FAQ page.
requently Asked Questions.

Photo Jigsaw Puzzles

This page contains Frequently Asked Questions asked by MANY people who have called me on the phone or written e-mail. I hope this page helps to clarify any of your questions. If it does not, feel free to give me a call to ask me your question, and I will be happy to answer you.

1) How long does it take to make a custom cut puzzle?

Puzzle cutting time is determined by the total number of pieces in the puzzle. The following table tells you how far in advance you should plan your puzzle order. (I DO accept RUSH orders most of the time, but charge an added fee for this head of the line priority Rush Service.)

see... RUSH ORDER details

2) Can I use my own Image for my puzzle?

Absolutely!!! Yes, you can send me ANY image you want for your puzzle. 90% of the puzzles I make are made with images that my customers provide me.

a) Digital Camera Files ( Take your pictures with the camera set at the largest file size, and finest quality settings.)
b) Personal Photographs already printed. (Either Actual Size for your puzzle, or you can send me a smaller photo that we can scan, enlarge, and re-print.)
c) Wall Calendars
d) Old photos that need restoration prior to being made into a puzzle. I can do some basic restoration, but if the image needs serious work, I can refer you to a professional restorer that I know of.
e) Custom Graphic Design Files. (File types that are acceptable are: .PDF, .JPG, and .EPS. I do not accept Powerpoint presentations, Word documents as image sources. I only print in Photoshop.

3) How Much does a custom cut wooden puzzle cost?

Puzzles generally range in price depending on the cut style you select and the number of pieces you want. Generally prices range from $1.50 to $3.00+ per puzzle piece. See the pricing page and cut style pages for more detailed information on this determination. Orders for very advanced cut puzzles will cost more per piece than stated above.

4) How big should my puzzle's picture be?

To determine how big to make your picture, use this general rule. Ideal puzzles have about 2.2 puzzle pieces per square inch of picture area. If you want a 300 piece puzzle, take 300 and divide by 2.2 = 136. Your image needs to be around 136 square inches in area. An 10" x 14" picture would be ideal. (10 x 14 = 140 square inches)

Your images DO NOT have to have standard proportions! The same 300 piece puzzle above can also be a 7" x 22" = 154 square inches in the picture! This approach works for both my Nightmare and Traditional cut jigsaw puzzles.

For Child cut puzzles, pieces can be anywhere from 1 square inch each, up to 50 square inches each. An 9" x 12" picture will make a great 12 to 50+ piece puzzle. A 16" x 20" puzzle makes a great 40 to 200 piece child's puzzle.

5) Mark, do you make the photo enlargements from my Negatives or Smaller 4" x 6" and 5" x 7" photos?

YES, I can make photo enlargements from any size Negative. Medium and large format negatives are the best, but the most common size "35mm" will also work for puzzles up to 18"x24" in size. It is best to have a larger format negative for larger puzzle images.

I DO accept small photos to be mailed to me, where I will scan, enlarge and re-print the image on special photographic paper. For more information about this service, Click Here.

6) How can I pay for my puzzles? All prices are in US Dollars ( $ )

Acceptable forms of payment are:
Personal Checks
Business Checks
Master Card
Discover Card / NOVUS
American Express
US. Postal Money orders.

Payment in full is required at the time you place your order.
On Large orders of many puzzles, Partial Payments with Partial shipments can be worked out. ($2,000 + type orders of more than 4 puzzles)

7) Mark, how do you ship completed puzzles back to your customers?

I have a special page just for this topic... Click Here to see it.

8) How do I determine how many pieces to order for my puzzle?

This is determined by two factors.

A) Your budget is one factor. The majority of my puzzles generally cost from $1.50 to $2.50 per puzzle piece. If you have a $400 budget, then you are looking to order approximately a 160 to 270 piece puzzle depending on image size.

B) If budget is less of a factor, and your concern is using a particular image at a specific size then use this calculation. I cut 2.2 puzzle pieces per square inch of image provided for the puzzle. Take the picture Height x Width then multiply that number by 2.2 to get the ideal target number of pieces.

