Making a jigsaw puzzle out of a crappy picture
September 5, 2014 5:29 PM   Subscribe

So I really want to have a jigsaw puzzle made from a picture I have stored on my computer. Unfortunately my pictures are all low resolution. But how low is too low?

My sister's birthday is a week away, and I want to give her a jigsaw puzzle made from a picture. The problem is, all the pictures I have are at lousy resolutions. I have several at 72 dpi and several at 96 dpi, but that's still too bad, right? Or does dpi not matter, and it's the pixels x pixels that matters? If you go by that, the largest one I have is 960 x 960. When I try to upload any of them on a jigsaw making website, I get an error message that my file is too small. I know nothing about these things.

All these pictures were taken with cell phones so this as good as they get. I will not have time to get another picture, so it's these or nothing.

Is it hopeless? If I make a puzzle with one of them, will it basically just be a blurry mess? What is the lowest possible measurements that would make an acceptable picture?
posted by silverstatue to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
Could you tile together several of the images to make one large enough?
posted by clerestory at 5:37 PM on September 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's only pixels x pixels that matters vs the physical size of the jigsaw puzzle you want to make.
You'll get decent results making a 6x6" puzzle from an image of that resolution, but the bigger you make the final product, the bigger (and more visible) the pixels will be.

I wouldn't take it much bigger than a sheet of letter paper, and to do that, I would first resize it to a higher resolution in photoshop (double or more). This resize does not add detail, but it can blur out the original pixels into more numerous pixels, making the pixelation less noticeable (eg. rather than sharp jaggies from big pixels, the picture will look like it isn't very sharp, a bit blurry)

Another idea... you can resize it higher in photoshop, then use filter effects (like paint, etc) to make a genuinely high resolution but not-a-photograph from the image.
posted by anonymisc at 5:38 PM on September 5, 2014

How big is the smallest jigsaw puzzle they offer to make?
posted by anonymisc at 5:53 PM on September 5, 2014

Response by poster: It looks like most places I've found online do a 500 piece puzzle sized at 16x20.

The collage idea is great! Maybe that's what I'll do if I can't manipulate a single image into working.
posted by silverstatue at 6:02 PM on September 5, 2014

silverstatue, hook me up with the photo(s) and the specifications issued by the jigsaw people, and I'll work it up real nice for you. A small project like this would do me good right now. MeMail me if you're interested.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:38 AM on September 6, 2014

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