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Operation DIY: How To Frame a Puzzle

May 3, 2018 / Decorate, Create, DIY

I’ll be honest with you – I’m pretty bad at puzzles. Those huge sections of a single color are just one giant “nope” for me. But if you’re the type that doesn’t get puzzled when staring at 1000+ loose pieces on a table and you have the fortitude to see that bad boy to the end, I applaud you. That’s one amazing feat, and it is definitely worth framing.

Luckily, it’s a lot easier to frame a puzzle than you might think. Wondering where to start? Well, our DIY Operatives have pieced together a handy breakdown for how to frame a puzzle so you can show off your accomplishment to the world.

The Pieces of the Puzzle Frame

Puzzle Frame Pieces

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

  • Your Puzzle: Iguana tell you that we chose a puzzle with a tropical explosion of color, but your style may vary. The choice is yours.
  • Your Favorite Frames : From wood to metal and beyond, we’ve got over 800 frames to choose from. Choosing just one favorite might be the hardest part of this project.
  • Frame Backing and Front: We use foamcore backing and an acrylic front, which are ideal for framing your masterpiece.

Ready? 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. That, and choose a picture you actually want to look at it for a long while.

There’s 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, you may have to do the latter, or find a blank, white wall to hang this super splash of color on. If you’re working with a busier environment, it might be best to choose a picture with a more muted color palette.

2. Put That Puppy (or Lizard or Landscape) Together

Puzzle with Pieces Unassembled

Ah yes, the fun part. Whatever puzzle you choose, it comes time to embark on the rewarding journey of putting it together. Sit down with your favorite beverage, invite a friend or loved one to join you, create a playlist of puzzle-themed songs, whatever works best for optimum fun. And take your time. We’ll wait. This little DIY will be here when you finish!

3. Choose Your New Favorite Frame

That last piece has finally been placed. You have felt the elation at the end of the journey. Now what? Well, since you’ve lived with this pieced-apart picture for some time, you’ll have a good idea of its color palette. Start by finding a frame that compliments the piece, not just simply one that matches. Our Iguana is a colorful fellow. We could have chosen to play off his blue hues, magical magentas, or unique yellows but our eyes went gaga for green. After all, it really brings out his scales, right?

As for size, you want to have just enough frame to elevate the picture without getting in its way. This isn’t to say a wide plein air frame won’t work, but it might be best to skim through the slims to see if one strikes your fancy. We chose a vibrant metal frame from our Fiesta collection, but wood frames provide a nice, natural option. Both metal and wood 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. You want to slide the backing under the puzzle, which might mean setting the backing parallel to your table and slowly nudging the puzzle onto it. Another option is to flip the puzzle so that gravity can help you with the backing, but that is a bit more involved. Glue is not necessary for mounting your puzzle, but it can provide extra security if you have any doubts on structural integrity.

5. Make Yourself a Sandwich

Mmmmm... sandwich... *ahem* Sorry, not THAT kind of sandwich. You want to make a puzzle sandwich with the backing and acrylic fronts as the “bread” and your puzzle is the delicious middle. If your puzzle is face up after sliding it onto the backing, simply place the acrylic front on top of the puzzle. Once you’ve made your sandwich, your puzzle will be supported and preserved for a long time to come. Gosh, now I’m hungry.

6. Show Off Your Accomplishment

Framed Puzzle in Room Environment

Set your foamcore backing, puzzle and acrylic front combination into the frame and secure it with the proper hardware and you are ready to show that masterful mosaic off to your friends. I have no doubt they’ll want to join you in putting together the next one.

I meant it when I said that finishing a big puzzle is a feat worthy of framing. We would love to see your finished creations. Tag us on social with the hashtag #framingjoy and we will marvel at your work, and may just show it off to our Creative Community!