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Wrendale Jigsaw Challenge

What would you do with a week of isolation? I set myself a Wrendale Jigsaw Challenge! 6 beautiful jigsaws in 6 very long days! (And yes, I know isolation was more than 6 days but I had a jigsaw to finish off first!)

My Wrendale Jigsaw Challenge

Wrendale jigsaw

The first difficulty was deciding what order to do the jigsaws in. I mean which one would you do first?

There are 6 to choose from:

  • Feathered Friends
  • Country Set Christmas
  • Zoology
  • A Dog’s Life
  • Farmyard Friends
  • Country Set

A Dog’s Life

I decided to start with what I thought looked the most difficult, A Dog’s Life. If you are a dog lover then this one is definitely for you but as most dogs are varying shades of brown and black this is possibly the jigsaw with the least colour in it. So I thought this made it more difficult than the others.

Now, do you separate the edges out first? Not everyone does apparently. I have been very religiously brought up to separate the edge pieces and complete them first. So for this one I did. Plus I was curious to put together the beautiful poem round the outside. Each of the Wrendale jigsaws has a poem written by Hannah Dale herself and reading it will put you in the mood for the gorgeous images you’re about to assemble.

Country Set Christmas

Next up it was Christmas. My isolation period was in January and I had intended to do this particular Country Set Christmas jigsaw puzzle over the Christmas period but that didn’t happen. There were a few calls from my Facebook followers to complete this one first. And after the slightly tougher Dog’s puzzle the day before I felt indulging in a Christmas puzzle was well deserved. This was a real treat. So many reds and greens and bright colours. By the time I was finished I was craving mince pies.

I just had to put the postbox together first (if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I have a think about them!).

The Country Set

The Country Set puzzle was also quite difficult though it had more colour than the Dog’s Life one in it. There are a lot of squirrels and foxes.

I love the picture that comes separately with each box, it’s just small enough to prop up while you’re puzzling and not too small to see the picture. You can’t see the poem on the outside of the box so you need this picture if you’re going to follow it to put the poem together. Of course you could be like the Queen who allegedly likes to put jigsaws together without the picture. I think putting the edge pieces together like this would be a real challenge!

The Farmyard Set

The Farmyard Friends jigsaw was lovely to do with some really bright and lively animals alongside cute and fluffy ducklings.

By the time I got to these jigsaws I wasn’t doing the edges first. I decided to do the areas of similar colour first and the poem was the last bit to complete. I felt like a bit of a rebel leaving the edges to the end but actually reading the poem after putting all the animals together was a lovely way to finish.

Feathered Friends

This one is also known as Garden Birds though on the box it says ‘Feathered Friends’ and although it is mainly birds there are a couple of butterflies and other birds that you might not associate with the garden. This was possibly my favourite of all the jigsaws. I mean just look at that Goldfinch and Kingfisher!!!

I find that with all Hannah Dale’s illustrations I could believe that she actually got the creatures to pose for her painting. Each character looks like they are proud to be in her picture. If you could only pick one of the Wrendale puzzles then unless it is Christmas I would recommend this one. Complete the puzzle then take a walk outside and appreciate our feathered friends even more.


And last, but my no means least as they say, I complete the Zoology puzzle. For maximum effect complete this puzzle while listening to David Attenborough documentaries (who knew we could all be on the edge of our seats over a common daisy?!).

As you can see I couldn’t decide which image to share from this puzzle. If I had to choose my favourite it was a close call between this one and the Garden Birds.

About the Wrendale Jigsaw Puzzles

The puzzles themselves come in a beautifully illustrated box. There is no plastic shrink wrap round them. The lid is sometimes held on by some paper stickers but I found that some of these come off or rip but the lid fits so snuggly it doesn’t need the stickers. Inside the puzzles are in a paper bag, which I love. Anything that doesn’t use plastic is a real hit with me. There is the image of the puzzle inside and also a small dessicant bag to help protect the box contents.

The quality of the pieces is great, they are study and have a lovely textured coating on them.

As you will have seen, each jigsaw puzzle is a collection of Wrendale illustrations collaged into one big picture. I was worried that these would be difficult with all the white between the images but there was no need to fear. The images are spaced perfectly so that each animal or creature is well defined but not too far away from its neighbour to leave oceans of white.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments about which puzzle you have completed, which was your favourite, which would you like to do next?

And if you’re unfortunate enough to end up in isolation, what jigsaw challenge will you do?!

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Stocking Fillers

Stocking Fillers

If you’re looking for some last minute stocking fillers then here are a few ideas. Or perhaps you need a couple of activities for that quieter period between Christmas and New Year before the children go back to school. These should keep everyone busy.

1 Notebooks

So Flamboyant, Llamazing and Unicornique Notebook SetYou can never have too many notebooks! What more can I say?

2 Happy Families

happy families Happy Families is the classic game. I remember winning this as a child but somehow I never do anymore!

3 Paperchains

Paper chainsDespite being used as my lick-machines over the years it appears my children still enjoy making paperchains, either in the traditional way or to make decorations for the tree.

4 Christmas Activity Pack

holiday funDoodle your way to New Year with these sweet illustrations ready for you to add your own artistic flair to.

5 Colour in Tablecloth

Keep the whole family scribbling, doodling and colouring at mealtimes and in between. 1m by 1m is a lot of space to colour in!

These are just a few stocking fillers ideas, you’ll find more in my shop.

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How to fix Jigsaw Puzzles

Pirate Jigsaw puzzles

I have grown up doing jigsaw puzzles, my family love them and every now and then along comes one that is just too good to break up!

Fixing your jigsaw puzzles so you can hang them on the wall is really quite simple.

jigsaw puzzles

You will need:

  1. Fixative/Glue
  2. Old Newspaper (optional)
  3. Wall hangings

You don’t have to use newspaper but it can make jigsaw puzzles a bit more stable if you build it on a good hard flat surface. Once you’ve built your jigsaw slide it on to some old newspaper.

Then depending on what fixative you use you either simply spray the jigsaw fixative on the front of your jigsaw, following the directions on the can, or apply glue as per the directions. Leave to harden and there you have it. Yep it’s as simple as that.

From personal experience the fixative lasts for years. So even if you don’t hang the puzzle immediately you can store it by laying it flat until later. Under a bed is an ideal location!

You’ll need to choose how to hang your jigsaw. You could either glue some strapping to the back then attach some string or hooks, or slide poster holders along the top (and bottom to add weight) and thread string through these. Or frame your jigsaw.

Happy Puzzling!

Some of the most eye catching jigsaw puzzles I’ve seen are children’s ones that were originally posters. Like the one shown above, an illustration by Amanda Loverseed. Now as a jigsaw you can have the pleasure of the puzzle and the satisfaction of displaying your finished handiwork.

My favourite jigsaw puzzles have to be wooden ones. I remember getting them as a child, they seemed to be more common then, and more recently from Wentworth with their famous whimsies. Like this one: