dowdle blog image

How are jigsaw puzzles made

Did you ever wonder about the making of jigsaw puzzles? Whether you are new to puzzles or have an entire collection of Dowdle wooden puzzles, it likely has crossed your mind at some point. Puzzles have been around for a long time. We want to part the curtain to let you see the process of how jigsaw puzzles are made and what makes Dowdle Puzzles premium and unique.

It all starts with the Art.

All of our products are based on the original artwork of Eric Dowdle. Eric travels the world collecting stories of people, places and traditions. His works capture iconic global destinations and memorable images of cities, towns, and celebrations across the United States with his particular artistic style, detailed eye, and passion. These beautiful paintings are made available to fans through the Dowdle Fine Art Collection in sizes and styles to meet any need. The completed images are then made available to our puzzle production side.

What are the three types of puzzles Dowdle makes?

First of all, let us make it absolutely clear, all puzzles are not created equal. The care and detail in the production of jigsaw puzzles determines the final experience. Some of the individual elements that affect the product are the paper used in printing and the printed image's quality, the mounting material, the cutting method, the die design, and the packaging. Cheap prints, cheap chipboard, overused dies all equate to a cheap puzzle that separates and makes for a sad puzzle experience. Each step of the manufacturing process requires great care to ensure a quality product. At Dowdle, we take every step in the process seriously for how our jigsaw puzzles are made.

  • Traditional Puzzles Dowdle traditional jigsaw puzzles are created with the highest quality printed images of Eric's artwork on excellent quality paper. The art prints are mounted onto sheets of blue chipboard, the best available. Once the sheets with the images have cured, they are then loaded into machines to be cut by custom-made puzzle dies. In the making of jigsaw puzzles, puzzle dies are a work of art in their own right. Nothing in the industry compares with our packaging either. When you hold a Dowdle Traditional Puzzle in your hands, you know you are holding the industry standard.
  • Wooden Puzzles are the perfect gift for any puzzle fan or fine art lover. Each wooden puzzle we manufacture at Dowdle features a high-quality giclee print mounted to a hardwood backing. The mounted image is precision laser-cut using our in-house templates. Our craftspeople then hand-inspect each piece for completeness and quality before carefully placing your heirloom classic wooden puzzle in either a special edition Dowdle box or a vintage keepsake wooden chest. For those wanting something smaller, our quality wood puzzles are available as 'Picture Perfect Puzzles' of every Dowdle image. Each Dowdle wooden puzzle is a treasure crafted to ensure years of enjoyment.
  • Custom Made Puzzles feature the people, places, and memories that are most important to you. Following the same steps as our wooden puzzles, your favorite photo of a friend, family member, event, or beloved pet, is turned into a wooden puzzle masterpiece. If you choose a 'Picture Perfect Puzzles', it will come with a frame and easel for safely displaying your finished puzzle in any space you choose.  

With every style of puzzle we produce, our goal is to help people live meaningful and engaged lives, bringing adults and children together with each connecting piece.

A final word on the making of jigsaw puzzles

This past year the demand for puzzles has been "unprecedented," depleting our stock at times. We have sought manufacturers to produce puzzles for us, but it is difficult to find any to deliver the quality we demand. We would rather not have inventory than sell inferior products.  To Dowdle, "How are puzzles made?" is of the highest importance because of "Who our puzzles made for?" You. We continue to make every effort to ensure that every product the bears the Dowdle name is of unparalleled quality; our customers deserve nothing less.


  • Tom Lang

    We’re avid puzzlers, in the past year enjoying over two dozen by Dowdle.
    Our first try was Yosemite, playful and humorous, and we were sold.
    The intricate Chicago skyline and festive foreground scenes helped me pass a rare bout of insomnia this week! We pass these along to friends and have (we hope) made others fans. Is it possible to say more on your site about how such intricate detail is achieved in the artist’s original? Thanks! Your puzzles are truly unique!

  • Suzy Poulter

    Love this story David! Thanks so much for your support of the Dowdle Puzzle Lovers Facebook group. I love all of the Dowdle puzzles I’ve purchased or received as gifts, and can’t wait to see your new products and Eric’s new artwork!

  • Alice Fraser

    Thank you for not compromising your incredible quality for quantity! I imagine in time I will probably own almost all traditional puzzles available.
    I gave my 3 grandkids (ages 10-15) a few puzzles and a puzzle board for Christmas. It was not only a hit with them but their cousins who live 6 houses away also enjoy stopping by and working on them. My son & daughter in law are very pleased they are enjoying something this much other than their electronics.

  • Russ Flolo

    Really enjoy your puzzles, received two more for my birthday yesterday! Up to about 35+ now and really like the colorful scenery on all of them😊

  • Henry Wojtczak

    I discovered Dowdle puzzles a few months before the pandemic and had enjoyed completing several. Over the last year I have purchased, completed over 65 Dowdle puzzles, accounting for hours of relaxing enjoyment. I glue each puzzle using and then mount it on a cardboard backing. I am “wall-papering” my garage walls with Dowdle puzzles! Also, so happy to see Dowdle puzzles being sold at my local Costco! Keep up the great work.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published