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You got a new puzzle and are excited to put it together. Putting together puzzles can be a quiet and relaxing way to pass the time.
Gathering around the table with your family working together to put the puzzle together is a great way to spend cold winter evenings.
Some people even have puzzle tables. Every month they work on a new puzzle, then glue and frame the finished product.
But what do you do when you have spent hours working on a puzzle only to discover that there is a piece missing?
If you have a missing puzzle piece you can contact the manufacturer, go to Jigsaw Doctor and have them make you a piece, or make a piece yourself.
The name and contact info for the manufacturer will normally be listed on the box of the puzzle so that’s a good place to start. However, they will not always be able to replace the missing piece for you. Sometimes the manufacturer might offer to replace your puzzle with a new one which will hopefully contain all the pieces.
You can also contact The Jigsaw Doctor online at jigsawdoctor.com. That site creates missing jigsaw puzzle pieces from cardboard or wood jigsaw puzzles using a special material so it will fit nicely with your nearly completed puzzle.
The Jigsaw Doctor is located in the United Kingdom so it might take longer than the two to four weeks posted on his website to get your replacement piece if you are located in the United States.
The cost of using the Jigsaw Doctor is a little over fifteen dollars per piece plus shipping and handling, large puzzle pieces will cost more so if you have a cheaper puzzle the service is obviously not worth using.
All you need to do to get your missing puzzle piece created is to send two layers of the surrounding pieces along with a picture of the completed puzzle on the box.
For example, if your missing puzzle piece is a corner piece you will need to send the surrounding eight pieces of the puzzle. If the missing piece is an edge piece, then you will need to send the surrounding fourteen pieces. If that missing puzzle piece is toward the center of your puzzle, then you will be sending the Jigsaw Doctor the surrounding twenty-four pieces.
It is recommended that you simply assemble the pieces that you need to send then place them on a stiff piece of cardboard and wrap it with saran wrap. Next, you’ll place another piece of cardboard on top and then tape the two cardboard pieces together.
Do not tape or glue the puzzle pieces.
Once the Jigsaw Doctor receives the puzzle pieces, they can have your replacement ready to ship back to you within four weeks.
How To Create Your Own Replacement Puzzle Piece
If you have a creative eye, you can always make your own puzzle piece replacement. To create your own jigsaw puzzle piece, you will need a cereal box, a craft knife, a sharp pair of scissors, spray glue, washi tape, adhesive label, and a clear sealant.
The first thing you will need to do is to take the surrounding puzzle pieces and put them together. Flip them over and use washi tape to hold them together. Then take your cereal box and cut out rectangles to just over the size that you need for your puzzle piece.
You’ll need to cut several pieces so that you can obtain the thickness of the puzzle.
Once you have the desired thickness use your spray glue to stick the cereal box pieces together. Make sure that both of the outer pieces are blank.
Place your cardboard under something heavy until the glue has set. Once the glue has set you will then take your cardboard and place the puzzle over it so that you can trace the missing piece onto the cardboard.
Once you have the piece traced, use the scissors and craft knife to carefully cut out the new puzzle piece.
Now, take two adhesive labels and stick them to the new puzzle piece, the two pieces of adhesive label will ensure that the piece has a nice solid white for you to work with. You will need to cut this down to the puzzle piece shape as well.
Place the piece into your puzzle to make sure that it fits properly.
Once you have a fitted piece you get to create the art for your new piece. Keep the piece in the puzzle so you can make sure that the lines and everything that you draw will line up correctly.
You’ll need to use the picture on the puzzle box for reference.
It will be best to use colored pencils for this part as they are less messy than other options. Once you have your piece drawn out you can take the piece out of the puzzle to color so that you can make sure to get all the way to the edges.
Finally, you’ll spray your new puzzle piece with a clear sealant.
What will you do if you’re not that great at drawing? If you have a scanner and Photoshop, you can use those to create the missing puzzle piece as well.
This process will start out like the previous one.
Tape the surrounding puzzle pieces together using washi tape. You’ll cut some cardboard out to the thickness that you need. Trace out the piece and cut it out.
You’ll simply scan the picture of the puzzle from the box into your computer. Once you have the puzzle scanned in you’ll open the picture in Photoshop.
Locate the area of the missing piece and crop the picture. The most important part of this step is to make sure that you print the piece out in the correct size. To get the right size you’ll measure the length of the missing piece now put that into your Photoshop. Once you have the size adjusted, you’ll want to make the crop slightly larger so that you can have room to cut your piece out.
With a piece of matte cardstock, you will print out the picture. Now take your taped puzzle pieces and set them over top of the picture. Line it up carefully and make sure that the picture is printed to scale.
If it didn’t you will need to head back to Photoshop to adjust the print size. Trace out the shape of the puzzle piece and then carefully cut it out.
Now take this piece and glue it to your cardboard piece. Finally seal it with some clear sealant.
If you find that you have a missing piece to a puzzle you see that there are a few options for how to replace that piece.