Halloween Goodies and Treats

Halloween is coming up, meaning snacking on sweet and yummy treats is coming up! If you need some inspiration on delicious desserts to create with a Halloween twist, look no further! Between our puzzles and our research for easy-to-make treats, we’ll give you a few of the best ideas of what to serve to your family and friends for this spooky holiday!

Halloween Treats by Eurographics. 1000 pieces.

Halloween Treats (Mini) by Eurographics. 100 pieces.

halloween cupcakes treats jigsaw puzzle

Halloween Cupcakes by Vermont Christmas Company. 1000 pieces.

The best Halloween treats require little prep but lots of fun! These Marshmallow witches require no cooking, just building!

For a mix of healthy (fruit) and sweet (white chocolate), look no further than the Ghost Strawberries!

For something a little more elaborate, try baking the Gingerdead Men cookies!

World’s Largest Jigsaw Puzzles

Ravensburger has added another monster-sized jigsaw puzzle to their ranks by introducing the brand new 32,252 piece puzzle titled “New York City” which features a composite of 65 different images to create the skyline view from the 61st floor of Rockefeller Center.

giant jigsaw puzzle, biggest jigsaw puzzles, new york city skyline

New York City. 32,256 pieces. 17′ x 6′.

Ravensburger, Clementoni, and Educa have all released some giant puzzles ranging between 9,000 and 33,600 pieces. Educa currently holds the award for world’s largest jigsaw puzzle with “Wildlife” with artwork by Adrian Chesterman.

world's largest jigsaw puzzle, adrian chesterman

Wildlife by Educa. 33,600 pieces. Puzzle measures 18.75′ x 5.16′ when complete.

The biggest jigsaw puzzles also have some of the best-detailed images from jungle scenes to fine art. Check out all of these beautiful, challenging puzzles and let us know what theme or image you’d love to have in 30,000 or more pieces!

astrology jigsaw puzzle, space, stars

Astrology by Ravensburger. 9,000 pieces. Puzzle measures 54″ x 76″ when complete.

the last supper, religious puzzles

The Last Supper by Clementoni. 13,200 pieces. Puzzle measures 9.5′ x 4.5′ when complete.

At the Watering Hole by Ravensburger. 18,000 pieces. Puzzle measures 108.5″ x 75.5″ when complete.

Life, The Greatest Puzzle from Educa. 24,000 pieces. Puzzle measures 14′ x 5′ when complete.

Best Things Designed to Look Like Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

For those of us that LOVE jigsaw puzzles, we know that they’re more than just a hobby. The puzzle piece look can also be decorative–and even functional! Check out these great designs in the shape of puzzle pieces for things such as cutting boards, chairs, and more!

1. Puzzleboard cutting boards

2. Puzzle wine rack

3. Puzzle rugs

4. Puzzle benches/end tables

5. Puzzle mirror

6. Puzzle alarm clock… that only shuts off once you correctly arrange the pieces!

7. Puzzle cookie cutter

8. Puzzle storage

 

Puzzle Penpals

In August, we posted about jigsaw puzzle swaps. With swaps, you can send and receive jigsaw puzzles from all over the country. But recently we discovered Mallory’s blog where she has put a new spin on puzzles in the mail.

Mallory is a creative woman with a lot of long distance family. To keep in touch with the younger bunch and foster a close relationship with them across the miles, Mallory has found fun, interactive ways to communicate.

One way she came up with was penpal puzzles!

The concept is simple: she finds a puzzle that her cousin (or niece of nephew) would like (with an appropriate piece count for their age), she puts it together, then she flips it over and writes a note on the back.

Then she breaks it up to send.

And voila! The kiddos get a fun new gift, an educational and interactive activity, and a letter to cherish from a loving family member!

The same thing could work for adult family and friends, though it might take you a little longer to accomplish! It would make an additionally wonderful gift for grandparents using a custom jigsaw puzzle with a beloved family photo.

How To: Glue a Jigsaw Puzzle

We’ve written about how to glue a jigsaw puzzle before, but it’s been a few years and we know that that means that we have a new population of jigsaw puzzle fans! Welcome, new puzzlers! Gluing jigsaw puzzles is fun, easy, and affordable, and we’re excited to share with you how to do it.

