Puzzles are great toys for all ages. It will easily provide you, your family and friends with hours of fun. Time to order a new set? What do you think about designing a custom jigsaw puzzle this time? If you feel the themes seem too common, or cannot find what you are looking for, then it might be a good idea to design a unique jigsaw puzzle…
Puzzles have become more popular during the pandemic, when people had to stay at home. Being stuck in a lockdown, what is the best way to kill some time? This toy also brings many benefits to people’s health. The best proof is the soaring sales in recent years…
For example, puzzling helps kids’ brain development, hand-eye coordination, patience, problem-solving skills, and more. For the elderly, it improves motor skills and short-term memory and relieves some symptoms of dementia. It simply offers some “me time” for everyone, and staying focused can help keep the stress at bay for a while…
Regardless, it is good to be away from smartphones for a few hours. Puzzling is a good activity for bonding with family and friends too.
Custom jigsaw puzzle brings more fun here. You can personalize a unique set with your favorite photos and leave a line of message. It is a perfect gift idea for people around you. Not only can you have fun assembling the puzzle, but you will also have a decoration for your home once finished.
Interested? Many websites offer similar options for custom jigsaw puzzle designs. They all have their own expertise, so the question is: which one to choose?
Top custom jigsaw puzzle online services
Ravensburger’s puzzles are made in Germany. This is one of the top jigsaw puzzle companies out there. They have customers all over the world. Product information is written in several languages on the packaging box and on the leaflet inside.
Ravensburger provides many possibilities for a puzzle. There are numerous themes available that work with big names like Disney, Warner Bros, Pixar, and Minecraft. But, if you are searching for something special, then there is nothing better than building a unique custom jigsaw puzzle…
The company is famous for its “big size” puzzles: You can get up to 5,000 pieces… wait, there are 9,000 pieces, and oh, even a staggering 18,000-piece edition!
For Ravensburger, the quality of each piece is known to be so consistent. They are printed on trademark blue cardboard, which is thick and robust. You can enjoy the saturated colors on a shiny surface. It adds a luxurious look to the entire puzzle set with an elegant packaging design. By the way, a sturdy big box is actually a handy tool for sorting pieces…
However, there are sometimes user comments reporting some flaws, such as missing or duplicated pieces, or a few pieces failing to lock tightly.
Simple interface for builder
Back to designing your own custom jigsaw puzzle, the builder interface looks simple at the first glance. Sure it has all the necessary features you need. The system really makes it easy to create collage puzzles: select a layout and then the uploaded images are placed there. Of course, you can arrange or swap them as you like.
It is also possible to change the color of the frame and border. But, sadly, there seems to have no option to add text or other elements to the canvas.
Finally, you can choose a cardboard or metal box for your custom jigsaw puzzle. The box is important as a gift, so pick wisely. Or, you can simply select a default box theme, like Christmas. But, this only applies to cardboard boxes (metal boxes only allow colors). Last but not least, do not forget to add a title to the box (which is optional)…
In addition, it is possible to order a “Puzzle Conserver Permanent” too. This is a glue stick that helps hold the puzzles together, so you can easily frame and hang the finished product on the wall.
If you are a puzzle lover, then you can get the best out of Ravensburger Points. Customers earn points for each order and receive discounts on future orders.
|A big name in the market
|Cannot add text or elements
|Not much to design options for package boxes
|Occasional missing pieces
Customers highly appreciate the quality of Venus Puzzle products. Fast shipping and responsive customer service help the brand stand out from its competitors.
While Ravensburger is going for giant puzzle options, Venus Puzzle seems to take a different approach: you can order a 12-piece custom jigsaw puzzle, which is the perfect toy for kids.
In case you are tired of the usual rectangular edition, there are various shapes available: heart, square, and panorama. Instead of the ordinary cardboard, it is also possible to order a magnetic version here.
Venus Puzzle has a number of scenario templates to get you started, such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, summer, wedding, or Halloween. It is fair to say that the templates are one of the best in design.
Additionally, a number of accessories can be ordered for your custom jigsaw puzzle, including sorting trays and glue sheets. They are super helpful in the assembling process, and convenient when framing the finished products.
Check the quality of your uploaded images
The builder system is accessible to all. Upon uploading your favorite image, the Photo Quality Rating will tell users if the puzzle would look good with it. The quality of the source file can make or break your puzzle! Although it may look good on a computer screen, it may not be the same on cardboard… The system may have saved you from frustration later.
