The best puzzle glue transfigures a pile of separate pieces into a one-piece work of art, suitable for hanging on a wall or propping on a shelf. A completed jigsaw puzzle represents hours of family fun or individual effort. When the last piece is finally wedged into its place, puzzlers enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. To commemorate this achievement, puzzle enthusiasts may want to glue the puzzle together, capturing its finalized beauty along with memories of the handiwork that went into solving it.
For best results, a puzzle glue should provide protection and rigidity, holding a puzzle together for display on a backer board or in a frame. Additionally, users want a product that is easy to apply, nontoxic, and simple to clean up. Read on for ideas about how to glue a puzzle together along with recommendations for reliable choices in puzzle glues.
- BEST OVERALL: MasterPieces Accessories, Jigsaw Puzzle Glue
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Mod Podge Puzzle Saver
- BEST MATTE FINISH: Jigsaw Puzzle Glue by Springbok
- BEST PEEL-AND-STICK: EuroGraphics Smart Puzzle Glue Sheets
- BEST WIDE ADHESIVE SHEETS: Puzzle Presto! Peel & Stick Puzzle Saver
- BEST MULTIPURPOSE: Plaid Mod Podge, Matte
- BEST QUICK-DRYING: LPF Jigsaw Puzzle Glue with Applicator
- BEST FOR KIDS: PuzzleWorx Easy-On Applicator Puzzle Glue
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Puzzle Glue
When selecting a glue that’s formulated for protecting, preserving, and displaying a completed jigsaw puzzle, shoppers may consider several factors. The puzzle glue should be easy to apply, resulting in a smooth finish devoid of streaks and imperfections. Additionally, it should be safe and nontoxic as well as strong enough to hold the puzzle together over time. Ahead, discover important considerations for choosing the most suitable puzzle-saver product.
Ease of Use
Various types of glue for puzzles are available in liquid form with brush applicators, foam brush applicators, or plastic spreaders. Application methods include pouring the liquid glue onto completed puzzles and spreading it evenly over the surface as well as brushing on the glue. Whether using a spatula-type spreader, a foam brush, or a bristle brush, users should try to create a smooth, even coating over every piece of the puzzle, allowing the liquid to seep into the crevices between puzzle pieces.
Some puzzle enthusiasts might prefer the peel-and-stick option where adhesive plastic sheets are applied to the back of the finished puzzle. These are easy to use and less messy than liquid glues. However, the plastic sheets do not provide a protective seal on the front surface of the puzzle. Many puzzlers prefer the finished look offered by a liquid glue and sealer.
Puzzlers launch their puzzle-saver projects with the goal in mind of preserving mementos of the time and effort they invest in solving jigsaw puzzles. After hours of meticulous scrutiny and logical thinking, they produce a finished product worthy of pride. For this reason, puzzle enthusiasts search for puzzle glues with sufficient adhesive strength to preserve their puzzles over time.
Specific products that are offered by reputable companies as glue for puzzles exhibit the requisite strength to hold puzzles together for display. These special glues are formulated for this purpose, and they work better than homemade products or everyday glues that one might use for paper and small repair tasks.
Cleanup and Dry Time
Although many users prefer liquid puzzle glues to peel-and-stick sheets, there’s no denying that the gluing process can be messy. The glue seeps down into the crevices between the puzzle pieces, which facilitates the formation of rigidity as the glue dries. The downside is that the work surface becomes sticky from the glue. For easy cleanup, users may place their puzzles on newspaper, cardboard, plastic trash bags, or similar coverings for work surfaces. Additionally, shoppers might look for water-based puzzle glues that clean up with soap and water.
Drying times vary among puzzle glues. Each manufacturer labels its products with drying times. Even when the glue is dry to the touch, users might add extra drying time before handling their puzzles.
Crafters and artisans exert caution when selecting various types of glue for their projects. It is possible for the chemicals in glues to emit toxic fumes into the air. Puzzle glues do not appear to contain harmful chemicals in the way that some epoxy products do. However, shoppers should follow the age recommendations for the puzzle glues listed in this guide. Several products may be suitable for teens and adults, and one is safe for children as young as age 8.
To assure shoppers, several puzzle-glue manufacturers mention 100 percent nontoxicity and safety. Additionally, a manufacturer’s statement that a product complies with Standard D-42436 from ASTM International offers peace of mind for users.
Our Top Picks
The puzzle glues that made it into the Top Picks list demonstrate reliable results to hold completed puzzles together for display. They’re manufactured by reputable companies and meet requirements for value, ease of use, safety, and effectiveness. Ahead, discover the best puzzle glue to create wall art from a jigsaw puzzle.
Consisting of two 5-ounce containers of liquid puzzle glue along with a straight-edge plastic spreader, this two-pack from MasterPieces provides quality and value. Pour the liquid glue over a completed puzzle and use the included spreader to smooth it out, providing even coverage for all the pieces.
