Custom Puzzle Craft
Maker of Fine Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles
Custom Puzzle Craft is permanently closed to new orders.
Some notes I have received!
Note: I've elected not update this section as life is just so short and there are so many things to do! I do acknowledge all emails directly and I continue to be greatly appreciative of all the positive comments I receive. Oh... maybe I'll add something here, but more "then" than "now.
|Wedding Reception Puzzle
I had such fun putting the puzzle together last night. It is JUST WONDERFUL! Thank you SO VERY MUCH; it is just beautiful. I meant to ask you to send a few pieces for me to practice signing on but I will go to a hobby store and buy some similar wood. Thanks again.
Sherri - The Woodlands, TX
|Wedding Reception Puzzle
We did indeed receive the puzzle and it looks gorgeous. The precision of the figurals is absolutely remarkable, and we are very impressed by how nicely you matched the shapes to parts of the photo that are of the appropriate color. We can't wait to show the puzzle to our wedding guests! Thank you again for your hard work and creativity.
Orde - Tempe, AZ
|Puzzles for the holidays
The last 3 puzzles have gone over the best you've ever done. As I am writing to you everyone is around a table downstairs enjoying "Day in the Life of a Girl." We finished "Proverbidioms in 4 days. They just yelled up that they finished "Day...Girl" just now.
Ken - New York, NY
You are an incredible artist. The puzzle you created is amazing. Thank you so much for getting it done in time for Christmas. The people I gave it to were thrilled. Stay well because I'll have more for you next Christmas.
Lynn - Bay City, MI
|Extremely large creative style puzzle in two boxes
WOW o WOW o WOW
.......Perfect condition undamaged.
We had a little sift thru tonight and love it. There really are some extraordinary pieces and this is a meisterverk! You have excelled yourself. The extra thick wood works beautifully, giving it the feel of the wooden puzzles of our childhood.
THE BIG PIECE.
I like it. Yes it is bigger than expected, but actually you have managed to have elements of most cutting styles dangle from it. ALSO since this is a family puzzle and not suppose to be insanely hard, it gives an anchor from which to build out. Once we complete it, we will decide on the fate of the big piece. Maybe chopping it into 3, but frankly it has 700 plus pieces and we would not do for piece count, and it is an oddity and unique in over 500 puzzles you have made. Plus I always like to see the in progress pics, and it resembles a compulsory type piece....so 70:30 we keep it as is.
And thx for the 2 boxes, again I think this is another unique feature....a puzzle within a puzzle..FAB
Super stuff john, many thx....
|Marriage Proposal Puzzle
I just wanted to let you know that I received the puzzle a lot earlier than expected! My girlfriend was with me when the package came, and she kept asking what was in it. The puzzle came out absolutely beautiful. It was much better than I had originally imagined. Thank you so much! I ended up proposing earlier than I had planned, and it "worked" just as you said. She can't wait to frame it!
Roger - Millburn, NJ
|Two puzzles of Alaskan scenery
The puzzles arrived today and they look great! I'm amazed by the pieces the smooth curves and tight radii and regular thicknesses. You are The Puzzle Cutting Master. These puzzles will be used as gifts, but when my wife saw them she said that we must keep one. I believe this means that I will back on your backlog soon.
Dave - Yorba Linda, CA
I received the puzzle yesterday and it is so beautiful. I couldn't wait to give it to Jill so she received an early birthday gift last night. We were amazed at your work. It is beautiful. We will definitely be repeat customers.
Mary Beth - Plattsburgh, NY
|Wedding Reception Puzzle
We received the puzzle yesterday afternoon. It looks absolutely beautiful!!! We are both very pleased. You have a wonderful talent and do incredible work. We are both very impressed and can't wait to use it at our wedding reception this June. Good luck in the future and thanks again.
Joe and Sarah - Williamsville, NY
I wanted to tell you how much we have enjoyed our puzzle you made for us. I gave my wife the puzzle without telling her what it was or what the picture was about. I was amazed that when she opened the box and saw the puzzle pieces she said, "The color of the pieces remind me of the state park where we camping in South Carolina." I said, "Yes, that is what it represents. Table Rock State Park." It was kind of "freaky" to have her relate the pieces to the park that I wanted to represent with the puzzle only moments after opening the box. From that moment on she was enthralled and dedicated to putting the puzzle together. She has a good eye and it didn't take her very long. Between her and my daughter it was put together in about 8 total hours of work. My daughter has an exceptional eye and after my wife had put the lower third of the puzzle together, she spent 45 minutes and filled all but about 20 pieces.
