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How to Frame a Puzzle (2022) All You Need to Know
- by Sara Peterson
- June 29, 2021
- 3 min read
Assembling puzzles provide people entertainment, thrill, and fulfillment. Hanging that exquisite design, unique painting, or your favorite iconic person and place gives you an ecstatic sense of accomplishment, right?
However, it is also important that you know how to frame a puzzle without damaging it. Well, you just got lucky because we’ve got the inside scoop.
5 Steps to Framing a Puzzle
1. Finish Your Puzzle & Flatten the Pieces
Of course, the first step in framing a jigsaw puzzle is to finish assembling it. After doing so, you will also have to flatten the pieces together to fit perfectly into the frame.
Sometimes, your favorite puzzles may have a few stray pieces that pop out of place. You may opt to press them down, which is possible. However, you can use a rolling pin to make your whole puzzle stay flat and make it look great while hanging on your wall.
2. Clean the Surface
Remember to ensure that the surface of the finished product is spotless before starting to apply glue. The surface of the puzzle should be free of dust or any unwanted scrap. This process will help you in making framed puzzles look pristine when you hang them.
3. Apply Glue to the Puzzle
The puzzle glue method is the best way to ensure that your puzzle stays together permanently. The glue will also ensure that the puzzle will not have any part that would fall apart. We also suggest using a piece of thin plastic, parchment, or wax paper underneath your puzzle before putting the puzzle glue. You may use a puzzle adhesive like the mod podge, any heat-sensitive adhesive, or a puzzle saver in framing the entire thing.
Parchment paper is treated with silicone, so it is non-stick; it is also heatproof and grease-resistant. [ 1 ] These materials will prevent the puzzle from adhering so you can carefully transfer it to the frame. You may use a piece of cardboard or any card with a straight edge to get rid of the excess glue.
4. Let the Puzzle Dry
Next, you’ll have to wait until the puzzle is fully dried. You might need to wait until at least 20 minutes to let a single coat dry up and make it stay intact pretty solid.
However, you may also opt to add another coat if you prefer, just make sure it stays flat and perfectly glued. We also suggest waiting for at least an hour before finally framing it. It is still best to wait a little bit longer until it totally dries off.
5. Find the Right Frame
The fun part is, you could choose from various puzzle frames, so it is equally necessary to find the best frame with the correct size. You wouldn’t want to buy a frame that is too large for your puzzles.
It would be a hassle to use double-sided packing tape just to keep your puzzles centered in the frame. You may also slide a poster board or a foam board for extra support or even add matting to it. After doing so, you can now hang your puzzle on the wall. Then, you can buy puzzles to assemble and frame next.
Can you frame a puzzle without gluing it?
Yes, you can frame a jigsaw puzzle with no glue on it. For example, you may choose to use clear box frames to put your finished puzzle without glue. These frames can be easily found in a craft store or frame shop, so you shouldn’t really worry about where to find them. Dry mounting your puzzles is also possible.
What should I put under a puzzle to glue it?
You may use cover materials such as parchment or wax paper at the back of the puzzle to glue it. The puzzle pieces could stick to the table or any surface, which might ruin the whole piece.
Time to Display Your Puzzle!
It is always fulfilling to show something that displays your hard work and perseverance.
Hanging a framed puzzle is somewhat different from hanging any other art or normal photo/regular photo frame. Its weight is probably a bit heftier. Therefore, knowing how to do the proper procedure of framing puzzles is a must.
If, in any case, you are looking for adult jigsaw puzzles or 1000-piece puzzles to work on, check this out. You should see a wide array of choices that could fuel your superfan meter in a snap.
The upside to spending so much time indoors? We have more opportunities to test out new hobbies and crafts—like puzzles. And while a 1,000-piece jigsaw can feel like a daunting, complex undertaking if you're not familiar with the pastime, putting one together is actually a meditative craft that can even result in a piece of art, something you can hang in your home forever. At least that's how Rachel Hochhauser, the co-founder of Brooklyn-based company Piecework Puzzles, feels about it. "We find puzzles to be a calming—and often communal—experience worth commemorating," she explains.
