Top 7 Jigsaw Puzzle Tips When You're Stuck on a Puzzle

Has this ever happened to you? After completing several jigsaw puzzles at the same difficulty level, you decide to challenge yourself. Instead of a 500-piece puzzle, you choose a 1000-piece puzzle (or an even harder one) for your next project. You get to work and everything is going well…until you get stuck. 

It happens to the best of us. Even the pro puzzlers in our Completing the Puzzle community get stuck on a tricky section every now and then.

How do you move forward when you feel like you’re at a standstill with your puzzle? Keep reading for our seven jigsaw puzzle tips to get you back on track when you’re stuck.

Take a Break

Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It also gives you a chance to let your brain relax. Working on a puzzle isn’t easy when you’re frustrated, so sometimes all you need is a break. You’ll come back with a new perspective, and when you sit down at your puzzle again, you spot some matches that were right there all along. 

Remember, working on a jigsaw puzzle is meant to be fun and relaxing. If you feel like you’re ready to flip over your puzzle board, take a break and come back to it on a different day. If you still feel stuck when you come back to your puzzle, use one of the jigsaw puzzle tips below. 

Organize Your Pieces

You might be struggling because you have random pieces skewed all over your workspace and you don’t know where to start. We always recommend organizing your puzzle pieces by color with puzzle sorters before you start working. You will work more efficiently that way, and it’s easier to work on specific areas when you have all the pieces you need, and none that you don’t, right in front of you.

Pieces in piles by color


Move to a Different Section

This is one of the easiest jigsaw puzzle tips, but it can make a huge difference in your process. If you’re at a standstill with a certain area of your puzzle, simply move to another one instead. Chances are you will eventually find a connection back to the area you were working on. Moving to a whole new section will help you feel unblocked, and you’ll get a little burst of adrenaline when you start matching pieces again. 

Improve Your Puzzle Workspace

Do you have enough light to see all of your pieces? Do you have a smooth working surface that’s big enough for your whole puzzle?

When your workspace isn’t suited for working on a jigsaw puzzle, you’re naturally going to run into some problems. If you’re working on a cluttered table, try clearing the area to give yourself more space. Plug in a lamp nearby so that you can see better.

If you don’t have a big enough surface for your puzzle, we recommend getting a jigsaw puzzle board. It’s easy to set up, and you can transport your puzzle anywhere in your house.

Completing the Puzzle member with his puzzle board!

Go Back to the Picture

When you stare at individual pieces for too long, everything starts to look fuzzy. It’s hard to remember what the final product is supposed to look like when all you see are the fragments. Pull out your puzzle box and study the image again to get some new ideas. Maybe some of your pieces are organized into the wrong piles. Looking at the photo when you’re stuck will help reveal a path forward.

Make it a Group Effort

If you’re having trouble putting together a challenging jigsaw puzzle by yourself, invite someone to join you! Puzzling is one of those activities that’s fun as a solo hobby or with a group. When you get a fresh set of eyes on the puzzle, your friend may be able to spot matches that you didn't see. Plus, you can pick up on some jigsaw puzzle tips from each other that will make both of your better puzzlers.

Family time puzzling!

Not only can puzzling with a friend help you out when you’re stuck, but it’s also a great screen-free way to spend time with someone you care about.

Remember it Isn't a Race

There’s no time limit for putting together a jigsaw puzzle. If you’re working on a puzzle that’s harder than the puzzles you usually do, you should expect it to take you longer. Don’t get frustrated when it isn’t coming as easily as you thought it would. Puzzling is a great way to practice patience. One of the best jigsaw puzzle tips we can give you is to make sure you are enjoying the journey and not just focusing on the destination. 

Want to Challenge Yourself With a Harder Puzzle?

Up-leveling your puzzle game with a harder puzzle is always fun because it means you’re becoming a pro puzzler. With a Completing the Puzzle rental membership, you can easily adjust your difficulty level anytime you want to try a harder puzzle. Just keep in mind that it won’t come as easy as your other puzzles did in the beginning, but you will get better at it. Come back to these jigsaw puzzle tips anytime you get stuck. 

Put Our Jigsaw Puzzle Tips Into Action With Completing the Puzzle

If you’re a jigsaw puzzle fiend, have you ever considered a puzzle rental subscription program? It’s easy with Completing the Puzzle. You simply personalize your preferences and we choose the perfect puzzle for you to complete and ship it to your front door. When you complete it, ship it back to us to get your next one. We are always adding to our puzzle collection, so you can also create a puzzle wishlist.

A Completing the Puzzle membership is a great way to put these jigsaw puzzle tips into action. It’s also cost-effective and eco-friendly, and you get to be part of an amazing community of puzzles. Sign up here to start your puzzle rental membership today. 


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