Monthly Archives: September 2010

Puzzle of the Day – Harper, The Rocky Mountains

Artist Charley Harper created the artwork displayed on today’s puzzle of the day. Harper, who was known for his style of “minimal realism” style, was inspired mainly by nature, which is featured prominently in Harper, The Rocky Mountains jigsaw puzzle.

Check out the intricate ecosystem portrayed: A beaver, who has happily obtained a piece of Ash wood, headed home, perhaps, to build a dam? Leaves that have changed colors and fallen, butterflies flitting about and birds soaring to and fro seeking dinner. There’s even a fish swimming about and various flowers to enjoy.

Jigsaw puzzle maker Pomegranate features this beautiful work in a 1000-piece 27”x 20” format. Puzzlers of all skill levels have an opportunity to challenge their skills…with intricate details and a unique style, finding the right pieces won’t be too easy!

This puzzle is a keeper even when finished. Don’t forget to glue it together and put it on display! Harper, The Rocky Mountains is a challenging puzzle, yet also a beautiful and unique piece of art that is sure to inspire many compliments in your home.

How to Make Puzzle Glue

jigsaw puzzle glue

Completing a jigsaw puzzle feels fantastic! The sense of accomplishment when that last puzzle piece snaps into place is not only great for your mood – it’s even great for keeping your brain sharp as can be. So, why not preserve all that hard work by gluing  and framing your jigsaw puzzle to turn it into a hanging work of art!

There are lots of ways to preserve a jigsaw puzzle so that you can display them on a wall. You can buy frames made for standard puzzle sizes, and there are several puzzle glues in production that work great – even no mess adhesive sheets that will keep the puzzle pieces together.

But you might be a little more D.I.Y., you say? Have no fear, making your own jigsaw puzzle glue is easy, fun, and makes a great crafting project for the whole family. Though we cannot guarantee the exact same results with homemade glue compared to the ones we sell, most of these combinations are a good, affordable alternative.

Puzzle glue that you buy is essentially Mod Podge. A thinner more spreadable version of the typical Elmer’s White School Glue. To create a high quality puzzle adhesive that is safe to use on the front of the puzzle, mix equal parts white Elmer’s glue and water in a glass container and shake until the consistency is even.

There are other ways to create your own glue, including a flour paste. Just half a cup of flour and enough water to mix into a thick paste is all it takes. Drying time is high compared to commercial products with this mixture, and make sure there are no lumps; adding a bit of sugar and salt makes it more sticky. It is not suggested to use this mixture on the front of the puzzle as it may not dry clear – instead flip the puzzle over and glue the back.

The next best homemade glue uses Gum Arabic. Add just enough water to the gum arabic to dissolve it, and you have a strong glue which dries quickly when applied. These types of glue don’t always dry clear, so use it on the back of your puzzle first.

Gelatin based glue is great, as it is clear and waterproof, but it takes a bit more effort and more resources to make. It is well worth it, though, if you plan to stick your puzzle onto glass. This glue does not stand up well though, so it is for one time use and cannot be stored. e-How has great tutorials for making this type of glue.

Use this guide to teach your kids how to make glue and you will have them stuck to jigsaw puzzles and making lots of good memories, too:

Find pre-made puzzle glues for as little as $4 here.

*Note: Be careful when gluing puzzles – it not recommended to glue puzzles that have special or high-quality finishing like glitter or matte-finished puzzles. The glue could ruin the quality of the puzzle. In these cases, it’s best to go with something like Puzzle Presto – sticky sheets that you can use on the back of the puzzle that don’t cause damage to the pieces.

Family activity ideas with puzzles

If you’re looking for some entertaining family activity ideas, you could do far worse than get a jigsaw puzzle for your loved ones. Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to exercise your mind and stimulate your brain, and at the same time they can be quite relaxing.

Puzzles can be found in a multitude of difficulties, and you’re sure to find one, or more, that suits your family. If you have young children, playing a puzzle can be a great way to help them calm down and and focus on finding the right pieces, or the right place for a particular piece. When the kids get a bit older they can help with more complex puzzles, and then gradually move on to taking on a whole complex picture all by themselves, if they’re so inclined.

Some people find it more rewarding to be a part of a bigger whole in puzzle-solving. That’s exactly what makes jigsaw puzzles such excellent family activity ideas: the many different ways of approaching it. You can play alone or the whole family can gather around and do it together. You can immerse yourself in the puzzle for hours, or just have a quick look as you’re walking by the table where it’s laid out.

And like we said before, figuring out what part of the picture any given piece belongs to is an excellent workout for the old brainwaves. When you’ve finished your puzzle, you can even frame it and have the picture decorate your home as a permanent reminder of the time your family spent together on this fun hobby. Or, you can pack your puzzle back in it’s box and have another go at it later.