It is beautiful and very meaningful - my wife cried when she realized what it was. She was thrilled as she went through the box and found all the figurals and again cried at the significance behind each piece. I am glad that you redid the puzzle because the Japanese Gate was extremely important to her. Everyone who has seen it is amazed at the sharpness of the cut of the pieces and their artistic flair. Again thank you so much. I am sure will be ordering more puzzles in the future.
Jim - Junction City, KS
Yes it is true, there have been two instances in the history of Custom Puzzle Craft when I've had to re-make a puzzle because I left out something. In both cases the customer still received their puzzles in the time requested! I'm more careful than ever now, to make sure I do things right the first time!
Marriage Proposal Puzzle
While I was watching the excitement on Rema's face growing with every piece she added to the puzzle, I kept on appreciating the good job you did. A little after midnight, she completed the puzzle except the text piece that I had hidden inside the ring box in my pocket. Rema was complete surprised and never suspected that it was actually a proposal puzzle. She will forever remember this moment. I can't thank you enough for the perfect job you did in shorter time than you promised and the lovely title you chose for our puzzles: "Love by the lake".
Chad & Rema - San Jose, CA
Church Fund Raiser puzzle made for an intermediary
I have to admit that the puzzle turned out a lot better than I was expecting. Your craftsmanship and skills are truly amazing. The puzzle is perfect! My customer is going to be very happy with it I'm sure. I showed the puzzle to the other sales representatives here in my office just in case they ever need your services. Thanks again for all your help, fast turn-around, and exceptional craftsmanship.
Doug - Glen Burnie, MD
I just wanted to thank you for the great job you did on the White dog Love puzzle I ordered from you last month.
I will keep you in mind for the future.
Frank - New York, NY
|Marriage Proposal Puzzle
Thank you so much, the puzzle is beautiful! I was so excited when I saw the Fed Ex note that I dashed over to pick it up. Then I put it together and WOW you have done an amazing job, the ship figural is perfect simply perfect. I know Marc is going to be surprised and pleased. Thank you so much for being such a big part of our impending future. I will certainly let you know when I pop the question so you can place the puzzle on your site. I really truly appreciate your work.
Naomy - Baltimore, MD
|Bermuda Cove, Poster Puzzle
Finished! I love it! &:) It's excellent!
Yvonne - Annandale, VA
Puzzle of two children
I received my puzzle in the mail the other week and it is wonderful! I just wanted to thank you for your great work. It was a pleasure doing business with you. I was really pleased with how well you communicated with me to make sure this puzzle was just how I wanted it and I was VERY satisfied with the quality of the product and especially how quick and easy the whole process was. This is definitely the best present I have ever given anyone and I'm sure my boyfriend will think it is the best present he has ever received! Thanks again!
Jamie - Royal Oak, Michigan
|Church Fund Raiser Tracking Puzzle
Received the puzzle in the mail today. My secretary put it together and I must say that it looks absolutely fantastic. You did a great job ... very professional. Thanks for all your help ... this will be a great reminder and motivator as our people strive to pay off our mortgage.
Lance - Colorado Springs, CO
|Superman Logo Puzzle
THE PUZZLE IS GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!! You weren't kidding when you said it was a bit of a challenge, I put it together and snapped a few pictures of it. I can't wait to give it to my friend!!!! I appreciate it so very much ~ you have a wonderful talent, thank you for sharing it with me. I look forward to maybe sending another idea your way ~ I'd love to share this with my friends
Amy - Mesa, AZ
|Baby Shower Puzzle
Your puzzle was a big hit at the party. Thank you.!
Anthony - Los Angeles, CA
|Prom Invitation Puzzle
I received the puzzle on time on March 4th. On the 5th I asked a friend of mine to prom with it and she said yes! Thanks for your help.
P.S. The puzzle was real quality work. It looked great!
