What to Do With a Finished Puzzle?

a puzzle of dogs on a stoop

While the excitement of setting off at the start of a new puzzle is thrilling, nothing quite compares to the feeling of triumph when you finish a complex jigsaw puzzle. It makes sense to take time and enjoy the victory you just achieved, but at some point, you’ll need to make room on your table once again. For those who don’t want to relinquish their success, you may be asking what to do with a finished puzzle besides tear it apart.

Whether you want to permanently frame and display your puzzle or tear it apart and make room for your next journey, here are a few options to determine the future of your completed puzzle. 

Take a Picture

    This isn’t the most permanent option on the list, but photographing your completed puzzle before dissembling it captures both evidence and a satisfying souvenir of your journey. 

    You can easily snap a picture with a smartphone or camera, save it for personal enjoyment, or share your accomplishments on social media or with friends in a group chat. Some people even publish pictures of their finished puzzles on digital frames to randomly remember the satisfaction of success.

    Hang it in a Frame

      A challenging puzzle may take weeks or months to complete, and for some, tearing the pieces apart would be heartbreaking. For the crafty, a great way to preserve your victory for posterity is to glue your puzzle together and hang it in a frame. 

      Before you whip out the glue, it’s essential to realize that undoing any adhesive would be a challenge – so any puzzle you decide to frame, you can only finish once.

      To frame your finished puzzle, brush a clear-drying glue over the top of the puzzle to stick all the pieces together. Once the glue dries, you can easily slide it into a frame (make sure you have one that’s big enough) and hang the finished product on the wall for all to see.

      Aside from getting to look at your accomplishment each day, framing a finished puzzle clears space in your game closet for an additional puzzle set.

      Break it Apart and Rebuild it Later

        Some people don’t feel exceptionally sentimental about finishing their puzzles. As such, once you’ve solved your latest jigsaw, it’s easy to break it apart and store it for rebuilding later. You can return to a good puzzle repeatedly for enjoyment, and your favorites are worth keeping around for precisely that reason.

        Whether it’s an easy 500-piece puzzle to fill a weekend afternoon or a challenging, 3000+ piece behemoth, saving your puzzles for repeated use can be just as satisfying as framing one. After all, you finished either way! 

        Donate Used Puzzles

          If a finished puzzle has seen better days, or you find yourself reaching for other options in your puzzle closet, donating used puzzles is an excellent way to free up space. 

          Donating a complete, used puzzle to a local thrift store or charity organization is a great way to share the love of puzzles with your community. You can also slate your well-loved puzzles for your annual garage sale or list them on eBay if you’ve got a collectible on your hands.

          Put It Under Glass

            Putting your puzzle under glass is similar to framing your finished piece as art, but instead of leaving your puzzle on the table, you’re preserving your puzzle inside the table. Many coffee tables and furniture pieces come with glass tops or shadowboxes that have room for a puzzle inside. 

            With this option, you can preserve your puzzle and admire it without giving up wall or tabletop space.

            Gift It to Another Puzzle Lover

              As a puzzler, you probably know a few other individuals who share your fondness for solving jigsaws. When you’ve finished a puzzle, gifting the set to another puzzle lover allows more people to enjoy the challenge of assembling a pastoral scene or beautiful artwork.

              Puzzles make for great gifts, and passing one along to someone who genuinely shares an interest in them makes the present all the sweeter for both you and the receiver.

              Host a Puzzle Swap

                Some puzzlers are so enthralled with their hobby that they’ve joined a subscription service or have several dozens in their closet, waiting to be solved. Once you’ve finished a particular jigsaw, or you’ve got several completed ones in your closet that you’re ready to rotate, consider hosting a puzzle swap.

                These swaps allow you to gather friends and family who share your love of puzzles and gift your old sets to those in need while receiving new-to-you puzzles from others. It’s an excellent, zero-cost way to foster a sense of community and keep everyone occupied with new puzzles.

                The Bottom Line

                It can sometimes be bittersweet to tear apart a finished puzzle, especially those with thousands of pieces that require hours to achieve completion. This list provides a great starting point for extending or making those moments of satisfaction more worthy. Whether you save your puzzle in a frame or gift it to another puzzler, it’s well worth reveling in the simple fact that, with much time and effort, you solved it.

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