Apply the glue within a 20- to 30-minute window to spread it evenly before it begins to thicken. It dries to a clear, no-streak finish. Allow a minimum of 3 hours of drying time, but leave the puzzle untouched for a full day to ensure it’s completely dry before handling.
MasterPieces Puzzle Company was founded in 1995 by David Rolls, a former professional baseball player for the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. Today, the company is known as MasterPieces Inc., and it’s a well-known source, featuring an enormous array of jigsaw puzzles, puzzle accessories, games, and more.
- Volume: Two-pack of 5 fluid ounces each; total of 10 fluid ounces
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Recommended age: 14 and up
- Two-pack provides value at a reasonable price
- Dries to a transparent, streak-free finish
- Includes a spreader tool
- Spreading the glue can be messy
Preserve and display a gorgeous, completed jigsaw puzzle using a trusted product, available at a price that’s easy on the wallet. Plaid Mod Podge Puzzle Saver is an all-in-one water-based glue and sealer that creates a permanent finish for displaying puzzles.
Brush on this puzzle-saving product with a sponge brush, and spread it out evenly over the entire surface. Although it goes on white, Mod Podge dries to a clear, glossy finish. With its quick-drying formula, the puzzle saver allows users to easily apply multiple coats. This technique builds up layers of Mod Podge to create interesting, textured finishes on completed puzzles. For added value, Mod Podge Puzzle Saver cleans up with soap and water.
Since 1976, Mod Podge and other products from the Plain brand have been trusted staples in craft rooms, schools, and art studios. The company is dedicated to inspiring creativity by providing high-quality and nontoxic art and craft supplies.
- Volume: 8 fluid ounces
- Weight: 5.9 ounces
- Recommended age: Teens and adults
- Dries to a clear, glossy finish
- Multipurpose; may be used for diverse decoupage projects
- Easy cleanup with soap and water
- Need to apply rapidly to avoid uneven drying
- Does not come with a tool unless purchasing the set
Springbok Jigsaw Puzzle Glue yields a smooth, stiff, matte finish that elevates a completed puzzle to a piece of art, suitable for home decor. It’s formulated with a specialized nontoxic adhesive that laminates and permanently preserves completed jigsaw puzzles. The 4-ounce bottle contains enough adhesive to create one rigid, framable piece from a 1,000-piece puzzle.
This puzzle glue features a built-in applicator brush, attached inside the cap. Simply start in one corner and proceed to coat the entire top surface of the completed puzzle, allowing the puzzle glue to seep into the cracks. For a more rigid final piece, flip the dried puzzle over and apply a second coat to the back side.
Founded in 1963 by Robert and Katie Lewin, Springbok Editions is well known to avid puzzlers. Their circular and octagonal puzzles have been widely popular for many years.
- Volume: 4 fluid ounces
- Weight: 8 ounces
- Recommended age: Adult
- Built-in applicator brush
- One coat yields rigid results
- Matte finish eliminates light reflection, which might obscure the image
- Glue seeps through, so surface underneath puzzle needs protection
After completing a jigsaw puzzle, apply Smart Puzzle Glue Sheets to the back, forming an adhesive bond that holds the pieces together for display. The process is less messy than applying liquid glue, and there’s no drying time.
When the puzzle is fully assembled, sandwich it between two pieces of cardboard, and flip it over on the work surface. Lay out Smart Puzzle 7-by-10-inch glue sheets to determine how many will be needed to cover the puzzle’s back surface. The sheets may overlap but should not extend beyond the puzzle edges.
Next, peel the paper from the adhesive-coated, clear plastic sheets and adhere them to the puzzle’s back surface. Use a rolling pin across the entire surface to smooth the sheets and ensure strong adhesion. Then, use the included hangers to display the puzzle on a wall.
- Dimensions: 8 sheets, each measuring 7 by 10 inches
- Weight: 1.6 ounces
- Recommended age: 13 and up
- Less messy than liquid glues
- No drying time
- Quicker process than applying puzzle glue
- Includes two adhesive hangers
- Air bubbles may form beneath the plastic surface
- Plastic sheets might fold or wrinkle during application
- Flipping the puzzle over might be tricky
Show off the results of hours of diligent work on a large puzzle with Puzzle Presto! puzzle-saving adhesive sheets. After completion, carefully slide the puzzle onto a piece of cardboard. Place a second piece of cardboard on top, and flip the entire puzzle upside down. Apply the puzzle glue sheets to the back of the puzzle.
Each sheet covers a 7½-by-15-inch section of the puzzle. When the entire back surface is covered with adhesive sheets, smooth them out with a rolling pin. Then, the puzzle is ready to hang for display.
With Puzzle Presto! peel-and-stick adhesive sheets, the front surface of the puzzle remains untouched. The original images and colors are clearly visible with no streaking, bubbles, or discoloration.
