How to Make a Replacement Puzzle Piece

Did you know that for a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, it takes around 30 minutes to sort all the pieces by inside versus outside pieces? If you're planning to sort your puzzle by color groupings as well, you can double that time for sorting. 

After spending all that time sorting and putting your puzzle together, have you ever had a puzzle piece go missing? It can be frustrating, especially if it's one of the key pieces.

But don't despair! With a little bit of time and effort, you can make a replacement puzzle piece that will fit right in.

Keep reading, and in this blog post, we'll show you how to make a replacement puzzle piece. We'll walk you through the process step-by-step, so you can get your puzzle back up and running in no time.

Table of contents


What to Do When You're Missing a Puzzle Piece

If you're missing a puzzle piece, don't panic! There are a few things you can do to try and find the lost puzzle piece.

First, check all of the other pieces to see if the missing piece is hiding among them. Sometimes pieces get turned over or flipped, so it's worth taking a second look.

If you can't find the piece anywhere else, your next best bet is to look online. There are a few websites that sell replacement puzzle pieces, so you may be able to find the one you're looking for.

Finally, if you still can't find the piece you need, you can always try making your own replacement puzzle piece. This may take some trial and error, but it's definitely possible with some patience and perseverance.

Contact the Manufacturer

If you have a piece that is missing from your puzzle, you can contact the manufacturer to see if they can send you a replacement. To do this, you will need to know the name and/or the number of the puzzle, as well as the name of the manufacturer.

Once you have this information, you can either call the manufacturer or visit their website. If you visit their website, look for a "contact" or "customer service" page. Here, you will likely be able to either submit a form or find contact information (phone number and/or email address) to reach customer service.

When contacting customer service, be sure to explain the situation and include all of the relevant information (puzzle name/number and what piece/s are missing). The representative should then be able to tell you if replacements are available and, if so, how to go about ordering them.

The Jigsaw Puzzle Doctor

 If the manufacturer doesn't have the ability to replace the jigsaw puzzle piece, and you don't want to make it, that's okay! You still have options. 

The Jigsaw Puzzle Doctor is an online service that makes replacement pieces for wooden and cardboard puzzles. 

You send the pieces surrounding the missing piece and, if you can, a picture of the full image. He creates a piece using a special epoxy and ships it and the pieces you sent back to you. 

This company is based in the UK; however, they will ship and work with people around the world. 

How to Create Your Own Replacement Jigsaw Puzzle Piece

If online solutions can't solve the case of the missing puzzle piece, it's time to move on to making your own jigsaw puzzle piece. 

With a few supplies and a little bit of time, you can easily make a replacement puzzle piece that will fit perfectly into your puzzle. So what are you waiting for? 

What You Will Need

Building a replacement puzzle piece is not as difficult as it may seem. With a few simple supplies and a little bit of time, you can create a brand-new piece that will fit perfectly into your puzzle.

To get started, you will need the following materials:

  • Puzzle Piece Template (You can find these online or make your own)
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Craft Knife
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape
  • Glue
  • Paint (Optional)

Step One: Trace the Puzzle Piece

If you're missing a puzzle piece, don't despair! With a little bit of careful tracing, you can create a replacement piece that will fit right in. Here's how to do it:

Start by taking out the section surrounding the missing piece. Place the pieces on a sheet of tracing paper. Use a pencil to trace around the edge of the puzzle piece, being as precise as possible.

Once you have traced the outline of the puzzle piece, carefully cut out the tracing along the pencil line. You should now have a perfect template for your replacement puzzle piece!

Step Two: Cut Out the New Puzzle Piece

Assuming you have your new puzzle piece template, begin by cutting out the old piece with your craft knife. You will want to make your cuts as close to the edge of the puzzle piece as possible.

Step Three: Paint or Decorate the New Puzzle Piece

If you're painting your new puzzle piece, start by lightly sanding the surface to help the paint adhere better. Then, use a thin brush to apply a layer of primer.

Once the primer is dry, start painting! Use whatever colors you like - it's your puzzle, after all.

If you're decoupaging your new puzzle piece, start by cutting out the design or pattern you want to use from some pretty paper. Then, brush a layer of Mod Podge onto the surface of your new puzzle piece and carefully place the paper on top.

Use a brayer or your fingers to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles. Allow the piece to dry completely before adding another layer of Mod Podge over the top for extra protection.

Add a Photo to Replace the Missing Puzzle Piece

If you're missing a puzzle piece and don't have a spare, you can recreate the picture on a replacement puzzle piece using a photocopier. Simply place the photocopy face-down on the puzzle and trace around it with a pencil. Then, use scissors to cut out the new piece.

