How To Frame Jigsaw Puzzles With Picture Frames

Making a picture frame to display a jigsaw puzzle is a great way to have fun and enhance your home.

A large number of people turn to the humble jigsaw to help keep their mind active and to enjoy some quiet time creating some great pictures.

There is an amazing range of jigsaw puzzles of various pictures and with varying levels of complexity available. Some people get bitten by the jigsaw bug and often the whole family can get involved in contributing to the outcome. It’s a bit like having dinner together around the dinner table rather than sitting in front of the TV. When you turn off the electronics and just do something creative or challenging with each other it becomes a good time to talk or if you are alone it becomes a peaceful time to think. Life is so busy and cluttered with numerous tasks that this thinking time is quite precious.

If you have spent several hours or weeks putting together a jigsaw puzzle and you don’t want to just put it back in the box, then framing it, is a great solution. You not only get a great decorative item but you can look at it and remember the time spent having fun with the family.

There are a few things you should consider if you are going to frame your puzzle.

It helps if you have done the puzzle on a rigid board so you can transport it to the framing shop. Usually the best way to transport it is to sandwich the puzzle between two pieces of plywood or MDF. Some people prefer to apply a layer of puzzle-fix to the surface of the puzzle once it is finished. Puzzle-fix is a transparent varnish that acts both as a protective layer but also as a glue to join the pieces together. You can use an artist’s acrylic varnish for the same purpose.

The picture framer will mount down the puzzle onto a substrate using either a wet glue like PVA or EVA or a self-adhesive coating that has been pre-applied to the mounting board. One of the common mounting boards used is self-adhesive foam board. The foam board is easy to cut and offers good support to the finished jigsaw.

You can always purchase some of the sticky foam board and take it home to mount the puzzle yourself. The way to mount the puzzle is to turn the puzzle over so it is face down on a hard flat surface. You can do this by sandwiching the puzzle between two rigid boards and then flipping it over. Then you peel the release film coating off the self-adhesive board and push the sticky coating down onto the back of the puzzle. Smooth over the backing applying firm pressure to ensure the puzzle pieces bond to the board. Carefully turn the mounted and glued puzzle back over and then rub down the pieces with a soft cloth to ensure that every piece has bonded securely. You can then frame the jigsaw as you would any other picture.

It is wise to consider using mat boards around the jigsaw to both enhance the image and to protect the puzzle from touching the glazing material. Pictures deteriorate quicker if they touch the glass. You should also consider a UV filtering glazing product if you want to get the best value out of the framed piece. Jigsaw puzzles are not necessarily printed with light-fast inks so they can fade and change color. You would minimize this color loss by using the UV glass and therefore get a much better outcome over the years.

Some people opt to not put glass on their framed jigsaw and they just use the protection provided by the puzzle-fix coating. This is a great option if you wish to economize or if it is just for a kid’s bedroom.

The other good thing to consider is many jigsaw puzzles are standard sizes and they often come in series or collections. It is easy to do a puzzle and have it framed simply and then when you are tired of it you can do the next puzzle in the series and just re-use the picture frame. Sometimes the puzzle can be framed without adhering it to the board so when you want to change it over it can be put back in the box.

Next time you want to get a new picture framed maybe think of a jigsaw puzzle as a way to have some fun and to decorate a room at the same time.