Often, we choose jigsaw puzzles because we like the artwork featured, whether it’s a cute puppy scene or a piece of fine art we know and love. By gluing a jigsaw puzzle, we get to display art we admire and show off our hard work.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

1. Wax or parchment paper
2. A puzzle you love
3. Puzzle glue
4. A jigsaw puzzle frame, if you desire to frame it after gluing

Tug of War. 500 pieces. SunsOut.

Van Gogh: Irises. 1000 pieces. Pomegranate.

STEP 1: Pick a puzzle you’ll be happy to see over and over again (and a puzzle that you won’t miss completing over and over again!)

STEP 2: Get some wax or parchment paper that has an extra inch around all sides of your puzzle to keep your craft area neat and tidy from any glue spills. So, for example, if you were doing a 1000 piece SunsOut puzzle that’s 27″ x 35″, then you’ll want your paper to be about 29″ x 37″.

If you’ve decided you want to glue a puzzle after you’ve finished, no problem! Carefully slide the paper underneath your puzzle. You’ll probably need an extra set of hands to keep the puzzle in place while you slide the paper underneath, but the final results should be the same!

STEP 3: Decide which type of puzzle glue you’ll be using. You can make your own using our step-by-step guide, or you can purchase puzzle glue from popular brands like Ravensburger, SunsOut, Springbok or MasterPieces.

Ravensburger Puzzle Glue – $3.99

SunsOut Puzzle Preserver – $3.99

Springbok Puzzle Saver – $4.95

MasterPieces Jigsaw Puzzle Glue – $3.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We carry several types of puzzle preservers on our website–and there are even more out there, like spray-ons and powder–but we prefer liquid glue. Liquid glue has no presentation and it’s easier to apply, especially with the special applicator that MasterPieces provides with their puzzle glue. SunsOut glue is known especially for going on white like Elmers but drying totally clear. One customer commented, “This is the best glue I have found for preserving a puzzle. I have tried different ones over the years, but none cover so well and so clear! Thanks again for another great product!”

If you decide to go a different route, such as using Educa’s powder glue, just make sure to read the instructions so you don’t waste part of the powder or ruin a beloved puzzle!

If possible, choose glue made by the same manufacturer as your puzzle. This will ensure good results because the manufacturer has designed it to make their puzzles look good.

Glue packaging will indicate the size and number of puzzles it will cover. An average 4 oz. bottle should cover about two 1000 piece puzzles, and even more if you have a fewer pieces.

STEP 4: Once you finish your puzzle, make sure it’s as flat and smooth as possible with all pieces fitting in perfectly snug. One clever trick is to use a rolling pin!

STEP 5: You’re ready to spread the glue! Make sure you have enough time to put your full attention to finishing the gluing process–you wan’t want to stop in the middle or it won’t come out as well.

The easiest way to glue your puzzle is to actually pour the glue right on top of the puzzle and then use a piece of cardboard or a business card (or with an applicator if it is provided) to spread the glue around. There is typically a brush attached to the bottle cap and you will use that to spread the glue along the edges of the puzzle.

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STEP 6: Cover all the pieces thoroughly. Don’t worry about the immediate look. Once the glue dries, it will look different (and better!) There may be small air bubbles, but these should shrink on their own in the drying process leaving a nice, even finish. CAUTION: Don’t brush or sponge on too much glue at once to avoid saturating the puzzle, causing swelling or peeling.

STEP 7: Wait, and then wait some more. Before handling your puzzle, you’ll want to ensure your puzzle has dried completely. For some glues, this will be up to 4 hours, but the average is about 2 hours. Better to be safe than sorry, though!

STEP 8: You should be able to pick up your puzzle after the full 2-4 hours. A ruler or a spatula can be used as tools to help separate the paper from the puzzle.

STEP 9: You can do what you like with your puzzle after you glue it, but we recommend hanging it to put on display in the nicest way possible. We also have some handy instructions on how to frame your jigsaw puzzles.