You can also use this method to modify an existing puzzle. For example, if you want to make a custom puzzle with your own photo, you can add a photocopied image of your choice to the puzzle.

What You'll Need

To recreate the image on a puzzle using a scanner and printer, you will need the following items:

  • A scanner
  • A printer
  • Image of the puzzle from the box
  • Tape or other adhesive
  • A sharp knife or box cutter

First, use the scanner to scan the image of the puzzle onto your computer. Then, print out the image onto regular paper using the printer.

Once you have your printed image, begin taping the pieces of the puzzle together onto the paper. Make sure that the pieces are positioned correctly before you tape them down.

Once all of the pieces are taped into place, use a sharp knife or box cutter to carefully cut around the edges of the puzzle. Be careful not to cut into any of the pieces!

Finally, peel off the backing of your adhesive and stick the recreated puzzle onto another piece of paper or cardboard. And that's it - you've successfully recreated the image from a puzzle using a scanner and printer!

Step-by-Step Instructions

If you're still confused by this process, don't keep puzzling. We've got a step-by-step breakdown for you. 

Step One: Gather Your Supplies

You'll need a scanner, printer, a piece of white paper, and the puzzle you want to recreate. If it's easier, you can scan the image from your puzzle box using your phone

Step Two: Scan the Image

Scan the image at a high resolution (600 dpi or higher). This will give you the most accurate reproduction of the puzzle image.

Use an Editing Program

Open the scanned image in an editing program (such as Photoshop) and crop it so that only the puzzle image is visible. Then, resize the image to fit onto a standard sheet of printer paper (8.5 x 11).

Time to Print

Print out the resized image onto white paper using your printer. Make sure to use photo-quality paper for the best results.

Start Putting Your Puzzle Together

Once your printout is complete, begin piecing together your new puzzle! You can use glue or mod podge to glue the missing component to your new puzzle piece.

Use the Puzzle Box to Create a Replacement Puzzle Piece

If you are missing a piece of your jigsaw puzzle, don't worry! You can easily create a replacement piece using the puzzle box.

First, find the spot on the puzzle where the missing piece belongs. Then, take the lid off of the puzzle box and find a piece that is similar in color and shape to the one you're missing. Using a pencil, trace around the edge of the piece onto a piece of paper.

Now, cut out the tracing and use it as a template to cut out a new piece from the puzzle box. Make sure to cut it out slightly smaller than the template so it will fit into the space on the puzzle.

Now, put the new piece into place on the puzzle and enjoy your completed puzzle!

How to Laser Cut Missing Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

If you're missing a few pieces to your jigsaw puzzle, don't worry! You can easily create replacement pieces using a laser cutter.

First, gather all of the pieces that you have. Then, take a photo of the puzzle so that you have a reference for where the missing pieces go.

Next, use software like Adobe Illustrator or LightBurn to pull out the shapes of the missing pieces. Make sure to resize the shapes so that they fit perfectly into the gaps in your puzzle.

Once you've drawn the shapes, it's time to cut them out! If you have access to a laser cutter, simply send your file to be printed on cardstock or another thin material. 

Now all that's left to do is assemble your puzzle! With your new pieces in place, your puzzle should be complete and looking great!

Laser Cutting the Pieces

Laser cutting the pieces is a bit more complicated than just using a regular cutter. You'll need to have access to a laser cutter, and the proper settings will need to be used in order to get a clean cut.

To begin, you'll need to find the vector file for the piece that you're missing. If you don't have the vector file, you can use an image of the piece and trace it out in a program like Adobe Illustrator. Once you have the vector file, open it up in your laser cutter software.

For most lasers, you'll want to use settings that are somewhere between 1/8" and 1/4" on the thickness setting, with your power and speed settings adjusted to the material you're using. It's always best to test out your settings on scrap material before cutting into your puzzle piece so that you don't accidentally ruin it.

Once your settings are dialed in, go ahead and cut out your piece! If all goes well, you should now have a perfect replacement piece for your puzzle.

Finishing Touches

It's the little details that make a big difference when laser cutting a missing or broken puzzle piece. Here are some tips to get the perfect finish:

  1. Use a high-quality laser cutter - this will ensure clean, precise cuts
  2. Choose the right material - wood or acrylic both work well for this project
  3. Take your time - don't rush the process, especially if you're new to laser cutting
  4. Be patient -once you've cut all your pieces, it's time to put them together and complete the puzzle

Start Creating Replacement Puzzle Piece

Don't let the puzzle of your missing puzzle piece stress you out; you can still complete your puzzle. You can create your own replacement puzzle piece using a variety of methods. However, if you don't feel like you have the skill to create your own, you still have options. 

You can contact the manufacturer or work with companies like the Puzzle Doctor that will help replace your puzzle piece. Was this article helpful? 

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