How to Glue a Puzzle
Preserve your puzzle and enjoy it for years to come by gluing the pieces together and framing it.
Seeing the finished product after spending hours putting the pieces together over a puzzle table can feel quite rewarding. If you’re proud of all of your hard work and love the way your latest completed jigsaw puzzle looks, you can learn how to preserve a puzzle rather than taking it apart and putting it back in the box. You’ll be able to turn those puzzle pieces into a piece of art with some puzzle glue and a little bit of time. After following the below guide on how to glue a puzzle, you can proudly display it in your home.
Working Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 to 9 hours
Skill Level: Beginner
Estimated Cost: $45 to $100
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Before laying out all the materials you’ll need to glue your jigsaw puzzle, determine which type of puzzle glue you wish to use. Puzzle glue comes in a variety of forms, including liquids, powders, spray-ons, and adhesive sheets. Liquid puzzle glue can be the easiest to use because it doesn’t need to be mixed like powdered glues do. Furthermore, it’s easier to evenly coat a puzzle with liquid glue.
STEP 1: Place a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper under the completed puzzle.
Avoid a sticky mess and potentially ruining your table by preparing your work area before applying glue to the puzzle. Lay out a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper to prevent glue from dripping onto the table. Next, place or slide the completed puzzle, face up, over the wax or parchment paper. Check to confirm that the entire puzzle is over the paper and not directly touching the table.
STEP 2: Pour puzzle glue over the center of the puzzle and spread it around evenly.
When gluing a puzzle, you will want to first apply the glue to the front of the puzzle. We recommend using Mod Podge Puzzle Saver—a top pick in our researched guide to the best puzzle glues. If you’re wondering how to use puzzle glue, it is relatively simple. Pour the adhesive directly over the center of the puzzle. Then, spread the glue over the entire front of the puzzle using something thin and flat, such as a business card. Some adhesive bottles also include a brush that will help you ensure even coverage over the edges. When applying glue to a puzzle, take care not to use too much. The puzzle could start to peel or swell. If you do not have puzzle glue, regular Elmer’s glue can also work.
STEP 3: Leave the puzzle to dry for at least 4 hours.
Once you’ve finished applying the adhesive over the front of the puzzle, leave it out to dry for at least four hours. You want to ensure that a strong bond has formed before attempting to move the puzzle around. Moving it too soon could cause pieces to slip, ruining the finished product.
STEP 4: Glue the back of the puzzle for added support and to prevent curling.
If you notice that the puzzle has started to curl, or you just want to take extra measures to ensure that the puzzle pieces are strongly bound together, you can also glue the back of the puzzle. You’ll want to wait at least four hours after gluing the front of the puzzle to flip it over to prevent damaging the puzzle and make sure no glue seeps through. Then, apply jigsaw puzzle glue over the back of the puzzle using the same techniques used for the front. Wait an additional four hours before moving on to the next step.
STEP 5: Mount the puzzle on foam board or wax paper.
Before you can think about how to frame a puzzle, you will need to mount it onto something sturdy, such as foam board. Before mounting the puzzle, measure it. Then, cut the backing material. The backing material should be just a touch smaller than the puzzle to ensure the edges of the backing material aren’t visible. At the same time, however, you want to make sure that it is large enough to touch each piece of the puzzle.
Once the mounting board has been measured and cut, carefully turn the puzzle over so that the backside is showing. Then, apply craft glue to the back of the puzzle and center it over the board. Turn the assembled project upside down, and place books or other heavy items on top of it for at least 24 hours.
STEP 6: Frame the puzzle and hang it on the wall.
If desired, now is the time to grab the jigsaw puzzle frame you selected and frame the puzzle. Remember, the puzzle is thicker than a standard piece of photograph paper, so you’ll want to ensure that the frame you have is deep enough to accommodate the puzzle (and mounting material).
Once framed, you can move on to thinking about how to hang a puzzle. When framed, hanging a puzzle is just like hanging any other piece of artwork. Alternatively, if you’re wondering how to hang a puzzle without a frame, you could try double-sided adhesive strips designed for hanging pictures.
Learning how to glue a puzzle together can help you preserve favorite jigsaws and display them in your home. The steps shared above will help you use puzzle glue to preserve the hard work that goes into completing a puzzle. If you don’t have glue for puzzles, or would prefer not to use glue, puzzle tape is a great alternative to consider. Once your puzzle is glued or taped together, don’t forget a beautiful puzzle frame for proudly displaying the completed piece of art.
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