Jigsaw Puzzles at Valley View By: Bobby Williamson

Pictured left to right with 3 of their puzzles: Catherine Connor, Dorothy Franklin, Bobby Williamson, Barbara Pappit, Betty Vaughan, Shirley Dearing

When I arrived at Valley View nearly two years ago, I tried activities that helped me to meet friends and adjust to retirement living. I finally decided to set up a table on the second floor where I worked my first jigsaw puzzle. After much trial and error, I became known as the “puzzle man”.

In the early phase, we received a lot of puzzles, mostly donations from residents and visitors. Many residents go the “puzzle fever” and assisted me by separating pieces into “dishes” according to shapes, colors and pictures on the puzzle boxes. Shirley Dearing helped with eh “dishes” while others dropped by to put together pieces.

When a puzzle was a really good scene, I decided to frame them at a local hobby store. It was necessary to select a wooden or metal frame, a mat around the puzzle, and a glass front. The puzzles were heated and attached permanently to a board. A paper backing was applied to prevent duct on the picture. A wire hanger was installed on the frame. If a custom frame was used, the total cost exceeded $200. I found a way to reduce the cost. When pictures were on sale, bimonthly, the pictures could be removed and the frame used for the puzzles. Metal frames lowered the cost significantly. it is better to buy puzzles with even sizes, like 20 x 36 in order to use the metal frames. Now most puzzles cost $40 to $100 for a complete job.

The management at Valley View has decided to fix an area near our puzzle table on the second floor to display our “framed” puzzles. Kind of a gallery for displaying our currently completed and future works.

COVID-19 rules and regulations limited many activities for us at Valley View. Now puzzles have given us another activity and opportunity to socialize. Try one, you might like it!

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