Earl - Houston, TX
|Valentine's Day Puzzle
Everything is great, it looks so nice!!! I know she will love it. Now if I can only wait till Valentines Day to give it to her. Thanks again you do fabulous work.
Jacob - Kansas City, MO
|YMCA Employee Recognition Puzzle
THANK YOU so much for your artistry and your spirit in working with us on this amazing gift. Yes, as soon as I received the puzzle, I opened it and was initially amazed at the box itself. Then the tissue, the tag, .....the PUZZLE! Wow. I shared it with several of our key leaders and the reactions were ....well, the same as mine! It's been a whirlwind putting this little meeting together. Been doing his off and on for many years, but this is the one to stop the world. And to think it'll all be history in 48 hours. Thanks SO much for all your help and for dropping what I hope were not too many other important projects. I'll certainly speak of your skill with the highest regard. Who knows, maybe those in the Commonwealth will become regular clients! And it all came from a website! Isn't technology amazing! I'm your #1 fan (at least this month, as I'm sure your list is huge!).
Pat - Richmond, VA
We received the puzzle. It is beautiful! I would like to compliment you not only on the design and quality of your work, but also on your customer service. Your responses to our questions were always very timely and you followed through with everything we agreed upon. In today's world, customer service this good is a rare commodity.
You may feel free, if you wish, to add my name to your list of references. However, please do not add the image to your web site as some information is confidential to our company.
Margaret - Skillman, NJ
|I received the puzzle this morning - it is beautiful - I had to put it together before starting to wrap each piece - I hope to mail it to Lisbon tomorrow. The faces looked really nice. Even the boxes are beautiful! GREAT WORK!
Maria - Kenmore, WA
|I received my puzzle yesterday. I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am with it. The quality is outstanding! I almost don't want to give it away because I want it for myself. ;) Thanks again for the excellent work!
Jillian - Saratoga, CA
Ron says that you're going to be disappointed to hear that I have the center of "The Attractor" completed. It took about 12-15 hours to get that far. The first 4 hours were 2 hours each by my Mother and I (she also loves puzzles), so we had 2 sets of eyes looking at the very center differently. I think I learned a lot working on "Spectra"! I immediately separated the pieces by color type (all black; black with blue; blue and red only; blue, red and black; and pieces with white in them). I started with the 'white in them section', as that was small it went pretty quickly. Then I saw enough to figure that I needed to go to the 'red, blue and black'. This was tough but I noticed a pattern to the black areas. Then came the 'blue and red only' - AHHHHHH - this was TOUGH! I then decided to change my attack and brought in the 'black with blue' pieces and worked those. I then ended up with a solid square that had to be placed in the square outline. Hmmm, but which way does it go? Ron happened to walk by at that point and I when I posed that question to him he said "well this piece sticks out the furthest on the solid square, maybe you can find where it fits in the 'frame'." At which point he took the piece and found it's location on the 'frame'. That was his entire contribution to this assembly. :-) Even once I had the solid inside the 'frame' it took me quite a while (3-4 hours) to finish the remaining 'blue and red only' section!! I'm now working on the black outer area. I have learned to let my mind go and the pieces fall into place better. I'm really enjoying putting this one together!
My in-laws were here for Christmas, as well as my Mother. They were all AMAZED by your work! My Father-in-law does some wood working himself (makes some furniture and picture frames as a hobby) but couldn't imagine how you cut these puzzles.
THANKS for another GREAT puzzle!!!!! I'll let you know when I finish it up.
Well, with another couple of hours work I've completed "The Attractor". It is a GREAT puzzle. Ron's muttering that it was too easy, but it was challenging without going over the line to overwhelmingly hard. I should make him put it together! Then I bet we'd hear a different tune. :-)
Heather - Valrico, FL
|The puzzle looks incredible! I am nervous even to touch it for fear of a stray fingerprint!
Seriously, I am thoroughly impressed by your work. You are indeed every bit the professional I sensed...indeed more so than I even imagined. The detail of the pieces and the colors looks amazing. I also loved the obvious care you took to leave faces intact and not separated by pieces. The horse pieces also are wonderful - such detail!
Again, my hat is off to you for your exemplary work! There is no doubt that I will recommend you to anyone seeking a unique and personal gift. You now have a roving advertiser here in the bay area. In fact, my brother in law is an avid photographer and is the kind of guy who would love a service like yours.
