If you’ve spent hours and hours finishing a puzzle, only to have to break it apart again to box it up, then this idea might just be for you!
My parents love puzzles.
I guess I should say they love THIS puzzle, and have solved it and broken it down and solved it again more than a few times.
My Mom decided that she wanted to keep their hard work, and the beautiful picture the puzzle created, by framing it up to hang on the wall.
Preserving a puzzle
They started by laying out some tin foil on the counter and then covering it with a layer of wax paper.
They picked up some Mod Podge in a gloss finish and applied a thick coat with a paintbrush. A sponge might even work better here – eliminating brush strokes on your finished piece.
The glue in the Mod Podge will seep into the cracks and hold the puzzle pieces together – not a strong hold, but enough so that you can flip the puzzle over after you’ve completed the sides.
I was shocked when they sent me the photo below – that’s a LOT of Mod Podge – but preserving a puzzle for the long-term, you really do need a pretty thick layer to hold all the pieces together.
It worked! Once the glue dried, the beautiful scene was easily visible.
The reason for two layers of tin foil/wax paper? So that once the front of your puzzle is dry, you can grab the wax paper and easily flip the entire thing over to coat the back – removing the wax paper first of course. Note: you may need to go around the edge of your puzzle with a utility knife to release the excess glue holding it to the wax paper.
My Step-Dad found an old frame in the basement and gave it a coat of gold spray paint to coordinate with the puzzle colours. He removed the glass, tucked the puzzle into the frame and then tucked the backer board back into to keep everything straight and taught.
Isn’t it gorgeous?!
It’s an illustrated version of the Nativity scene and it goes perfectly behind their actual Patience Brewster Nativity set.
I’m not a big puzzle fan, but now that I know my work wouldn’t have to be destroyed and boxed up, I might reconsider. Who knew you could frame a puzzle? (not me)
The gloss finish gives it a really pretty shine and will reflect the Christmas lights beautifully.
If you have a favourite puzzle – one that you’ve done together as a family, or holds a special nostalgia with it – this is a great way to preserve both the image and the memory.
Thank you to my parents for sharing these images and tutorial for how to frame a puzzle.
Have a great one!