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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.


11 comments


  • Jan Gregory

    Have always done puzzles but we found your puzzles last March and love them all. Such unique and different cut of pieces than any other puzzles we have done. Thats why we love them so much. Have framed quite a few. We try to especially get the ones from places we have visited. Brings back so many memories. Thanks for giving all of us during this pandemic a lifetime of fun and enjoyment. Keep up the beautiful paintings.


  • George H

    Love the artwork. Love the puzzles. We’ve put together many during the pandemic. Eric’s artwork has also inspired me to start drawing and painting again.


  • Terri Chafin

    We (my husband & I) have bought quite a few of Dowdle puzzles and have really had fun putting them together especially this winter!!!! They are such high quality puzzles and we love all the different designs!!! Then we pass them on to this little elderly lady named Rosie who is 81 years old!!! Thanks for helping us to get through this long winter with something fun for us to enjoy!!! Keep up the good work!!!T


  • Peter Darby

    I have found Dowdle puzzles to be of a continuous very high standard of manufacture and the pictures themselves very enjoyable to assemble. I was delighted to read your production ethic, long may you produce puzzles.


  • Gene P Hunt

    Thank you for continuing to make excellent quality puzzles. Each Dowdle puzzle is made with the same high standards. Years ago (40+) I only bought Springbook puzzles because of their high quality standards, but over the years they have sought cheaper mass production methods which resulted in lower quality products. I have had several of their puzzles with imperfect die cuts and missing pieces. The last several years I’ve bought mainly Dowdle puzzles.


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