How to Glue Puzzles for Framing

Puzzles are an excellent way to relax and pass the time. Some of the more complex ones can be quite impressive, both visually and in terms of difficulty.

If you buy jigsaw puzzles of your favorite iconic person you wish to display, there are a number of ways you can do that.

One of the most popular methods is to use adhesive to seal it all up. There are many types of readily available products which are transparent when dry, and can hold the puzzles together to hang on a wall somewhere in your home.

Keep reading to find the inside scoop on how to use adhesive for framing puzzles, as well as general information on what to keep in mind when gluing and framing.

Framing With Puzzle Glue: Things to Prepare

Before you get started there are a few things you will need:

Your Finished Puzzle

It kind of goes without saying, but it’s better to finish the puzzle first rather than affix puzzle pieces individually.


There are many types of puzzle adhesive available, and liquid glue and puzzle glues such as mod podge generally work the best.

Wax or Parchment Paper

You will place this beneath your puzzle before gluing/flattening it to make sure there are no curled edges.

A Brush or a Few Inches of Cardboard for Spreading

If you use a card, make sure it is stiff enough to spread the adhesive.

A Rolling Pin

This will be used to flatten the puzzle before gluing it to your dry mounting material.

A Pencil

You will use this to mark the backboard for cutting.

An X-acto Knife or Box Cutter

These will be used for cutting the backboard to the appropriate size.

A Ruler

This will be used for ensuring you cut the board straight.

Spray-on Adhesive

This is for adhering your completed product to a backboard.

1/4-inch foam Backer Board or Poster Board

You can find this at most craft stores or even the dollar store.

Once you have all of the things you will need, you should make sure that you have a suitable work surface.

You might want to avoid gluing your puzzle in an area with expensive furniture or surfaces. A workshop table typically works best if you have one.

How to Glue a Jigsaw Puzzle With Wax Paper

Once everything is ready to go, you can begin gluing by following these few simple steps:

  1. Place a strip of parchment or wax paper underneath the puzzle. You can use packing tape or another kind of tape to hold it in place.
  2. Gently use a rolling pin to make it as flat as possible.
  3. Make sure that the surface is free of any dust, dirt, or other debris.
  4. Apply glue carefully. Make sure not to use too much glue or the material may become saturated.
  5. Using your brush or a stiff piece of cardboard (such as a business card), gently spread a single coat of the adhesive until it evenly covers the whole puzzle.
  6. You may notice some air bubbles, this is normal and they will shrink eventually.
  7. Once the puzzle glue or puzzle saver is evenly spread across every piece with no excess glue, you should allow it to completely dry before continuing. This may take 4 hours or more depending on what you used.

Once the glue dries, you can use a spatula or other flat object to carefully remove the paper from the back. The finished product can be easily placed in the right frame for display.

Displaying Your Puzzles

It is recommended to display using a backboard for extra support. This will keep the puzzle dry and ensure the puzzle stays flat.

If you want to make it simple, you can place it inside a frame and call it a day.

On the other hand, adhering the puzzle to a stiff backboard can help preserve the puzzle and make it easier to fit into a frame.

You can frame a puzzle professionally at a store. They use heat-sensitive adhesive and can usually complete the process for you for around $20 or less.

However, you can also frame a puzzle yourself by following these steps:

How to Adhere a Backboard:

  1. Place the dried puzzle on a sheet of foam board and use a pencil to lightly mark an outline around it.
  2. Use a ruler and your knife to cut a straight edge around the outline you drew in the first step.
  3. Use an even coating of spray-on adhesive to adhere the puzzle to the backboard. Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Once the puzzle is in place, use the rolling pin one more time to ensure that the puzzle is adhered evenly to the backboard.
  5. Once the backboard is firmly adhered to the back of the puzzle, you can place the entire thing in a frame or take it to a craft store to be put in a frame by a professional.

Puzzle frames are generally sized similarly to widely available frames such as those sold by Ikea. Most puzzles should fit perfectly into these frames.

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