How to Frame a Puzzle 

Written by Mark Rogers
How to Frame a Puzzle

The Ultimate Guide to Framing a Puzzle 

Embarking on a puzzle is akin to setting out on a journey of discovery, each piece revealing a part of the picture until the whole comes together in a satisfying completion. Yet, what's even more fulfilling is preserving that moment of triumph, transforming your meticulously assembled puzzle into a cherished piece of wall decor.

Framing a puzzle is not only a way to showcase your patience and dedication but also a means to immortalize the memories and stories hidden within its intricate design. In this guide, we'll delve into how to frame puzzles, providing step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to ensure your masterpiece remains intact and admired for years to come. Whether you're a seasoned puzzler or a newcomer to the craft, join us on this journey as we unlock the secrets to framing jigsaw puzzles with precision and flair.

Today, jigsaw puzzles have increased in complexity and quality, with many worthy of being framed and enjoyed. However, most individuals don’t have a clue how to properly mount a picture in a frame their puzzle without it coming apart.

We’ve all experienced the joy of completing a jigsaw puzzle, only to leave it out on the table for enjoyment until we’re forced to box it back up to free space for other activities.

But no more. 

In this guide we take you step by step through the process of framing puzzles, transforming your accomplishment into a framed picture worthy of being hung on the wall for years to come.

Overview of How to Put a Puzzle in a Frame

To put a puzzle in a frame, start by carefully sliding a large piece of wax paper or parchment paper underneath the completed puzzle to keep it intact. Then, gently flip the puzzle over so that the front is facing down.

Apply a thin layer of puzzle glue or adhesive to the back of the puzzle, ensuring even coverage across the entire surface. Once the glue has dried completely, carefully lift the puzzle off the wax paper and place it into the frame, pressing down gently to secure it in place. If necessary, use cardboard spacers or matting to ensure the puzzle fits snugly within the frame.

Finally, attach the backing board and hanging hardware to the frame, and your framed puzzle is ready to be displayed with pride.

How to Frame a Jigsaw Puzzle

Puzzle Pieces

Be it a 1000 or 10,000 piece puzzle, when completed, the finished version is often nothing short of a work of art. Its normal to want to show off all of your hard work and dedication. Not to mention it’d be a shame if the only version others saw was the picture on the box.

Without further delay, let’s take you through the steps of framing a jigsaw puzzle…

1. Make Sure the Puzzle is FLAT

The best way to frame a puzzle is flat and the tool for the job is a simple rolling pin from the kitchen. Gently roll the entire puzzle on a perfectly flat surface. Doing so will ensure that the edges of each piece are snugly in place and flush with the next.

2. Gluing the Puzzle Together 

In order to prevent the puzzle from coming undone when you move it, we’ll need to glue the pieces in place. Doing so will allow you to move the puzzle in one single piece (but you’ll still have to be careful). 

First up, you’ll need ‘puzzle glue’. That’s right, there’s glue made specifically for puzzles. When purchasing, look for a puzzle glue spreader. If you can’t find one, a piece of cardboard or a stir stick for paint will work the same way. Pretty much anything with a straight edge and rigidity will suffice.

PRO TIP: Don’t use a brush to spread the glue. It’ll leave brush marks behind.

PRO TIP: Don’t overdue it with the glue. Too much and you run the risk of the puzzle warping, or the pieces curling up or peeling.

3. Give it Time to Thoroughly Dry  

For this step, follow the glue manufacturer’s instructions on wait time. Your mileage may vary depending on the temperature and humidity level of your house. But don’t get impatient. Touching the jigsaw puzzle too soon and you risk tearing it apart or leaving behind unsightly fingerprints.

PRO TIP: In cases where the puzzle curls or warps once dry, simply flip the puzzle over and repeat the gluing process for the backside as well. Allow to dry once more.

4. Mounting Your Jigsaw Puzzle   

Asking yourself how to mount a puzzle for framing? For this step, you’ll need a flat piece of thin foam, or wax paper. Measure out your mounting material so that it is just smaller than your puzzle. Flip the glued puzzle on its back. Add glue thinly and evenly along the edges, then attach the mounting material on the back of the puzzle, centering it in place.

PRO TIP: Consider placing something like hefty books on top while the glue dries

5. Choose a Frame 

Finding the right frame for your jigsaw puzzle can mean the difference between a basic-looking display, and a downright masterpiece worthy of attention. Although you could ‘get by’ with a frame from a big box store, we think all of your hours of effort deserve something better.

At Frame Destination we can help you find the perfect frame for your jigsaw puzzle, giving it the attention it deserves, and a display you’ll be proud to show off.

 6. Hang and Enjoy!  

And now you get to reap the rewards of all that hard work! With the perfect picture frame, you’re not ready to hang your jigsaw puzzle for everyone to see and enjoy.

That’s all there is to it! 

Now that you know how easy it is to immortalize your favorite puzzles, now might be just the right time to open up that box you’ve been saving and get to work on yet another masterpiece.

Additional Puzzle Framing Tips

Use Puzzle Preserver Sheets

Before applying adhesive to the back of your puzzle, consider using puzzle preserver sheets. These transparent, adhesive-backed sheets adhere to the front of the puzzle, preserving its finish and preventing pieces from loosening or peeling. Puzzle preserver sheets are particularly useful for delicate or intricate puzzles and can help maintain the integrity of your completed masterpiece.

Protect Against UV Damage

To prevent your framed puzzle from fading or discoloring over time, choose UV-resistant glass or acrylic for the frame. UV-resistant glazing filters out harmful ultraviolet rays, reducing the risk of damage to the puzzle's colors and preventing premature aging. Additionally, avoid hanging framed puzzles in direct sunlight or near sources of heat, as prolonged exposure can accelerate fading and deterioration.

Enjoy Other Framing Guides

Written by Mark Rogers

Mark Rogers Mark Rogers is the President and Co-Founder of Frame Destination. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Mark has become a leading authority on framing techniques and best practices, and has earned a reputation for his innovative approaches to custom framing and frame services for photographers and artists.

Last Updated April 11, 2024