If you keep getting harassed by household members to move your jigsaw puzzle from the dining room table, here are some practical surface solutions for your precious puzzles. When I looked into the options, I was surprised at the variety of materials available.
Fold out Table
Fold out tables are often light and can be easily moved. This is a great option if you’re wanting to keep your puzzle in sight and work on it intermittently.
Leftover cardboard from a large screen TV or something similar
If you’re needing to move your puzzle, the cheapest option is to cut up a box from a large screen TV or large kitchen appliance. The cardboard is generally much thicker, so you may need a large pair of sturdy scissors or stanley knife to cut it to size. Depending on how much you have available, you could cut varying sizes for different puzzles. If you don’t have any large cardboard boxes, you can always put a request on your local Facebook Group. People are often happy to have those big boxes picked up.
Pick up board from you local hardware store
Some people prefer something a bit more substantial and nicer looking than cardboard. There are a variety of materials that would suit a jigsaw puzzle.
Corflute 3mm thick - A light material that won't scratch. It has a ribbed surface and can be cut with substantial scissors or a stanley knife.
MDF 3mm thick - A smooth surface that won’t bend. You can often ask someone at the hardware store to cut it to the size you want. MDF is relatively inexpensive. You can stick a large piece of felt on the underside to prevent scratching. To prevent pieces sliding off, you can put adhesive foam tape around the edges.
Office supply store
Corkboard with frame or bulletin board - This is great for preventing pieces sliding off and it’s ready to go. You have to make do with what sizes are available, more suitable for a1000 piece puzzle.
Acoustic pinboard 9mm or thicker - A sturdy thick material that won’t bend or scratch. This is a fancier option and is a bit more expensive, but sometimes you want to spoil yourself. It’s a bit trickier to cut unless you know how. It will come in set sizes in an office supply store. There would be bigger pieces available in a hardware store if you’re wanting a more custom sized piece.
Fancier options if you're happy buy
Puzzle board - Comes in a variety of sizes, easy to move, has raised edges and often includes a dust cover.
Puzzle table - Saves your back, especially the adjustable ones. You’ll need some space for this, but if you’re an avid puzzler, it may be worth getting one. There are some tabletop ones as well as free standing options.
Puzzle folder - Safely stores all the pieces and covers them up so they won’t get dusty, easy to pack away.
Puzzle mat - Some are gridded to show different sized puzzles, it is the most storage friendly solution, you can buy it at a variety of stores and it's relatively low cost. You need to be careful when rolling and unrolling your puzzle, roll it slowly and tightly.
Wooden Puzzle solutions
Wooden puzzles need a different surface to the standard cardboard puzzles. Material surfaces don't work as the wooden pieces catch on the fibres. The best is a smooth surface such as MDF, corflute and cardboard.
If you're interested is seeing what wooden puzzles we have available on this website, please click on this link Puzzles.
I was inspired to write the blog from the comments on the Australian Jigsaw Puzzle Association Facebook Page.
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