What to Do With Old Jigsaw Puzzles

What to Do With Old Jigsaw Puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles have long been a favorite pastime for people of all ages. They offer a great opportunity to relax, unwind, and challenge your mind. However, as time goes on and interests change, you may find yourself with a collection of old jigsaw puzzles that are no longer being enjoyed. Instead of letting them gather dust in a corner, there are several creative and practical ways to repurpose or pass them on to others who could use them. In this article, we will explore some interesting ideas for what to do with old jigsaw puzzles.

1. Create Artwork: One of the most popular ways to repurpose old jigsaw puzzles is by transforming them into unique pieces of artwork. You can glue the completed puzzle onto a sturdy backing board and frame it. This way, you can showcase your accomplishment while adding a touch of creativity to your home decor.

2. Donate to Charity: Many charities and non-profit organizations would appreciate receiving old jigsaw puzzles. Places like nursing homes, hospitals, and community centers often have activity rooms where puzzles can be enjoyed by residents or visitors. Contact local organizations to see if they accept puzzle donations.

3. Swap with Friends: Organize a puzzle swap with friends or family members who also have old puzzles they no longer want. This way, everyone gets something new to enjoy without spending any money. It can also be a fun social gathering where you can exchange tips or puzzle-solving strategies.

4. Sell Online: If your old jigsaw puzzles are still in good condition, consider selling them online. Platforms like eBay or Craigslist allow you to reach a wider audience and make some extra cash. Be sure to accurately describe the condition of the puzzle and include clear photos.

5. Create a Puzzle Library: If you have a large collection of jigsaw puzzles, you can start your own puzzle library. Invite friends or neighbors to borrow puzzles, just like a regular book library. This way, you can share the joy of puzzles with others and keep your collection in rotation.

6. Use as Educational Tools: Jigsaw puzzles can be excellent educational tools for children. You can donate them to schools or homeschooling groups to help enhance learning experiences. Puzzles can teach problem-solving, critical thinking, and fine motor skills.

7. Upcycle into Home Decor: Get creative and repurpose old jigsaw puzzles into unique home decor items. For example, you can glue puzzle pieces onto a plain picture frame, mirror, or flower pot to add a touch of quirkiness. Spray-painting the puzzle pieces in different colors can create an interesting mosaic effect.

8. Gift to Children: If you have young children in your life, consider passing on your old jigsaw puzzles to them. They will enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of completing a puzzle, and it can be a great bonding activity for you to do together.

9. Recycle: If your old jigsaw puzzles are beyond repair or missing too many pieces, recycling is the best option. Check with your local recycling center to see if they accept cardboard or paper-based puzzles. This way, you can dispose of them responsibly and contribute to a greener environment.


1. Can I donate puzzles with missing pieces?
Yes, many organizations will still accept puzzles with missing pieces as they can use them for crafting projects or as supplementary pieces for other puzzles.

2. How do I frame a completed puzzle?
Carefully slide a large piece of cardboard or foam board underneath the completed puzzle. Then, flip it over and use puzzle glue or a clear adhesive to secure the puzzle to the backing. Once dry, you can frame it using a standard picture frame.

3. Are there any online platforms specifically for puzzle swapping?
Yes, there are several websites and social media groups dedicated to puzzle swapping. Some popular ones include PuzzleSwap and Jigsaw Puzzle Swap.

4. How can I ensure my puzzle sells online?
To increase the chances of selling your puzzle online, provide a detailed description, mention the brand and puzzle name, specify the number of pieces, and include clear photos of both the front and back of the puzzle.

5. Can I create a puzzle library at my local library?
It depends on the policies of your local library. Contact them and inquire if they would be interested in starting a puzzle lending program or if they can recommend another suitable location.

6. Can I recycle puzzles with a glossy finish?
It is best to check with your local recycling center as different facilities have different capabilities. Some recycling centers may be able to handle puzzles with a glossy finish, while others may not.

7. Are there any specific safety precautions for upcycling puzzles?
When using puzzle pieces for crafts, avoid any activities that involve small children or pets, as they may pose a choking hazard. Additionally, if you are spray-painting puzzle pieces, ensure proper ventilation and use protective gear.

8. Can I donate used puzzles to thrift stores?
Thrift stores may accept puzzle donations, but it is advisable to call ahead and inquire about their donation policies. Some stores may only accept puzzles that are complete and in good condition.

9. How can I ensure my puzzle is educational for children?
Look for puzzles that have educational themes, such as geography, animals, or historical events. Puzzles with larger pieces are also suitable for younger children who are still developing their fine motor skills.

In conclusion, there are plenty of creative and practical ways to repurpose or pass on old jigsaw puzzles. Whether it’s through creating artwork, donating to charity, or even starting your own puzzle library, you can ensure that these once-loved puzzles continue to bring joy and entertainment to others. So, instead of letting them gather dust, explore the options mentioned above and give your old puzzles a new lease on life.

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