Some puzzles are so great that you want to keep them intact after you finish them. Sometimes it is the beautiful art, and sometimes it is the feat of finishing a massive puzzle. Either way, gluing a puzzle can be a great way to preserve it so that your work isn’t lost, and you can display your puzzle. Gluing a puzzle is actually quite simple and I’ll walk you through the steps below!
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1. Get some glue! Honestly, most glue will work but I recommend getting some glue that is made for this purpose. Amazon has a ton of choices but some of the big puzzle brands have their own glue which I would recommend. You can get the glue in different forms, but I suggest getting a liquid glue over a spray or powder mix.
2. Parchment Paper. This will keep your puzzle from sticking to anything.
4. Rolling Pin(optional). To flatten your puzzle out prior to gluing.
Step 1: Alright, now that you have your materials, it is time to prep your area. Using a parchment paper is a good way to protect your table and ensure your puzzle does not stick. If you are going to use something else (paper, cardboard, etc.) keep in mind that your puzzle may get stuck and damaged. Put the parchment paper underneath your puzzle with the picture side up.
Step 2: Make sure your puzzle is completely flat before starting the glue. You can do this by using a rolling pin to press the puzzle down. Alternatively, you can use a piece of plywood or a similar flat material. Just make sure to use lots of pressure and get that puzzle flat!
Step 3: Start applying the glue to the puzzle. Start from the center of the puzzle and work your way out using a circle pattern. Starting from the center allows you to spread the glue outward without it going off the edges.
Step 4: Once you have a good amount of glue on the puzzle start to spread it out and add more glue where needed. You should use a paint brush or a putty knife to spread the glue out. Some puzzle glue will even come with a spreader included.
Step 5: Wait for the glue to dry. You should check your glue bottle for the recommended dry time, but 5 hours should be enough for most glue
Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 on the front of the puzzle to ensure the puzzle is completely covered in glue.
Step 7 (optional): While it may not always be necessary, I suggest doing at least one coat on the back of the puzzle as well. This will help to create an entire seal around your puzzle. It will also help to reduce any curving/warping from only gluing one side of the puzzle.
That’s it! Your puzzle should now be glued tight and ready to display. Now you have to decide how to display your work. Personally, I like the look of a puzzle on a simple backer board with no frame. In my opinion this is an easy, clean option and you can always add a frame later if you want. To learn how to mount your puzzle, check out this post!