Handy Jigsaws

Nature Jigsaws….

It’s nearly mid summer (really!) and also mid Springwatch. For those wet weather days, we’ve got a selection of nature jigsaws for sale.

Topical jigsaws are also available from our Handy Jigsaws free library (Kelsall residents only).

We offer free local delivery of your purchases (within 10 miles of our home village Kelsall) or you will find us at village markets & fairs including the very first Kelsall Village Market on Saturday 18th June. Alternatively, we can post your present along with your special message.

Contact us for orders and enquiries or call Delia on 07803 203617 or 01829 458259 to talk through our range.

Browse New Jigsaws | Accessories | Used Jigsaws | New Games Used Games 

The joy of 1500 piece puzzles

1000 piece puzzles too easy? If so, why not step up to 1500 pieces? Of course, you will need to organise a bigger puzzle space and perhaps invest in some additional sorter trays. We have some brand new Ravensburger titles if you want to try your hand.

If you live in our home village Kelsall, we’ve also added some 1500 piece puzzles to Handy Jigsaws, our free puzzle library – click here for more info.

Good luck and happy puzzling!

Contact us for orders and enquiries or call Delia on 07803 203617 or 01829 458259 to talk through our range.

Browse New Jigsaws | Accessories | Used Jigsaws | New Games Used Games 

Handy Jigsaws – spreading the news…..

Do you live in Kelsall and love jigsaws? Or perhaps you know someone in the village who loves to puzzle – maybe a friend, family member or neighbour? Did you know that Kelsall has its very own completely free jigsaw lending library? We’d love your help spreading the news.

We’ve been collecting jigsaws for many years and wanted to share them with our fellow villagers. Handy Jigsaws starting running in April 2020 and offers a regularly changing collection of up to 100 jigsaws in a variety of piece counts and sizes. We provide free doorstep delivery and collection in Kelsall.

Handy Jigsaws has exceeded our expectations but it’s likely we have not reached all Kelsall residents who may be interested, including those who lack internet access or who are new to our growing village. We use public noticeboards as well as social media posts to spread the news but the best way to reach people is at events or via good old-fashioned word of mouth! Whether you are an existing Handy Jigsaws puzzler or interested in finding out more, we hope to see you at the Societies, Clubs & Activities afternoon at Kelsall Community Centre, Sunday 17 October, 2pm-5pm.

We were thrilled to take part in the recent ‘Life in Kelsall During Lockdown’ exhibition of art, photography and craft at St. Philip’s Church. We contributed a hand-framed extract of a very special puzzle which was our “most wanted” title during lockdown. Maybe it was because it featured Cadbury’s chocolate! It was borrowed numerous times but was eventually “retired hurt”. No problem – we give incomplete jigsaws another life by using them for craft!

Handy Jigsaws Life in Lockdown Exhibition Kelsall St Philips Church October 2021

Lots of people tried jigsaws for the first time during lockdown and enjoyed the sense of calm and satisfaction that comes from completing them. Jigsaws have multiple physical and social benefits and are scientifically proven to be good for you – see this journal article. That’s why Handy Jigsaws is a long-term initiative for the village. We’d love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming one of our puzzlers or can help us spread the word.

See our Handy Jigsaws page for full information, including all our titles and ways to contact us.

Handy Jigsaws is One!

Handy Jigsaws – Kelsall’s completely free jigsaw lending library – is one year old! 

Our loan jigsaws are delivered on foot – we’ve covered 232 miles around the village over the last year!

The library stocks up to 100 jigsaws from quality manufacturers. As well as adding Dab Hand stock, we have received a number of kind donations over the year which has helped us keep the library fresh and updated with new titles.

About 80% of loans were for 1000 piece jigsaws, by far our most popular piece count, although 500 and 636 piece jigsaws were appreciated by borrowers new to puzzling or with limited space. Smaller piece counts (often with extra large pieces) have helped those with sight, handling or cognitive difficulties.

Here are some examples of our most wanted themes and titles from our first year:

We offer a wide variety of images and themes – from toys and trains to Shakespeare and sushi! 

Along with other humorous jigsaws, Wasgijs have proved extremely popular. We have added more of these titles recently and have others waiting in the wings. If you have yet to discover the joys of Wasgijs, see our article here.

Falcon’s Up & Away is our most requested title of the year. 

Gibsons’ Albert Dock, Liverpool and Happy Holidays have also been popular, perhaps reminding us of trips past and to come…

Happy Holidays is also a good example of popular montage style jigsaws – lots of images in one puzzle!

Ravensburger’s Retro Revelry is one of our top titles of the year, ideal for puzzlers who like a challenge. One borrower commented: “Great!! Talk about nostalgia!” 

Nostalgia Toys remains a favourite choice but don’t forget that we add stock frequently – click here to see our latest additions, including The World of Shakespeare, a very striking puzzle.

A few comments from our borrowers: 
“Great library of puzzles”
“Such a kind service to provide in these difficult times. Thank you!”
“This is a great initiative for the village…the puzzles have been a great mental exercise and talking point for my 93 year old mother who has dementia. I would highly recommend!”

