All my life, I’d never been a puzzle person. I couldn’t get past having to flip hundreds of little pieces right-side up, then sort the border pieces from the rest—all just to get started! Then one summer, we rented a house in Cape Cod and found a 1,000-piece puzzle sitting on a shelf of old board games. On a rainy day, I pulled out the tattered box and dove in.
I was hooked and spent the next mornings happily with my new coffee and puzzle routine. That feeling of accomplishment when it’s all done and you snap the last piece in place? Incomparable. Now that I’ve had a half dozen puzzles under my belt, I can tell you, though, that some are simply more satisfying than others. In particular, the more compelling the image, the more fun you’ll have.
Here, 10 especially cool and artful jigsaw puzzles to bring relaxation, joy, and all those feel-good holiday vibes to you and your loved ones.
Above: Meredith directed me to Piecework, a newish company (its tagline is “puzzles for president”) that makes, in her words, “bizarrely beautiful” still-life photographs-turned-puzzles. Pictured here is Paradise Found; the featured image (yep, that whole photograph is the puzzle), at top, is the aptly named Meta Puzzle. Both 1,000-piece puzzles are on on sale for $28.80 each.
Above: I bought this 1,000-piece composition at the Edward Gorey Museum in Yarmouth Port, MA, shortly after completing my first puzzle ever. It was such a wonderful way to get up close and personal with the artist’s work and to see his characters take form with every piece. Edward Gorey’s An Exhibition Puzzle is $23.95 at the Gorey Store.
Above: From Areaware, adorable Little Food Puzzles, each of which takes 20 minutes or less to finish. Cleverly themed sets of 3 (e.g, the Food Smells set includes coffee, cheese, and cherry pie) are $45 each; sets of 4 are $60 each; and a set of 7 is $105 at Food52.
Above: I love this colorful 750-piece Frank Stella Puzzle that thinks outside the standard rectangle; $20 at the MoMA Design Store.
Above: JIGGY was started a few years ago to make puzzles cool again. The company collaborates with female illustrators, including Romanian illustrator Livia Falcaru, who provided the art for A Cozy Christmas puzzle. Each puzzle comes in a reusable glass jar and includes puzzle glue, a straight-edge tool to spread the glue, and a print of the art; $49.
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