Handmade Wooden Jigsaw Puzzles and Toys

Massachusetts, United States

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Barbara Bitgood

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Barbara Bitgood


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About HolyokePuzzles

Sales 696
On Etsy since 2013

Making jigsaw puzzle art

Holyoke Puzzles grew out of Barbara Bitgood’s hobby of crafting unique hardwood puzzles for friends and family. As requests for custom puzzles started to come in, Barbara decided to turn her pastime into a business in 2013. Barbara designs, hand cuts and finishes each original wooden jigsaw puzzle in her home workshop.

Specializing in designs that stand up as sculptural works of art when assembled, she begins by hand drawing a pattern. Whether an animal, mythical beast, machine, building or landscape scene, Barbara carefully selects hardwoods that will enhance the design and give it texture and presence. Maple, oak, walnut, shedua, padauk, ash, poplar, bloodwood and purpleheart are just some of the materials that she works with. Barbara then hand cuts the puzzle on a scroll saw and individually sands each piece. Puzzles receive a non-toxic finish and whimsical touches, including crystal eyes and wire antennae. The challenge of working with new designs and materials keeps the creative process forever fresh and exciting.

Holyoke Puzzles’ product line includes simple child-friendly designs, puzzles to challenge adults, wedding guest book puzzles, event commemorations, and educational geographic puzzles. Barbara carefully sources her wood from reputable suppliers to ensure that it is sustainably harvested. She prefers non-toxic tung oil, mineral oil, and shellac finishes, ensuring that each puzzle has a beautiful finish to last for many years.

What sets Holyoke Puzzles apart?
★ Original designs. Each pattern was created by Barbara and can’t be found anywhere else. She can quickly create a custom design for you, as well.
★ Each puzzle is hand cut on a scroll saw by Barbara. No computer controlled machines here.
★ Every piece is individually sanded on all sides for a finish that is pleasing to the touch.
★ Made of quality hardwoods so they will last for years with heavy use.
★ Finished with non-toxic materials.
★ Sustainably sourced wood. Barbara cares about the world that we will leave for our children, so she only purchases wood from suppliers who meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards for sustainable forestry and importation practices.
★ Creative use of unusual materials such as crystal and jewelry wire to add spark and whimsy.
★ 100% commitment to making YOU happy!

Shop members

  • Barbara Bitgood

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    A native of Western Massachusetts, my big loves are my husband and kids, the French language and culture, woodworking, knitting, gardening, reading, singing, and mucking around online.

  • Sean Sumner


    Sean is also from Western Massachusetts and had the good fortune to go to school with Barbara and the even better sense to marry her. His favorite past times are playing video games and being sarcastic, not necessarily in that order.

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Jul 13, 2019
Frequently asked questions
Holiday Shipping

Products ordered from the "In Time For Christmas" section by December 15 will ship in time for delivery by December 24.

All standard orders with in the U.S. must be received by December 10 to guarantee delivery by December 24.

Custom orders must be requested by December 1 and paid for by December 10 to guarantee delivery by December 24.

I can make no guarantees on delivery dates for international orders.

How do I care for my puzzle with a Tung Oil or SafeCoat Oil finish?

Puzzles treated with Tung oil or SafeCoat Oil finishes can be dusted with a slightly damp cloth, but should not be submerged in water. A small amount of dish soap or other mild liquid detergent can be used on a damp cloth if the product becomes heavily soiled.

How do I care for my puzzle with a Mineral Oil finish?

Puzzles treated with Mineral oil can be washed by hand with dish soap and water as you would a salad bowl or cutting board. Do not leave submerged in water for extended periods. Allow to dry thoroughly before use or re-application of mineral oil.

Mineral oil finish should be reapplied periodically when the wood begins to look dry. Mineral oil is available at home improvement stores, pharmacies and some supermarkets. It is often labeled as "Cutting board oil." Apply the mineral oil liberally with a soft cloth or paper towel, or dip the pieces in the mineral oil. Allow the oil to soak in for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove excess with a soft cloth or paper towel.