Would you like a Handy Jigsaw delivered to your door? Find out more and browse titles.

If you know someone without internet access please ask them to call Delia on 07803 203617 or 01829 458259. We can talk through our range and/or take along a few for them to choose from.

Handy Jigsaws – new year additions!

Our completely free jigsaw library for Kelsall residents has had a New Year makeover! We’ve added 15 new titles so far in 2021 and more are coming soon. We stock jigsaws in a wide variety of piece counts, piece sizes and styles so there is something to suit all tastes. Of course all our Christmas titles (apart from two lovely snowy ones) are now safely tucked up in storage.

See Handy Jigsaws to access the service and browse all our titles including latest additions. We deliver and collect from your doorstep and we can also talk through our range with those without internet access.

Here’s a small selection of current titles:

Please note that we are only able to offer the Handy Jigsaws free lending library service to Kelsall residents. However, we do deliver purchases nationwide and delivery is free within a 10 mile radius of Kelsall. For full details on local and national purchases click here.

Browse all New Jigsaws | Used Jigsaws | New Games Used Games | Emporium

Handy Jigsaws is 3 months old!

It’s 3 months since we launched Handy Jigsaws (Kelsall’s completely free jigsaw lending library) and the response from everyone has been terrific. 

All loan jigsaws are delivered on foot – we’ve covered 81 miles around the village delivering jigsaws since we launched the service!

Our aim was to offer up to 100 titles with a wide selction of images and piece counts from quality manufacturers. With existing Dab Hand stock and the help of some generous donations, we are delighted to report that we have arrived at the century mark. We have now made a few more of our jigsaws available to purchase to make way for more titles we have waiting in the wings.

During our first 3 months we have been looking at the most popular choices and are pleased to share with you our MOST WANTED…..


The delectable Cadbury Heritage Collection (Gibsons) is our most requested title, closely followed by Wasgij Antiques Hunt & Ravensburger’s The Stately Home.


  • Montage
  • Cartoon & Humour
  • The Great Outdoors



Gibsons Games logo
Falcon & Jumbo logos

Would you like a Handy Jigsaw delivered to your door? Find out more and browse titles.

If you know someone without internet access please ask them to call us on 07803 203617. We can talk through our range and/or take along a few for them to choose from.

Jigsaws on my mind

This article was published in the KADRAS magazine No. 272 June/July 2020

Laurel & Hardy ‘Me & My Pal’ (1933)

I read recently that jigsaws are back in fashion but did they ever become unfashionable? No. Instead, they kept a low profile and waited for us to realise that technology doesn’t fulfil all our needs.

Jig-saw puzzles, or Dissections as they were originally called, were invented by British cartographer John Spilsbury in the 1760’s. He produced his first jigsaw by attaching a world map to wood and carving out the countries. These dissected maps were used for educational purposes to teach geography. Most modern jigsaws are made from cardboard with an infinite choice of images and are largely used for entertainment purposes.

With many people seemingly inseparable from their screens you could be forgiven (but not by me) for thinking that the humble jigsaw would be in terminal decline. Not so. While the coronavirus has left us housebound for 23 hours each day, a length of time even an iGadget can’t fill, there has been a remarkable revival in traditional pastimes, including jigsaws.

The resurgence in enthusiasm for jigsaws pre-dates the coronavirus crisis and has its roots in the mindfulness movement of recent years and changing attitudes to mental health. Academic studies show that frequent jigsaw puzzling is likely to alleviate mental health problems such as anxiety and depression by occupying sufferers with an enjoyable and structured activity. The concentration required for the activity and the eventual satisfaction of a mission accomplished are thought to be very positive factors for improved self-esteem and wellbeing. It is also thought that jigsaws can improve brain function in later years. People living with dementia or cognitive decline may benefit from the popularity of nostalgic themed jigsaws in the UK as these can evoke fond memories and spark conversations.

Celebrity endorsements

An increasing number of celebrities have revealed themselves to be avid puzzlers. Not since the 1933 Laurel & Hardy film ‘Me and My Pal’ have so many famous people been willing to reveal their hobby. Actors Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart and musicians Ronny Wood and Fatboy Slim are all devotees, as is the Queen apparently.

If jigsaws are good enough for Stan & Ollie, they’re good enough for me.

If you are persuaded that jigsaws tick many boxes, we run an entirely free lending library available to all Kelsall residents.

Visit dabhandpuzzles.uk/handy-jigsaws for details or call Delia on 07803 203617 or 01829 458259.

Sam Geoghegan

A free jigsaw library in Kelsall? ….. that’s Handy!

Handy Jigsaws Logo

We love jigsaws and after collecting them for many years in Kelsall we thought we would do the decent thing and share them with you!

We are sure there are many puzzlers in the village who will benefit from our new FREE Handy Jigsaws service giving all Kelsall residents access to our varied collection of quality puzzles.

The service is ready and available now so please visit our dedicated Handy Jigsaws webpage to get started.

See the Handy Jigsaws Poster – in A4 or A5