Introduction: Cheap Way to Save a Puzzle

About: I have been an industrial electrician for almost 10 years. This is why many of my projects are electrical related. I am working on a BS degree for LD&T.
I enjoy putting together puzzles and hanging them up for home decoration.  You have a few options when it comes to displaying a finished puzzle.  The cheapest way is to just stick it in a frame that holds it tight, but not glued together.  With this option you might save money, but if it falls off the wall you run the risk of the puzzle falling apart and needing put together again.  You can buy one of those bottles of powder and mix it up, but those little bottles can get expensive.  There is always the most expensive way, taking a finished puzzle to a frame shop and let them glue it and frame it.

I am cheap, so i spent some time looking for a way to save my puzzles.  The cheapest way I have come up with is to use simple Elmers glue.  The same glue every kid uses in school.  

- easy to get
- cheap
- non toxic
- no bad odors
- fast drying
- easy to work with

- leaves the puzzle with a matte finish

Now I will show you how use it.......

Step 1:

Items needed

- Puzzle
- Plastic
- Elmers Glue
- Something to spread the glue
- A knife 

The first thing I do is prepare an area to work on the puzzle.  I first tape a large piece of plastic down to a table, I used a cheap garbage bag.  

now assemble your puzzle.  

Step 2:

After you have finished assembling your puzzle you will need the glue and something to spread it with. The black tool that I use is a squeegy from a window tinting kit. In my pic the bottle of glue is a 1 gallon bottle.  I have done a lot of puzzles with this bottle.  I also use the glue for other crafts, thats why I spent the $12 for a gallon bottle.  This is the normal white glue, Elmers also makes a clear glue but i have not tried to use it. 

The knife will be needed later. 

Step 3:

First I just pour some glue onto the middle of the puzzle. Then just start spreading. make sure to cover the entire puzzle, add more glue if needed. do your best to make an even coat across the entire puzzle. 

As you spread it thinner it will start to dry, if it starts to clump up stop spreading it. You may need to add a little more glue to make it spread out smooth.  Be sure to get all the edges.  You can see in the last pic that I ran the glue off the edge a little. 

Step 4:

Let the puzzle set until it is completely dry, this may take a few days.  

Carefully lift the puzzle off the plastic. I normally start in one corner and work my way around.  If the puzzle pieces are breaking apart then you did not put enough glue on, just put another layer of glue on.

You can see in this pic the way the glue dried on the edge of the puzzle.  This is when you need a knife.  Carefully trim the excess glue off the edge, but try not to cut into the puzzle.  

Once you have finished trimming the excess glue off you are ready to hang the puzzle.  At this point you can attach a picture hanger to the back, or put it in a frame.  

Update-- After a comment below I added a pic.  I recommend some one try it another way and let us all know how it turned out.