Jigsaw puzzles are a great hobby for all ages, providing hours of relaxation and entertainment as you assemble the colorful images. But the fun doesn’t have to end when the last piece is placed! Instead of taking apart all of your hard work, you can preserve your jigsaw puzzle to create beautiful artwork that can be framed and displayed in any room of your home.
There are two methods of finishing your jigsaw puzzle to create a piece of artwork: puzzle glue and adhesive glue sheets.
Using Puzzle Glue
Puzzle glue is a special adhesive that binds the jigsaw pieces together so the image can be framed and displayed. This method can be a bit messy, but it is simpler than applying adhesive glue sheets.
Puzzle glue is applied to both the front and back of the puzzle, so there is no need to flip your puzzle over. If desired, slide a piece of newspaper under your completed jigsaw puzzle to protect your surface from excess glue. Bottles of puzzle glue will often come with a plastic applicator. Squirt a little bit of puzzle glue onto your puzzle and use the applicator to spread it over the image, making sure to cover all of the cracks between the pieces. Apply a thin, even layer over the entire image. Let the glue dry completely.
After the front is dry, flip the jigsaw puzzle over and apply a thin, even layer over the entire back of the puzzle. Let the glue dry completely before framing.
Using Adhesive Glue Sheets
Adhesive glue sheets are plastic sheets with a glue-like adhesive on one side that is revealed when you remove the paper backing. They are less messy than using puzzle glue, though applying them to your finished jigsaw puzzle takes some precision.
Unlike puzzle glue, adhesive glue sheets are applied to the back side of the puzzle only. As most people don’t assemble their puzzle upside down, you will have to carefully flip over your finished puzzle. The best way to do this is with two large pieces of cardboard or thin boards. Carefully slide one piece of cardboard underneath the finished puzzle. Lay the other piece of cardboard on top, sandwiching the puzzle between. Holding the two cardboard pieces together, carefully flip the jigsaw puzzle over and remove the pieces of cardboard. Depending on the size of your puzzle, you may want to ask a friend to help you with this step.
Unless you are finishing a miniature jigsaw puzzle, you will most likely need to use more than one adhesive sheet. Before removing the paper backing, lay the sheets over the back of the puzzle to determine how many you will need. It is okay for the sheets to overlap, but the sheets should not extend over the edges of the puzzle.
To apply the first glue sheet, peel back a portion of the paper backing, but do not remove it completely.
Carefully line up the corner of the glue sheet with the corner of the puzzle and press down the exposed section of the glue sheet. Keeping the edges aligned, slowly remove the paper backing, smoothing down the glue sheet as you go to remove any air bubbles.
Apply additional glue sheets as needed, making sure to line up the edges of the glue sheets with the edges of the jigsaw puzzle. When finished, smooth out any air bubbles before flipping your puzzle back over. It is now ready for framing!