Can You Have Puzzles Made from Photos?

If you’re looking for something new and fresh, maybe it’s time to try something a little more custom.

Yes, it is possible – and popular – to have puzzles made from photos. Many companies offer this type of service so clients can create a one-of-a-kind puzzle out of any of their photos. In fact, customized photo puzzles make excellent, personable gifts for many different occasions. 

  • But how do you have puzzles made from photos? 
  • For what kinds of occasions do custom puzzles make excellent gifts? 
  • And what kinds of photos are best for turning into a custom puzzle? 

Read on for all types of suggestions and to answer all of these questions.

Table of contents


How Do You Have Puzzles Made from Photos?

Many companies offer custom puzzle services. Generally, all you need is a high-resolution photo and to follow a few easy steps in their custom puzzle generator.  Believe it or you can even order personalized photo puzzles from Amazon.

Photo Quality

Depending on the size of the puzzle you are having made, you’ll want an image at least 300 dpi.  This will be more important with larger puzzles, but you can get away with lower resolution images the smaller you go. The good news is: most cameras (even phones) these days take photos at 300 dpi, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Orientation and Cropping

From there, you’ll need to decide what orientation is best for your photo. This may already be decided, as, for example, it’s a vertical portrait. However, maybe your image looks best as a square, or perhaps the custom puzzle generator offers a wide landscape option. Play around with the crop options to decide what works best!

Custom Photo Puzzles Make Great Gifts

Customized gifts are always a winner, and puzzles are a great option that will last forever. Here are a few of our recommendations for the best scenarios in which to gift a customized photo puzzle

Birthday Gift

Do you have a favorite photo of you and your best friend? Or maybe your or dad has been asking for a photo of you and your significant other for ages. Instead of getting a framed photo, why not turn that photo into a puzzle for the perfect gift that keeps on giving and is a fun activity along the way?

Valentine’s Day Gift

Looking for a special gift for your valentine for Valentine’s Day? Whether you’re in a romantic relationship, celebrate “Galentine’s Day,” or just want to give a special something for a best friend, a custom photo puzzle is a great option for someone you care about.

Wedding Gift

Whether for a traditional bride or groom’s gift or for a gift to the happy couple, custom photo puzzles make great gifts for weddings. Give your bride-to-be or groom-to-be a puzzle of your favorite moment together to start your puzzle collection together. 

Or, if you’re a guest at a wedding, gift the happy couple a favorite photo you’ve taken of them together or a photo you know they cherish. It’s guaranteed to be a highlight of the wedding present haul!


Do you feel like you want to do something special for a wedding anniversary, dating anniversary, or another anniversary? Choose a photo of your favorite moment from the last year, or even create a photo collage of the past year to turn into one large puzzle (some photo editing skills may be required here). 

Teacher’s Gift

If you have a special teacher in your life, make the memory memorable by gifting them a custom puzzle for Teacher’s Day, the end of the year, or the end of your time together. Better yet: order two! This way, you have one to gift and one to keep all for yourself.

For Yourself

Who says you can’t treat yourself to something fun and special? Choose your favorite photo and create away. This is definitely something you’ll have for the rest of your life.

What Photos Make the Best Custom Puzzles?

A Memorable Moment

Perhaps most importantly, the best image you can choose for a custom photo puzzle is one that’s memorable. Whether you’re treating yourself to a new puzzle or gifting one to a friend or spouse, it’s the memory that counts here. That’s what will leave you coming back time after time to redo this puzzle.

A Special Person or Pet

Do you have a special someone in your life, or maybe a special pet? Turn a portrait into a puzzle! Maybe you want to commemorate your kids’ school photos each year. What is more fun than turning them into a puzzle? Or who doesn’t love a photo of their pet? Turn it into a game by turning it into a puzzle.

Finding the Right Photo for a Custom Puzzle of Any Difficulty

Besides sentiment, you’ll want to find a photo that’s the right amount of difficulty for you or the recipient. Here are our recommendations based on the difficulty level you’re looking to achieve:

Easy Puzzles

You’ll want to find a photo with fine lines and clear sections. Most likely, this photo will have areas where the colors do not stray too far from each other. This will make the pieces easy to group in sections and to match up in order to let the puzzler cruise on its progression. 

Difficult Puzzles

There are a few ways to approach finding a great image for a hard difficulty level. One way is to find a photo with many homogenous areas, like a beach of sand or a sky without distinct features.

Another way is to make those features all very small, so while there may be some different sections, it may be hard to figure out the distinct elements of each piece.

If you have a relatively easy image, you can also add some photo filters to make it much more difficult. For example, try turning a vibrant image to black and white, or even sepia-toned. Not only does this increase difficulty, but it varies the mood of the image!

Medium Puzzles

For a puzzle with middle-of-the-road difficulty, you’ll want to find a photo that balances somewhere in between easy and hard. This could mean finding elements of each (i.e., part of the photo has distinct elements, whereas part of it is homogenous) or loosening up on any of the difficult features, just a tad.

A Great Crop Makes the Puzzle

There’s a reason photographers are so good at what they do, and that usually comes down to the photographer’s eye for balance. Remember this is a photo first and puzzle second, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a photo that is well-balanced in the rules of photography.

Be sure to crop your image, so it’s most aesthetically pleasing. If it’s a portrait or person, don’t cut off any limbs. If it’s a landscape, be sure to crop it in terms of the rule of thirds to achieve the best possible balance.

The puzzler will want the image to be pleasing to look at!

A High-Quality Image Is Imperative for a Puzzle

Most importantly, be sure your image is quality, and preferably at least 300 dpi. This does not matter as much with smaller puzzles or images with less detail but becomes critical when enlarging images.

After all, the puzzle is just a unique way of sharing a photo with someone, so you’ll want to be sure the photo quality is top-notch.

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