Stave Puzzles clown Stave
maker of fine custom wooden
jigsaw puzzles since 1974
Puzzles that are in-stock can be shipped on the next business day:
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New! TreatsTM
New! TidbitsTM
New Designs   
Limited Editions   
Time Share Puzzles    
Teasers vs. Tricks    

Frequently Asked Questions


How are Stave puzzles crafted?
Each puzzle is meticulously hand-cut using delicately fine blades, one piece at a time, by a skilled crafter. No computers, no high-tech. One saw, one cutter—that`s it. The cherry back is gently sanded and polished by hand to a soft gleam. Only those puzzles that meet our rigid quality standards actually leave our shop.

Does personalization cost extra?
No! We feel names and figure pieces (called "silhouettes") are the hallmark of a Stave puzzle and we put them in nearly every puzzle. We encourage you to collaborate with us in the creative process so your puzzle will contain personal details making it uniquely yours.

Can every puzzle be personalized?
Unfortunately not. Our smaller teaser puzzles, for instance, are designed with repeated shapes, making them challenging for their size, but leaving no room for personalization. We can, however, put the puzzler’s name on the box, hand lettered in gold.

What’s your most challenging puzzle?
Our trickiest puzzles are called – you guessed it – Stave Trick Puzzles. When you see that  phrase listed in our mailings, you’ll know that some of the pieces in this puzzle can fit into more than one place. These puzzles have been specially designed and cut to be deliberately confusing. Some Trick puzzles are more difficult than others, so we suggest you call for advice about choosing one. Other puzzles, such as See the Rain, Dear are extra tough (we call them Teasers), but not as tough as Trick puzzles.

Can you make a super tricky puzzle with lots of personalization for about $300?
Probably not. And this is why – we have Trick puzzles and Teaser puzzles in that price range, but they can take little or no personalization. Size is the restriction. We can make a beautiful personalized Traditional puzzle in smaller sizes (including names and silhouette pieces) that will be more of a treasure than a tricky puzzle. You have to decide which is more important in your case – trickiness or the personal keepsake quality. In a larger Traditional puzzle, of course, you can have both.

How do I see images for a Traditional puzzle?
Just ask! With thousands of images available for you to choose from, we will gladly send you a mailing full of Landscapes, Americana, or Animals (to name a few). Or, we’ll send a sampling of every category. You can also see images by visiting and clicking in the Custom Puzzle gallery.

Do you have puzzles in stock that you can ship today?
Yes! While most of our puzzles are custom cut to order (4-6 weeks), we do keep on hand several puzzles we have pre-crafted for last minute gifts or a quick puzzling fix. Because these puzzles are already cut, they offer no room for personalization. We can, however, put the puzzler’s name on the box, hand lettered in gold. Usually these puzzles can be shipped the same day you order. Visit our online store at to see what puzzles are available for immediate delivery, or call for options.

Can you make puzzles from photographs?
Definitely, yes! You can send us a photo and we’ll make it into a puzzle. Often we’ll have ideas about how we could incorporate an irregular edge offering you a greater challenge and more creativity. Frequently we make photo collages for a special occasion. In this case, we digitally produce the collage itself and that picture is cut as the puzzle. And, yes! You can have your photos returned intact.

Do you charge for gift wrap?
No. And we wrap your gift like a friend would, not a department store. (We’re very proud of our gift wrapping.) As an extra treat, all gifts wrapped for Christmas have a free handcut Stave ornament tied to the ribbon.

What stores sell Stave puzzles?
None. Stave puzzles are sold exclusively by us directly to you, the puzzler. A few quality mail order catalogs have carried a couple of our puzzles over the years, but very few. The personalized nature of our puzzles is enhanced by good communication between you, the puzzler, and us, the crafters.

What is the best way to get my order to you?
Well, this is a tough one! You can send your order through the mail, visit our online store at, browse the Custom Puzzle gallery on our web site, or email us at But, we really prefer that you call. That gives us the opportunity to find out what you’re really after. The publicity we get usually emphasizes the trickiness of our puzzles and some folks get the impression that every puzzle we make is "impossible" to do. Not so. We strive to make the world’s most beautiful, handcrafted, personalized jigsaw puzzles. Some of them are teasers and some are tormentors. All of them are treasures.

Can you replace lost or damaged puzzle pieces?
If a piece falls off the side of the boat, or your cat gets its paws on one, we can craft a replacement piece for you! For best results please send back your entire puzzle to us at Stave, and we'll work our magic. We need your puzzle separated into large chunks for easy re-assembly. Our puzzles are unique and one of a kind and while we always strive for the best quality possible, it is impossible to create a perfect match of wood grains, colors, etc., in replacement pieces. Due to the difficult nature of this process a fee of $85 per replacement piece will be charged. When returning your puzzle please be sure to include your contact information!

Can I visit the Stave Puzzles shop?
Yes! We have a wonderful showroom full of spectacular puzzles. We`d love to give you a tour. Stave is just a few hours North of Boston. Give us a call in advance and we would be glad to guide you to your puzzling destination.

Where does the name Stave come from?
In 1974 Steve and Dave started the business together. They combined their names to make Stave - which ironically also means "to break into pieces." ...Fitting, isn`t it!? Two years later Steve bought the company for a dollar and a saw. Don`t worry, Dave has no regrets and they remain great friends to this day!

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© 2009 Stave Puzzles, Inc., Norwich, Vermont. Stave Puzzles, Inc. owns the copyrights in the puzzle designs, Silhouette designs, and Custom Edge designs of the puzzles appearing on this web site. Trick, Monkey Fist, Crazy Claw, Teaser, Twister, Tumbler, TroubleMaker, the Clown and Stave are trademarks of Stave Puzzles, Inc.