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About Zen Puzzles

We handcraft our heirloom-quality, eco-friendly, wooden jigsaw puzzles one at a time from start to finish in the foothills of Western Massachusetts. With each new puzzle we strive to give you the most memorable, unique, jigsaw puzzling experience along with an enjoyable opportunity to slow down in this fast-paced world. Enrich your life with the challenge and charm of our wonderful whimsical pieces, the beautiful imagery of our puzzles, and the devious trickery we design into most of them, such as false borders and false corners! Enjoy tranquil solitude or togetherness with family and friends as you discover the nuances of each new puzzle you choose for your collection!

Zen Puzzles™ and Peapod Puzzles™ also make the perfect, unique, giftable keepsake! As both a profit and a mission driven company, we use eco-friendly materials, collaborate with non-profits and donate a portion of our profits to social and ecological causes.

At Zen Puzzles, we love the art of creating jigsaw puzzles, and look forward to satisfying your puzzling whims and fancies for years to come.

Will Carswell CEO
Will Wilde, Founder & CEO

Making Our Puzzles

Creating Our Puzzles

In designing our puzzles, we honor the rich history of the wooden jigsaw puzzle in adhering to the traditional folk cut style of rows and columns. We try to make each puzzle a clever, cohesive collective of individually interesting, attractive pieces that have both spacial uniformity and intricate detail. We are particular about the figurals included in our puzzles, as their wonderful, endearing element is offset by the greater ease in the assembly of the puzzle.

The first step in our jigsaw puzzle production process is to search the world for images rich in color, composition, perspective, and vibrancy. Once we find or create an image, we produce a Giclee print of it with archival ink on archival paper using state-of-the-art, wide-format printers. We then dry-mount it onto beautiful, FSC-certified, Birch wood; cut it into hundreds of tricky pieces; and package it with a title sticker that gives an indication of the size and difficulty of the puzzle.

Rise & Shine wooden jigsaw puzzle

Figural Pieces

Figural pieces, known as whimsical pieces (or “Whimsies”) in England, are one of the major features that differentiate the premium, wooden jigsaw puzzle from the die-cut, cardboard puzzle. They were included in wooden puzzles cut in the early 1900’s and throughout the 20th century, but we take them to another level–a level no one but the insatiably curious would ever perceive.

We place great importance on choosing and designing figural pieces in our puzzles to match the puzzle’s primary theme. We also often create and hide a story with our figural pieces within the puzzle: in our Sunrise in a Winter Forest Zen Puzzle, an owl is perched in the winter trees and a hare and mice–animals the owl would hunt–are positioned running quickly across the snow beneath; at the same time, there is an elaborate, romantic figural piece of a horse pulling a sleigh with a man and a woman in it through the snowy woods. Other figural pieces you might find in our puzzles could be a bride and groom ballroom-dancing or different types of dogs, leaves, birds, farm animals, wild animals, flowers, gardening tools, boats, or other eclectic surprises.

Eco Initiatives

Do Puzzles that Do Good: Mizzion + Driven, Eco-Friendly, and Made in the USA

We contribute a portion of profits from Zen Puzzles™ to benefit environmental causes, but, perhaps more importantly, an inspiring part of our mission (for us, at least) is to collaborate with non-profits and environmental causes through creating special edition puzzles and other products dedicated to fundraising for those causes. We’ve also worked hard to make our products and their packaging as eco-friendly as possible and to use raw goods made entirely in the USA, and are proud that our Zen Puzzles are eco-friendly and made entirely in the USA!

We source our materials from innovative companies consistently working to raise environmental standards within their company and industry

  • The plywood we use for our Zen Puzzles is FSC-certified birch, contains only legal, regionally harvested wood, and is produced using an award-winning, soy-based, formaldehyde-free lamination process.
  • Our retail boxes use vegetable-based inks and are powered by alternative energy.
  • Our boxes, our Zen Eco-Notes and shipping lables are made from 100% recycled content.
  • The water-activated kraft tape we use to seal our shipping boxes is made with a renewable FSC-certified paper backing interwoven with fiberglass threads, layered with a biodegradable laminate, and has a water-activated, high-performing potato starch adhesive.