How To: Glue a Jigsaw Puzzle

We’ve written about how to glue a jigsaw puzzle before, but it’s been a few years and we know that that means that we have a new population of jigsaw puzzle fans! Welcome, new puzzlers! Gluing jigsaw puzzles is fun, easy, and affordable, and we’re excited to share with you how to do it.

Often, we choose jigsaw puzzles because we like the artwork featured, whether it’s a cute puppy scene or a piece of fine art we know and love. By gluing a jigsaw puzzle, we get to display art we admire and show off our hard work.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

1. Wax or parchment paper
2. A puzzle you love
3. Puzzle glue
4. A jigsaw puzzle frame, if you desire to frame it after gluing

Tug of War. 500 pieces. SunsOut.

Van Gogh: Irises. 1000 pieces. Pomegranate.

STEP 1: Pick a puzzle you’ll be happy to see over and over again (and a puzzle that you won’t miss completing over and over again!)

STEP 2: Get some wax or parchment paper that has an extra inch around all sides of your puzzle to keep your craft area neat and tidy from any glue spills. So, for example, if you were doing a 1000 piece SunsOut puzzle that’s 27″ x 35″, then you’ll want your paper to be about 29″ x 37″.

If you’ve decided you want to glue a puzzle after you’ve finished, no problem! Carefully slide the paper underneath your puzzle. You’ll probably need an extra set of hands to keep the puzzle in place while you slide the paper underneath, but the final results should be the same!

STEP 3: Decide which type of puzzle glue you’ll be using. You can make your own using our step-by-step guide, or you can purchase puzzle glue from popular brands like Ravensburger, SunsOut, Springbok or MasterPieces.

Ravensburger Puzzle Glue – $3.99

SunsOut Puzzle Preserver – $3.99

Springbok Puzzle Saver – $4.95

MasterPieces Jigsaw Puzzle Glue – $3.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We carry several types of puzzle preservers on our website–and there are even more out there, like spray-ons and powder–but we prefer liquid glue. Liquid glue has no presentation and it’s easier to apply, especially with the special applicator that MasterPieces provides with their puzzle glue. SunsOut glue is known especially for going on white like Elmers but drying totally clear. One customer commented, “This is the best glue I have found for preserving a puzzle. I have tried different ones over the years, but none cover so well and so clear! Thanks again for another great product!”

If you decide to go a different route, such as using Educa’s powder glue, just make sure to read the instructions so you don’t waste part of the powder or ruin a beloved puzzle!

If possible, choose glue made by the same manufacturer as your puzzle. This will ensure good results because the manufacturer has designed it to make their puzzles look good.

Glue packaging will indicate the size and number of puzzles it will cover. An average 4 oz. bottle should cover about two 1000 piece puzzles, and even more if you have a fewer pieces.

STEP 4: Once you finish your puzzle, make sure it’s as flat and smooth as possible with all pieces fitting in perfectly snug. One clever trick is to use a rolling pin!

STEP 5: You’re ready to spread the glue! Make sure you have enough time to put your full attention to finishing the gluing process–you wan’t want to stop in the middle or it won’t come out as well.

The easiest way to glue your puzzle is to actually pour the glue right on top of the puzzle and then use a piece of cardboard or a business card (or with an applicator if it is provided) to spread the glue around. There is typically a brush attached to the bottle cap and you will use that to spread the glue along the edges of the puzzle.

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STEP 6: Cover all the pieces thoroughly. Don’t worry about the immediate look. Once the glue dries, it will look different (and better!) There may be small air bubbles, but these should shrink on their own in the drying process leaving a nice, even finish. CAUTION: Don’t brush or sponge on too much glue at once to avoid saturating the puzzle, causing swelling or peeling.

STEP 7: Wait, and then wait some more. Before handling your puzzle, you’ll want to ensure your puzzle has dried completely. For some glues, this will be up to 4 hours, but the average is about 2 hours. Better to be safe than sorry, though!

STEP 8: You should be able to pick up your puzzle after the full 2-4 hours. A ruler or a spatula can be used as tools to help separate the paper from the puzzle.

STEP 9: You can do what you like with your puzzle after you glue it, but we recommend hanging it to put on display in the nicest way possible. We also have some handy instructions on how to frame your jigsaw puzzles.

 

Unique Wedding Guestbook Idea: Custom Jigsaw Puzzle

For a unique wedding guestbook idea, try a custom made jigsaw puzzle! Added bonus? You and your spouse can then recreate your wedding day over and over again!

Jon and Kaley loved each other, and they loved to do jigsaw puzzles.They incorporated bits of their relationship into their wedding, and what they got was something unique, priceless, and very much theirs.

custom wedding book, wedding ideas, unique weddings, cute wedding inspiration

Have each of your guests sign a puzzle piece from a custom made puzzle!

Kaley and Jon’s wedding even incorporated more puzzles—each table also had a little jigsaw puzzle for the guests to work on. Kaley said, “I really enjoyed thinking outside of the box and incorporating things that Jon and I like to do together … It was a blast to see everyone enjoying an activity that Jon and I did together when we first started dating. Sure, it may have been dorky, but it was us!”

There are several options for making your own jigsaw puzzle, including cardboard and wooden photo print puzzles, blank jigsaws, and fun shapes like circles.

99 Piece Custom Blank Jigsaw Puzzle – 16 x 20

This all-white puzzle is perfect for wedding guest books (or decorations, or craft projects, or whatever!) Each piece is 1 to 2 inches in size, perfect for a small message, and has an easy write surface that dries quickly.

Custom 10 x 12, Piece Count Varies

Or you could have an image on one side of your puzzle, and have guests sign the back. Recreate your puzzle on your anniversary, reading the lovely messages your guests left you as you sort through the pieces!

