How to Preserve a Puzzle

This tutorial on how to preserve a puzzles uses a simple glue-type formula (Mod Podge) to stick the puzzle pieces together permanently. Great to use for hanging/framing a puzzle!

This tutorial on how to preserve a puzzles uses a simple glue-type formula (Mod Podge) to stick the puzzle pieces together permanently. Great to use for hanging/framing a puzzle!

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Alright, today's post is a little different than my normal content – but it's a really useful DIY that can actually be used as a pretty (and meaningful) decoration in some of the family spaces of your home!

I don't know about you guys, but we've been doing a ton of puzzles since quarantine started. It's a fun distraction that, at our kids' ages, the whole family can help with. You can actually find a great selection of smaller puzzles at Dollar Tree (that's where most of the ones you'll see today are from). I hated to put all of that work into a puzzle just to tear it apart – so we figured out a way to save them forever!

This tutorial on how to preserve a puzzles uses a simple glue-type formula (Mod Podge) to stick the puzzle pieces together permanently. Great to use for hanging/framing a puzzle!

Who says nothing good came out of this pandemic? 😉 We ended up creating a wall of puzzles in our craft room that we can remember forever. I hope this is a tradition we continue for years – as we complete puzzles, I'll continue to preserve them and hang them on this wall (with this sticky tack that I've used since my teacher years).

This tutorial on how to preserve a puzzles uses a simple glue-type formula (Mod Podge) to stick the puzzle pieces together permanently. Great to use for hanging/framing a puzzle!

The puzzles are actually super simple to preserve. You only need a few craft supplies (that you might just already have around your home).

How to Preserve a Puzzle

Grab a bottle of Mod Podge (the original…the puzzle kind is nice but not necessary), a sponge brush that you're prepared to throw away (it gets messy and sticky), and a simple piece of poster board.

This tutorial on how to preserve a puzzles uses a simple glue-type formula (Mod Podge) to stick the puzzle pieces together permanently. Great to use for hanging/framing a puzzle!

If you didn't build the puzzle(s) on the poster board, gently guide it onto the board by sliding it across the table.

Pour maybe 1/4 cup of Mod Podge onto your puzzle and get to brushing! Think of it kind of like when you grout tile – you're trying to get the Mod Podge to fill in the gap between the puzzle pieces as much as possible. It does not have to be super thick on top of the pieces.

You can see how it fills the gap between the pieces a little bit more in this picture. As you brush, make sure the thin coat on top of the pieces is even. It's going to be kind of cloudy when wet – it will dry clear.

Allow the first coat of Mod Podge to dry for 30 minutes to an hour, then apply a second coat to make sure all of the gaps in the pieces are filled. (If you're in a pinch and don't have a ton of Mod Podge, one coat is fine…the second coat just makes it more sturdy).

Once your two front coats dry, gently use your hand to pry the puzzle up if it has stuck to any part of the poster board. Flip over…

(Yes I know there's a piece missing. Yes it bother me.)

…and do the same thing to the back of the puzzle! Use your Mod Podge to brush as much as possible in between the pieces on the back, keeping the coats even.

Allow the first coat to dry, then apply a second coat the same way. On the back, you don't have to brush the Mod Podge completely to the edges…that way, the puzzles are less likely to stick to the poster board at the edges.

Let your puzzles dry overnight.

This tutorial on how to preserve a puzzles uses a simple glue-type formula (Mod Podge) to stick the puzzle pieces together permanently. Great to use for hanging/framing a puzzle!

And that's it! Super simple, right?

This tutorial on how to preserve a puzzles uses a simple glue-type formula (Mod Podge) to stick the puzzle pieces together permanently. Great to use for hanging/framing a puzzle!

I can't wait to fill our new puzzle wall up with new creations. I think this is going to be such a creative way to decorate…I'm a big fan of displaying memories in a home (rather than just “filler”), and this definitely fits the bill. Plus, it's super inexpensive – check discount stores and dollar stores for great puzzles deals. And now you know how to preserve a puzzle once you complete it!

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6 Comments

  1. Where did you buy your puzzles? I haven’t seen designs like this.

    1. All over the place, but several of these are Dollar Tree puzzles!

  2. Jodi Grunwald says:

    We have also done several puzzles and would love to display them. What do you use to hang your puzzles on the wall?

    1. Just simple sticky tac! I have the kind I use linked in the post.

  3. Gene Stoker says:

    Hello,

    I have been doing puzzles too. I have one that is of flowers and light in colors. My problem is that the puzzle piece lines after the puzzle was completed are very quite noticeable. Is there something I can do to tone these down so I can frame it? Thanks for any help.

    1. You can definitely see the piece lines when I preserve mine; I kind of think it adds to the charm! There is probably some kind of lacquer or varnish you can use to fill in those gaps, I’m just not familiar with it.