How to Glue a Puzzle
So you've just completed putting together your masterpiece and want to glue it so you can enjoy it for years to come. Here are some tricks and tips from the puzzle pros to help make sure your work of art is properly prepared and finished to shine like it deserves to!
Gluing your Puzzle is Quick & Easy! Here are some reasons to do it:
• It transforms your puzzle into one, incredibly spectacular, seamless piece!
• It showcases your long hours of dedicated work and turns your project into a true masterpiece!
• People love seeing the completed work, so share it for everyone to enjoy!
• It creates a brand new, original piece of art, right there in your own home - and you were its creator!
• Gluing jigsaw puzzles is easy, fun and very affordable to do!
• Most of all, gluing your finished jigsaw puzzles is a great way to save your puzzle to enjoy for a lifetime!
Make sure to put a protective covering on your work space in order to keep your area clean and prevent a big, sticky, gluey mess! Use some wax or parchment paper and carefully slide it under your completed puzzle (Note: we caution you NOT to use newspaper as it can leave you with a very big mess as it tends to stick to your puzzle and your table). Be sure to leave a few extra inches or so all the way around all sides of the puzzle. You might find it helpful to get a second set of hands to hold the puzzle in place while you work the wax or parchment paper underneath. The reason for this manoeuvre is to protect your table from excess glue that may or may not seep through the puzzle piece cracks and save both your puzzle and your workspace! Once the wax or parchment paper is under the puzzle with some excess on all sides, gently use a rolling pin to make sure the entire puzzle is as flat as you can get it! The flatter, the better, so get rolling! You’re ready to spread the glue!
- Pick the right glue for the job! There are several types of glue on the market: Liquid, Spray, Powder, Glue Sheets, etc., all made by different companies and all having different advantages. We carry several brands of glue and storage units you can use to enjoy your puzzles forever. Check them out: https://jigsawjungle.com/storage-mats-glue-accessories.html
- First things first, pick a puzzle you love that you will enjoy looking at time and time again! We have thousands of puzzles to choose from which will make your choices seem endless. Whether you're working-on a 100, 500, 750, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000 or a larger puzzle, they can all be glued and featured on your wall! (The most standard size puzzles tend to fall in the 500-1500 piece range).
- Now that you've just completed your favourite Ravensburger, White Mountain, Clementoni, Jumbo, Cobble Hill, Ceaco, Lafayette, Educa, Eurographics, Springbok, Masterpieces, D-Toys, NYPC, Trefl, Karmin, SunsOut, Gibsons, Falcon, Vermont Christmas, Pomegranate, Melissa & Doug, Piatnik, Danawares, PrimeMotion, Anatolian, or any other creation and you want to be able to enjoy it forever; make sure to smooth it out thoroughly and that all the pieces fit together nicely - once you start putting the glue on, it will be too late!
Ok, pick your glue and let's get sticky! You want to choose a glue that seals clear, solid, strong and has a finish that works well with the finish of your puzzle. The majority of puzzlers generally to like using liquid glue because it spreads easily, evenly and it tends to be a less costly option. Also, no mixing is needed, as it is already prepared for you in the bottle. We like Masterpieces and Ravensburger’s glues because they go easily and dries totally clear. This allows you to see where you have spread the glue more easily than with clear glue.
Some manufacturers even include glue inside the packaging for puzzles of 500 pieces or more (Educa, for example, is a manufacturer that has done this for many years). While it's not required, it's never a bad idea to use a brand of glue that was manufactured by the same company who produced your puzzle. IMPORTANT: Make sure you have enough glue to cover the whole puzzle (front and back if you want), before you start gluing. The label on the bottle, box or packaging should indicate the coverage (size and number of pieces) you can expect when using their product. If the liquid glue you have chosen to use claims to have enough glue to cover 2 x 1000 piece puzzles (a total of 2000 piece coverage), do not attempt to glue your 3000 piece masterpiece with just one bottle or you'll run-out of glue before you're done!
- The best and easiest way to glue your puzzle is to poor the glue right on top of it and use an applicator, plastic paddle, business card, piece of cardboard or brush to spread the glue around. Make sure to spread the glue as evenly as possible, paying attention to the edges (some brands include an application paddle or a brush attached to the bottle cap you can use to help you along in the gluing process). Be careful not to brush or spread too much glue at once as it may ruin your hard-work, causing the puzzle to peel or swell! It is vital that you cover all of the pieces - leave no piece forgotten! Make sure you have enough time to complete the job, because once you have started, you'll need to continue until you have finished (don't stop part way through for anything or you may be sorry). Many glues can take an average of 3-5 hours to bond, seal and dry.
- As long as you are covering everything completely, don't worry too much about the immediate look. You may notice some small air bubbles throughout, but these will normally shrink as the glue dries, leaving a nice even finish. Again, be careful not to brush or sponge on too much glue at once – it is possible to over saturate the puzzle causing it to swell or peel and you don't want that happening.
- They say "patience is a virtue" and they really mean it when it comes to gluing your puzzle! Make sure to let your puzzle dry thoroughly before handling it! While the glue will take up to 5 hours to bond, seal and dry properly, in most cases it is ready to be moved in about 2-3 hours. If you don't need to move it, we suggest leaving it where it is the extra couple of hours so it can dry completely. After drying, you should be able to pick up your puzzle - this time in one piece! Once it is dry you can use a ruler or spatula to separate the paper from the puzzle.
A Few Helpful Tips:
- Did the edges curl-up a little after the glue finished drying? Try carefully flipping the puzzle over and applying a coat of glue to the back-side of the pieces. Once the glue has dried on the back, it will typically pull itself flat again. Once the puzzle is dry, you can also cover the surface with some wax or parchment paper and place any flat object that is weighted and larger than the puzzle (like a piece of plywood) to press the puzzle flat again. After about a day or so, your puzzle should look great and be ready to frame & hang for everyone to enjoy!
- Depending on the finish of your puzzle (glitter, metallic, high-gloss, lenticular, etc.), some adhesives and glues are not ideal and alternative glue options, like Puzzle Presto Peel & Stick by Buffalo Games & Puzzles (http://www.jigsawjungle.com/puzzle-presto-peel-stick.html) or Eurographics Smart Puzzle Glue Sheets, should be used. These products are easy-apply adhesive sheets that can be applied to the back of the puzzle to hold it together on preparation for framing and hanging. Many puzzlers prefer using these options over liquid or powder glues as there is no sticky mess or drying time involved. Some puzzlers like to combine options and choose to apply a liquid glue to the front of the puzzle and adhesive sheets to the back, for example.
Whatever your glue-need may be, there are a number of choices available today to meet your requirements. Find a wide variety at JigsawJungle.com (https://jigsawjungle.com/storage-mats-glue-accessories.html)
That's it for our tips on how to glue your puzzle! Be sure to check-out some of our pointers on how to Mount, Frame & Hang" your puzzle!