Custom Puzzle Tin with Custom Image on Box

Don’t forget to top it off a custom puzzle tin for storage. Even if you go with the blank puzzle, you can have the perfect image on your tin that encompasses the essence of your big day!

Create Your Own Puzzle

Though it is possible, we are not going to talk today about how to create a puzzle of your own from scratch. Instead, we’d like to introduce you to a customizable puzzle. Made by Cobble Hill, these create your own jigsaw puzzles can turn into anything you want. Or, more importantly, into anything your kids want. The pack of colorful crayons that go with it was designed to let children’s imaginations flow freely and practice their creativity.

As a parent, you can help them come up with an idea for the puzzle, and perhaps even help with its drawing. Then, assembling can turn into a wonderful activity that you can share with your family. If you need a gift for their grandparents, there’s nothing better than Cobble Hill’s “Create Your Own Puzzle.” It will give your children the opportunity to express themselves and create something original, with their own hands. And, you must already know it, there’s no better gift than the one that comes from the heart; especially when the one offering it is a young member of your family.

Drawing is one of the childhood joys that can rarely keep up with age. So why not make it last, and let your children enjoy drawing and being creative as much as they can. If you don’t do it, you might regret it later. What if you were the parent of the next Picasso or Van Gogh? Would you dare and try to put an end to their talent, depriving the world of an artist who could inspire millions?

Go to Puzzle Warehouse and get your children the “Create Your Own Puzzle” jigsaw puzzle. They come in 20 or 70-piece puzzles, 12-piece postcard puzzles or a 36-piece floor puzzle. When the work of art is complete, send us a photo of your child’s creation!

How to Make Puzzle Glue

jigsaw puzzle glue

Completing a jigsaw puzzle feels fantastic! The sense of accomplishment when that last puzzle piece snaps into place is not only great for your mood – it’s even great for keeping your brain sharp as can be. So, why not preserve all that hard work by gluing  and framing your jigsaw puzzle to turn it into a hanging work of art!

There are lots of ways to preserve a jigsaw puzzle so that you can display them on a wall. You can buy frames made for standard puzzle sizes, and there are several puzzle glues in production that work great – even no mess adhesive sheets that will keep the puzzle pieces together.

But you might be a little more D.I.Y., you say? Have no fear, making your own jigsaw puzzle glue is easy, fun, and makes a great crafting project for the whole family. Though we cannot guarantee the exact same results with homemade glue compared to the ones we sell, most of these combinations are a good, affordable alternative.

Puzzle glue that you buy is essentially Mod Podge. A thinner more spreadable version of the typical Elmer’s White School Glue. To create a high quality puzzle adhesive that is safe to use on the front of the puzzle, mix equal parts white Elmer’s glue and water in a glass container and shake until the consistency is even.

There are other ways to create your own glue, including a flour paste. Just half a cup of flour and enough water to mix into a thick paste is all it takes. Drying time is high compared to commercial products with this mixture, and make sure there are no lumps; adding a bit of sugar and salt makes it more sticky. It is not suggested to use this mixture on the front of the puzzle as it may not dry clear – instead flip the puzzle over and glue the back.

The next best homemade glue uses Gum Arabic. Add just enough water to the gum arabic to dissolve it, and you have a strong glue which dries quickly when applied. These types of glue don’t always dry clear, so use it on the back of your puzzle first.

Gelatin based glue is great, as it is clear and waterproof, but it takes a bit more effort and more resources to make. It is well worth it, though, if you plan to stick your puzzle onto glass. This glue does not stand up well though, so it is for one time use and cannot be stored. e-How has great tutorials for making this type of glue.

Use this guide to teach your kids how to make glue and you will have them stuck to jigsaw puzzles and making lots of good memories, too: http://www.puzzlewarehouse.com/how-to-glue-a-puzzle/

Find pre-made puzzle glues for as little as $4 here.

*Note: Be careful when gluing puzzles – it not recommended to glue puzzles that have special or high-quality finishing like glitter or matte-finished puzzles. The glue could ruin the quality of the puzzle. In these cases, it’s best to go with something like Puzzle Presto – sticky sheets that you can use on the back of the puzzle that don’t cause damage to the pieces.

How to Glue a Puzzle Together

Puzzle glue to glue a puzzle together

After you’ve worked for hours or days on a complex, beautiful puzzle, what next? Do you admire it for a moment and then take it apart? Consider gluing your puzzle together instead, to preserve your great work.

Materials needed:
Your completed puzzle.
A large piece of cardboard to use as a work surface.
Glue (Mod Podge and rubber cement work well. Hobby stores also sell special puzzle glue).
A foam brush.

First, you will need to very slowly and carefully slip the cardboard under your puzzle. Working from one end, carefully lift an edge of your puzzle, slip the edge of the cardboard underneath, and release the puzzle edge on top. Slowly inch the cardboard down the length of the puzzle. *Tip: Assembling your puzzle on top of the cardboard would eliminate this step.

Next, use your sponge brush to spread your glue over the top of your puzzle. Cover a few sections at a time, ensuring that you have complete coverage and a thin coat. Continue until the entire surface is covered, cleaning any stray drops as they occur.

Allow this coat to completely dry, and then repeat. After the second coat is dry, you should feel as though you can tug on the puzzle and not feel it will pull apart.

At this point, very carefully turn the puzzle over on its face and repeat the gluing process. Again, apply two coats, allowing each to dry thoroughly. If you like, you may add as many coats equally to both sides as you’d like until you are satisfied that the puzzle is secure.

When the final coat is dry, you have completed the task of gluing your puzzle together! Now you can tack up your beautiful project on the wall, display it on a desk, attach it to a piece of wood or even frame it so that you and your loved ones can enjoy it for ever.