Puzzles have come a long way from the days when they were made from wood. Today, custom photo puzzles can be made from pictures uploaded to a website that are enlarged, printed, and mounted on cardboard that is then cut into interlocking pieces and shipped to the customer. 

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You simply upload a favorite photo (or multiple photos to be arranged in a collage) to a custom puzzle-making site like MakeYourPuzzles, make a few tweaks or additions for true customization, press a button, and it arrives at your doorstep in no time at all!

Of course, it wasn’t always this way.


Brief History of Puzzles

A London mapmaker is credited with making the first jigsaw puzzle in the 1760s by pasting a map onto a thin piece of wood and then cutting each country into a separate shape. He sold the puzzles to affluent families who wanted to teach their children about geography. As their popularity grew, puzzles started to include images from fairytales, animals, everyday life, and more.

During the Great Depression, the popularity of puzzles grew in leaps and bounds. With advances in technology, jigsaw puzzles were produced on more affordable materials, like plywood and cardboard. They were an inexpensive way for the unemployed to stay busy and provided entertainment for families gathered around the kitchen table.

With people spending more time at home during the global pandemic, puzzles again got a boost in popularity, especially when many folks discovered how to make a puzzle from a photo. This centuries-old pastime helped many people cope with the lockdown, and some even hung completed puzzles on their walls as pieces of art they created.

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Popular Puzzle Designs

As with any product, favored puzzle designs go through cycles. Sometimes, geometric and art-based designs are popular. Other times, landscapes and nature scenes fly off the shelves.

In recent years, though, personalized puzzles have really taken off. The image you choose is firmly glued to cardboard, and a machine cuts the enlarged photo into precise, interlocking pieces.

Puzzle Sizes and Puzzle Piece Sizes - Make your own puzzle at MakeYourPuzzles

Why People Love Puzzles

There might be some who think puzzles aren’t worth the time and effort needed to put them together, but they are missing the whole point of doing a puzzle. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a challenging puzzle.

There has been plenty written about puzzles being a great stress reducer, mood enhancer, and brain exerciser. Having to organize and remember which pieces you’ve tried and where, as well as which pieces you haven’t gotten to yet, keeps your mind engaged and active. This helps younger puzzle enthusiasts develop their problem-solving skills, and it helps older folks improve their concentration and focusing abilities.

 

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Explore Custom Puzzle Options

Mulling over a puzzle with a mug of coffee is a great way to start the day. Conversely, an hour spent after dinner poring over a puzzle before turning in for the night is also a great way to relax. Perhaps time with a puzzle is how you like to spend your moments of solitude, or maybe puzzles are what you break out of the closet when a group of friends or family drops by.

Regardless of how you like to do puzzles, it’s worth checking out a specialty custom puzzle maker like MakeYourPuzzles (rather than opting for a custom gift from Walmart’s photo puzzle kiosk). Our platform is easy-to-use and intuitive–you can use one (or more) of your photos, or one of the many photos we have in stock to generate a unique puzzle for your next get-together!

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