Common examples are: ( Piece totals are only estimates +10% or -7%, Most often I cut a few extra pieces)

5" x 7" = 35 ... x 2.2 ... = 75 pieces

8" x 10" = 80 ... x 2.2 ... = 170 pieces

11" x 14" = 154 ... x 2.2 ... = 340 pieces

12" x 16" = 192 ... x 2.2 ... = 420 pieces

16" x 20" = 320 ... x 2.2 ... = 700 pieces

18" x 24" = 432 ... x 2.2 ... = 950 pieces

20" x 30" = 600 ... x 2.2 ... = 1,320 pieces

24" x 36" = 864 ... x 2.2 ... = 1,900 pieces

24" x 40" = 960 ... x 2.2 ... = 2,110 pieces

24" x 48" = 1,152 ... x 2.2 ... = 2,530 pieces

30" x 50" = 1,500 ... x 2.2 ... = 3,300 pieces

42" x 58" = 2,436 ... x 2.2 ... = 5,360 pieces ... and so on...

9) What is the best way to send you my art print or enlarged picture?

A) For prints or pictures of 8" x 10" in size or smaller, ship them to me in a well protected envelope. Place cardboard on both sides of the picture, and mark the package " DO NOT BEND - PHOTOS" visibly, and clearly on both sides.

B) For larger pictures, please ship them inside a VERY STRONG shipping TUBE.
If you can't stand on the tube without it crushing, it is NOT strong enough! Do NOT under any circumstance use the CHEAP and Flimsy tubes used at Mailboxes Etc. The majority of people who have used these worthless and pitiful examples of a shipping tube, have had their images crushed, and had to have them reprinted and re sent, at their own expense.
If you can not find a tube suitable for your needs, I will be happy to send you one for FREE. Just Call Me.

DO NOT USE MAILBOXES Etc. as your shipper!!! I have had DOZENS of bad experiences with orders where Mailboxes Etc shipped me the art to be used for a puzzle order.

C) Be sure to enclose all relevant information about the specifics of your puzzle order, your personal contact information including daytime phone number, any and all specifics about your puzzle that we discussed, including a list of desired figure pieces for your puzzle in order of priority. Also enclose your full payment if paying my check payable to : Mark G. Cappitella. If you are paying by credit card, please enclose your credit card number, expiration date, and your name as it is stated on the card, then sign you name below this information.

10) What is a figure shaped puzzle piece? (Often referred to as Figurals or Whimsies)

A figure shaped puzzle piece (Figural) is a puzzle piece that is cut to resemble some sort of an object. Common figures are, animals, tools, sporting equipment, transportation vehicles, figures of people performing certain acts like sports and every day type objects.

I offer 2 free figure piece per 100 pieces of puzzle that you order. Additional pieces cost $5 each. For additional information on them visit my figure shaped puzzle pieces page.

11) What type of picture makes for the best quality puzzle?

In my opinion, the best puzzles are usually made from pictures that are colorful and busy. Busy is defined by there being lots of action and / or sharply contrasting areas in the image.

12) What type of media is the best to use to print my personal photo?

Recommended Image Media

  • Ideal media for mounting to my puzzle wood are Art prints printed on poster type high quality dense paper.
  • Photo enlargements printed on photographic paper made by Kodak and Fuji are also excellent options for puzzle image media.
  • Home printed images using high resolution, bright white "PHOTOGRAPHIC Papers" by Kodak or Fuji. These papers can easily be purchased at office supply stores such as Office Max and Staples. They typically come in sizes of 8.5"x11" (Letter size) and 11"x17" (Ledger size).
  • Wall Calendar Images... send the WHOLE page, do not cut off the excess paper around the image... I will do that with my saw blade.
  • Post Cards make Ideal mini puzzles, ranging is size from 4"x6" to 6"x9" which make puzzle with 50 to 115 pieces.
  • Art books are a great source for popular art scenes. Some art books can be as large as 12"x17", and if you do not mind razor blade cutting a page put of the book and sending it to me, you can have wonderful puzzles made from these images with up to 400 pieces.
  • Pages from art gallery books
  • Printed "Lithograph" and "Serigraph" type art prints and quality posters work very well. Quality linen papers are also an ideal media. (Commonly found in quality wall calendars) These make great puzzle images, and mount to my puzzle wood VERY well.

Non-recommended Image Media

  • Art prints printed on fancy rag/fiber paper that is flaky (like recycled paper products) is NOT recommend, and strongly discouraged.
  • Images printed on canvas
  • Images printed onto "plastic" based papers
  • Images printed on wax coated papers
  • Ink Jet prints printed on standard copier type paper
  • Original Oil, acrylic, watercolor and pen and ink paintings... these should be scanned, and re printed. Cutting these types of images can present a variety of issues that lead me to no recommend their use.
  • Heat sensitive papers

Photo Jigsaw Puzzles

Lamination is used for appropriate images such as enlarged photos and ink jet prints.
If you are not sure what to use, you can always give me a call.

