A Year of Puzzles: Top 12 of 2021

I did my top 12 books of 2021 and now it’s time for my 2021 puzzle wrap-up!

a majority of my puzzles

While I have been documenting my puzzles through photos on Instagram, I had not kept any kind of master list. Since my puzzle collection has expanded a bit a lot, I finally decided to catalog my puzzles, past and present. So over my winter break, I made a master database of all my puzzles going back to 2016.

Yes, that’s right. I dug through my photos both and through my Puzzle Warehouse account. Of course, I have a few puzzles that I cannot remember which year I completed them in and I’m sure a few are missing from the list, particularly from the earlier years as I didn’t regularly take photos or post my puzzles back in 2016. And any prior to 2016 are lost in the vague recesses of my memory.

Needless to say, I have done a lot of puzzles since 2016.

But let’s talk about the puzzles I completed in 2021!

I put together a total of 69,180 pieces in 2021!

That corresponds to 77 puzzles from 37 brands.

I mostly work 1000 piece puzzles (see the lovely pie chart for those like me who love visuals). 62 of the 77 (~80%) were 1000 pieces puzzles.

My Puzzle Warehouse and Puzzle Culture subscriptions are each for 1000 pieces. And 1000 piece puzzles are the most popular and easiest to find.

Also, while I have a half dozen 2000 piece puzzles and even three 3000 piece puzzles, my puzzle table can only hold up to 2000 pieces. And a 2000 pieces puzzle takes up the entire table (no room to lay the pieces out). So that’s why I rarely do puzzles larger than 1500.


One of these days, I will find a larger table because I have 6000 piece puzzle aspirations. But that’s a goal for another day. Back to my puzzles of 2021.

The brands I completed the most were Eurographics (7), New York Puzzle Co. (5), BetterCo (5), SunsOut (5), Puzzle Culture (5), Pomegranate (4), and Buffalo (4).

I also may own the entire BetterCo collection.

I also discovered 4 new puzzle brands: Elena Essex, Puzzles of Color, Modern Puzzles, and Blue Kazoo. Each of these brands I found through Instagram. Instagram is a dangerous place for puzzlers—too much temptation! I loved each of the puzzles I did from these 4 brands and will definitely buy more from these brands in the future.

My largest puzzle by piece count was 1500 pieces (oh 6000 piece puzzle one of these days I will tackle you!). My smallest puzzle was 92 pieces (and this might have also been my most expensive puzzle).

I did so many great puzzles in 2021. It’s hard to choose just 12. As I was going through the photos, I kept finding another and another and another that I loved. But I finally narrowed it down.

So without further ado, my top 12 fave puzzles of 2021:

  • Space Travel Posters by Mixed Up
  • Rainbow Kingdom by Elena Essex
  • Arctic by Eurographics (part of their Save the Planet! series, which I love)
  • International House Party by Modern Puzzles
  • Oasis in Space by New York Puzzle Co (part of their Space collection, which I love)
  • Plumes of Color by Buffalo
  • Across the Continent – Plane by Blue Kazoo
  • Enchanted View by BetterCo
  • Priceless by Puzzles of Color
  • The World of Sherlock Holmes by Laurence King
  • The Solar System by Eurographics
  • Flamingo Dance by Clementoni

I loved each of these puzzles because of their quality, their design, their colors, and their image. Several other puzzles were so close to the top 12. See, I told you it was hard to pick faves.

And then there is one last puzzle I have to mention. This one is also a fave and a keeper. But I’m not including it on the above list because it needs a category all its own.

Azure 92 by Lazles

Lazels “combines unique artistry and superior technical innovation to craft luxury jigsaw puzzles exclusively out of metal.” Lazels only makes 100 of each design and are only available to the subscribers with a passcode. They send out a text alert and the first 100 get the design.

In other words, it’s extremely difficult to get one of these puzzles and I was super excited to get this one.

Azure 92 is crafted out of titanium, electro-anodized to an Azure blue, laser engraved, hand-polished, and hand-finished. The art is from a 16th-century Venetian woodcut that they meticulously restored and engraved into titanium. And, as the name indicates, it has 92 pieces.

Because fingers will leave prints on the blue anodized titanium, they included a set of tweezers to assemble the puzzle. Also, the pieces are teeny so the tweezers make it easier to assemble.

And here’s me using the tweezers to put together this puzzle.

And that’s my 2021 Puzzle Wrap-Up.

Did you work any puzzles in 2021? Which puzzle is your favorite?

None of the links above are affiliate links. I get nothing if you click on them. I simply linked to these websites because these companies are ones I love to support. YAY for puzzles!

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