How Do You Glue A Jigsaw Puzzle? Directions and Suggestions from a Pro.

by Donna Brown August 10, 2018

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


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 for Gluing a Jigsaw Puzzle
A Suggested 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 that allows for thickness and size of the puzzle.


 Let's Get Started:

  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.  
  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. 
  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 spread the glue evenly and at the same thickness.  Most glues will flatten out but this will ensure a beautiful finish.  Also, be sure to follow the 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.  
  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 side please be sure that the front is completely dry before you proceed.  
  5. WAIT 24 hours before framing to ensure that the glue is dry. 
  6. If you've purchased a fitted frame, simply pop off the back cardboard and set the puzzle into the frame.  A 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.
  7. 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
Donna Brown


Donna Brown 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.

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Photo Upload Recommendations for a High Quality Puzzle
Photo Enlargements
*Higher resolutions will have even better results.
96dpi or greater
  • 8" x 10": 1200 x 1500 pixels
  • 10" x 13": 1500 x 1950 pixels
  • 16" x 20": 2400 x 3000 pixels
  • 20" x 30": 3600 x 5400 pixels
We recommend that you use images that are equal to or larger than the recommended sizes.  .jpeg or .jpg only please

If you are uploading a photo from a cell phone, please be sure to transfer the file in its highest resolution.  For example, on the IPhone, please transfer the file as "Actual Size".  Most files are compressed when transferred, leading to a loss of clarity and resolution. Transferring at the highest setting will provide better results.


Simply click the displayed "browse" button to view the files on your computer's hard drive, floppy drive or digital camera. Select the image file you wish to upload and click OK. Now just click the "Add to Cart" button for the product you desire, and your photo will automatically be uploaded to our production servers and electronically attached to your order.

Please note the following:

Uploading Image 
Files must be 20MB or smaller and jpeg format. The upload time will depend on the file size and your Internet connection speed. Please be patient when uploading a large image.

Please try to use the best-quality image possible.

Uploading from Cell Phone  
If you are uploading a photo from a cell phone, please be sure to transfer the file in its highest resolution.  For example, on the IPhone, please transfer the file as "Actual Size".  Most files are compressed when transferred, leading to a loss of clarity and resolution. Transferring at the highest setting will provide better results.

Best Size for Image
Depending on print area and size of your photo, minimum photo size requirements will vary. For best print quality your photo needs to be at 300 dpi. For example, if your photo is 3000 x 2400 pixels in size, it will print best at 10 x 8 inches or smaller.

Our photo editing process will inform you if your image is below minimum size.

Low-Quality Image
If your image is below the minimum resolution/size requirements, do not simply increase the size in your editing software. You must either rescan the image or use a higher-quality image.

Older Generation Phone Cameras
Please note that most older generation phone cameras will produce photos of very low quality that are too small for print reproduction. Photos downloaded from Facebook are also of lower quality.

Scanning Photographs
When scanning in photographs, please use a resolution of 300 dpi or more. When taking digital images, set your camera at the highest possible resolution. You can always reduce the resolution later. Low-resolution images cannot be increased without loss of image quality.

Cropping of Image
Your image will be reproduced as it appears. In some cases, we may crop the image for size, to fit the product you order. Close-ups and images with bright colors will produce the best results.

(We reserve the right to refuse reproduction of submitted photos at our discretion should they be licensed, copyrighted, or deemed inappropriate for language, content or material.)