How are jigsaw puzzles made?

How are jigsaw puzzles made?

The first jigsaw puzzle was made by John Spilsbury, a map engraver from London in 1762.

He took one of his map designs, mounted it on to wood and carefully cut around the different countries to make individual pieces. 

Wooden puzzles still exist today and are hugely popular with adults and young children alike. However, the bulk of jigsaw puzzles are now made from board as it is easier and cheaper to produce, is more lightweight and can display a multitude of designs and colours.

What is the manufacturing process?

There are many different processes and materials used to manufacture jigsaw puzzles globally. This article focuses solely on British production for Play Shed Puzzles.

The design

The first step is for your puzzle design to be digitally laid out for the puzzle and box, to your size and specs.

Design print

The puzzle design is then printed onto chlorine-free paper with vegan inks and a jet printer.


The paper design is glued onto recycled millboard made up of recovered waste paper.


A cookie cutter in the shape of the jigsaw pieces is pushed down onto the board, cutting each puzzle piece out.


The pieces are collected up and sealed into a small bag.

Box construction

The box is cut out and the lid design is glued and stuck down by hand.

Watch Play Shed Puzzles kids designs being printed in our UK factory.

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