How To Frame a Jigsaw Puzzle: A Step-by-Step Guide

How To Frame a Jigsaw Puzzle: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever finished a jigsaw puzzle that was so challenging or beautiful that crushing it up and forcing it back into its box would be nothing short of a tragedy? You might be thinking all that sweat (and tears) will be for naught. But you don’t have to watch your masterpiece crumble. Learn how to frame a jigsaw puzzle in a step-by-step guide so you can admire your work for years to come.


What You Will Need

You will likely be completing the framing process from start to finish, so ensure you have all the required supplies beforehand. Here is what you will need:

  • Large table (to work on)
  • Puzzle frame
  • Cardboard, wax, or parchment paper (to protect your table from glue)
  • Rolling pin
  • Puzzle glue
  • Gloves
  • Glue applicator (spreader, roller, or brush)
  • Heavy-weight books
  • Wax or foam
  • Scissors or a hobby knife

The Right Fit

Almost everything on the list is a simple find, save for the frame. Finding the perfect frame can feel like such a challenge, especially when your puzzle is on the larger side. Thankfully, there are frames explicitly made for puzzles that you can purchase.

We recommend a wooden jigsaw puzzle frame to house your masterpiece. The wooden finish of our puzzle frames adds an element of sophistication that will have guests thinking they have stumbled into a museum. Moreover, there is no need to worry about finding a frame with glass—when framing a puzzle, glass is unnecessary.

Let’s Begin

So you have finally placed that last jigsaw piece in, finishing your puzzle. Joy and pride fill your system as you start imagining your post-interview. What are you going to do next? Something better than going to a theme park—you are going to frame your puzzle!

Clear away anything on the table you are working on, gather your supplies, and keep them close. You will need your parchment, wax, or cardboard, a rolling pin, and your preferred glue for the next couple of steps.

Roll It Out

Proceed by priming your puzzle for the glue. Grab your rolling pin and apply even and moderate pressure to the puzzle, making sure to do so gently and slowly. Rolling your puzzle out may seem odd, but there is a good reason: it will flatten your puzzle completely, creating a smooth surface for your glue to spread out evenly. Moreover, this will better the appearance of your puzzle as it hangs on your wall.

The most irritating thing is noticing a little piece of your puzzle sticking out unevenly, and rolling it out prevents that. You’ll know you’re finished when you can smoothly run your hand across the puzzle without snagging. If you do not have a rolling pin, there are great alternatives. You can use a wine bottle, soda can, or a long glass bottle—be careful when using these substitutes.

Which Glue

There are a couple of options available when choosing your glues; you can use rubber cement, Mod Podge, or puzzle glue. Mod Podge and puzzle glue differ from regular glue in that they also include varnish that dries with a clear and protective finish. We do not recommend gluing your puzzle with everyday glue, as it tends to dry with a white finish.

Moreover, puzzle glue usually comes with a tremendous flat plastic applier that gets into every crack and crevice and prevents the look of brush strokes. We do not recommend that you use a brush to apply the glue because when it dries, you may see the brush strokes on your puzzle, which can be distracting, especially under specific lighting.

Preparing To Glue

Grab your parchment, wax paper, or cardboard and edge it around the sides of your puzzle. Depending on how sturdy the puzzle is, you might even be able to place your material entirely underneath. Whatever material you use will protect your table from any glue. It is up to you whether you want to do your puzzle completely on the cardboard, parchment, or wax paper or if you want to ease it under after—it is, of course, easier to do so beforehand.

Glue Your Puzzle

Put on your gloves, and grab your glue and applicator. Pour a decent amount of glue onto the top of your puzzle—make sure not to overdo it, as you might oversaturate the pieces, and they will curl up. Using your applicator, spread out your glue evenly. Allow your puzzle to fully dry—this will usually take about five hours, or you can leave it overnight. Please do not touch it while it dries, or it will leave prints.

If you notice parts of your puzzle are curling up once it’s dried, do not worry—there are options to remedy this. Flip over your puzzle and apply a light layer of glue to the back. You could also put a couple of heavy books on the back of your dry puzzle and keep them there for a couple of hours or overnight. This will also help flatten it out.

Foam Remedy

In how to frame your jigsaw puzzle: a step-by-step guide, this step is the foam remedy because it ensures your puzzle will not fall apart or warp and can stay sturdily on your wall for years to come. You should be able to purchase EVA foam from your local craft store; make sure to get your puzzle measurements before heading there. If you can’t find a large enough foam, you can buy a couple of average-sized foam pieces, or you may use wax paper.

If you are working with a large piece, place your puzzle on top of your foam, trace it out, and then cut the measured piece with scissors or a hobby knife. If you are using foam or wax paper pieces, lay them out on your puzzle tracing alongside any parts you will need to cut. Glue your foam or wax paper to the puzzle and place heavy books on the top of the backing overnight or until completely dry.

Frame It

Finally, you are ready to frame your puzzle. Double-check that everything is fully dry and that no jigsaw pieces are curling. If everything looks good, place your puzzle in your frame, following whatever framing method it requires. Secure your puzzle in the frame, and you are all set to go ahead and hang your masterpiece!