Approaching the project with the intention of gluing and framing it also eliminates that impending dread of having to break up a ton of hard work. As for the best types of puzzles to frame? Look for options, like Piecework's "Life of the Party" ($36, pieceworkpuzzles.com) and "Forbidden Fruit" ($36, pieceworkpuzzles.com), which have plenty of negative space, says Hochhauser—but it's more important to choose something you love. "We like to think all [puzzles] are frame-worthy!" she shares. "But when the image depicts a scene you'd gravitate towards anyway, why not frame a piece of art you had a hand in creating?" Ahead, Hochhauser shares her best tips for gluing and framing your final product.
Complete the puzzle first—don’t glue as you go.
"We encourage people to look at puzzles as experiences," Hochhauser explains. "It's about fitting something together by hand, working it through, piece by piece—instead of the outcome." And sometimes, when you're especially proud of the work you've completed, "the act of gluing the puzzle can become an extension of the activity." However, Hochhauser doesn't recommend gluing each piece down one by one, since that disrupts the fun nature of working on puzzles in the first place.
Protect your surfaces before you begin building.
Your process should look like this: "Start by building the puzzle the same way you usually would," with the pieces face up, Hochhauser notes. "But do it on a surface you don't mind getting a little glue on. A big piece of cardboard or foam board works well. You can also use sheets of wax paper for ease and flexibility." Once you've completed your puzzle, make sure it's as flat as possible. "Press it down with books or use a rolling pin," she suggests. Then, brush any dust off the surface.
Choose your glue wisely.
After your puzzle is nice and flat, it's time to glue it down—and some formulas work better than others: "We prefer liquid glue as an adhesive; Mod Podge ($4.99, target.com) is a good standby, but does have a shinier finish," notes Hochhauser. When you're ready to begin gluing, "start on one edge and work glue onto the puzzle, covering the top and making sure it gets into all of the cracks. You can use a regular brush, but a small piece of stiff cardboard or old credit card can also work well to prevent pooling and excess," she explains.
Make sure the puzzle is completely dry before you frame it.
Your glued puzzle should dry overnight, or even longer if needed. "From here, you can either use a spray adhesive to mount it on an appropriately-sized foam board, or, if you're careful, put it directly into a frame," Hochhauser says. "We like to treat puzzles like you would any other piece of art—consider matting it and using a frame that complements the imagery."
After completing a puzzle, many people like to frame their hard work for display. There are many ways to do this. Take a look below at a few ways to frame your masterpiece.
Transport Your Puzzle to a Local Craft Store or Framer
Before taking your jigsaw puzzle off the kitchen table, make sure that it is glued first. If you aren't sure how to glue your puzzle you can follow the instructions on our article here. After your masterpiece has successfully been glued, sandwich the puzzle between two pieces of cardboard or use one of our many storage options available here. Make sure it stays covered during transport to avoid any damage to the image. Once you've gotten to the store, the framing department can put the puzzle into the frame for you. The last step is to hang it on the wall for everyone to see!
Frame Your Jigsaw Puzzle Yourself
Before actually framing your masterpiece, we recommend dry-mounting (adhered to a thick piece of sturdy foam board) to preserve the puzzle seamlessly and ensure that no pieces fall out. Depending on the size, this could cost up to $15 at your local craft store. After creating a sturdy back for the puzzle, you can find the frame that fits the size of your masterpiece and display it on your wall.
Ideally, puzzles should be covered with glass or a transparent plastic sheet inside of the frame. The covering will protect the puzzle from not only fingerprints, but scratches as well. The covering will help secure the puzzle from collapsing or bowing within the frame as well as keep the puzzle colors looking vibrant for years without fading.
Finding the best puzzle frame can be difficult, but Puzzle Warehouse has made it easy for you. We sell several puzzle frames made specifically for 500 and 1000 piece puzzles. Once the puzzle is framed, it will look great and last a long time so you can show your friends what you have accomplished!
After framing your favorite jigsaw puzzle, share it with us (and the world!) by posting it on social media. Tag us @PuzzleWarehouse and use the hashtag #PuzzleWarehousePuzzle so we can congratulate you on your accomplishment!
