Home Activities – Jigsaw Puzzles

Home Activities – Jigsaw Puzzles

The pandemic forced the majority of the world to stay at home at some point. The longer the lockdown was, the more boring it felt. Even the nearby park with cute, friendly squirrels wasn’t enough to fill all of my spare time. It felt a bit like long, dark winter evenings, just with considerably more sunshine. One of my favourite time killers in winter are jigsaw puzzles, and it was one of the things I did a lot during lockdown.

I’ve always enjoyed jigsaw puzzles. They’re both relaxing (when you put the last piece down and complete the picture) and good as an exercise for your brain. However back in my family house the space I had in my room was highly limited and having a jigsaw puzzle in progress meant I had to jump over it when moving around the room. The luxury of moving out and living on my own is that I can use all the space in the flat and there’s no one to complain about the floor in my living room being all taken by a massive jigsaw puzzle and a bunch of DIY projects in progress.

The first jigsaw puzzle I bought after moving abroad was one of the best bargains ever. A 1000 piece puzzle with a pretty picture of unicorns on a flowery meadow in the mountains, that glows in the dark, for just £2.99 in Lidl. They had more designs available and I still regret not having bought them and keep checking if they have them back in offer. When they do, I will probably buy all of the available designs – finding a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle with a pretty picture for under £5 is almost impossible.

A jigsaw puzzle in progress - unicorns

A completed jigsaw puzzle - unicorns

The second jigsaw puzzle I bought is more of a retro style. Titled “Norway”, it’s a bunch of pictures of Norway and Norwegian things. Not entirely my cup of tea as far as the picture goes (I prefer colourful designs, much like a 5-year-old), but for a £1.5 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle I can’t really complain. Either way, the puzzle filled a few boring, cold winter evenings and that’s all I ever needed.

A completed jigsaw puzzle - pictures of Norway

The next puzzle I bought was a pretty picture of a cartoon village. It’s one of my favourite pictures (after the unicorns), but it’s also probably the easiest one to complete.

A completed jigsaw puzzle - village

I bought the next jigsaw puzzle in early spring, shortly before coronavirus lockdown. I put it in the cupboard and soon left to spend the lockdown with friends at their house. During that time we watched Tiger King on Netflix and I remembered the jigsaw puzzle that I’d bought and couldn’t wait to start it. I completed it within the first few days after returning home after lockdown. The title on the box says “Tiger Sanctuary”. Carole Baskin, is that you?

Jigsaw puzzle in progress - tigers

Completed jigsaw puzzle - tigers

My newest jigsaw puzzle is this 2000 piece picture of a castle. I think this type of picture is the most typical photo for jigsaw puzzles – I have a 600 piece puzzle in my family home, with a different castle in the middle of a forest. I bought this puzzle second hand on eBay. It was significantly cheaper than brand new puzzles of the same size and came in perfect condition (the original owner had “attempted it once”). The only drawback to buying jigsaw puzzles second hand is what I call a “missing piece anxiety”. Every time I couldn’t find the right piece for the spot I was trying to fill, I thought it must have been lost by the previous owner. Luckily, no pieces were actually missing!

Usually, when I work on a 1000 piece puzzle I have all pieces on the table and don’t really stress too much about grouping them, except from taking all the edge pieces out at the start. With this puzzle, it would have taken too much space and it would have probably been quite difficult to work with 2000 pieces all at once. For the first time, I actually worked on a jigsaw puzzle in a more organised way. While going through all the pieces to fish out the border, I grouped them into a few piles: the edge, the sky, the castle, the trees, the mountains and the fog. It made things a whole lot easier and completing the puzzle didn’t take long at all – although it was definitely much more challenging than the previous puzzles I’d bought. Not so much due to the number of pieces, but mainly due to the more challenging picture.

Home activities - jigsaw puzzles - 2000 piece castle

Home activities - jigsaw puzzles - 2000 piece castle completed

I have a 3000 piece at my family home which I had never completed, I will need to get it sent here with some of the other things I’d left at home. It’s a pretty challenging picture of Westminster (can you tell that I was obsessed with the UK before I moved here?).

The biggest commercially available jigsaw puzzle in the world is a 40320 piece Ravensburger puzzle with 10 pictures from Disney films. I can’t even describe how much I’d love to have that puzzle. A lot. Although not enough to justify spending around £550. The puzzle weighs almost 20 kilograms and when completed, it’s 6.8 metres long and 2 metres wide. I’m not even sure if my living room is 6 metres long!

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Baked marzipan cherry tart in a pink tray
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13 thoughts on “Home Activities – Jigsaw Puzzles

  1. Alphe, I am a puzzle fan, always have been. I used o do it even as a child and teenager. My biggest one was a 3000 one with a picture of a lady in a meadow from David Hamilton once. Here in London I love doing a puzzle to relax me in the evening after a days work. I have it in a puzzle mat/ cover under the sofa. Works perfectly. My favorites are the Ravensburger Puzzles, but I do others too. I exchange puzzles with a friend and also I buy them in a charity shop, once done, I take a picture and I give them back, so they can sell it again. I love all your designs, nice to do. The Castle – a German famous castle ( Neuschwanstein) – looks challenging, well done. I do now only 1000 pieces as they fit perfectly on my mat. The glow in the dark is great, I got one like hat for my Birthday once with a Wolf. I kept that as it is special to me. As you can see, I am I am rather enthusiastic with puzzles. I got 2 more to do then I need to find more again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The castle puzzle is by Ravensburger and it’s really good quality. Three of my puzzles are from The Works shops and they’re really decent quality too – they have 1000 pc puzzles for around £6, which is a great price – check them out when you walk past those shops! I don’t have a puzzle mat but my table is perfect for 1000 pc puzzles (I can dedicate half of it to the puzzle and have the other half to have somewhere to eat). The downside of the 2000 pc was that I had to do it on the floor and my back wasn’t happy about that. I love the idea of exchanging puzzles with friends, I can see myself running out of space soon to store all the boxes. I still haven’t found any charity shops in London but I’d love to visit some, it sounds like a great idea to complete a puzzle and then take it back to the shop.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like jigsaw puzzles and it seems that the dollar stores here have had a run on them. There are none to be found.
    I and my girlfriend recently did one together and I think we will do another one in the future. Naturally, I blogged about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps it’s one of the things everyone started doing because of lockdown? There are many strange things that suddenly disappeared from the shops when lockdown started.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true! I remember always arguing with my sister when we were kids-teenagers about who gets to put the final piece in. The beauty of living alone is that no one interferes with my puzzles 🙂


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