8 Creative Uses for Finished Puzzles

Puzzle completed. ✅

Congratulations! You’ve dedicated many hours (or days, weeks, perhaps even months) to your jigsaw puzzle and had the great satisfaction of sliding the last piece into place, finally completing the puzzle. Now what to do with it? 

Sure, you could gather up all the pieces and throw them back in the box, all that hard work gone in the blink of an eye. Kind of seems like a waste, doesn’t it? But leaving it to sit out on the table might not be the best solution either, especially if your cats are like mine and can’t resist using it as their own personal toy. Thankfully, there are some other alternatives available for your completed puzzles. 

1. Puzzles as Wall Art

Framing puzzles are a great way to add art decor to your home. Not only did you spend a lot of time putting your puzzle together, but you spent your hard-earned cash on it, too. Why not show it off? Our artist series are puzzles crafted by various artists around the globe across many time periods, including our very own Abraham. 

All you need to do is glue your puzzle together and find an appropriate frame for it, then get to hanging! We have an entire post dedicated to walking you through how to glue a puzzle together, as well as how to frame a puzzle. You can hang your puzzle without a frame, too. Whatever floats your boat. 

2. Puzzle Shelfie

Not into hanging your puzzle? Fortunately, our puzzle boxes are designed with display in mind. Add them to your bookcase, or give them a shelf of their very own. Not only will they be easy on the eyes, but your friends and family will also ooh and ahh over your beautiful collection. 

We’d love to see your puzzles on display! Snap a pic of your puzzle #shelfie or framed art and tag us @BlueKazooGames. 

3. Join a Puzzle Challenge

Or start your own! Just because you’ve completed a puzzle once doesn’t mean you can’t do it again. Challenge yourself by doing the puzzle differently than you did the first round. Time yourself to see how quickly you can finish it. Turn all the pieces over so you can’t see the image. Start from the middle and work your way out to the border (or vice versa). The possibilities are endless!

4. Spread the Puzzle Love 

If you know you aren’t ever going to put the puzzle together again, consider sharing it with a friend or family member, or donating it (that is, if all the pieces are present, of course). Puzzles have many positive benefits including improving mental cognition, reducing stress, and increasing dopamine levels. If your people aren’t interested, reach out to schools, shelters, churches, libraries, prisons, and local charities to see if they have any interest in taking over your pre-loved puzzles. 

Lost Pieces? No Problem

If some of your pieces have gone missing during the puzzle-building process, there are still creative ways you can use your puzzle when you’re finished with it. 

5. Make a DIY Puzzle Frame

Perhaps you don’t want to display your puzzle, or maybe you lost a piece or two in the process of completing your puzzle (again, blame the cat). You can use the individual pieces to upgrade a mirror or old frame. All you need for this craft are your puzzle pieces, a glue gun with glue sticks, and paint. The paint is optional - you’ll want this if you don’t like the original color of the pieces or if you want the frame to be one cohesive color. 

Start with a clean base (you don’t want dirt getting stuck in your art), then start gluing your pieces (original or painted) down on a single layer with your glue gun. You can build upon the layers until it looks the way you want it to. 

Voila! New art! Go you. 

Photo Credit: Mu Lab via Pinterest

6. Magnetize It

You’ve seen those magnets comprised of words for friends and family to craft silly one-liners and phrases on the fridge. What better way to show off your love for puzzles than doing the same with your used pieces? 

Turning puzzle pieces into magnets is a cheap and easy way to utilize your puzzles. Plus, it can be a fun activity for a rainy day! You just need your puzzle pieces, a glue gun with glue, and magnets for this craft. Flip the puzzles over to show the paperboard backing, add a dollop of glue to the piece, and push the magnet down onto the glue. Let dry and then stick ‘em to your fridge for a fun, interactive game anyone who comes to visit can partake in.

7. Wear Your Puzzle On Your Sleeve 

Or your neck or ears. Turning puzzle pieces into jewelry is a great way to upcycle your puzzle and can also make a great gift! This craft is a bit more involved and a few more tools are needed but could be a worthwhile endeavor if you have some extra time on your hands. Here is a great tutorial on making your own puzzle jewelry:

 

8. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

As of 2023, here at Blue Kazoo, everything from our boxes to the polybags is biodegradable. Rather than throwing your puzzle in the bin, try recycling it. While it can be tedious to separate puzzle pieces in the recycling because of their small size, sites like FreeCycle and Craiglist often offer internet swaps for artists looking to reuse old puzzle pieces.