How to complete an 1000 Piece Puzzle

What is the best jigsaw puzzle completing technique you ask? Colour grouping? Edges first? Do you need a puzzle board? Do you need a whole puzzle table? As avid puzzlers, we are here to help. Our resident puzzler, Nicola, boasts being able to complete a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle in a single night’s sitting, so listen up puzzle people!

Set up your Puzzle Table 

Look at the dimensions of your jigsaw puzzle. If your puzzle is 70 x 50cm, then make sure you have at least that amount of cleared space on your puzzle table. There is nothing worse than having to relocate a half-completed puzzle because the area is too small.

Don’t Get overwhelmed

Starting a 1000-piece puzzle can be a bit scary when you first open the box and see all those pieces. People often say, “where do I start?”. We are here to tell you, it’s not as scary as it looks. Just break the puzzle down into a series of small manageable tasks. 

Use a Puzzle Board 

If you need to move your jigsaw puzzle before it is complete (maybe you need to use your ‘puzzle table’, formally known as the ‘dining table’, for pesky things like eating dinner), considering building it on a board or thick piece of cardboard so you can easily move it around. Here’s a great hack - a cheap whiteboard makes for an excellent makeshift puzzle board. But for those more committed to puzzling, check out the more stylish option we sell here.

The Do’s and Do Nots

  • Do not start from the corners. This will not save you time.
  • Do not jump straight into fitting pieces together.
  • Do turn all your pieces the right way up. This may seem a little tedious but will save you time in the long run and stop you from picking up the same piece again and again.
  • Do use a flat puzzle table. Do not use a puzzle table that has grooves or inlays. 
  • Do use an angled puzzle board like ours if you get a sore back. 

Group your pieces

There’s no easy way around it, the first thing you should do is sort!

Get lots of little containers and bowels and start sorting through all your pieces. Or use our very stylish puzzle sorting trays. Put all the pieces of matching colour and/ or pattern in the same containers. Put all your edges and the corners in one container.

Once you have grouped all your colours and patterns, you may even start to notice sub groups. If you do, don’t hesitate to divide your pieces into even more groups. The further down you can drill, the less possible options you will have for matching pieces together.

Build the Border

Though not entirely necessary, we like to build the border first. This helps to define the size of the puzzle and give context.

Start piece together the smallest group of colours or most distinct objects

Now start piecing together the smallest or most easily defined groups of pieces. Things like people or very distinct objects should be the easiest to start on. Vast expanses of colour like sky, sea or fields are the hardest so leave them until last.

One you have some small clusters of puzzle completed, start expanding them out. You may like to place them appropriately within the frame. As you expand out, they should join together.

Large expanses of the same Colour

You may have to use some trial and error if there isn’t much distinction in the image. Group your pieces into piece shape and look for areas that have the most edges of the puzzle piece already completed – that way you can tell what shape piece is needed. Try all the pieces of that shape until you come across one that fits.

Don’t give up

Puzzling can get frustrating, so don’t give up. Just take a break whenever you need to, and come back to it later. It’s worth it in the end! Especially when you get to frame your puzzle!

Also, if you need some beats to puzzle to, we have you covered here

The Journey of Something ergonomic Puzzle Board: 

Puzzle Board by Journey of Something
1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle Indigenous Design
Puzzle Piece Sorting: 
Puzzle Sorting Trays


You help me

Lianne May 14, 2024

Thank you very helpful. I won’t do a puzzle unless it’s at least 1000 pieces. I like abstract designs.

Cindy longerbeam May 14, 2024

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