How To Frame A Jigsaw Puzzle

So you decided to complete a jigsaw puzzle and not it's finished. Great. Now what? 

It's the age old question puzzle lovers have been asking themselves since John Spilsbury created the first jigsaw puzzle in the 1760s. Usually the thought pattern works something like this:

  1. It's done!
  2. Great. 
  3. I'll just leave it here for a while.
  4. Should I pack it up?
  5. It's still there.
  6. Should I pack it up and give it to someone?
  7. Will my coffee mug stain it?
  8. Still....there.
  9. My dog is trying to eat a puzzle piece.
  10. Look, you know what, I'll just frame it. How do I do that?

What You'll Need

We hate when you read a recipe and the ingredients are all scattered throughout the steps. Here's a complete list of things you will need:

  • Jigsaw Puzzle Glue 
  • A Frame (use the dimensions provided on the box to find appropriate size)
  • Wax or parchment paper
  • A Brush 
  • Backer Board (foam)
  • Ruler
  • Razor Blade 
  • Roller pin

1. Preparation

First off, you will need to clear a workspace for framing. Make sure you have a cover between your puzzle and the surface you're working on. We suggest using wax paper. It helps! 

Make sure the wax paper extends out a few inches from the puzzle. It will protect the surface you are working on from glue.

2. Clean The Jigsaw Puzzle

Make sure the puzzle is clean. Give it a few wipes with the cloth to remove coffee, dog hair and dust.

3. Apply The Glue

Apply the glue to the puzzle. It's important that all puzzle pieces are glued. Don't apply excess amounts of glue. Too much glue can cause the pieces to curl while drying. We find the best methods for application can be a firm bit of cardboard, business card or a brush.

Air bubbles may form as you coat the puzzle, but they will go away once the puzzle begins to dry. 

4. Go Do Something Else For 2-3 Hours

Now it's time to play the waiting game. Generally speaking, you need to leave the jigsaw puzzle for 2-3 hours to get a tight and consistent seal. Some jigsaw puzzles may take longer or shorter, but as a rule of thumb, leave it longer rather than shorter.

5. Apply The Puzzle To The Foam Board

Loosen the jigsaw puzzle and place it on the backing board. The board stops the puzzle warping over time. 

Mark the outline of the puzzle on the board with a pencil. Cut along this line using a knife. This step should be completed by adults only. Make sure you're careful while using the hobby knife.

6. Cover The Board With Glue

Cover the remaining backing board with glue. This is where your jigsaw puzzle will be applied. Use the rolling pin to ensure the jigsaw puzzle is firmly applied to the backing board. You can place a few heavy objects (hardback books) on the jigsaw puzzle and let it dry for around 1 full day.

7. Time To Frame

Check that the puzzle and mounting board are dry. If they are, place them in your frame. 

Lock the backing board and jigsaw puzzle into the frame. Trim any backing board that is exposed.

8. Admire

You're done. Sit back and enjoy!

 

Tips:

  • Don't use regular contact paper. It won't end well!
  • If your puzzle seems to be curling up after drying, we suggest coating the back of the puzzle with glue. It will help the puzzle to flatten out.
  • Most craft shops offer a "dry mount", so if you would prefer someone do it for you, stop into your local craft shop.
  • Use large heavy objects for compressing the puzzle. Do not use small objects with uneven surfaces.
  • Try using parchment paper if wax paper isn't available

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jigsaw puzzles