How To Make A Replacement Puzzle Piece If One Goes Missing

by Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen September 03, 2020

custom puzzle of a childs artwork almost completed - The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

 

Imagine yourself at a swap meet or thrift store when suddenly you see what you consider to be The Holy Grail of puzzling.  What an amazing, fun, and invigorating feeling and you know that you just have to have it.  You speedwalk home and go to your puzzling area where this work of art will begin. 

With building anticipation, you take it out of the box, flip all of the pieces over, sort, and do all of your puzzle rituals, all the while savoring the time that you have while you assemble your masterpiece. 

Time escapes you, as you've made so much progress assembling this masterpiece that you've lost sleep knowing that you are only another hour away from completing this baby.  There's no stopping you now.

Suddenly, it hits you.... there are missing pieces to your favorite puzzle!  Disappointment, frustration, anger possibly, and just losing faith in completing the puzzle you've longed for half of your life are your current feelings.  With a perplexed look, you wonder what is to become of this elusive masterpiece.

Do you take it apart and discard it?  Do you toss it into the box haphazardly and never look at it again?  Or do you frame the puzzle with the missing pieces showing for all to see? 

 

What to do when you have a missing piece to your puzzle.  How to make a replacement jigsaw puzzle piece.

There are many options for puzzles that have a missing piece or several missing pieces.  I'm listing a few suggestions below that should help you complete your puzzle with minimal effort. 

 

Cutting Puzzle Board To Make A Missing Piece For A Puzzle

  • Finding materials that match the puzzle materials is important.  Take note of the thickness of the puzzle board and try to find some that match the thickness of the puzzle that you have.  We offer a replacement piece materials on our site that may help.  While our puzzles are generally thicker than most companies, you can slice the pieces to size with a craft knife.  If you have purchased a puzzle that was produced overseas, chances are that you will need thin materials.  Please make a note with your order if this is the case so that we can source thinner materials for you.
  • When replacing the missing piece, assemble the surrounding pieces so that you can outline the shape of the missing piece.  Trace carefully with a pencil. 
  • Conserve your materials just in case the piece is too small.  You want a tight fit.
  • Cut the piece with a craft knife (carefully, as they are sharp) or with scissors.  

Adding A Photo To Your Missing Piece Replacement

This part is critical for success, so please take your time.   Some PRO TIPS to help you before you begin.   

PRO TIP #1:  Printing on photo paper or cardstock will give you a better quality of the image. 

PRO TIP #2:  It's helpful to print a few copies just in case your scissor skills aren't sharp.

  • If the piece that you are missing is not a key piece in the puzzle, i.e. sky or grass, you are in luck!  You can either draw the piece or scan the image from the box into your computer and enlarge the area to print. This should give you a similar color and texture to match your puzzle. 
  • If you cannot print the image, draw with colored pencils and match the colors to the surrounding pieces as best as possible.  
  • If your missing piece is a key piece, such as a face or center section, having the piece drawn either professionally or semi-professionally might be your best bet.  I've had customers use the services of local schools, whether art schools or your local high-school or college art department, as they are usually incredibly helpful and may have the proper materials to get you going.  
  • Hiring a graphic designer might be necessary if your piece is a key piece.  Assembling the pieces surrounding your missing piece will be helpful to the graphic artist in recreating the piece.  You can easily hire a graphic artist through sites like Fiverr.com at very affordable costs.  (I am an affiliate and this is my affiliate link.)  I love them...
  • Trace the image to the size of your cut cardboard.  It's helpful to first trace the cardboard piece onto the image making sure that the cardboard piece is facing in the proper direction before starting.

Adhering The Image To The Cardboard

You've weathered the tough parts of the project and now it's time to adhere the image to the cardboard.  Using a glue stick to control the amount of glue can be a lifesaver at this point. 

Lightly add glue to the cardboard while making sure that the piece is covered completely.  It's helpful not to add a large amount of glue but to ensure that all parts of the image have adhered to the cardboard.  Using tweezers to adjust the image to where you need it will help in this process.  Be quick, as the glue tends to dry fast!

You've completed your first project and can now enjoy your masterpiece.  Who knows, you might just become a Puzzle Doctor of sorts for any missing piece puzzles you come across.   Local libraries are always searching for volunteers to help with donated puzzles, as they sell them to help with their budget.

There are just a few companies that focus solely on making missing pieces for puzzles but they are very costly, oftentimes more expensive than the original purchase price for just one piece. 

Having the knowledge to make your own replacement piece for a puzzle opens up a whole new world of buying puzzles at Thrift Shops.

 

 

#puzzleonpuzzlers

 

 





Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen
Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen

Author

Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen is the owner of The Missing Piece Puzzle Company and is passionate about making high-quality custom jigsaw puzzles "Made In America FAST".
Her love of the product shows in every puzzle that she makes.
A retired teacher of Special Needs students and a widowed Mom to an amazing son with Autism, life tends to be like a puzzle with each piece an important part of who Donna is.

www.themissingpiecepuzzlecompany.com


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.