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Operation DIY How To Frame a Puzzle

Apr 26, 2022

Operation DIY: How To Frame a Puzzle

April 26, 2022 / Decorate, Create, DIY

If you’re the type that doesn’t get puzzled when staring at 100+ loose pieces on a table and have the dedication to see it out to the end, we applaud you! That’s an amazing feat – one definitely worth framing. Luckily, it’s a lot easier to frame a puzzle than one might think. So where to start? Here’s a handy breakdown on how to frame a puzzle so you can enjoy beholding your aesthetic accomplishment every day.

The Pieces of the Puzzle Frame

Puzzle Frame Pieces

Perhaps the most fun part of this DIY is that it is completely customizable, so let your imagination run wild. Here’s all you’ll need:

  • Your Puzzle: We chose a puzzle with a very colorful, tropical theme for this example.
  • Your Favorite Frames : From wood to metal and beyond, we’ve got over 800 frames to choose from. Choosing just one might be the hardest part of this project!
  • Frame Backing and Front: We used foamcore backing and an acrylic front, ideal for framing your master "piece".

Let's Assemble!

1. Find the Right Fit

Just like that super satisfying clicking together of two puzzle pieces, your puzzle should be the right fit for your space. Yes, there’s millions of puzzle pictures out there to choose from, but we find it best to think ahead to the end result, and consider what it will look like with your room’s décor.

There are two ways to do this: fit it to your current space, or make the space fit the puzzle. If you go big, bright and bold like our iguana friend here, you may want to consider the latter, or find a blank/white-toned wall to hang a super splash of color on. If you’re working with a busier environment, it might be best to consider a picture with a more muted color palette, so one single thing doesn’t overpower everything else.

2. Put it All Together

Puzzle with Pieces Unassembled

Ah yes, the fun part! Time to embark on the rewarding journey of piecing it together. Sit down with your favorite beverage, invite a friend or family member, and enjoy the experience. Using any sort of glue or adhesive as you go isn’t necessary; it’s safe to just complete the puzzle first and glue later on should you choose to do so.

3. Choose Your New Favorite Frame

That last piece has finally been placed. You feel the elation at the end of the journey. Now what? Since you’ve lived with the pieces for some time now, you’ll have a good idea of its color palette. Start by finding a frame that complements the whole picture and its colors. Our iguana is a colorful fellow; along with his blues, magentas, and yellows, we actually chose a bright green to emphasize what exactly he is – a reptile – and to bring out the detail in his scales.

You want to have just enough frame to elevate the puzzle without getting in its way. Not to say a wide Plein Air frame won’t work, but also consider skimming through the slims too. Our choice was a vibrant metal frame from our Fiesta Collection, but wood frames provide a natural option for landscapes or more organic pictures. Both metal and wood alike are sturdy materials that will support even the largest puzzles hanging on the wall.

4. Back it Up

Puzzles are fun to do, but they’re not that fun to re-do, so be sure to take care with this step. We’ll want to slide the reinforcing foamcore backing underneath the puzzle, which might mean setting the backing parallel to your table and slooowly nudging the puzzle onto it. Or, you can flip the puzzle and let gravity help, although that’s a bit more involved. Glue is not absolutely necessary for mounting your puzzle, but liquid glue (such as Mod Podge, just $5, or designated puzzle glue) can provide extra security. Just brush a moderate amount over top of the puzzle, spreading evenly and getting in between the cracks of each piece. Putting a piece of wax paper beneath beforehand can help avoid a sticky situation on your work surface.

5. Make Yourself a Sandwich

Well, not that type of sandwich (unless you’re hungry – in which case, by all means)! We’ll want to sandwich the puzzle between the reinforcing foamcore backing and acrylic front. On a flat surface, carefully slide your puzzle face-up onto the backing, and simply place the acrylic front on top, ensuring all components are nice and snug. And there you have it—your puzzle will be supported and preserved for a long time to come.

6. Show Off Your Accomplishment

Framed Puzzle in Room Environment

Once the puzzle is fully dry, mounted on your backing, and laying snug under your acrylic front, simply slide the “sandwich” into the frame and secure it with the proper hardware. And voilà! You are ready to show off that masterful mosaic. We have no doubt they’ll want to join you in putting together the next one.

Finishing a puzzle is a feat worth framing, and we would love to see your finished work! Tag us on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #framingjoy and we might just feature yours!

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