Steven - San Francisco, CA
|September 11, 2001
FIRST OF ALL MAY I WISH YOU HAPPY HOLIDAYS! AND THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE SEPT 11 PUZZLE ONCE AGAIN...
AND I'M PROUD TO SAY FINALLY TODAY, I PUT THE LAST PIECE IN! MY GOAL WAS TO HAVE IT DONE BEFORE MY COLLEGE SON RETURNED HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, AND HE FLIES IN NEXT THURSDAY! HE SAID I'D NEVER FINISH IT...... ( HE DID ASSIST IN PUTTING IN A FEW PIECES AT THE BEGINNING )...
YES IT WAS HARD, VERY HARD, BUT VERY REWARDING AS WELL... I CAN'T WAIT TO HAVE IT FRAMED AND PROUDLY DISPLAYED.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU & YOURS, AND GOD BLESS.
Susan - Hockley, TX
|Engagement Book Puzzle
We just wanted to thank you for creating a wonderful piece of history that we will always remember. Between Jen Forde's creativeness and your unbelievable talent and vision, we now have an amazing present that we will cherish forever! The unbelievable craftmanship and detail of our puzzle is outstanding. I never realized how meaningful a personalized gift could be. There was nothing more fun than reading messages from all of our friends and family, while putting together this puzzle. It was the best hour of quality time that I can remember. Thanks again for all of your hard work and professionalism. This is truly something that we will keep forever!
Jen & Gino - Yorktown Heights, NY
The puzzle came in the mail today and I couldn't wait to get it open and check out what it looked like. You did an amazing job and I want to say thank you for making such a cool and unique gift that will last forever! The figurals and the words look so great! The quality of the picture is very nice and I know Nathan will love it!! I might just have to give it to him early 'cause I can't wait! Well thank you again!
- - - - -
Nathan I and didn't make it until our actual anniversary to exchange gifts. We caved. I was too excited for him to see the puzzle that I gave in. He loved the gift so much just like I knew he would. He was so amazed with your work, just like I was. He loves the dragon you created for him. So thank you so much John! Everything in the puzzle is way more than I could have expected. Thanks for the memories!
Jewel + Nathan - Santa Maria/CA
|Wedding Book Puzzle
The puzzle was a _HUGE_ hit. We placed one piece at each person's setting with a brief note of instruction. They then had to sign the piece and assemble the puzzle for the secret message (our thank you). At one point, we had people 2-3 deep around the puzzle table. There were a few missing pieces for a while, but all the kids formed a hunting party and they turned up. It added to the character of the event.
Again, our thanks. It was a fabulous day and the puzzle was a huge hit. A few people took your info, they were that impressed with your work.
Howard - New York/Nova Scotia
|You have a fiendish and awesome talent and I'm sorry I haven't said so sooner (I've had computer/modem troubles, but I've had the puzzle for days without being able to easily communicate with you).
I don't know if I'll get the puzzle assembled in time to give it to my friend by Christmas! It's amazingly hard. I love it.
I hope I can provide you with referrals in the future. A custom puzzle is such a cool gift to be able to give somebody. I wish now that I'd asked for more really simple figural pieces, though! Although I still don't even have the heart-shaped figural entirely surrounded and how hard should it BE to find pieces that surround a heart?!
I hope you can tell this is a rave. Thank you, thank you.
Carol - Seattle, WA
|The Great London Puzzle
The size of the average piece is quite small. This is excellent. The quality of the cuts is astonishing, and I am VERY impressed. I did not think after #34, that you could do any better, but you have. The feel and smell of this puzzle as you first open the box is inspiring. The star attraction THE DOME [ed. note: a four piece figural], but I can only find two bloody bits!!! The 2 strip pieces fit perfectly, and frankly, I like this idea... Maybe on DALI we can expand this concept, but I suspect your MULTI-PIECE trick is such an idea. My eyes are peeled. I like the way you lined up the LINES with figurals and pieces The BE inside the BEE, is a very nice touch, as is the Man with [briefcase with the Transport logo on his bag. Obviously an employee. The greyhound is for White City Stadium, famous for racing, There is no Greyhound Bus Co. (here at least).