Jigsaw puzzles are so much fun to assemble and whether you choose to keep it together or break it apart and place back into the box is a personal choice. If you’ve decided to frame your puzzle but don’t want to add any type of glue material, here are some quick tips on how to keep your puzzle together without the worry or mess of glue. Let’s get started.
Assemble your puzzle on a cookie sheet or a piece of cardboard the that extends a few inches past the actual fit of the puzzle. The cardboard should be sturdy, as you will need to flip the puzzle over. Also, an extra set of hands can make all the difference between success and a mess. It’s very important to be sure that the back of the puzzle is showing and the pretty part is facing down.
With the back of the puzzle facing up, gather some packing tape that’s wide, such as duct tape or wide painters tape. I suggest that you use packing tape that is 2 inches wide or a bit wider.
Carefully place the tape across the puzzle going across rows so that the entire back of the puzzle is covered with tape. Trim to the edges of the puzzle and then flip the puzzle over. At this point, it’s safe to move the puzzle carefully.
Step 3. (Optional)
This step is completely optional. If you would like a firmer backing for your puzzle, you can purchase some poster board from your local craft or stationery store.
NOT FRAMING: Poster Board is inexpensive and will provide a firmer backing if you do not intend to frame the puzzle. This will come in handy when you are hanging your masterpiece. Simply cut the poster board to size and attach the puzzle to the posterboard with double-sided tape.
FRAMING: If you intend on framing the puzzle you might want to skip this step. Adding poster board to the backing might render the puzzle too thick for the frame.
If you are looking at placing the puzzle on a wall, please be mindful of the sunshine and room conditions that may have a negative effect on your puzzle. Keep out of direct sunlight and away from areas that are moist, such as near a bathroom, kitchen or patio area. Moisture is not a friend of puzzles so you might not want to hang your masterpiece in a sauna or steamy bathroom.
I hope that you enjoy your puzzle and would love to see your completed project. Send us your photos and let us know how the process went.
We love framing accomplishments and puzzles are no small feat. Maybe it’s the 1,000 piece mammoth-of-a-jigsaw you and your siblings would do every summer when it rained on vacation. Or it’s a simpler set that was your daughter’s favorite when she was a toddler. Whatever the puzzle, there should be nothing puzzling about framing them.
Framebridge makes framing puzzles easy and affordable. And we don’t just frame them, we do it with the same care and pride that it took you to assemble your favorite puzzles.
From Sarah N. in Mercer, black frame.
How to Frame a Puzzle
Framing puzzles is a growing trend. Assemble the puzzle and ensure it stays together with an adhesive like glue, a “puzzle saver” sheet or even tape. Measure your puzzle to ensure its dimensions as a finished product. Choose a frame that can support float mounting (it has to be under ½” thick for the puzzle to fit).
We’ll take care of the rest!
How to Send in a Puzzle
Follow these easy steps, and before you know it, we’ll deliver your puzzle right to your door—framed and ready to hang.
1. Assemble your puzzle (we’d never rob you of this joy!).
2. Make sure the puzzle stays together using adhesive. Glue works best, but there are other techniques like sticky “Puzzle Saver” paper, or in some cases, even tape (though we recommend glue).
4. We’ll send you a prepaid flat mailer—send your puzzle back to us in that packaging!
5. We send you the framed puzzle, ready to hang on your wall.
What are the best puzzle frames?
It is possible to frame a puzzle in any frame that supports float mounting. Some of our favorite puzzle frames include the Irvine Slim white frame, Mercer Slim black frame, Sonoma wood frame, or Providence, black and gold frame.
From Jessica J. in Mercer Slim, black frame.
Is My Puzzle Too Big?
We can frame any puzzle up to 32”x40”. You’re probably still working on anything bigger than that.
The best puzzles out there.
The unassembled pieces strewn about on the floor and waiting for assembly is inspiring. So is the finished product, framed and ready for your hard work to be admired. Here is a list of our favorite places to buy puzzles:
Puzzles aren’t going out of style anytime soon (see more of our favorites). And framing them is almost as fun as creating them. But if something is still puzzling you, Our designers will be happy to help.
