How To Glue A Puzzle | Directions and Suggestions from a Pro

by Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen

500 piece custom photo jigsaw puzzle from The Missing Piece Puzzle Company

To Glue or Not To Glue

Owning a Jigsaw Puzzle Company is exciting and I am frequently asked whether to glue or not to glue a puzzle.  For those of you who would love to glue your puzzle, I have included a suggested supply list and some easy directions.  If you are not inclined to glue your puzzle, please CLICK  HERE: for easy directions on how Not to glue your puzzle and keep it intact. 

Here are some easy and inexpensive suggestions to help preserve your puzzle for years to come. 

Let's start with a suggested Supply list.  Many items can be found around the house.  Be sure to purchase a frame that fits the puzzle size and leaves just a bit of extra room around the sides.  Here are my favorites supplies:

Supplies for Gluing a Jigsaw Puzzle

A Suggested Supplies List

  • Tape Measure
  • Wax Paper or Parchment
  • Rolling pin (optional)
  • Puzzle Glue (craft glue such as ModPodge or glue from your favorite craft store)
  • Paintbrush or foam brush for the glue
  • Apron
  • Cardboard for behind the frame
  • Frame selection allows for the thickness and size of the puzzle.

 Download your Supplies List here

How To Glue Your Puzzles

Step 1.

You'll want to cut a piece of Wax Paper (parchment works well too).  Cut just a bit larger than your finished puzzle size so you have some room around the sides, as this will help with any shifting that may occur when you flatten.  Be sure to lay this on a smooth surface.  

Step 2.

Next, place the puzzle face up on the wax paper and flatten the pieces down as you go.  You can also use a rolling pin for this to be sure that all pieces are flat. 

Step 3.

Once you've placed your masterpiece on the wax paper and flattened it out it's time to add some puzzle glue or modge podge.

IMPORTANT ADVICE:  Be sure to read the glue manufacturers' suggestions prior to gluing.  Also, be sure that the glue is not expired.  Next, spread the glue evenly and at the same thickness according to the manufacturer's directions.  Most glues will flatten out but this will ensure a beautiful finish.  Also, be sure to follow all directions on the container.  An apron can be your best friend during this step, as this can get a little messy your first time.  The wax paper should catch any excess glue.  

Step 4.

Now that the hard part is over, it's time to WAIT.  I suggest a good three hours before flipping the puzzle if you are gluing the back.  Just remember, too much glue may cause the puzzle to curl so if you are not framing the puzzle you might want to skip this optional step. If you choose to glue the back of the puzzle, please be sure that the front is completely dry before you proceed.  

Step 5.

WAIT 24 hours before framing to ensure that the glue is dry. 

How To Frame Your Glued Puzzle

If you've purchased a fitted frame, simply pop off the back cardboard and set the puzzle into the frame.  Any frame with a quarter to half-inch spare room is recommended to accommodate for the thickness of the puzzle.  If you are custom framing, cut the backing to match the puzzle.  A tape measure should help.

Enjoy your new masterpiece!

    If you aren't a fan of gluing your puzzle you can check out my no-glue method HERE.

    Thanks for checking us out. 

    Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen
    Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen


    Donna Brown, Puzzle Queen is the owner of The Missing Piece Puzzle Company and is passionate about making high-quality custom jigsaw puzzles "Made In America FAST".
    Her love of the product shows in every puzzle that she makes.
    A retired teacher of Special Needs students and a widowed Mom to an amazing son with Autism, life tends to be like a puzzle with each piece an important part of who Donna is.

    1 Response

    Karriemah Allah
    Karriemah Allah

    October 26, 2020

    Greetings, I am looking for something that I can keep my puzzle on as I complete it. I need something that I can pick up and move somewhere else when I dont have the time or space to leave it unfinished. I remember years ago, there was something you could put the puzzle on and roll it up or slide it under something for safe keeping. Do you have any ideas?

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