Handcrafting the world's finest wooden jigsaw puzzles since 1974

Frequently Asked Questions

These are not your ordinary jigsaw puzzles – and Stave is not your ordinary company! We love to fool, harass, and trick you....but we love to help put all the pieces back into place, too. It’s kind of like making order out of chaos. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions. If after reading through them you still feel flummoxed, give us a call or fill out the online form at the bottom of the page. We’re here to help!

How are Stave puzzles crafted?

Each puzzle is meticulously hand-cut using delicately fine blades, one piece at a time, by a skilled crafter. No computers, no high-tech. One saw, one cutter—that's it. The cherry back is gently sanded and polished by hand to a soft gleam. Only those puzzles that meet our rigid quality standards actually leave our shop.

What is Personalization?

There are two types of personalization: Pieces crafted in (called silhouettes) and hand-written personalization.

name silhouetteSilhouettes - You can request your choice of names, initials, dates or special shapes. Silhouettes can reflect your hobbies, pets, sports, family members, trips, or special events. This type of personalization is available in Traditional puzzles.


hand-lettered signsHand-written personalization - Sometimes simple and imaginative changes can be made to a puzzle image to make it personal. Have family names hand-written on shop signs, flags, or banners. We can even write a short message on some puzzles. Learn more about personalization.



Does personalization cost extra?

No! We feel names, figure pieces (called silhouettes), and hand-lettered personalization are the hallmark of a Stave puzzle. We encourage you to collaborate with us in the creative process so your puzzle will include personal details making it uniquely yours.


Can every puzzle be personalized?

Traditional puzzles have room for names, dates, and silhouette shapes to be crafted into them. Other puzzles have signs, flags, or banners where we can hand-letter a name or short message. Tricks and Teasers, for instance, are designed to be challenging for their size, but leaving no room for personalization. We can, however, put the puzzler's name on the box, hand-lettered in gold.

What’s your most challenging puzzle?

That depends on what type of puzzler you are. Our 5-bolt Trick puzzles are for the true masochist. We consider them to be part of the Stave Torture Chamber! We won't even sell you one of these babies until you’ve earned your stripes with a Trick puzzle having a lower difficulty rating. That being said, you could get hours of puzzlement and hair-pulling challenge from a large Traditional puzzle as well.

Can you make a super tricky puzzle with lots of personalization for about $300?

Probably not. And this is why – we have puzzles in that price range, but they are designed to be challenging for their size, and SIZE is the restriction. We can make a beautiful personalized Traditional puzzle in smaller sizes (including names and silhouette pieces) that will be more of an heirloom puzzle than a tricky one. You have to decide which is more important in your case – trickiness or the personal keepsake quality. In a larger Traditional puzzle, of course, you can have both.


Do you have puzzles InStock that you can ship today?

Yes! While most of our puzzles are custom cut to order (2-4 weeks), we keep pre-crafted puzzles on hand for last minute gifts or a quick puzzling fix. Because these puzzles are already cut, they offer no room for personalization. We can, however, put the puzzler’s name on the box, hand-lettered in gold. Look for the shipping box icon when you browse the online store, or you can view just the InStock puzzles. In most cases, these puzzles ship the next busy day. In a super rush? Give us a call for same day shipping options.


Can you make puzzles from photographs?

Definitely, yes! You can send us a single photo (or many) and we’ll make it into a puzzle. Often we’ll have ideas about how we could incorporate an irregular edge offering you a greater challenge and more creativity. Frequently we make photo collages for a special occasion. We digitally produce the collage itself and that picture is cut as the puzzle. And, yes! You can have your photos returned intact. Learn more about custom jigsaw puzzles from photographs.


Is gift wrap really free?

Stave ornamentStave gift box Yes — it's like the cherry on top! A special gift deserves special attention. We wrap your gift like a friend would, not a department store. As an extra treat, all gifts wrapped for the Holidays include a free hand-cut Stave ornament.



What stores sell Stave puzzles?

None. Stave puzzles are sold exclusively by us directly to you. The personalized nature of our puzzles is enhanced by good communication between you, the puzzler, and us, the crafters.


Can you replace lost or damaged puzzle pieces?

If a piece falls off the side of the boat, or your cat gets its paws on one, we can craft a replacement piece for you. For best results please send back your entire puzzle to us at Stave, and we'll work our magic. Please separate and pack Traditional puzzles into large chunks for easy re-assembly. For all other types of Stave puzzles, send the entire puzzle back put together as much as possible. Our puzzles are unique and one-of-a-kind and while we always strive for the best quality possible, it is difficult to create a perfect match of wood grains, colors, etc. in replacement pieces. A fee of $85 per replacement piece will be charged. When returning your puzzle please be sure to include your contact information.


Can I visit the Stave Puzzles shop?

Yes! We have a wonderful showroom full of spectacular puzzles. We'd love to give you a tour. Stave is just a few hours North of Boston. Our physical location is at 163 Olcott Drive, Wilder, Vermont. The best time to visit Stave is Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Give us a call in advance and we would be glad to guide you to your puzzling destination.


Where does the name Stave come from?

Stave Puzzles history In 1974 Steve and Dave started the business together. They combined their names to make Stave - which ironically also means "to break into pieces". Fitting, isn't it!? Two years later Steve bought the company for a dollar and a saw. Dave went on to start his own company and now has a successful art career. Steve and Dave remain great friends to this day! By the way, some of Dave's artwork can be made into a Traditional puzzle.