Fran - Herts U.K.
- - - - -
John's note .... Fran wrote a journal of his effort to assemble the Great London puzzle. It may be read on the Great London puzzle page.
|I just completed "Alaska - Mt. McKinley". It is WONDERFUL!!!! I really enjoyed putting it together! I admit that there were nights that I would close my eyes after working on the puzzle and still see the piece shapes. It was a challenge, but such FUN!
For future reference, I don't think you will want to go much smaller on the pieces. It seems like you would lose the ability to create the variety of connection shapes. This size though made for a great challenge. I didn't keep track of the time it took me to complete "Alaska". I do know that this week alone I spent 8-9 hours finishing it. Before that I had the bottom 1/2 - 2/3 complete.
Ron and I will be checking out your web site for our next challenge. We bid on your auction piece but lost out - I was too slow with the keyboard in the last seconds.
THANK YOU for creating such a GREAT puzzle!!
Heather - Florida
|[My First Scalloped Edge Puzzle with a very unique shape! -The beautiful K. Chin "Wait... I'll be right back..."]
After a busy week, I finally had the opportunity to put your puzzle together yesterday -- and it was tough waiting from Monday until Saturday! The puzzle was fantastic! It took me about 5 hours and 45 minutes. And no, I didn't have to pull any hairs out! [John Note: I joked that she should wear a hair net!] I did end up having a late dinner, though, since I had to finish the puzzle first before doing anything else! Good thing my husband is so understanding -- or maybe he just knows better than to interfere with a determined puzzler!
I especially like the mini-puzzles. What a neat idea! The color line cutting is superb! A few of my other favorite areas are the interlocking spirals that form the ball at the top of the carousel and the cutting around the eyes of the animals. And I love the unique, intriguing shapes of the aptly named "Creative" pieces. Of course, the treat pieces and figurals are a lot of fun, too.
I think the wavy border is a terrific addition to the puzzle. It seems to work very well with your curled cutting style, and helps disguise the corner pieces. In my opinion, not only does the wavy border add to the difficulty of the puzzle, but it also enhances the beauty of the puzzle.
The puzzle tightness is great! I picked the puzzle up and no pieces fell out. Even the mini-puzzles stayed in place pretty well. Another thing I'm really pleased with is the quality of the print -- the puzzle tracks have such nice, crisp, clean lines!
Overall, an outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable puzzle! Bravo!
Yvonne - Virginia
|[My First Framed Puzzle -The huge Martin Luther King commemoration puzzle]
The puzzle got here Friday morning, intact and looking wonderful!! FedEx did puncture the box in a couple places, but the inner packaging was done so well, the puzzle was undamaged. We were able to number the puzzle pieces and reassemble the puzzle in no time!! You received so many compliments on your skill at making such unique puzzle pieces! Our commemoration begins in about 1.5 hours, and thanks to your hard work, the puzzle is all set and ready to go!!
- - - - -
Many people commented on the quality of the puzzle and were very impressed. I printed your website homepage and placed it on the table next to the puzzle for a little advertisement!
You can bet if we need a puzzle for any other occasion, you will be the first person I contact! Thanks so much for everything, it's been great working with you and hopefully we can do it again (okay, maybe not the same size or with the frame next time)!!
Stephanie - Indiana
|[A large 14 piece Bat Mitzvah puzzle]
The puzzle arrived around lunch. I waited for Allison to come home from school and we opened it and put it together. It is nicer than anything I could have imagined.
It really is beautiful. We were all impressed by the shapes of the pieces. I was also worried about how easily the pieces would fit together as each person put on their piece, but I am no longer worried.
They fit together perfectly and easily. It does not appear that there was any warping during shipping. Great packing job. I know that you put a lot of work into this and we truly appreciate it. We plan on keeping it hidden from family and friends until her Bat Mitzvah.
Brenda - Georgia
|I was thrilled with the results of your work! When the puzzle arrived, I took a few minutes to look at the pieces before wrapping it for Christmas. I then teased my wife, Carolyn - Beattie being my nickname for her :-) - that she would be receiving the "best gift ever". As we are both Christmas lovers and impatient, you can imagine how this drove her curiosity to the edge. I must admit, I couldn't wait, and my constant boasting of the present to come drove Carolyn to accept my gift a few days in advance of the big day. She absolutely loves it. We're both fans of standard jigsaw puzzles, and seeing a handmade, wooden, custom puzzle from our wedding photos made it very special.