Puzzle of the Day – Autumn Leaves and Laughter

It’s that time of year again – time for the trees to put on their final show with blazing colors of orange, red and yellow leaves. Time for pumpkins, apple cider, trick-or-treating, football and playing outside in the beautiful weather. To get you in the mood, this week’s jigsaw puzzle of the day is Memory Lane – Autumn Leaves and Laughter.

Created by Master Pieces for ages 13 and up, Memory Lane – Autumn Leaves and Laughter features colorful artwork by Randy Van Beek that you could get lost in. Imagine walking up to the beautiful Victorian home with the welcoming porch. Along the way, you kick up a few brilliant leaves that have fallen in your path. Children throw themselves into piles of leaves without abandon and after the pile scatters too much to jump in, they gather the leaves up in their red wagon to make new piles all while inventing new rules to their “game”.

The air is crisp, the bright red barn in the distance stands out against a clear blue sky. The neighbors must be burning leaves because you smell the unmistakable scent that takes you back to your childhood and those inevitable family “yard clean up” days. Maybe later you and the kids will get together and have a family pumpkin carving contest.

With 300 pieces, Memory Lane – Autumn Leaves and Laughter is jigsaw puzzle that will provide hours of challenging fun. Just in time for the season, too – when you complete this puzzle hang it over your fireplace and bring the change of season indoors to enjoy.

A Halloween Jigsaw Puzzle is a Treat

If you are looking for a new and different way to enjoy Halloween with your family or students, here’s a fun idea: put together a Halloween jigsaw puzzle! Putting together a Halloween jigsaw puzzle is a very fun family or classroom activity. It’s a great way to get everybody in the spooky Halloween mood if you begin it a week or so before the holiday.

Even the busiest group can do this. If you don’t have time to all sit down and do the puzzle together, then try putting the puzzle out where everybody passes by on their way in and out. That way, each person in the group can put in a few pieces whenever they feel like it. Everyone who comes along later can see and enjoy what’s been done, and it also provides a topic of conversation.

You might want to have a little contest for who places the most pieces, with special Halloween treats for prizes. If you have relatives such as grandparents who live far away, buying matching puzzles, putting them together at the same time, and sharing pictures of your progress is a wonderful way to share the holiday with them.

It’s so cool to see the way everyone’s excitement grows as the Halloween jigsaw puzzle nears completion, and the holiday itself approaches. As you dress up your home or classroom for Halloween, make the completed puzzle one of your decorations. One great idea is to place the jigsaw puzzle under the glass on top of a table for an instant, spill-proof Halloween ‘tablecloth’.

Or you could pull the puzzle apart again and re-use it as a party activity. If you decide to do this activity this Halloween, just be sure to choose a jigsaw puzzle that has subject matter everyone will enjoy (nothing too scary for kids, and no tiny pieces for very young children). Also, be sure the puzzle is age and skill appropriate for all participants.

Unlock your creativity with Sunsout puzzles

As you move from one puzzle to another it is important to have a good collection to choose from. With interesting themes, life-like images and artwork-based puzzles to choose from, Sunsout puzzles are a treat for any puzzle lover.

The best part of solving puzzles is that it keeps your mind sharp and makes you think out of the box to come up with solutions. If you have kids, these puzzles tickle their tender minds, keep them active and lay the perfect base for creative minds.

Sunsout has a vast collection of puzzles and is available in toy stores throughout the country. The entire Sunsout puzzles collection, including exclusive puzzles unavailable in stores, is available online from websites like Puzzle Warehouse, so you can take a look at different themes without leaving the house and even order online!

Jigsaw puzzles are one of those toys your kids will never grow out of, for the simple reason that as they grow, they will move from easy ones to higher difficulty levels. The satisfaction of a completed puzzle is exhilarating and the tougher the puzzle the better.

Complex puzzles at discounted prices are also great, because you really don’t have to shell out much money to keep yourself sharp. This is a satisfaction very few games these days provide. No matter if you are a kid, a young adult or you are old enough to have kids of your own, jigsaw puzzles can be an excellent personal game and also fun to play with family and kids.

Puzzle of the Day – Tropical Impressions

OK, extreme puzzlers…this jigsaw puzzle of the day is just for you. With 18,000 pieces, Tropical Impressions by Ravensburger is sure to keep even the most skilled puzzlers busy for a little while.

Tropical Impressions features beautiful illustrations of slinky jungle cats, cheerful and colorful birds, and gorgeous rainforest scenery. Who wouldn’t get lost for hours in such a lush environment?

If 18,000 pieces is somewhat intimidating to you, don’t worry…Tropical Impressions is a large 75 x 108 inch puzzle, but it’s divided into four quadrants, each with a different, but complementary scene. Each quadrant is separately packaged so you can complete one at a time. When you complete one, move on to the next when you’re ready. Before you know it, you will have completed all four which you can put together for a beautiful completed puzzle.

Tropical Impressions is made by Ravensburger, who is well-known for quality jigsaw puzzles. As a bonus, shipping is FREE right now. Your family and friends will be amazed when they see your completed 18,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Get started today!