If you’re a jigsaw puzzle lover, chances are you’ll occasionally work a puzzle that you’ll want to keep and frame. I completed one a couple of weeks ago that I knew from the beginning I would want to keep and possibly frame for sentimental reasons. Nancy Drew and I were best buds when I was around 8-11 years old. I wanted to to be just like her when I grew up! 😉
I’ve never framed a puzzle so I did a bit of Googling to see what the process is for framing one. Almost all the information I found online suggested using various glue-type products that were applied by pouring the glue right over the top of the puzzle. Yikes!
Yes, that works and it will hold a puzzle together for framing, but all the tutorials I found said that it also changed the appearance of the puzzle, sometimes giving it a mat finish. Plus, it’s super messy and sticky! Not wanting to change the appearance of my puzzle, I searched a bit more to see if there were any other alternatives.
and ordered a couple of packages. I ordered the size that is supposed to work for a 1,000 piece puzzle since that’s the size of the Nancy Drew puzzle, as well as most of the puzzles I typically buy.
Here’s how the peel and stick pieces looked out of the package. (See picture below) There are instructions on the back of each piece and they are excellent. The process is so unbelievably easy, you hardly need instructions.
The first step in this process is turning your puzzle over. I always assembled my puzzles on a puzzle board that came with a hardcover, so that makes the process of turning the puzzle over pretty easy. (See the puzzleboard I use here: Puzzleboard.)
If you assembled your puzzle on a table or a similar surface, you’ll probably need to slide your puzzle onto a very hard, flat piece of cardboard, then place another hard piece of cardboard on top in order to flip/turn your puzzle.
I find some puzzle pieces interlock so well together, you can sometimes slide your fingers up under the top/side edges and left the puzzle up vertically to move it, but not all puzzles are that “tight” once assembled.
Before peeling off the backing on the sticky sheets, it’s a good idea to experiment around to see which way you want to apply them. At first I thought I’d apply them this way, but there was so much overlap, I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. It turns out, that would have worked fine. Having a larger overlap doesn’t matter at all.
I ultimately decided to place them on the back of the puzzle this way, starting in the left corner and working my way across the puzzle. One thing I loved, when you apply the sheets, there is no need to worry about a bubble or anything like that getting trapped under the paper. The sheets go down super easy and smooth. This process was so easy, it’s almost scary!
As you apply each sheet, you overlap it onto the previous sheet by about 1/2 inch. As mentioned, it’s okay if it overlaps more than a 1/2 inch.
The directions warn you to not extend the adhesive sheets over the edge of the puzzle. Instead, you want to keep the edges of the adhesive sheets about 1/8 of an inch away from the puzzle edges. Again, this was easy, not a problem.
Here’s where I placed the last two sheets…they went across the bottom. (I took this picture below just before peeling off the back protective sheet that has the instructions.)
Once you have the adhesive sheets in place and smoothed out, the directions suggest you use a rolling-pin to completely smooth everything out. They recommend you apply firm pressure to ensure all the puzzle pieces are pressed well down onto the adhesive paper. I was especially careful around all the edges, making sure those were pressed down and well attached.
Once the rolling is done which takes like 45 seconds, the directions recommend you wait a few hours before lifting the puzzle up. That gives the adhesive sheets time to do their magic and create a strong bond.
This whole process from start to finish took about 15 minutes at the most, and that included stopping to read directions a bunch. I could probably do it in about 10 minutes now that I know how it works. It’s so easy!
The puzzle saver came with an adhesive hanger but I didn’t use that since I plan to frame this puzzle. I’ll most likely use an inexpensive poster-type frame for it.
You know your puzzle is stuck well when you can do this! 🙂 I’m very happy with how the Puzzle Presto Peel and Stick Puzzle Saver
worked. I also love that the puzzle still looks exactly the same as it did before, something you don’t usually see when using the glue method. Will definitely be using this system again if I ever decide to save another puzzle for framing.
This puzzle Peel and Stick saver is available here: Puzzle Presto Peel and Stick Puzzle Saver. If you’re a Nancy Drew fan, the puzzle is available here: Nancy Drew Puzzle
You’ll find the puzzle board I love to use when working my puzzles here: Puzzle Board It really saves my back and will hold puzzles up to 1,000 pieces in size. Plus, it makes flipping a puzzle for framing very easy since it comes with a hard cover that fits on top over the puzzle to keep the puzzle free from dust when you’re not working on it.
Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.
Pssst…It’s also time for May’s Thrifty Style Team post, so be sure to check out all the other great ideas my blog friends have for you at the end of this post!
While we’ve been stuck at home, one of the best ways for us to pass the time has been working jigsaw puzzles. I found these vintage poster puzzles titled “The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden.
There were four in the series- Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. The puzzles feature different flowers, birds, bees, and butterflies for each season, painted in watercolors by the British artist Edith Holden around 1906.
Here is a closer look at all of the puzzles in this set.
Shop for your own puzzles:
I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.
Y’all know that I’ve been a fan of old-lady style decorating since way before the term “grandmillennial style” was ever invented, and these beautiful vintage botanical prints called to me. I HAD to get them.
Let me just say that these were THE HARDEST puzzled I have ever assembled. My mom and I started working on these things back in November, and it’s taken me six months to get them all completed. The amount of green and beige pieces makes them super confusing to figure out.
Separating them out into similar colors helps, but wow they were frustrating to figure out! So, once I got them assembled I knew that I NEVER wanted to have to work these puzzles again. Framing them was an easy choice for me.
How to Frame a Puzzle without Glue
I made this video to show you how I framed these puzzles without using anyone puzzle glue, but the short answer is this– USE TAPE!
A lot of people use Mod Podge on their puzzles, but I didn’t want to wait on all the glue to dry and make a huge mess.
My friend Susan at Between Naps on the Porch has a post all about how to use Puzzle Presto Peel and Stick Sheets, so check out her review if you need more info about that.
Instead, I used packing tape! Just a single layer of tape over the entire back of the puzzle, and I was able to easily flip it over and maneuver it around to get it in the frame.
Watch The How-To Video Here:
It’s time for Thrifty Style Team!
Head on over and see what all my Thrifty Style Team friends have made for you this month! Visit their blogs here:
One question we continually get asked is “Do you frame the puzzles”? The answer is YES WE DO!
If you are a Newcastle local and are wanting to frame your completed puzzle here is what you need to do.
Make sure that the puzzle is on a firm piece of board. Carefully place it in the boot of your car or on the back seat with something weighted on top, like a towel or blanket (to reduce the risk of it sliding about)
We will carefully glue your puzzle from the back, cut a custom white 3cm matt to boarder your jigsaw puzzle and Mitch will personally sign the bottom right corner. You have a selection of three frames to choose from ( Oak, White & Black) Puzzles framing generally takes 1-2 weeks and the cost is $250.00
If you have any further questions regarding our jigsaw puzzles & framing please contact us via the button below or give us a call on 0240480299
Most of the information I find on Google suggests to pour glue on the FRONT of the puzzle, which just seems psychotic to me. Even after drying, I feel like a thin film of dried glue would provide the perfect utopia for dust particles.
In the past, I have attempted to glue puzzles to foam boards or thick poster boards. Even when placing weights on top, the board eventually warps. Maybe I need to try a thin wooden board, but I feel like that would warp too.
So, I’m thinking something as permanent and irreversible as glue may not be my preferred option. Ideally I’d like to just custom-order a frame and slide the completed puzzle into the frame. Had anyone tried this? Is there “wiggle room” between the puzzle and the glass, which could result in sections of the puzzle disconnecting?
i have glued countless puzzles and i assure you that pouring the glue on the front is no problem whatsoever, and has no incidence on the amount of dust collected by the puzzle (if you use puzzle glue, of course!) 😉 I like to glue both the front and the back so they are extra solid. i never buy frames because they somehow never are available in the right size lol so i just glue them to 1/8" MDF that i have cut in the exact right size afterwards. i use hot glue for that part, so i don't have to put any weight or pressure on it. but i'm kind of a diy girl and like making stuff myself so it can exactly match what i'm looking for. the simplest solution is to turn your puzzle over and stick contact paper sheets of some sort to the back. and then buy a frame that's the right size, and you're all set!