DIY: Puzzle Art

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My family loves to do puzzles.  I love to do the border of the puzzle and then sucker my family into finishing the rest of it for me.  Seeing the finished product always feels great, and I have found a love for preserving the puzzles.  Here is how to turn a puzzle into a piece of artwork for your home or office.  

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Step One:  Preparation
Parchment or wax paper work really nicely to help keep the puzzle from adhering to the table you are working on.  If you leave enough space around the edges, then you can also pick the paper up and transport the puzzle to another location to dry if need be.

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Step Two:  Picking a glue
I like liquid glue the best because it spreads evenly.  Make sure you select a glue that comes with an applicator.  This will make the process so much easier! This option is great.

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Step Three:  Application
I like to pour a fair amount of glue directly onto the puzzle and spread evenly with an applicator.  Be careful not to put too much glue at once, because it can cause the puzzle to swell or peel.  You also want to make sure that you have that puzzle completely covered, because when you go to frame it, you are going to need to flip it over.  

Let the first coat dry over night, and then apply another one over top the next day.  I tend to find that you don’t need to coat the back of the puzzle, because a lot of the glue will wiggle its way down into the nooks and crannies of the pieces.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t lay flat just yet, because it will be completely flat once it the frame.

Step Four:  Framing the puzzle
Measure your puzzle to ensure that your puzzle is indeed the size that the box claims.  Sometimes, puzzles can be up to 1/4 ” off and this really adds a big difference.  Once you have this measurement, you can order your frame to match.  Make sure that you take into consideration the thickness of the puzzle.  Most standard puzzles will fit standard frames, but make sure it’s not too much more than 1/4″ or you will have to go the shadow box route or similar.

Matting is optional, but I think it looks even sharper to add matting.  The mat that I had selected took about an inch and 3/4 off of my puzzle.  Again, this is personal preference.  You can order matting off of Amazon that will just fit over top of your puzzle rather than you having to cut matting on your own.  If you’re very ambitious and want to try out matting, check out this article. 

Now that you have decided if you want to do a full puzzle or a mat, then you can move on to the next step.  I like to place the frame with glass or plastic face down on a clean surface.  After drying over night, your puzzle should be one big sheet.  Obviously, matting will go first if you went that route.  Once that step is done, gently flip your puzzle face down to fit in the frame.  Tape the edges to the cardboard backing.  Everything should fit snugly and be centered.  Finish securing the contents of your frame and enjoy your beautiful new piece of decor!

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