Behind the Pieces: How Jigsaw Puzzles are Made

Behind the Pieces: How Jigsaw Puzzles are Made

Have you ever wondered about the process behind creating the jigsaw puzzles that provide hours of enjoyment and challenge? Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how these beloved items are produced.

The Artwork

The first step in creating a jigsaw puzzle is choosing the image. This could be a photograph, a painting, or a specific design. The chosen artwork is crucial as it not only determines the puzzle’s aesthetic appeal but also influences the level of difficulty. More complex images with a wide variety of colors and details result in more challenging puzzles.

Image Preparation

Once the image is selected, it needs to be prepared for printing. This step usually involves digital enhancements to ensure the colors are vibrant and the details are clear. The image is then printed on high-quality paper using industrial-grade printers.

Mounting the Image

After printing, the image is glued onto a thick cardboard backing. It’s essential to ensure that the glue is evenly spread to prevent any wrinkles or bubbles from forming. This step might seem simple, but it requires precision to guarantee that the final puzzle pieces are smooth and sturdy.

Cutting the Puzzle

Next comes the cutting process, where the mounted image is transformed into a jigsaw puzzle. This is achieved using a steel cutting die - a large and heavy piece of metal into which the puzzle design, including each individual piece’s shape, has been cut.

The mounted image is placed into a press, and the cutting die is then applied with substantial force. This cleanly slices through the cardboard, creating the individual puzzle pieces. The cutting process requires a delicate balance - too little force, and the pieces won’t be cut through; too much, and the image might get damaged.


The cut pieces are then broken up and placed into a bag to prevent loss. This bag, along with the puzzle box which includes an image of the completed puzzle, is then shrink-wrapped to keep everything together.

Quality Check

Throughout the entire process, quality control is crucial. From ensuring the image print quality to checking the fit of the pieces, each step is carefully monitored to ensure the final product provides an enjoyable and frustration-free experience for the puzzle enthusiast.

In conclusion, creating a jigsaw puzzle involves a blend of artistry, precision, and industrial processes. So the next time you sit down with a new puzzle, take a moment to appreciate the journey that those pieces have been on before they reached your hands.
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