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How to Glue Jigsaw Puzzles: 

A Step-by-Step Guide

Finally solving that one jigsaw puzzle that has been giving you trouble is such an exciting feeling! But once that high wears off – what then? Surely you can’t just take the puzzle apart and put it back in its box after all that work. So you’ve decided to preserve it by gluing the jigsaw puzzle together, either to put it in a frame or display it in some other way. But do you know how to glue jigsaw puzzles?

Materials Needed

Before we get into the actual gluing part of the job, let’s make sure you have all the materials necessary (aside from your solved puzzle, of course). Here’s what you’ll need:

- Puzzle glue (or another type of clear glue)

- Brush or a spatula for spreading the glue

- Scissors

- Backing

- Frame

How to Glue Jigsaw Puzzles

Step 1: Prepare a Flat Surface 

Before you start the gluing process, make sure you have a clean, flat surface big enough to hold your solved puzzle. If you’re working on a table or desk, it would also be a good idea to use a layer of protective material so as not to ruin your furniture with glue. 

Step 2: Flatten the Puzzle

Place your solved jigsaw puzzle on the flat surface. Make sure the puzzle itself is flat by running a rolling pin (or a similar object) over it. Alternatively, you can also flip the puzzle face down and flatten it from the back (in this case, you will also be gluing the puzzle from the back, too).

Step 3: Apply Glue

Increasing the number of rows is an easy way to make a simple project bigger, such as a scarf or a blanket. With such items, you can even consider crocheting additional edging rows. This will also give you an opportunity to add another colour to make the borders pop. Keep in mind, however, that with items that aren’t that simple, such as sweaters and other clothing garments, adding more edging rows will only make them longer, not overall larger. 

Step 4: Spread the Glue

Spread the glue over the entire puzzle. Make sure you cover all pieces, as well as that the glue is spread evenly. At this stage, the glue will likely look white, but don’t worry – it will turn transparent as it dries.

Step 5: Allow to Dry
Give your puzzle enough time to dry properly. And we mean properly. If the first layer of glue is still wet when the second layer is applied, it could cause texturing or the image on the puzzle could start peeling. 

Step 6: Apply a Second Coat
When the first layer is completely dry, apply the second coat of puzzle glue. Follow the same steps as in the first round, making sure the glue is spread evenly. 

Step 7: Trim Excess Glue
As you apply glue, there is a chance some of it will leak off the puzzle and onto the surface you’re working on. Once the glue is dry, you can simply trim these off the puzzle edges with a pair of scissors. 

Step 8: Frame the Puzzle (Optional)
If your plan is to frame the puzzle, now is the time to do it. You can also add a layer of backing (using, for instance, wax paper) to ensure the pieces stay in place. Then simply place your puzzle on the frame, paying attention to center it. 

Step 9: Secure in Frame
Shut the back of the frame and tighten or fasten it. Carefully lift the frame and gently shake it, to ensure the puzzle is completely secure. If it moves, try using a thicker piece of backing, such as thin cardboard, rather than wax paper, to secure the puzzle better.  

Step 10: Display Your Puzzle
Finally, it’s time to showcase your puzzle skills. If you’re not too big into wall art, consider placing the puzzle inside a glass coffee table or laminating it instead. The possibilities are endless.

Time to Get Down to Work!
Gluing a solved jigsaw puzzle together is a great way to preserve the puzzle and showcase your work in your home. However, it is not the easiest task in the world. If not done right, you run the risk of ruining the pieces. If you’ve never glued a jigsaw puzzle together before, simply follow the steps above and you should be fine.

How to Glue Jigsaw Puzzles: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to glue a jigsaw puzzle?
The best way to glue a jigsaw puzzle is by using specialized puzzle glue. Spread the glue evenly in two separate layers to ensure the puzzle really stays together.

What do you put under a puzzle before gluing it?
Before gluing your jigsaw puzzle, place a piece of wax paper or another sheet of protective material (non-adhesive or adhesive-resistant) to ensure that you neither ruin your furniture nor accidentally stick the puzzle to the table. 

What is the best glue for puzzles? 
The best glue for puzzles is specialized puzzle glue, such as Mod Podge, Master Pieces, or Puzzle Worx. These glues have the right consistency and are seethrough, so they’re perfect for puzzles.