Remodelista Gift Guide 2020: 10 Outstanding Jigsaw Puzzles

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.

Piecework Paradise Found Puzzle 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: Margot’s husband is obsessed with Liberty Puzzles, based in Boulder, CO. The company specializes in wooden puzzles that feature “whimsy pieces,” puzzle pieces that are cut into recognizable shapes, objects, characters, or animals. There’s currently a wait list; sign up and Liberty will send an email when it’s your turn, at which point you’ll have 24 hours to make a purchase. Pictured is their Yosemite United Airlines puzzle ($115); on the right is what it looks like on the back of the puzzle.

Edward Gorey Exhibition Puzzle 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: The Beach Double-Sided 500-Piece Puzzle features photographer Gray Malin’s iconic aerial beach scene one one side and snorkelers exploring a coral reef on the other side; $24.99 at Galison.

Areaware Little Food Puzzles at Food52 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: Check out the New York Puzzle Company for its extensive collection of puzzles featuring The New Yorker‘s illustrated covers; $19.95 each.

Frank Stella Puzzle Moma Store Above: I love this colorful 750-piece Frank Stella Puzzle that thinks outside the standard rectangle; $20 at the MoMA Design Store.

Above: For some vintage charm, try the retro biology and botany chart puzzles from Cavallini & Co. Its Butterflies and Cacti & Succulents are both $22 each at Boston General Store.

A Cozy Christmas by Livia Falcaru from Jiggy Puzzles 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.

Above: Izabella alerted me to the frame-worthy puzzles by Ordinary Habit, which, like JIGGY, makes puzzles that highlight the work of female artists. The Indian Garden by Jane Bodil (at left), and Wish You Were Here by Amber Vittoria are $40 each.

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