Every Christmas while our kids have lived at home, I have given them a large puzzle to work on together during the holidays. As they have grown, it has been harder and harder to find something I felt was not looking the same as all the other puzzles. When I saw a Group On coupon for a custom puzzle a couple of years ago, I was very interested. It started me thinking how I could take garden photos with the express purpose of attempting to design a jigsaw puzzle for them. Why wait until the bleak winter? Why not start a photo file right now for potential photos, when the colors are all so bright and varied? I might still want to use photos from other seasons, but some planning could result in better options.
The company I have ordered custom puzzles from is Up In Pieces. They have always given me great service, even going so far as to credit me a coupon amount that I forgot to enter with an order. The puzzles have been of high quality and the photos look good on them. (I do not have any advertising association with this company at the time of writing, nor have I asked for one.) I have used photos of everything from our dog catching the frisbee midair to a granddaughter’s newborn face. It is easy to see that the kids find a deeper level of enjoyment doing a puzzle that has personal meaning to them.
This seems like a good time to mention again how I store a lot of my puzzles. I haven’t had any Up In Pieces puzzles long enough to know how their canisters hold up over time, but they do seem sturdier than the standard boxes. If need be, I can use my same zip lock bag and coding method. This post about organizing Christmas gifts, so they can be purchased ahead of time, might be useful, too.
While I was thinking about puzzles, I did a little research. It looks like making your own puzzle completely from scratch is pretty challenging, but I found this company that sells blank puzzles. This could be used for a unique way to save a special drawing by a child, or someone with artistic talent could create some one of a kind puzzles. This youtube video about the company was intriguing to watch, too.
Using personal photos for puzzles is only one option. One daughter gave me some spiral notebooks for Christmas with family photos for the covers. It is practical, and yet I get to enjoy the special photos each time I use it. Much better than the options for spiral notebooks at the store!
I was with my grandson in the garden today while he closely observed a bee being busy on some purple chive blossoms. This gives me an idea of how to think of what to take photos of that might interest him. Of course, I also know he would think it fun to put together a puzzle with faces he recognized. It will have to be a simple cut, because he is still very small, but his parents or I could help him with it. Such puzzles seems to be a great combination of fun and sharing memories.