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You did it! You have placed the last piece of the puzzle in its place. All those hours or even weeks that you spent putting the puzzle together are all worth it for this beautiful masterpiece of a puzzle.
Your fun or family time does not need to end simply because the last piece was placed. You can continue the fun by deciding what to do with the puzzle you have just finished.
Do you take it apart to start again another day? Or do you hang it to display not only as a beautiful puzzle picture but also a memorandum to pass by and remember the fun you had while piecing it together?
If you have decided to hang your puzzle accomplishment proudly on display, then you will need a frame to hold your puzzle in place.
Most 1,000 piece puzzles will measure 24” by 30” so you should get a frame that is 26” by 32”. You should give yourself 2” on each side on top of the size of the puzzle that you have.
One size frame does not fit all when it comes to puzzles. You will need to measure the puzzle, check the puzzle’s thickness and then find a sturdy frame.
In order to determine the right size frame needed for your puzzle, there are a few things to consider.
Measure your puzzle
Not all puzzles are created equal. You may have pieced together two of the same size puzzles, but their sizes may differ based on brand, puzzle size, and shape. All you need is a measuring tape in order to determine the right size.
Take the tape and measure across the width of the puzzle and then the length in order to determine the size frame needed.
Consider the thickness
Considering the fact that puzzles are made of materials that are thicker than a typical photo print, you will need to find a frame that will fit the thickness of your puzzle. In addition to the thickness of the puzzle, it is recommended that you place some type of backing on the puzzle before placing it in the frame.
This will also add to the thickness, so you will want to make sure the frame is built for the thickness.
Find a sturdy frame
Not only will your frame need to handle the thickness of the puzzle and its backing, it also needs to be able to hold the weight of the puzzle as well. Just like all puzzles are not created the same, neither are frames.
Some frames are designed to handle only the weight of itself and a picture whereas others are able to withstand the weight of a puzzle and not break at its seams.
To see the most popular puzzles on the market currently just click here.
How Do You Put A Puzzle In A Frame?
Have you ever tried to maneuver a completed puzzle? It can be quite difficult and rather frustrating. Pieces start to fall apart and your beautiful masterpiece is now mostly in your hands and a little bit on the floor. So if you can barely move a puzzle without it falling apart, how in the world are you supposed to slide it gently into a frame?
Before framing your puzzle you should glue it together and put it on a backing. This will help keep it from falling apart.
It’s important that you go through this process step by step to ensure that the puzzle doesn’t go all to pieces.
You will need to:
Back your puzzle
Now that your puzzle is complete you will need to back it before placing it into the frame. You can use either a thin piece of cardboard, foam board, or poster board as backing. Make sure to measure the puzzle to cut the right size for the backing.
The purpose for the backing is so your puzzle is sturdy inside the frame and after time won’t warp within the frame.
Before placing your puzzle in the frame, you will want to ensure that everything has been smoothed out nice and flat. You can use a surface, like your kitchen table, to help smooth out your puzzle. Once your puzzle is nice and flat, you can slide your backing piece right underneath the puzzle.
The backing piece will also serve as a “protection barrier” for your kitchen table as the next few steps are going to be a bit messy.
Glue your puzzle
Adding the glue will help keep your puzzle from breaking apart inside the frame. The gravity from hanging your puzzle on display can weigh on the pieces and your puzzle will begin to break apart.
However, if you apply glue before placing the puzzle in the frame, the glue will help prevent the pieces from coming apart.
You will want to take the glue or Mod Podge and spread it very liberally over the puzzle. This is where the backing comes into play saving your kitchen table and also making the puzzle become sturdier.
You can use a paint brush to spread the glue over the puzzle; however, the paint brush may leave streaks or even pieces of the brush behind on your puzzle. A sponge or even a straight edge of some sort might be a better alternative to smoothing out the glue evenly over the puzzle.
Make sure that the glue gets between the cracks of the pieces to help secure your puzzle in place. Wait for the glue to finish drying before handling.
The drying process varies but typically takes a minimum of four hours for the glue to dry.
Apply glue to the backing
Now that the front has been glued and secured, the same goes for the back. You already have a backing piece there to make this process a bit easier. Once flipped, you apply the glue to the back and exposed puzzle pieces. The spaces between the pieces should be filled from the glue application to the front. However, be sure to apply carefully in case glue will seep through to the front and leave extra globs on the puzzle picture and your kitchen table.
Frame your puzzle
Now that everything has been glued, dried, and secured, you are now able to maneuver your puzzle into the frame. This is by far the easiest process: you slide it in and lock it into place. Your puzzle is now ready to be on display.
Can You Frame A Puzzle Without Using Glue?
If you have decided to frame and display your puzzle as a family project and aren’t too thrilled about using glue or the wait time of drying, there is a way you can frame without using glue.
If you don’t want to use glue on your puzzle you will need to flip it over and then tape the back or use contact paper on it. That will hold it together long enough for you to get it in a frame.
While the non-glue process is much less messier than the glue, it does still come with its own set of challenges.
Flip your puzzle
This first step is the hardest throughout the process. You can use two sturdy pieces of cardboard to flip your puzzle. Slide a thinner piece of cardboard behind your puzzle and place a sturdier piece of cardboard on the picture side of the puzzle.
Now that your puzzle has been sandwiched together, very carefully pick up and flip your puzzle. If you are wanting to add extra pressure, you can use binder clips to secure the edges of the cardboard.
If the puzzle is large in size, you may want to recruit friends or family members to help flip.
Use an adhesive
There are several different options when it comes to adding adhesive to the back of your puzzle. There is contact paper that can cover the whole puzzle at once, or you can add rows of packing tape to make the puzzle secure.
Whichever your choice of adhesive, make sure to cover the whole puzzle. Once the adhesive is added, press down firmly to ensure that there is no bubbling in the adhesive.
Transfer to a frame
Now that your puzzle has the adhesive backing, you can place it in the frame. You can either slide the glass of the frame under the picture side and place the frame around the puzzle without picking it up, or you can flip the puzzle and slide into the frame.
Now that your puzzle is fully complete and framed, the only decision left is where to display the puzzle.