You might consider yourself quite geeky. But have you ever thrown a jigsaw puzzle party? Yep, that’s right – you can throw a whole entire party based around puzzling. And you know what? People might actually have fun!
As all true puzzle nerds know, doing a jigsaw is one of the ultimate solo activities. But hosting your own puzzle party is a genuinely great way to enjoy puzzles with others!
You may have seen this idea being used for children’s parties, but there’s nothing to stop you bringing puzzles to the party as a fully grown human (especially if you choose one of our 1000-piece beauties).
Here are a few ideas for hosting a jigsaw puzzle party. You can use this whole party plan or just pieces of it (see what we did there?!)
Jigsaw puzzle party games
If you like a bit of friendly competition, there are tons of puzzle challenges you and your friends can try! And, depending on how long you want the party to last, you can do rounds of puzzle challenges and mix it up.
This is probably the best-known approach to throwing a puzzle party, and the concept is simple enough: choose one puzzle with your friends and then complete it together over the course of the night, with plenty of drinks and snacks on hand to keep you puzzling.
This is a fun way to bring everyone together to work towards completing a beautiful work of art and allows for conversations to just kind of flow.
Pro tip: make sure you choose the right size puzzle! You probably don’t want a small get-together of novice puzzlers daunted by the task of a challenging 5000-piece puzzle. But you also don’t want to run the risk of the puzzle being too quick and easy. As a guide, a 1000-piece puzzle is normally just about right for a group of four friends.
It’s everyone for themselves! Give each guest a smaller, identical puzzle and race to see who can complete theirs the quickest.
You’ll need plenty of space to make this work – and by that we mean you’ll need multiple clean, flat surfaces! The challenge here is to keep the conversation going while everyone secretly wants to be crowned the party’s fastest puzzler.
The group challenge
This one works best for larger parties. Group your pals into even pairs or pods and race to see which group can complete a puzzle the quickest. These could be the same puzzle, or you could do multiple selections of the same piece count from the same brand.
More ideas to make your puzzle party a success
Here are some fun extra ideas you can use to spice up your puzzle party and keep things interesting.
- Set a timer – when it rings, no one can use their right hand for a full five minutes (harder than it sounds)
- Anytime someone completes a full line of pieces (horizontal or vertical), they have to take a drink.
- Anyone who has a corner piece has to do three rounds of Truth or Dare when they put it down (that’ll teach them for taking the easy route!).
- Add in sneaky bonuses to keep your fellow puzzle nerds motivated. For example: “Whoever finishes first gets a Cloudberries gradient puzzle for Christmas.”
Cool ways to theme your puzzle party
Since it’s a puzzle party and we’re all massive geeks for even being in attendance, it can be fun throw caution to the wind and really get into the swing of things. Here are a few bonus ideas for your jigsaw puzzle party:
Get the jigsaw-themed snacks in
No party is complete without food! Pick up some puzzle-piece-shaped cookie cutters a couple of days before the party and getting prepping – from cookies and brownies to fresh fruit, you can make pretty much anything into a puzzle piece, adding to the overall sense that, yes, puzzles rule.
Plan some crafting sessions
There are loads of cool craft projects based around old puzzles! Check out Pinterest for tons of puzzle-based craft ideas from picture frames to holiday ornaments to housewares to gift tags. One of our favourite puzzle nerds, Karen Kavett, has some creative ideas on her blog!
Some of the best puzzle craft projects require painting or glueing real-life pieces to give them a new look, so ask your guests to bring their old/damaged pieces or check out a local charity shop for used puzzles.
Add in a few puzzle-themed side games
In addition to the main event, you can have some side games lined up to help break up the evening! Here are some quick ideas:
- Guess how many! Fill a jar or container with a carefully counted number of puzzle pieces and have guests guess how many it contains. These could be pieces from one of your favourite puzzles or if you don’t have pieces to spare, find a cheap puzzle a local thrift or dollar store.
- Caption contest: take a look at our 10 strange uses of jigsaw puzzles in stock photos blog for inspiration, then challenge your guests to write the best caption for each. Take turns reading them out loud for some extra laughs!