Cool puzzles for the win!
At the end of last year, Jeff and I went on a little trip just the two of us for a couple of days and had literally nothing on our agenda. It was awesome. I brought a puzzle and we just sat around doing nothing for a couple of days. Exactly what I needed at the time.
And whenever I think back to that trip, I also think about the puzzle I did. By myself. For hours each day. It was kind of meditative, in a way. And I suspect all of us could use a distraction like that right now? What do you think?!
So, I put together a handful of cool puzzles (for adults – although I’m sure older kids and teenagers would enjoy them too) to pass the time, whenever you have it. 30 minutes here, five minutes there.
Everything is sorted based on how many pieces are in the puzzle: 1000 piece puzzles, 500 piece puzzles, and 100 piece puzzles. So you can find something that fits with the level of time commitment you want to make to one of these.
P.S. See that photo above? That is a puzzle…the whole image! It’s a puzzle of a puzzle (appropriately named meta puzzle). Click through for the link.
Cool Puzzles (Not Your Grandma’s Puzzles)
Before we get started, just to be clear, these aren’t your grandmas puzzles. Not that there’s anything wrong with the granny puzzles we all used to do as kids. These are cool puzzles!
Most of them have been designed or illustrated by artists, creatives, and photographers in the last few years – as cool puzzles start to pop up more and more as a nostalgic way to pass the time. Who’s in?!
1000 Piece Puzzles
Let’s start with the puzzle type that will take the most time to complete because, for me, those are the best ones!
You can clear off a table, and just leave it out for anyone who comes by to do a few pieces whenever they get a chance. Maybe it will take a few days, maybe a week. Who knows? Who cares. Haha.
1000 piece jigsaw puzzles like these are definitely my jam. And some of them are REALLY hard. Even better!
1. Meta Puzzle (1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle) from Piecework Puzzles $36
This is the Metal Puzzle I was talking about in the intro. It’s a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle that is so trippy, it might just be my favorite ever! Piecework has a bunch of very, very cool puzzles (I have a few more to share from them, so keep scrolling) and the boxes are beautiful too.
2. Now House 1,000 piece puzzle from Galison $24.99
It’s a Jonathan Adler puzzle! And it’s very psychedelic and happy feeling – signature JA, right?
3. Forbidden Fruit 1,000 piece puzzle from Piecework Puzzles $36
Taking still lives to a whole new level! Here’s another cool puzzle option from Piecework, which btw is a small female-founded business (all the more reason to support if you can).
4. Bathing with Flowers 800 piece puzzle from Jiggy $48
I just found Jiggy a few days before finishing this post and I’m so glad I did. All of their puzzles feature the work of female artists and illustrators AND each puzzle comes with puzzle glue so when your puzzle is finished, you can frame it and keep it forever. Love that!
5. Bouquet Shaped Puzzle on Amazon $28.50
I’m feeling pretty confident that this is one of the harder puzzles to complete out there (and also very awesome) because its a diecut – so the puzzle itself is shaped like the bouquet. No corners or side pieces to plug in here! Love it.
It’s a 750 piece puzzle, so not quite the 1,000 piece puzzle situation of the others (but I feel like the diecut makes up for that), and features the “florography” of Ashley Woodson Bailey.
6. Pink + Yellow Gradient Puzzle on Food52 $35
This puzzle is mesmerizing and also looks pretty damn challenging considering so many pieces will look the same. I love puzzles like this because they’re hard and take a while!
500 Piece Puzzles
500 piece puzzles like the ones you see here are a great in between. They’ll take some time to complete but you’ll get that satisfying feeling of putting the very last piece in a lot sooner than a 1000 piece puzzle.
1. Gray Malin 500 piece puzzle on Amazon $47.50
Technically, this is a 500 piece puzzle BUT it’s also kind of like a 1,000 piece puzzle because it’s double sided! I’ve never even heard of that before! So, basically you’re getting two puzzles for the price of one. Highly recommend this one.
Plus, it features the photographer of Gray Malin, who takes stunning photos. Anyone else wish they were at the because right now?
2. Champagne Problems 500 piece jigsaw puzzle from Piecework Puzzles $26
Okay, if this particular puzzle doesn’t have gift written all over it (with a bottle of champagne to go with it), I don’t know what does!
3. Boobs 450 piece puzzle from Jiggy $40
Brooklyn illustrator, Julia Heffernan, designed this boob puzzle for Jiggy. It’s a little less than 500 pieces, but it’s close enough, right?
4. Pattern Puzzle (500 pieces) on Burke Decor $15 (on sale rn)
This puzzle was designed by Dusen Dusen (a really cool clothing brand), so of course I’m into it. Especially great for all the pattern lovers out there.
5. Pattern 500 piece puzzle on Burke Decor $25
Another cool pattern puzzle, designed by Dusen Dusen.
6. Gradient puzzle (500 pieces) on Urban Outfitters $25
A 500 piece puzzle version of the 1,000 piece puzzle I linked in the first section, but this one is a different color. Comes in three different color combos actually.
100 Piece Puzzles
The easiest of all the puzzles on this list are the 100 piece puzzles (and a few that are over 100 pieces, but under 500 pieces). They won’t take long to do – you can probably finish it in just one sitting if you have a little time. But they’re still very fun to tackle.
Some of these would be great to do with kids even younger than teens if they’re into it.
1. La Muralla Roja Puzzle from Slow Down Studio $35
This puzzle features dreamy pastel architecture from Spain. Fits my color aesthetic to a tee.
2. Yoro Park Puzzle from Slow Down Studio $35
Love this puzzle from Slow Down Studio, designed by Australian artist Charlie Bennell. It’s a 285 piece puzzle, so almost three times the fun of a 100 piece puzzle, right? The architecture featured in this puzzle is The Site of Reversible Destiny in Yoro Park, Japan.
3. Beci Orpin Heart Puzzle on Urban Outfitters $14.99
This puzzle is only 18 pieces, so it kinda doesn’t even belong in the 100 piece puzzle section, but I included it because I thought the messages were cool. And I like the colors.
Could be a fun one to do with kids, but also just as a meditative practice in the morning with your coffee or something? Almost like a crossword puzzle, but much quicker. Haha.
4. Moon 100 piece puzzle on Walmart $15
This moon puzzle is over 2.5 feet wide when complete and features NASA photography of the moon, that honors the Apollo 11 moon landing 50th anniversary.
5. Little Cereal Puzzle on Bando $15
This one is also under 100…by a long shot. BUT I feel like it definitely fits into the cool puzzles category, so I had to include.
6. Andy Warhol Banana Shaped Puzzle on Amazon $12
This Andy Warhol puzzle is 75 pieces and designed to take about an hour (or less) to finish up. This would be a fun one to work on first thing in the morning, when you’re eating breakfast and sipping on coffee. Just something simple and relatively quick.
Any of these puzzles – whether it has 100 pieces or 1,000 pieces would be a sweet gift idea for a friend or family member imo. A cool puzzle to pass the time…maybe with a bottle of wine? I know I’d personally love a gift like that, if anyone wants to get it for me in the future. Hint hint.
Could even be a nice option for front door drop off at a friends, to let someone know you’re thinking of them, even when you can’t be together atm. What do you think?