13) How is my picture mounted to the wood?

I use a heat bonding process that applies about 310 degrees F. to mount your images to my special wood.
Sending me images printed on heat sensitive paper is NOT recommended

See Section # 12 above.

14) Do you sell your puzzles in quantity or wholesale them to stores?

Yes and No. If you give me plenty of lead time, I am happy to consider taking orders for a large quantity of puzzles. A large quantity being defined as something in the area of the following examples.
20 -100 puzzles of about 12 to 40 pieces in size
25 puzzles of about 50 to 100 pieces in size.
10 puzzles of about 200 to 300 pieces in size
5 puzzles of about 400 to 750 pieces in size
2 or 3 puzzles of over 1000 pieces in size
Any requests for large orders regarding small discounts & lead times must be made by calling me personally to discuss them.
I do NOT offer Wholesale pricing for my wooden puzzles at this time.


I hope I was able to answer many questions that you may have had. If you have a question that is not answered here, please call me, I will be happy to answer it for you.! ( I am very easy to talk to, and a great listener.)

Online Puzzle Shop

Custom Made Jigsaw Puzzles by MGC Puzzles

Custom Jigsaw Puzzles Site Directory
Located near the bottom of every page in this site

Photo Jigsaw Puzzles

1) Home Page
2) Welcome page
3) Advanced Puzzles 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7
4) Customize your Jigsaw Puzzle
5) Ideas and Examples

6)  $  
Prices  (Listed in order of popularity)
Traditional Jigsaw Puzzle Cut Style
- Child / Large Jigsaw Puzzle Cut Style
- Jumbo Jigsaw Puzzles (Larger than 24" x 36")
- Round Knob Jigsaw Puzzle Cut Style

- Push-Fit Jigsaw Puzzle Cut Style

7) FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
8) Figurals - Personalize Shaped Pieces
9) Jigsaw Puzzles under 150 pieces

10A) Pre-Cut Jigsaw Puzzles - Already cut, boxed and ready to ship. Buy it today, and have it in 1-3 days.
10B) Poker Jigsaw Puzzles - Custom Made & Pre-Made
10C) MAGNETIC Jigsaw Puzzles - Premium Quality Magnetic

PortaPuzzles - Puzzle Tables Carrier & Storage

Jigsaw Puzzle Samples
13Ordering Puzzles or Art

14) Artist Gallery - Main Directory
15) Jane Wooster Scott - Americana Folk Art - Excellent Images
16) Royce McClure - Fish & Animal Art -
Colorful Puzzle images!

21) Wedding Guest Books / Signature Boards
22) Marriage Proposals
23) Anniversary Puzzle Gifts
24) Corporate jigsaw puzzles
Trade Shows , Teamwork, Gifts

25) Photograph Restoration - Airbrushing, Touch up
26) Custom Image Design - Photo Collage making
27) Holiday Jigsaw Puzzles - Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day
28) Children jigsaw puzzles - large puzzle pieces

29) Birth Announcement puzzles
30) Fund Raising Puzzles - Raise money for Church or Non Propfit
31) Special Message Puzzles

32) Lead Times and Rush Orders
33) Digital images - Specifications

- 4"x6" up to 24"x36" puzzle images
- Larger than 24" x 36" puzzle images.
34) Shipping & Handling

35) MGC Puzzles & Art - Company History

36) History of Jigsaw Puzzles - Anne D. Williams
37) Books / Literature about jigsaw puzzles.
38) Collecting jigsaw puzzles

39) Custom Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle Boxes

40) Contact Mark, the Jigsaw Puzzle Maker
41) Vacation near MGC Jigsaw Puzzles / Visitors
42) News / Media stories about MGC Puzzles
42) Tax Deductible Jigsaw Puzzles

43) Read my current Newsletter
44) Join my Jigsaw Puzzle Newsletter
45) MGC's Annual Calendar of Events

46) Specials of the Month
47) Visit my puzzle Workshop
48) Jigsaw Puzzles Online Survey

49) MGC Puzzle Gift Certificates

50) Customer's letters
51) WANTED items

52) Links to other sites -- Add your URL