive to facilitate the turn.
4.Photo jigsaw puzzles with irregular shapes
Photo jigsaw puzzles with irregular shapes are halfway between traditional and square puzzles. They are fitted together most easily and may be cut up into any number of pieces (e.g. the number representing the age of the recipient). That is why an irregular jigsaw is a perfect solution when you want to make a one-off surprise gift that shouldn’t be too challenging and when it is not the jigsaw that is important but the picture which is the puzzle’s solution.
To sum up, it is advisable to order photo jigsaw puzzles from a professional printing service when they are the main or only gift or when you want to write something important on their back and let the recipient fit them together many times. Otherwise, if the photo jigsaw puzzles are just one of many tasks or an addition to the main gift, it is better to make them yourself with square pieces (if you want them to be more challenging) or irregular pieces (if you want them to be easier).
Can you think of any other uses of photo jigsaw puzzles? Share your ideas in the comments below!
– You may print the puzzles that are only to announce the main gift on a plain sheet of paper. Yet if they are to be fitted together more than once, it is better to print or paste them on something thicker.
– The jigsaw which is only one of the tasks to be solved, which should point to a different gift or whose aim is to surprise with its solution, shouldn’t be too difficult! 9-12 pieces are challenging enough when you don’t have a picture to help you, and you don’t have a clue what you’re fitting together!
– If a jigsaw puzzle can be solved in a short time and is presented in an envelope, not in a sealed box, make sure the recipient solves it right away in your presence. This way you will ensure that no pieces will get lost before the puzzle is solved, and you will be able to enjoy the recipient’s efforts and reaction at the surprise picture or message.
– DIY jigsaw puzzles may be done not only with photos, but also with computer graphics or scanned drawings. Several months ago, I received a jigsaw puzzle from a friend, who pasted the faces of my relatives to a picture presenting characters from ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and signed the resulting collage: ‘A Fairy-tale Family’. My attempts at guessing the solution were at least as enjoyable as solving the puzzle.