How do you do a jigsaw puzzle?

If you love jigsaw puzzles you should join us on Facebook here We asked our loyal jigsaw fans for their top tips on ways to complete jigsaw puzzles. Here's what we discovered...

Edges first, that's what my granny always used to say for completing a jigsaw puzzle but we've been asking our customers what special techniques they use. We may have found a whole new way of doing our favourite jigsaws in future!

Pete McCormack says:"Sort the pieces out into straight edges and the rest. I suggest doing the utline first and then a dominant theme. You should be able to fill in the gaps around it".

Linda clapper agrees with this method of doing edges first but it's finding the corners that Jane Murdoch does first:

"Link the straight edges, then do small parts that stand out e.g. bright colours, faces and writing. Make sure all pieces are facing up the right way and group colours together. When you get stuck on sky or water or a solid colour put the pieces in rows on a tray at the side and try each piece going along the row so you don`t get mixed up. I find jigsaws really therapeutic and they`re great for visitors to do while you`re cooking a meal!"

All excellent advice so far. Sue Brown's technique put a smile on our faces:

"Let your partner do the difficult bits..... then sneak in when he nips the loo and finish off then take the credit.............!x"

Mary G. Slee has been doing puzzles for along time. What's her expert advice?

"I've been doing Jigsaw puzzles for 50 odd years. Always do the outside first, then work into the centre." Rita Bryant says that she also uses Mary's puzzling technique:

"I sort the pieces out that are the easiest to do"

Angela K McIntosh says:"We do pretty much all of these things. If there is something that stands out in the picture like a brightly colored bush, etc, we usually find those and do that section and set it aside. But after the edges are together and the pieces are all sorted into general colors into little piles, I go by the picture on the box, starting at either the top or bottom," says Angela."I find the pile that matches that section and I start with one empty spot and try each piece into it. If it doesn't fit, I set it aside into a separate spot and try the next piece. I do the whole pile that way or even try a different pile until I find that piece. Then I start all over with the next spot over, trying each piece in that colour pile. I can go through a pile rather quickly but it doesn't always mean they are sorted right either! Plus another thing my husband and I tend to do is "switch spots" or rotate around the table after a while. It gives a different perspective and helps alleviate boredom. Even if one of us is working on a puzzle alone we switch chairs."

Brooklyn Gertlay is using the most popular technique:

"Edges first then try to do the obvious (like faces) sort by colour like sky or water. Good lighting & plenty of patients are also key. Friends getting involved is a good bonding experience."

We also like the idea of getting people involved, it's a great team building experience.

Kerry Valery does it by corners first:

"Find the corners then all the edge pieces that way you know the size. Works for me..."

For Catherine Forset, pulling out the edges is the winning formula for her and the family:

"Start with the straight edges, make sure you can see all the pieces. The Ravensburg puzzle store is good. When all the bits left are the same colour (sky, grass etc) sort them into shapes it's much easier that way. Always buy your jigsaws from!" [Honestly we didn't make her say that but thank you so much Catherine].

What's the winning method for Karen Van Wairdenburge?

"I start at the bottom, put the straight edges in at the bottom first and work my way up."

And Tara Main says: "I always separate all the outside pieces first, do those, then separate the rest by colour/pattern. It makes it so much easier!

Thank you so much to all those with these excellent top tips. If you haven't done a jigsaw for a while, why not try some of these tips when you next complete a puzzle. There really isn't anything quite as satisfying as completing a jigsaw. Keep puzzling!