what to do with a finished puzzle: Creative Practical Ideas

Completing a jigsaw puzzle is one of those simple yet profoundly satisfying experiences. There’s something almost magical about watching a picture gradually emerge from a pile of seemingly random pieces. Each piece finds its place, and the puzzle slowly starts to take shape, leading to that triumphant moment when you fit in the final piece. It’s a moment of pure joy and a testament to your patience, focus, and perseverance.

But once you’ve basked in the glow of your accomplishment, a question arises: What to do with a finished puzzle? Sure, you could disassemble it and return it to the box, ready for another round on a rainy day. However, there are so many more creative and practical ways to celebrate and preserve your hard work. Whether you’re a seasoned puzzler with a collection of complex jigsaw puzzles or someone who just completed their first challenging puzzle, the options are endless.

In this post, we’ll explore various ideas for what to do with your completed puzzle. From turning it into a beautiful piece of art to giving it new life as a unique gift, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to make the most of your puzzle masterpieces. Whether you want to showcase your achievement, share it with others, or repurpose the pieces in fun and inventive ways, there’s something here for every puzzle enthusiast.

So, if you’re wondering how to make the most out of your favorite puzzle or looking for a creative way to cherish the feeling of accomplishment, read on for some great ideas on what to do with a finished jigsaw puzzle.

Puzzle Preservation and Display

what to do with a finished puzzle: Creative Practical Ideas

Displaying your completed puzzle is a testament to the hard work and time invested. Whether it becomes a conversation piece in your living room or a cherished gift for a family member, ensuring its longevity and visual appeal is crucial.

Framing Your Completed Puzzle

One of the most popular options is to frame your completed puzzle. This turns your hard work into a piece of art that you can proudly display in your living room or any other part of your home. Here’s how to do it:

  • Glue the Puzzle: Use puzzle glue to secure the pieces together. Apply the glue evenly on the front of the puzzle using a rolling pin or straight edge to ensure the glue spreads evenly and the puzzle lies flat. Be careful not to use too much glue to avoid excess glue seeping through the cracks. Allow the glue to dry completely before moving to the next step.
  • Choose a Frame: Measure your puzzle and find a frame that fits. Picture frames or special puzzle frames designed to accommodate the thickness of the pieces are great options. Once dry, select a puzzle frame that complements your home decor.
  • Mount and Frame: Carefully place your glued puzzle on a piece of cardboard or backer board, then secure it in the frame. Now you have a beautiful piece of art to hang on your wall!

Mounting on Foam or Backing Board

Mounting your finished jigsaw puzzle on a piece of foam board is a fantastic solution for larger or more complex jigsaw puzzles

  • First thing, apply mod podge or spray adhesive to the back of your puzzle. Easier access to the edges can be gained by slipping wax paper or parchment paper underneath the puzzle prior to application.
  • Press your puzzle onto the foam board using a second piece of cardboard to apply pressure evenly.
  • After the adhesive has set, use a sharp knife to trim the foam board, matching it perfectly to the size of the glued puzzle.

Creating Wall Art and Murals

Transforming your finished product into wall art or a mural is a creative way to revive a living space. Dry mounting is a common method where adhesive sheets are added to the back of the puzzle. Once mounted, you can display individual pieces of your puzzle collection together on a wall to create a unique gallery.

As a mod podge puzzle saver, apply a top coat over the entire thing for a glossy new look. Alternatively, a great idea for a larger display is to combine different completed puzzles into a single, expansive wall mural, the perfect conversation piece for fellow puzzle enthusiasts.

Use It for Décor

Puzzles can add a fun and whimsical touch to your home décor. Consider these ideas:

  • Tabletop Display: Place your finished jigsaw puzzle under a sheet of glass on a coffee table or side table. This not only protects the puzzle but also turns your table into a conversation piece.
  • Wall Art: If framing isn’t your style, you can use adhesive sheets or spray adhesive to mount your puzzle directly onto the wall. This creates a modern and minimalist look.
  • Puzzle Mat: If your puzzle has a protective surface, you can use it as a placemat or a decorative mat for your desk or workspace.

Create Puzzle Art

If you’re feeling creative, you can transform your puzzle into unique artwork. Here are a few ideas:

  • Puzzle Collage: Cut your puzzle into different shapes or sections and create a collage. You can glue these sections onto a piece of foam board or another backing to create an abstract piece of art.
  • Mixed Media Art: Combine your puzzle with other materials such as paint, fabric, or photographs to create a mixed media artwork. This allows you to personalize the puzzle and add new dimensions to the finished product.

