Like many others, I rediscovered my love of jigsaw puzzles in lockdown. There’s something very soothing about piecing together all the little pieces to create the final image and they’re great activities for the whole family to get involved with. My nephew is also a BIG puzzle fan and with his birthday coming up recently I decided to make him his own personalised jigsaw! He loves monsters (and I love drawing them!) so I knew just what to make.
I did toy with the idea of trying to make the jigsaw myself but thanks to a well-timed promotional email I opted for the small, kid-friendly sized 49 piece printed jigsaw puzzle from Photobox. Photobox is a UK based company, although they operate in many other European countries, along with Australia and New Zealand. There are a number of other companies who offer similar jigsaw printing all over the world so you should be able to find one local to you if you fancy having your own jigsaw printed.
Although these are marketed as photo jigsaws you can obviously use any type of image – especially those created with clip art and digital scrapbooking supplies! I put my digital scrapbooking skills to good use and created a square document in Photoshop, filled it with my monster illustrations, added shadows and a background colour and saved it as a high-res jpg file ready to upload. I couldn’t find any detailed info on Photobox’s website but I allowed for a 5mm bleed on each side and this turned out to be pretty much spot on to how my design was cropped on the final puzzle and on the printed lid.
I paid £14.99 for this jigsaw (it’s currently on sale at £13.99 for this smaller size) plus £6.99 for delivery. That’s approx €18 / $19.50 USD. The puzzles are printed in Germany – hence the high shipping to the UK, thank you Brexit – and delivery took 9 days from when I placed the order. Here’s the info on the jigsaw from Photobox’s site:
- 49 pieces
- Jigsaw size: 18 x 18 cm
- Personalised metal tin: 19 x 28 x 4 cm
- Recycled extra-strong card
- Made by Ravensburger, Europe’s leading jigsaw specialist
Photobox Jigsaw Review
I should preface the following by saying this isn’t a sponsored post, I paid for the jigsaw and haven’t included any affiliate links in the post – I’m just sharing my thoughts on the puzzle with you, crafter to crafter!
The pieces are well cut and fit together nicely as you would expect from Ravensburger! The jigsaw stays together once completed and the pieces are a nice weight. They have a coated matte finish and feel like they are pretty robust and sturdy for a cardboard puzzle. The box image is also nicely printed, I would have preferred it to be a bit bigger on the lid (the picture is approx 8 cm on the lid of this small sized jigsaw) as it would be difficult to see some of the details on a more complicated design, but I think you’d probably want a larger puzzle for a more complex image. This jigsaw measures 18×18 cm when completed. The average piece size is approx 2-4 cm so a good size for slightly older kids rather than very little ones.
The metal tin is a really nice touch, it adds a little special something to the jigsaw (especially for a gift!) and protects the puzzle pieces really well. It’s worth noting that the larger puzzles from Photobox (available in 100, 200, 500, 1000 and a whopper of 2000 pieces!) are supplied in printed cardboard boxes rather than in a metal tin.
The colour matching is really good and image is well printed, the shading details have been preserved even in the red areas which can sometimes be tricky to print. I allowed for some bleed in my design so didn’t I lose anything important when printing, it would worth bearing this in mind if you make your own jigsaw and make sure that there’s no important text or faces too near the edges.
My final thoughts: this jigsaw is a great gift idea! I was initially going to write a pros and cons list for this review but I’m honestly struggling to find any cons, especially at the reduced price. I’m really happy with the finished result and will definitely be making more as gifts and one or two for me too! I’m tempted to try the big 1000 piece 70x50cm puzzle next (current price £29.99, usually £34.99). And finally and most importantly, my nephew loves his birthday present!
Monster jigsaw created with:
Other jigsaw ideas
Other options for your jigsaw designs include using a photograph: maybe a favourite family snap, holiday location or a beloved pet! You could also scan or photograph your child’s artwork and create a lovely personal puzzle from that. If you wanted to get super creative, you could use the jigsaw as a surprise reveal by giving the pieces to the recipient without the box, and having them complete the puzzle to reveal their surprise – maybe a Disney trip or the upcoming arrival of a new puppy!