- Dimensions: 6 sheets, each measuring 15 by 7½ inches
- Weight: 4.8 ounces
- Recommended age: Adult
- Extra-wide sheets for large puzzles
- No messy glue
- Quick and convenient with no drying time
- Requires flipping the finished puzzle over to expose back side
- Care needed to avoid wrinkling the adhesive sheets
- The front side of the puzzle is not protected
Plaid is a well-known and well-respected brand among crafters, and Mod Podge is found in the supply stashes of those who enjoy multiple types of crafting activities. In addition to using for decoupage projects, users can apply Mod Podge to jigsaw puzzles to preserve and protect the completed masterpieces.
Users report that the matte finish resulting from Mod Podge Matte provides the optimal protective layer for completed puzzles. Light does not reflect off the surface to obscure the image, as might occur with high-gloss finishes.
Apply Mod Podge Matte with a foam brush (not included) over the entire top surface of the puzzle. It appears white but dries to a clear finish. Additionally, Mod Podge Matte is water-based, nontoxic, and easy to clean up with mild soap and water. It dries quickly and works well for building up layers to provide texture.
- Volume: 16 fluid ounces
- Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Recommended age: Teens and adults
- May be used for many decoupage projects
- Matte finish does not reflect light
- Well-known and well-respected brand
- Need to coat front and back of puzzle for best results
- Edges may curl up when the medium is applied
- The dried finish is not waterproof
Avid puzzlers will find this puzzle glue easy to apply with the included reusable applicator. It dries quickly to a clear and bright finish. After only 2 hours, the puzzle holds together when lifted. While it laminates and preserves the puzzle, this puzzle glue lends a sheen to the coated surface.
To hang a puzzle without a frame, apply this puzzle glue to both the front and back surfaces. Allow drying time before flipping the puzzle over.
This jigsaw glue is made by Cra-Z-Art, a Rosen family–owned business descended from the original Rosebud Art Company (founded in 1923). Their jigsaw puzzle glue exhibits the same high quality as multiple art and craft products that have kept the New Jersey company in business for a century.
- Volume: 4.5 fluid ounces
- Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Recommended age: Kids, youth, adults
- Dries to a clear, hard finish
- Quick drying
- Manufactured by a company with a well-respected history
- Finish has a sheen
- Glue spreads on clear; hard to see where it’s been applied
- Shiny finish may reflect light, obscuring the image
Children love to work on jigsaw puzzles, and laminating a completed puzzle for display can be a fun project for kids. However, parents and caregivers are concerned about choosing the materials their children will be exposed to. Careful adults can rest assured that PuzzleWorx puzzle saver is safe and 100 percent nontoxic. It conforms to Standard D-42436 set forth by ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials).
Each of the 4.2-ounce bottles in this two-pack holds enough puzzle glue to coat and seal a 1,000-piece puzzle. The included glue spatula facilitates application with minimal streaking. Place a large plastic trash bag, piece of cardboard, or tablecloth under the finished puzzle on a tabletop. Apply the puzzle glue to the front of the puzzle and let it dry for 1 or 2 hours. To create a sturdy and rigid final product, flip the puzzle over and apply the puzzle saver to the back side too.
- Volume: Two-pack of 4.2 fluid ounces each; total of 8.4 fluid ounces
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Recommended age: 8 and up
- Quick drying
- Included applicator
- Conforms to ASTM Standard D-42436
- Choking hazard for children under 3 years
- Not for children under age 8
MasterPieces Puzzle Glue is an overall winner for quality and dependable results, as it’s easy to apply and dries to a clear, no-streak finish. For a wallet-friendly choice that’s manufactured by a leading brand, Mod Podge Puzzle Saver delivers quality and value.
How We Chose the Best Puzzle Glues
After researching the most successful methods for laminating and preserving finished jigsaw puzzles for display, we read numerous buyers’ guides recommending various types of glue for puzzles. Then, we read the product descriptions for approximately a dozen puzzle glues. We looked for products that are safe and nontoxic, considering the age recommendations for users. Additionally, we looked for products that yield attractive results, creating sturdy and rigid artworks from completed jigsaw puzzles.
Although there appears to be consensus among users that liquid glue provides optimal results, we did consider several peel-and-stick products for applying clear adhesive plastic sheets to puzzle surfaces. Two of these products made it into our Top Picks list. Our other picks fall into the category of liquid glue that is brushed on or poured on and spread with a spatula or similar tool. We considered the value of puzzle glues with included brushes or applicator tools.
When you’ve completed a difficult jigsaw puzzle with an intriguing image, you may want to preserve it as a decorative piece of art. After discovering the best puzzle glue for the project, you’re ready to get started. Still, you may have a few questions. Ahead, find the answers to frequently asked questions from puzzle glue users.
Q. How do I glue and display a finished puzzle?
Working on a protected tabletop, pour or brush the liquid puzzle glue over the entire front surface, spread evenly, and allow to dry for the recommended time. For extra rigidity and reinforcement, flip the puzzle over and repeat the process on the back side.
Q. Do I need to wear gloves during application?
Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the label of your puzzle glue. Most puzzle-saver products do not require gloves during application.
Q. How long can I preserve a puzzle set using glue?
If the puzzle is glued together with a high-quality puzzle glue, mounted on a backer board, and framed, it should last for years.