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Top Tips for Completing a 1,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

It’s no secret that we love a good puzzle here at The Melbourne Map. There’s nothing more satisfying than sliding a piece into place (especially the last piece), but we also know that large puzzles can be a little frustrating and can certainly test your patience! Here's some top tips for completing a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

1. First things first, turn your puzzle pieces image side up.

2. Find and separate all of the edge pieces, then sort the remaining pieces according to colour. It's even more helpful if you can allocate trays for each colour. We’ve re-used the trays that come with some grocery items, or brought out some bowls from the cupboards.

3. Invest in a large board for your puzzle so you can move the work-in-progress under the couch if you need your dining table back! We purchase either thin timber or sturdy corflute from the local hardware store - often they can cut it to size for you.  Note:  If you want the Rolls Royce of jigsaw puzzle tables, checkout the IsoKing Puzzle Board - beautifully crafted here in Australia.

4. Start assembling the border pieces first. This helps to visualize the scale of the puzzle and defines the workspace. (Melbourne Map tip: the white border pieces can be really tricky - some look like they fit but are just not quite right.  Really study the shape and if in doubt put them to one side for later and move on to another area)

5. Once you have completed the border, start piecing together some of the bigger sections of the jigsaw from the pieces you colour sorted. We like to start with things like signs, people, skylines or large areas with a solid colour. (Melbourne Map tip: we’ve found it helpful to complete the waterways first. They run through the map and act as a great reference point).

6. Place your completed larger sections within the puzzle and start to connect around them. The level of difficulty moves up here, but remember you're on the home straight!

7. When you're down to the last pieces, organize them according to shape. Looking at the shape can help you find the single missing piece a bit faster.

8. Keep your jigsaw covered in-between use with a solid board to A: protect from dust and B: pesky pets jumping up on them. 

Extra Tips

Try not to become frustrated! Everyone works through puzzles at their own speed. It isn’t a race.

Take breaks! Sometimes it’s more helpful to walk away for a short time.  Magically when you return to the puzzle, those pesky missing pieces appear, or that place to put that orphan border piece reveals itself.

A magnifying glass comes in really handy when assembling The Melbourne Map Puzzle, or you can use your phone to take photos of some areas on the box cover or pieces, then make them bigger on the screen.  You'll discover some of the amazing detail in the illustration.

Happy puzzling!  We hope you enjoy The Melbourne Map challenge and the joy of reaching that last piece of the puzzle.

We hope these tips help you on your next puzzling adventure.

P.S. - Have you lost a piece from your Melbourne Map puzzle?  You'd be surprised how many people contact us to say that their dog, cat, bird, rabbit or small child has eaten a piece.  Or that dreaded jigsaw piece gremlin has visited.   We help everyone we can with finding a replacement piece - see the form to complete here.   

However before you contact us, please check down the sides and underneath the couch, in dressing-gown pockets and cuffs (yes the sleeve often collects a piece) and for any resident practical jokers who may have hidden that last piece from you.


Rabbit and The Melbourne Map Jigsaw