However, the photo puzzle and collage versions seem to have different builder systems. In the former, you cannot apply filters on the images, or place text or elements on them. On the other hand, there are a few more options for text and clipart, when using a collage template. So, you cannot really switch the design from regular photo puzzles to collages…
The design options for the packaging box are pretty standard. You can choose from several colors, and add a line of text.
Overall, if you are interested in creating a custom collage jigsaw puzzle, you should first check out Venus Puzzle, and its templates.
|No text or other elements to add on top
|Responsive customer service
|Cannot switch between photo puzzle and collage builders
|Photo Quality Rating helps you decide if the photo quality would look good on prints
|Standard box design settings only
Shutterfly offers a wide variety of products, not just jigsaw puzzles. It even has a mobile app, and you can place orders on your smartphone.
While custom jigsaw puzzles may not be its main focus, it does offer some special options, like round and heart-shaped. If you are to build a collage, Shutterfly has plenty of templates to get you started.
The builder is actually quite powerful. You can upload your images in several ways: You may upload all the photos to the library at once, and assign each of them to the slots in the collage. Alternatively, you can click on a slot and upload each image one by one to each. It may be tedious this way, but can be intuitive for some people.
Nevertheless, it offers great flexibility and should be welcomed by all. Either way, you can arrange images by dragging and dropping.
Want the same design on other products?
Moreover, you can import images directly from Google Photos, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as Shuttefly’s stock photo library.
Unfortunately, Shutterfly has some limitations in design. You do not really have the option to add text or elements on top. You may change the background to some fancy patterns, and that is very much it. Also, the packaging box does not seem to have a design option…
According to some comments, the quality can be inconsistent.
In any case, the platform can be a good fit for anyone who loves personalized items. Here you can share your puzzle designs with other objects.
In addition, Shutterfly often offers discounts to customers, so keep an eye out for new deals. It also has an annual plan that saves you money if you frequently order customized products.
|Often offers discounts to customers
|Relatively limited design options on puzzles
|Can import images directly from other online services
|No packaging box design option
|Can share designs with other items
|Quality can be inconsistent
At first glance, PuzzleYou might not be as big as its competitors. However, it has some cool features for creating a custom jigsaw puzzle…
First, users have some layouts to start with. The system also gives your images a “Photo Resolution” rating, which tells if you should go ahead, or better try a different photo.
If you are bored with the standard collage templates, then do not miss this special option: “overlap”. This easily makes your custom jigsaw puzzle more exciting and challenging to assemble.
Suitable for simple designs on custom jigsaw puzzles
The builder may still need some work. It lacks advanced features and loads relatively slowly. Again, this can be enough to create a simple design. At least, it is not that overwhelming for first-timers.
Something seems to be missing from its rivals though. Text can be added to both the packaging boxes and the puzzle. However, the features are quite limited as you can only change the font, color, and size. There is no bold setting, which is essential for creating an eye-catching headline. (Alternatively, you may choose a font with a thicker stroke…)
Before submitting your order, you can inspect the packaging box design the last time with a 3D preview. Make sure it looks great as a gift to your family and friends, inside and out…
|Photo Resolution rating to check image quality
|Builder system loads a bit slow
|Can add text to packaging boxes and puzzles
|Text options are rather limited
|3D preview of the box design
|Better suited for simple designs
Zazzle is relatively different from the other services above. It seems to focus more on being a marketplace: you can open a shop on the platform, and sell the puzzles your design (as well as many products).
Customers can also customize the jigsaw puzzle with photos or designs. Do not miss out on an interesting option here: acrylic puzzles. It is stronger and more durable than cardboard…
Zazzle’s builder system is awesome with lots of advanced features. What is more impressive is that it loads quickly and the interface is user-friendly.
Here are a few things that make a great builder on Zazzle:
- Guidelines: There are guides or grids to help users place elements, which is a big help for beginners.
- Layers: Layers are supported, so you can arrange elements to the front or back, as well as create overlapping effects.
- Text: There are many advanced options for text, including justification, anchoring, letter spacing, and line spacing. Many builders simply miss out on all these features…
- Languages: Zazzle has a wide variety of fonts and supports languages other than English.
- Images: You can add filters to images that work like any image editor software.
- Icons Library: You can make things intriguing by adding many elements to the scene, e.g. animals, emojis, sports,…
- Preview: It is so thoughtful that the preview window is always in the corner. That way, you can always observe how it looks after making changes.
- Collaboration: When you need input or help, simply invite your friends to help and design together.
