[Discussion] Share your jigsaw puzzle backstory 🧩

If you had told me a year ago that I would be hooked on jigsaw puzzles, I probably would have laughed in your face. I never really did puzzles as a kid, and as an adult I've always been more of a Lego person. But those little plastic bricks can get expensive fast! One set that takes me 3-4 days to complete can easily cost over £100, so it's not a hobby I can indulge in very often.

When I saw the Lego puzzle in the jigsaw puzzles sale, I decided to give puzzles a shot. I did my first puzzle and was instantly addicted. It's such a nice escape from the doomscrolling on Twitter I was doing every evening. Bonus: the puzzle looked great framed and hanged in my classroom!

The Simpsons Jigsaw Puzzle Opening Credits

To my surprise, I was not the only puzzle-lover in my family, either. My immediate family all love puzzling too, and now we often work on a puzzle together. Even the kids (all three of them) have their own puzzles to work on. It's a great activity for us to do as a family.

Unfortunately, none of my friends seem to share my love of puzzles, which is a bit of a bummer. I would love to swap puzzles with someone I know. In the meantime, I'll just have to content myself with my weekly puzzle fix and my occasional Lego building.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newcomer to the jigsaw puzzle scene, I want to hear from you. What brought you to puzzling as a hobby?

Katherine Townsend, Artist 🧑‍🎨 - Podcasts and puzzles

For me, puzzles provide the perfect balance of a monotonous task with a tangible outcome. I really enjoy being able to focus on something for an extended period of time, and the satisfaction of completing a puzzle is unbeatable. I also really value my alone time, so working on a puzzle is a great way for me to relax and unwind.

As an added bonus, I've found that puzzling while listening to an audiobook is a great way for me to multitask and get some reading in. It's a win-win situation!

Lisa Simpson's jigsaw puzzle has a missing piece.

Carol Godby, Carer 👩‍⚕️ - A pandemic pastime turned life long hobby

I actually discovered the joy of puzzling quite by accident. I had just left my marriage of 35 years and was living on my own for the first time when the pandemic hit. To keep myself occupied, I bought a few puzzles. As it turned out, many of my coworkers at the nursing home where I work were also turning to puzzles to combat the isolation we were all feeling during that time. We started exchanging puzzles to save money, and before I knew it, I was obsessed.

I think part of the appeal for me is my lifelong love of small, fussy hobbies that yield visible results over time, like doing very fine needlework or making woven wire jewellery. Now that things are getting back to normal, most of my coworkers have stopped puzzling, but I'm still puzzle mad. It's just something that brings me a lot of joy and relaxation.

Homer Simpson sorting the jigsaw puzzle pieces

Geraldine Mason, Mum 🤱 - “Do not touch my puzzle!”

My daughter loves puzzles. So, I ordered one for us to do together. As soon as we unwrapped it, I touched one of the pieces to start sorting them - my mistake. She immediately told me that she couldn't have anyone touch her puzzle. "This is a solo activity!" The nerve! In an act of rebellion, I ordered my own puzzle, and I've been hooked ever since.

In fact, I've now become a member of the "don't touch my puzzle" club. I have a friend who mindlessly worked on my puzzle when she was visiting one time, and even though she only put in about 7 pieces in the hours that she was here, it was still frustrating for me. I didn't say anything at the time, but it's definitely something that I'm particular about now.

Frustrated Homer Simpson trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle

Louise Bell, Writer 🖋️ - Jigsaw Puzzles: A Love Story

My maternal grandparents are probably why I love puzzles so much. My grandma used to tell me stories about how she and my grandpa would do jigsaw puzzles late into the night when they were dating, and they would get so absorbed in the puzzle and each other that my grandpa often ran the risk of getting in trouble with his parents for coming home past curfew. 

Whenever I would spend the night with my grandparents as a kid, and even into adulthood, we would always have a puzzle out on the table or we would spend time doing daily jigsaw puzzles online to see who could get the fastest time. (Hint: it was never me…) My grandma is alone now and in her 90’s. She worked on a 300 large-piece puzzle with me earlier in the year so I’m confident my love for puzzles is in my genes.

An exhausted Homer Simpson mistakes Larry for a jigsaw puzzle

Evan Miller, Sales Assistant 🛍️ - Work hard, puzzle harder

I actually discovered my love for puzzles at work. I found a puzzle in the shared communal area that had been given to employees during the pandemic, and I started working on it during my shift. I was surprised by how relaxing it was. I ended up buying my first 1000 piece puzzle to distract me during a failing relationship. I noticed I gained a lot of clarity on the relationship while piecing the puzzle together.

Now, I really enjoy coming home and working on a puzzle while talking to people on the phone. It's a nice way to unwind and connect with others. Puzzles I’ve completed remind me of the conversations I have had and I think it’s very sweet.

Get involved! 🧩

Share your jigsaw puzzle journey in the comments below and let's get talking about all things puzzles! I will try and feature as many as possible!

More from Rest In Pieces

Rest In Pieces environmentally friendly jigsaw puzzles are made from recycled cardboard, featuring a famous work of art using vegetable-based ink.

2 comments

Florence C

I’ve been puzzling since I was a toddler. I can still remember the first puzzle I ever completed – it was a Ravensburger box with four puzzles in it and I must have been about four years old at the time. I don’t remember what the exact puzzle was, but I do remember completing it at least a hundred times. The next puzzle I remember working on was a 300 piece Little Twin Stars puzzle when I was around 8 years old. I loved how the image came together as I worked on it.

I never stopped puzzling, even though there have been times when I didn’t do it as often. What keeps me going now is all the beautiful artwork that’s available and the variety of puzzle brands. The artwork has changed so much over the years and there’s always something new to discover. You don’t need boring puzzles to keep the fun going!

Karen Bland

I have always loved puzzles, and I think it’s because of my grandmother. When I was growing up, I didn’t have a home where I could do something as big as a jigsaw puzzle, but my grandmother’s house was always my safe space. She would always have a puzzle going, and she would let any of us work on it with her as long as we were quiet and helpful.

I was the only granddaughter, and although I could hold my own with the boys and do all sorts of outdoor activities, I was already becoming an introvert and enjoyed sitting quietly and working puzzles with my grandmother instead. We worked on countless puzzles together over the years, and I think it really helped to forge a special bond between us. Those memories of working on puzzles with my grandmother are some of my fondest. She passed away a few years ago, but working on puzzles still makes me feel close to her.

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