Reusing and Upcycling Puzzle Pieces

Reuse the Pieces

If you’re up for a craft project, you can repurpose the puzzle pieces themselves. Here are a few ideas:

  • Jewelry: Create unique jewelry pieces such as necklaces, earrings, or bracelets using individual puzzle pieces. A fun idea for jigsaw pieces is to paint them and turn them into colorful accessories.
  • Ornaments: Turn puzzle pieces into Christmas ornaments or other holiday decorations. Paint or decorate the pieces and attach a ribbon or hook.
  • Magnets: Glue magnets to the back of puzzle pieces to create fun and quirky fridge magnets.
  • Gift Tags: Upcycle individual pieces as gift tags for that special gift, writing the recipient’s name directly on the back of the puzzle pieces.
  • Coasters: Mount several puzzle pieces onto a piece of foam board, trim with a sharp knife, and coat with Mod Podge for a customized drink rest.
  • Bookmarks: Attach a strip of cardboard or ribbon to the back of a larger puzzle piece for a quirky place-keeper.

By recycling your finished jigsaw puzzle into new forms, you not only honor your hard work but also gain unique items that can be used daily or gifted to a family member or friend.

Gifting and Donating Completed Puzzles

what to do with a finished puzzle: Creative Practical Ideas

After dedicating much time piecing together a challenging puzzle, you may consider the finished jigsaw puzzle a piece of art. Whether it’s the satisfaction of the last piece snapping into place or the collective effort that went into a complex jigsaw puzzle, the completed product doesn’t have to gather dust. Opt for gifting or donating your puzzle to extend its life and share the joy.

Finding the Right Recipient for Your Puzzle

Selecting the Recipient:

  • Family Member or Friend: Gifting a completed jigsaw puzzle to a family member or friend can be a heartfelt gesture, especially if it features an image they admire or reflects quality time spent together. It can serve as a symbol of the hard work put in and can be used as wall art in a living room or a bedroom.
  • Fellow Puzzle Enthusiasts: Search your social media circles or community forums for fellow jigsaw puzzle lovers who might appreciate adding your finished product to their collection. Exchange photos or descriptions of your puzzles, and find someone who may offer you a new puzzle in exchange for your completed one.

Customizing the Puzzle:

  1. Back of the Puzzle: Write a personalized note or sign the back of your puzzle for an added touch.
  2. Piece of Art: Use a puzzle frame to turn your jigsaw pieces into a permanent wall display for the recipient.

Puzzle Donations to Charities and Institutions

Donation Options:

  • Local Charities and Non-Profits: Organizations such as community centers, nursing homes, and charity organizations often appreciate donations of pre-loved puzzles which can become great game resources for their patrons.
  • Educational Institutions: Donating to local schools or libraries can provide educational resources or a fun way for students to enjoy solving puzzles together.

When gifting or donating your completed puzzle, ensure it is in good condition, with no missing pieces. Remember, transforming a finished jigsaw puzzle into a gift or donating it to those in need is a rewarding way to pass on the feeling of accomplishment and joy that comes with puzzle completion.

Organizing Puzzle Exchange and Sales

Completing a puzzle can offer a great sense of accomplishment. Now you’re ready to decide what to do with the finished product. Either exchange your puzzle to share that joy with someone else or sell it to continue funding your hobby.

Setting Up a Puzzle Swap Among Friends

Initiating a puzzle swap with your friends can be a fun way to keep your puzzle collection fresh without the need for buying new ones. The first step is to find friends who are also jigsaw puzzle lovers. Create a Facebook page or an Instagram account dedicated to your swap group for easier access and organization. Use these social media platforms to schedule swap events or to post pictures of your completed jigsaw puzzles, ensuring each puzzle is in good condition and complete.

  • Gather a list of friends: Share a business card with your puzzle exchange details when you meet fellow puzzle enthusiasts.
  • Set rules for the swap: Ensure puzzles are exchanged in their original puzzle boxes with all jigsaw pieces, and give your puzzles a new look by cleaning off any excess glue.

Selling Finished Puzzles Online and Offline

When you’ve put hard work into a completed jigsaw puzzle, selling it can be a rewarding option. For online sales, use platforms such as eBay or Etsy to list your glued puzzle. Be sure to photograph the front of the puzzle and mention if any pieces are missing.

  • Advertise on social media: Post clear pictures of your favorite puzzle on your social media pages.
  • Local craft fairs: These are great places to sell your puzzles, especially if they have been transformed into wall art, giving the finished product a new life.

For offline sales, consider setting a booth at local community events or flea markets. Always ensure the back of your puzzle is protected with a piece of cardboard or frame and labelling it as a piece of art can give the puzzle a special touch.

  • Consignment shops: Offer your completed puzzle framed as wall art, giving buyers the chance to see the quality of your work directly.
  • Local schools and communities centers: They often have bulletin boards where you can display a flyer with pictures of your puzzle collection available for sale.

Wrapping Up What To Do With A Finished Puzzle

There are many creative ways to appreciate and repurpose a finished puzzle. Whether you choose to frame it, create art, use it as décor, gift it, donate it, swap it, or reuse the pieces, your completed jigsaw puzzle can continue to bring joy and inspiration. So, the next time you place that last piece, think about how you’d like to preserve and celebrate your feeling of accomplishment.

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