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    When we ordered our Portrait Puzzle, we added a photo from a fun event we attended last year.
    When we ordered our Portrait Puzzle, we added a photo from a fun event we attended last year. (BestReviews)

    Looking for an out-of-the-box gift?

    If you’re shopping for someone who already seems to have everything, a customized present offers sentimental value that anyone can appreciate.


    Portrait Puzzles creates custom jigsaw puzzles featuring your favorite pictures, which can make for a unique gift for anyone on your list. The brand says their system is simple: upload an image to the website, choose a puzzle size and piece count, and they'll send you a one-of-a-kind puzzle.

    To see whether Portrait Puzzles can make a worthwhile gift, we created our own custom puzzle to determine image quality and overall experience. Here’s what we found.


    How we tested Portrait Puzzles

    In order to determine whether Portrait Puzzles delivers on their claim of all-ages fun, we tested one of their custom puzzles in a busy household with a seven-year-old and a 10-year-old.

    The image we selected for our puzzle featured a detailed, high-resolution photograph taken with a DSLR camera.

    Portrait Puzzles cost

    We ordered a 500-piece puzzle that measured 16 by 20 inches for $39.99 (before taxes and shipping). Prices vary based on the size and piece count of the puzzle.

    The puzzle is packaged in a plain puzzle box; however, for an additional $9.99, the standard box can be upgraded to a platinum gift tin. Portrait Puzzle can also deliver the puzzle fully assembled without a box for an additional $20.

    Placing an order with Portrait Puzzles

    In our experience, the Portrait Puzzles website offered an easy ordering experience. Basically, if you can navigate a shopping web page, you can order a custom puzzle.

    The first step: Uploading an image. There are upload instructions on the site, though we didn’t feel the need to follow the longer process since we were successful at uploading a high-resolution image on the first try.

    Consumers have the option to select puzzles with 30, 50, 200, 300, 500, or 1,000 pieces. We chose a 500-piece puzzle with standard shipping and received our puzzle within a couple of days. While the puzzle is usually shipped unassembled (the option we chose), consumers can order assembled puzzles for a fee.

    First impression of our Portrait Puzzle

    We received our Portrait Puzzle in a thin cardboard box featuring the picture of the puzzle on the front.

    Though we ordered a 500-piece puzzle, we received a total of 513 pieces. We attributed the extra puzzle pieces to the dimensions of the original picture. We noticed that the pieces were cut into a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

    The box itself was a single piece, which is different from the two-piece box you typically get with store-bought puzzles. Given the design, it was difficult to stand up the Portrait Puzzle box so that we could refer to the picture while we put together the puzzle. We felt this was a minor inconvenience — it didn’t hamper our fun, nor did it inhibit the puzzle’s assembly.

    Putting together the Portrait Puzzle

    All members of our household, both parents and kids, enjoyed working together to assemble the Portrait Puzzle.

    It brought us a sense of nostalgia, and it was fun to piece together a picture from an event we’d attended with friends pre-pandemic. The puzzle also inspired many conversations (and laughs) as we put together each of our friends.


    Portrait Puzzle quality

    When compared to the image we uploaded to the website, we felt the Portrait Puzzle came out quite well from a graphic standpoint. There were, however, some parts of the puzzle that lacked the depth of the original photo and showed barely noticeable pixelation.

    As far as how well pieces fit together, the vast majority interlocked easily. However, we experienced a few challenges with a handful of pieces. Our failed attempts to fit these particular pieces into the puzzle meant that some of these pieces got slightly bent. Getting pieces that fit perfectly together is a challenge for all custom puzzles that we’ve tested.

    Portrait Puzzles pros

    Overall, we feel Portrait Puzzles offer a unique, well-made gift that's suitable for family gifting or group enjoyment.

    The puzzle was a fun, all-ages activity that can be enjoyed more than once, including as a brand-new holiday or party tradition. Given our high level of satisfaction, we would definitely buy again and recommend the company to anyone in the market for a custom puzzle.

    Portrait Puzzles earns high marks for their straightforward ordering process and fast shipping. The site is easy to navigate for users of all ages and even offers guidance with navigating image uploads.

    Portrait Puzzles cons

    We experienced two minor inconveniences with Portrait Puzzles.

    We would have preferred a traditional puzzle box, though the standard box isn’t a deal-breaker by any means. We slightly damaged some pieces when trying to fit them in the wrong places, but this is a common issue — even with store-bought jigsaw puzzles.

    Are Portrait Puzzles worth it?

    We loved putting together our Portrait Puzzle. Given its affordability and high-quality production, it's an ideal choice for a unique all-ages family or group gift.

    Portrait Puzzles is no stranger to bringing images to life, and we'd also recommend taking a look at their sister company, Cardboard Cutout Standees, to shop custom novelty gifts (like big head cutouts or life-size cardboard figures) in time for the holiday season.

    Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

    Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.