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How to preserve and frame a jigsaw puzzle

Updated February 21, 2017

Capture your puzzle-building accomplishment permanently: Preserve it in a frame. With some easily located household tools and a readily available hardware kit, your jigsaw puzzle can hang like a painting or photograph. With puzzles that depict breathtaking landscapes or famous works of art, preserving a puzzle is a great way to accumulate wall art. All it takes is glue.

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  1. Decide which will come first: the puzzle or the frame. If you have a specific frame on hand that you'd like to use, buy an attractive jigsaw puzzle that will fit that frame perfectly.

  2. Place a mat or piece of poster board underneath the spot where you assemble your puzzle. You'll need it when you begin the preservation process.

  3. Verify your jigsaw puzzle's size by checking the side of its box. Completed size is usually listed as an area measurement in inches or centimeters. Match your backing or mat to this size.

  4. Assemble your puzzle atop the poster board, making sure the board will be able to assume the entire size of your puzzle.

  5. Begin the gluing process once your puzzle is complete. Use puzzle glue to seal and preserve the joints of your completed puzzle. Cover the edges liberally and evenly.

  6. Allow for sufficient drying time once you have glued all individual pieces together. One to 2 hours should usually do the trick, but you're better off playing it safe and letting the puzzle dry overnight.

  7. Slide the completed jigsaw puzzle off of the poster board as a unit. If the puzzle sticks to the poster board in places, gently pry those spots apart.

  8. Apply glue to the surface of the poster board atop which you assembled the jigsaw puzzle. Make sure that your application is evenly distributed, then act quickly to make sure it doesn't dry before your next step.

  9. Place the completed puzzle gently atop the poster board, making sure to match the edges as closely as possible.

  10. Smooth out the completed jigsaw puzzle with even pressure throughout the entire surface, pressing it flat with your hands. Allow 1 to 2 hours for the glue to dry.

  11. Choose your frame from kits made specifically to preserve puzzles. You can purchase a puzzle preservation kit at your local craft store or online at a website like Jigsawgenie (see resources below).

  12. Frame your jigsaw puzzle in a standard picture frame, if you prefer. You may purchase frames at your local department store, art store or frame shop, or find great, old frames at garage sales, flea markets or thrift shops.

  13. Tip

    Once you've preserved your puzzle, just about any picture frame may be used to frame it. However, some frames may require modification.


    Do not use model glue to assemble puzzle pieces. Do not glue as you go. Wait until glue is absolutely dry before attempting to move or handle the preserved jigsaw puzzle as a single unit.

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Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Puzzle glue
  • Frame or framing kit
  • Poster board

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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