I played this gorgeous, challenging holiday puzzle with my family for 6 hours — and would absolutely do it again

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Piecework Puzzles Tinseltown
I spent Thanksgiving finishing a beautiful, challenging puzzle with my family. You can get a Piecework puzzle for 20% off with the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS.

If your family is competitive like mine is, a Piecework puzzle may be the perfect collaborative challenge for you.

The puzzle company offers 500, 1,000, and 1,500 piece puzzles all with display-worthy photographs that resemble an adult eye-spy book. A few are also holiday-themed, like the Tinseltown, a 1,000-piece puzzle that took my family more than six hours and three sittings to complete over Thanksgiving.  

Four people putting a puzzle together
My family and I working on the Tinseltown Piecework puzzle over Thanksgiving.

As a self-proclaimed puzzle nerd who spent a lot of time doing 1,000 piece shade puzzles and other large puzzles, there’s a reason I keep coming back to Piecework — I haven’t found other brands with quite the same quality of image and pieces. 

Here’s what it was like solving a Piecework puzzle:

The puzzle pieces are matte instead of glossy, which makes them easier to use.

Pieces of a puzzle laying out on a table seen from the side

Unlike most shiny puzzles, these have a matte, sandpaper-like finish that I prefer. It seemed to help hold bigger chunks of pieces together and kept pieces from peeling on the sides or collecting dust. Plus, it’s also noted that the pieces and the bag they come in are made from 100% recycled paper. 

The puzzle takes up a lot of space and is great for a group of people.

1,000 puzzle spread across a large table with hands moving pieces

These puzzles take a lot of room and the finished image ends up being 19.25 x 26.6 inches. Our table was about three feet — or 36 inches — wide which was enough to fit the whole frame but did lead to some pieces getting knocked off the table (three were accidentally vacuumed up and lost).

The bigger the workspace the better for this kind of puzzle — with so many similar and repeating colors and textures, you may need many piles to sort similar colors or shapes together.

The images feature a lot of repeating patterns and make the puzzle challenging.

We are strictly “don’t look at the box” kinds of puzzlers, but we had to break our rule for this one. Because there was so much going on in the frame, many pieces looked like they fit together, but didn’t. This made checking the backs of pieces for fit even more important. 

If you’re looking for a puzzle that can last you at least a few hours or one you can leave out for people to contribute to as they walk by, this is a great option.

A few of the pieces were a different color than the box, but we were still able to finish the puzzle.

A completed puzzle under the box showing some differences between the colors of the two images
A misprint next to the box image where the pearls look several shades lighter.

The puzzle was also made more difficult because of a misprint on the bottom of the puzzle that made the bottom corner an unexpected green tint that wasn’t shown on the box. 

I’d previously also worked on Piecework 1,000 piece Bun’s Out puzzle. This puzzle was also beautiful and matte-finished but didn’t have any color issues. It did come with one extra edge piece that was identical to another piece, though.

The Buns out puzzle completed on a grass field with the images in the puzzle surrounding it

The puzzle is designed to be an experience, with a Spotify playlist included.

Screenshot of the Piecework Puzzles website with a Spotify playlist on it

The Piecework team curated the puzzle-making experience beyond simply what was on the puzzle, even including a two-hour Christmas-themed playlist on Spotify included on the Piecework puzzle website. My non-Christian family didn’t end up using the playlist all the way through, but listening to it even for a bit certainly set the holiday spirit. 

All in all, I enjoyed getting to spend so much time finishing a beautiful puzzle with my family.

I really enjoyed working on this puzzle and was glad to have an activity to work on with my family that we could be competitive about without stirring up any conflict.

I’d recommend these for anyone with an eye for aesthetics, a large space to work, and some time on their hands. Right now, you can get a Piecework Puzzle for 20% off with the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS at checkout.

Finished Tinseltown puzzle on a white background
The completed Tinseltown Piecework puzzle, six hours later.

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