Three Great Gifts for Puzzlers
Many of us have a puzzler on our shopping list this holiday season—someone who loves jigsaw puzzles, collects them, employs ancient puzzling techniques, and has the patience of a saint. While the right gift for a someone who loves puzzles may seem obvious, attempting to pick out a puzzle for someone else can be treacherous terrain. Everyone has personal preference when it comes to puzzles—different piece counts, images, difficulty levels, and so on.
For instance, I lean toward simple 500-piece puzzles featuring cozy cabins or small European villages, while you might prefer 1000 pieces with vast landscapes and vibrant wildlife, and someone else may prefer 3000-piece images of nutcracker collections or a pile of cupcakes.
And when it comes to buying for truly dedicated puzzlers, let’s not even get started on trying to avoid the puzzles they’ve already done in the past.
So here are a few great ideas that are guaranteed to be of use to the puzzler on your list, no matter their preference of image or previous projects.
Storage, organization, and a flat surface all in one, the Puzzle Store is a great tool for any puzzler.
Similar in size and shape to a large art portfolio, the “store” comes with a flat sheet for working on puzzles up to 1000 pieces. Transfer that sheet—and your puzzle in progress—to the case, then close it and store it flat.
The other half of a Puzzle Store has compartments for organizing pieces, and for keeping them organized when the case in closed.
My wife and I work on puzzles at our dining table, which also happens to be the same table where we play games. So if we’re mid-puzzle, but decide we’d like to switch to games or have company over (maybe in 2021) for dinner, we store it away, and the next time we’re in that puzzling mood, crack open the case and slide our puzzle right back onto the table.
Even once we finish a puzzle, we sometimes decide we’d like to glue or frame it, so storing it away is a great option while we figure out what we’re doing with it next.
When it’s time to start up a new puzzle, puzzlers know the drill. You dump out the pieces, and start sorting into helpful piles—edge pieces, colors, patterns—whatever will help you stay organized and find the right pieces when you need them.
Puzzle Sort & Go is an awesome, stacking set of puzzle-shaped storage trays. They’re wide with shallow edges so that they can be used while building the puzzle, or just to store various piles between puzzling sessions.
There are two huge factors that make these trays a super-valuable tool that most puzzlers might not even know they need.
#1 is Table Size. Occasionally, I’ll pull out a card table so I can work on a puzzle while I watch TV (#multitasking). However, the card table barely fits a 1000 piece puzzle, so I end up needing to keep some of my pieces in a pile in the middle of the puzzle itself. Not great. Trays for keeping those piles nearby instead if in the middle of my life are a game-changer.
#2 is Pets. It’s hard enough to remember where you left off when returning to a big puzzle. But it’s a total tragedy if you’re close to finishing and realize a few of your pieces have become cat toys while you were away.
I know I said we wouldn’t try to pick out puzzles for our puzzlers, but these Family Piece puzzles are just too cool to skip. Plus, they’re relatively new additions to many puzzle lines, so the chances of gifting a repeat puzzle are fairly slim.
Each family piece puzzle has an overall piece count, normally between 300-500 pieces, but those pieces are not all the same size. Each puzzle is divided into two or three sections, each of which has a different piece size.
This means that our puzzler can work on the more difficult and picky portion of the puzzle, while younger kids—or older friends and family members who need larger pieces to see and handle—can still participate!
Hopefully you’ll be able to check the puzzlers off your shopping list with these great gift ideas.