This puzzle was a lot of fun to put together, and I appreciate the care you took with packaging. The sturdy box and neat labels added to the quality of this puzzle.
Thanks for working so closely with me, from making sure you could deliver on time, to applying your creativity and craftsmanship, to "keeping the secret" by sending mail and the package from addresses that would not reveal a clue. Your cooperation and excitement surrounding this project is admired and appreciated.
Jim - Virginia
I had to put my two cents in on the puzzle to tell you how much I loved it! I'm quite the puzzle enthusiast and also a romantic so it was the perfect gift. As my husband Jim told you in his e-mail, he couldn't wait to give it to me and after opening it, I could see why. Thank you for sharing your talent and creativeness with us and for making my Holiday so enjoyable.
Carolyn - Virginia
|Extremely good was an understatement. The puzzle you made was the highlight of the party, and several folks remarked on the high-quality of the pieces and what fun the shapes were. We especially liked the fact that a couple of the corners were disguised, as opposed to being standard easy starting pieces, and that you cut around the faces, rather than severing heads. Very artfully done!
Thank you very much.
Parker - Virginia
|FINISHED ...What a satisfying puzzle. All in all about 8/9 hours... with the sky being a lot easier than the forest to assemble. Lots of tricks in there that throw you... as I go off looking for pieces that do no exist. I think you did deliver on the trick edges and corners, not that a few more would not be welcome, but to have more would detract from the puzzles integrity... so just right....
Fran - UK
|Just wanted you to know I received the puzzle in the mail today! It is perfect - thank you so much!
Kathi - Virginia
My sister Mary called and was excited half to death about what a wonderful job you did on the puzzle. Thank you.
David - Pennsylvania
|My boyfriend just loved the puzzle and he had it done in 4 hours! It turned out beautifully and he was so surprised! Thank you for making my Christmas such an easy one. Your work is just impeccable!
Nancy - California
|The puzzle is just gorgeous! The cutting is really amazingly smooth and I like the wood too -- those two dark layers in the middle make a really pretty puzzle piece. I quite liked the image and working with the swirl cut pieces. I would definitely buy another in that style. So when is the next one going up?
Jane - Washington
|She finished the owl puzzle this evening and it's beautiful - I just love it, both the artwork and the way you cut it! Timewise, it took her another hour or so to get to a point of being about 2/3 of the way done. Then she went and played with a friend for a while and came back to it later. On her third session of working on it she began to really get excited about it and to work quickly and intensely. I was sitting near her talking to my mom on the phone and she kept pointing to it and clapping silently (when the body was complete, when the eyes fit into place, when the whole puzzle was done). She's very proud of it and told me to leave it put together on the puzzle table until grandma comes home from the hospital so that she can see it.
Lynn - Delaware
|Thank you so much for the puzzle. Russell and I absolutely love it. You got it to us right on time. Russell was leaving to go out of town so we were doing so gift giving on the 19th. We wanted to give my mom her present with him there. She was so pleased with it. We put it together that night. It was really fun. She's interested in having some done herself now. Thanks again. What a great gift.
Jill - California
|D.J. really likes the puzzle !!! I thought it would be too hard for him (it was a little hard for me :-) ) but he does pretty well with it ... he likes the squiggly shapes & pretends they're things, like hooks and flags, and likes that his name is in it, and he also likes how you cut around things -- like the wheels and the head of the driver -- sometimes in unexpected ways.
Nice work !
Steffie - Louisiana
|Received the Owl puzzle today, what lovely pieces. It is hard to believe that you have only been at it for one year
Sydney - New York
Puzzle arrived today... it is beautiful.
Marcia - Minnesota
|I received the puzzle Saturday, and it's really nice. Even my husband admired the puzzle (and box), and he's not much of a puzzler. My only regret is that it didn't take me longer to complete the puzzle! You were right that the puzzle would probably need to be a lot bigger to really be hard to do. Guess I'll just have to take it apart and do it again. Thank you for a very enjoyable puzzle experience.
Yvonne - Virginia
© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster