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Most of us judge a puzzle using one criterion: It needs to be fun to assemble. A puzzle is great so long as it poses an adequate challenge, so you want it to take you a while—but not be absolutely impossible to complete.
The thing is, though, the best puzzles aren’t just fun to put together—they’re also surprisingly pretty. Thankfully, there's an array of different styles out there, and some are so eye-catching you might be tempted to frame it, mount it, and display it on your wall for all to see.
Here, the best puzzles that are basically works of art.
Gradient puzzles are having a moment, and it’s not hard to see why. The final results are ridiculously pretty—and since the puzzles are only made up of a few colors, they’re easy to display as art once you’re done.
Choose between two different sizes and a variety of colors depending on the retailer—or go for a bundle set to save. Colors include cooler hues like blue/green and even teal/purple/blue, as well as brighter options like red/yellow. If you're more of a minimalist, there's a black/white version, too.
If you have an itch to travel but are stuck at home, you'll definitely appreciate this puzzle's scene, which was inspired by Purmamarca, a mountainous Argentinean town. The 1000-piece puzzle, which was designed by Charlotte Taylor and 3D modeled by Victor Roussel, is sure to keep you and your family busy on a night-in. When you're done, the stunning desert tones will sit pretty on your walls at all times.
Anthropologie’s collaboration with Jiggy resulted in three incredibly pretty puzzles, each of which is made up of 450 pieces. Choose between a pink tiger stretching out across a striped background, a couple peacocks surrounded by dainty flowers, or an ornate assortment of plants and forest animals.
Since their colors are consistent and their details are small, all three of these puzzles should be adequately hard to throw together. And once you’re finished, you can glue together your masterpiece and put it on display, thanks to the tube of puzzle glue included with purchase.
If you prefer to work from an image—and not an illustration—Piecework’s modern puzzles might be right up your alley. This vibrant option depicts a still life full of tropical fruits, but you can also buy a depiction of full champagne glasses, a breakfast spread, and even fishing gear. Since each puzzle boasts 1,000 pieces, it’s sure to take you a while, but once you’ve finished you’ll have a bold, contemporary image to display on your wall.
If you've ever wanted a piece of Andy Warhol's art in your home, here's your shot—sort of. This 500-piece puzzle features one of Warhol's designs from his iconic Flowers series, so you'll get the fun of the puzzle with the thrill of an iconic design hanging in your home. Even better? It's budget-friendly, too!
Photographer Gray Malin's imagery is already gorgeous to look at, but now you can take it one step further with this beachy puzzle. This 500-piece puzzle is double-sided, you'll be able to create not one, but two Italian beach scenes that'll stun on your walls. The set comes in a giftable box as well, but it's totally understandable if you want to keep it for yourself.
Puzzles don’t have to be rectangular, and Four Point Puzzles’ The Moon is one of the worthiest circular puzzles out there. This stunning puzzle depicts an image of the moon—one that’s black-and-white, but rendered in incredible detail. The muted palette will make this 1,000-piecer tough to put together, but the puzzle’s uniquely shaped pieces will give you a little help along the way.
Carve out some serious time to tackle this beauty—and make sure you work from a table that’s big enough to accommodate it. (It’s more than 2-feet wide, after all.)
Minted’s Tall Flower Puzzle is a great option for those who want a pretty puzzle that’s not too difficult to put together. It depicts a simple illustration of a tall pink flower displayed over a bold orange background, and since it's only made up of 252 pieces, it shouldn’t take you weeks to tackle. That said, it’s challenging enough to last you at least a few hours—and pretty enough to display once you’re done.
If you like your puzzles to be challenging, this design by Printworks is right up your alley. This 500-piece puzzle features a rock motif that includes just a few shades and a whole lot of connected shapes. The end result, however, is a beautiful natural landscape you'll love looking at every day.
Many puzzles are pretty enough to double as works of art, but Dusen Dusen’s Lenticular Pattern Puzzle actually looks like something you’d find in a museum. The graphic puzzle is made up of geometric shapes that have been broken down into a series of crisp, bold stripes, with a punchy palette that makes the whole thing even more eye-catching. Since it's composed of 500 pieces, it should be a little challenging to throw together—but we suspect all the different colors and stripes will make it easy to find your way.