Replacing Missing Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

If you are missing a piece in a new (even sealed) jigsaw puzzle,  there is a chance that it did not arrive with the package. Yes it may have 'escaped' during your assembly process or the pets may have ventured into the area and misplaced it during their 'playtime' but you also may be 'quite' certain you were careful enough and were not responsible for the missing pieces. It happens.

You may contact the Jigsaw Puzzle Company and they may offer you a replacement IF that is their policy or they may offer you  a different puzzle. Because all cuts are not the same. Shown in the following image, I was missing one piece AND fortunately had a 2nd puzzle of the same image - BUT as you can clearly see.....the cut is not the same. There's more...read on.....

So.....about 6 months later - I FOUND the missing piece!!!! No KIDDING!!! See right here....I still had both of the jigsaw puzzles so I instantly put the puzzle piece back to the original box.

It just goes to show how easily a piece can get lost and then found again. The Dowdle boxes are really quite secure in packaging so losing it from the box likely did not happen. But amazingly it was found within my piles of puzzles which means this particular piece was the greatest escapee of all! 

Going forward, when I do locate missing jigsaw puzzle pieces, they go directly  into safe keeping. 


How to replace missing jigsaw puzzle pieces...

Would you like to know how to replace a missing jigsaw puzzle piece?

Follow the steps below for a quick and easy method.

Photo, computer and color printer will be required.

Susan Steatham of our Facebook Jigsaw Puzzle Connections Group shared her method on how she replaces a missing jigsaw puzzle piece. IF you have the computer skills and devices then technology makes it much easier. 

Follow along to see how she recreates a piece to see if it will work for you.

If not, there are a three more methods below.

Method 1 - Devices, equipment etc....

  • computer
  • scanner
  • camera
  • printer
  • jigsaw puzzle box image or online
  • take photo
  • index card for tracing
  • cardboard to match thickness 

Before computers I used to leave them with the pieces missing. Now I am able to make a replacement piece, they're not perfect but at least I'm not left with a hole.

1. Scan in the puzzle photo from the box - or take a close up photo and save to computer.

2. Slide a very thin piece of card - old greetings cards are ideal under the puzzle until it's under the hole from the missing piece.

3. Inside the hole draw around the shape of the missing piece with a very thin pencil.

4. Remove the card.

5. Measure the size of the shape as accurately as possible.

6. Open a word document and insert the previously saved puzzle photo.

7. Work out the area of the missing piece as accurately as possible on the photo and crop the photo to the area required and re-set the picture size to the pre-measured size.

8. Print the small replacement picture.

9. Cut out the shape of the missing piece from the card.

10. Glue the printed picture to the card, when glue is dry re-trim the replacement piece to fit and insert into puzzle.

This may sound a little long-winded but it doesn't take as long as you may at first think. There is a replacement piece in the tree by the bird table, I added a bit too much light in the photo editing but I'm happy with it, it's better than a hole. (Note: sorry her image is not longer available.)


Method 2

Thanks to Sue for sharing her method for us. Here's a few other methods to consider;

If the area of the missing piece is not a clear-clean cut difference, then you could try to cut the missing piece image directly out of the jigsaw puzzle box image. Can you see the missing piece in the following photo? I used the box lid image to replace this missing piece then taped over the hole on the box lid.

Method 3

There is the option of trying the Jigsaw Puzzle Doctor at this website. He is in the UK but does ship international. For pricing CLICK HERE

Method 4


Vee Petersen has honed in on recreating real great quality piece replacement for exact colour, size and thickness. 

To the left you can see how accurate her replacement piece is. To contact Vee please CLICK HERE

So that gives you 4 options to choose from. If you really want that jigsaw puzzle piece replaced you will find or pay a way.....if not.....please note on the box "one piece missing"


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