Powerful features for complex designs
They are quite useful and provide a lot of value and convenience to the users. Hopefully, you can express your creativity and ideas as you wish on Zazzle…
As with many marketplace platforms, the product quality may vary as some are created by independent creators. Of course, that is not the case when you have to create a custom jigsaw puzzle from scratch.
Zazzle offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can return your purchase for a replacement, credit, or refund within 30 days of receipt.
|Comprehensive builder system, like layers
|Powerful builder system can be a bit overwhelming
|Support languages other than English
|Quality may vary, due to independent creators
|100% satisfaction guarantee
|Puzzles may not be its main focus
Both Printer’s Studio HK and QPMN (and SnapShop) are backed by QP Group, a Hong Kong listed company. The group has more than 35 years of experience in the field of paper products and printing services. Jigsaw puzzles and playing cards are popular with players and collectors around the world.
Here you can expect more from one of its flagship products, jigsaw puzzles. First, Printer’s Studio offers a selection of materials for a custom jigsaw puzzle: traditional, magnetic, and wood. The latter is a more durable material and makes it perfect for children’s toys.
You can then select a template that varies in size, from a B1-sized poster to a small 5R photograph. This way, you can pick the right puzzle for the player, depending on their age and experience.
Once you have chosen a size, you can always change the number of pieces. For example, you can build a 12 x 16.5 inch puzzle into 24, 54, 285, or 1,000 pieces. This is a versatile feature, as you may prefer larger pieces for your little one, or a challenge for the experienced puzzle lover.
Special options for your custom jigsaw puzzle
Want something special? Consider ordering a set of heart-shaped puzzles for your loved ones. It is available in cardboard or magnets that you can attach to the refrigerator door after finished.
Say, if you cannot decide between two photos, why not make them a double-sided puzzle? So, you can have both of your favorite images or artwork on each side, and that means double the fun!
Like other competitors, templates can save you time getting started. It is perfect for a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gift with some ready-made designs here.
What do you do after completing a custom jigsaw puzzle? If you plan to keep the finished product, you may as well order a tray puzzle. You can solve the puzzle inside the tray to prevent it from falling apart. Sure you will appreciate it when you have to move it around in the puzzling process. It also helps to frame the puzzle once completed. It is more convenient to order the tray together, because you can be sure that it perfectly fits the puzzle…
Finally, Printer’s Studio offers several packaging options available, from personalized boxes to poly bags (without boxes) to tin boxes.
|Options in the number of pieces for a given puzzle size
|Builder loads a bit slowly
|Some special options, such as a tray puzzle, or a double-sided puzzle
|Choices for many aspects, which can be overwhelming
|Several packaging choices, e.g. personalized boxes, poly bags, and tin boxes
|Shipped from Asia, so may take a bit longer to ship to Europe and America
In case you are tired of those conventional designs, it is time to visit the QPMN and SnapShop marketplace. This is a place where anyone can design products and sell them online. Many local designers and merchants in HK are working with QP, and putting their designed jigsaw puzzles and other items up for sale.
You can expect a wide range of themes and styles from all the artists, illustrators, and designers. For example, here you can order puzzles about Hong Kong cultures and elements, such as local transportation or food. By the way, products are not limited to custom jigsaw puzzles…
The best part is that you can edit on top of those designs. This includes uploading images and adding stickers and text messages. So, they become special presents for family and friends, just like souvenirs.
Not only can you shop around for treasure, but you can also run your online business, just like any of these artists and designers. Anyone can also join QPMN or SnapShop for free. It would be amazing to see your own artwork or design printed on a custom jigsaw puzzle. Don’t forget that your fans and followers can further personalize your creations. This will help increase brand awareness and marketing.
|Fascinating topics about Hong Kong culture, and many more
|Builder is not the most good-looking
|Customizations over the designs by local artists
|Designers have their own store, so the UI is quite different
|You can register for free and start your online business, like these local artists
|Shipped from Asia, so may take a bit longer to ship to Europe and America
Choosing a custom puzzle provider is not easy. Each of them has its own characteristics, strengths, or shortcomings. Some have a powerful builder, which is great if you want to build a complex design. Others may focus on the design of the packaging and provide the boxes with great functionality that would make the perfect gifts. If you want to create a collage puzzle, some of the services above have amazing template collections.
Also, it depends on whether you order often or not. Some platforms offer discounts or points systems to help you save more. On the other hand, if you only order one or two every now and then, any of the aforementioned services will make you a happy customer.
Let’s choose your favorite photo(s), and start designing a custom jigsaw puzzle now. Expect to have fun soon!