Antique Puzzle...?


Mar 9, 2004
New London, MN
Hello all,

I've read through the postings about framing puzzles, but couldn't find an answer to my particular problem. I hope you can help me out.
A customer brought in an antique puzzle. It's about 9 x 12, a kids puzzle where the pieces fit in the cardboard base. I have no idea how to keep the pieces in place. They don't want the pieces glued down and I don't want it against the glazing. Any ideas???

We decided on a typical double mat design. But I'm at a loss on how to keep the pieces in place without altering the piece.
Thank you.
Welcome to the Grumble, Sabre. It's always good to see another Minnesoootan here.

The best way to keep all the pieces together is to wrap the puzzle in mylar. It will give the piece a shiny look but that's preferable to gluing.

Tulle might work as well. Experiment and see what you (and the customer) think.

Does everyone in Minnesota stay up all night?

If this puzzle has the very thick pieces, the Mylar might work. But the advantage of the tulle is that it will stretch, so it can put more tension on the puzzle to keep the pieces in place, provided you use a rigid backing, like Coroplast.

I never heard of tulle (or Coroplast, for that matter) until I landed in Grumble-land. Just in case that's also true for you, Sabre, it's pronounced 'tool' and it's the semi-sheer bridal veil material you can find in fabric stores and places like Hobby Lobby. It comes in a variety of colors, so you'd want to pick a color that is least conspicuous against the puzzle.

(If you buy some from Hobby Lobby, don't feel compelled to explain to the teenage girl who cuts the fabric what you plan to use it for. My experience is, they don't care.)

If the Mylar and the tulle don't work, and you have to put some glazing right against it, use Acrylic instead of glass.

Welcome to The Grumble. My apologies if you happen to be a teenage girl working at Hobby Lobby.
Ron, at least you managed to find a teenage girl to cut the tulle for you.

In my one and only foray into Hobby Lobby, the girl at the fabric counter managed to ignore me so completely that I decided she must have been one of my cats in a former life.

Kit, I took my teenage daughter along to help make initial contact and facilitate communications with the HL employees. That's how I knew the girl behind the counter wasn't interested in my dissertation about the many uses of tulle. Sarah told me later. ("Daaaad. SHE DOESN'T CARE!")

I'm hoping this tip will be generally useful-enough to other Grumblers that it won't qualify as a Frankenthread.
Oh, what the heck - it's already a Frankenthread.

Sabre, you wanna chime in here???

This could be a money-making venture for Sarah and an interesting alternative to baby sitting:


Adults who are forced by circumstances to shop at places like Hobby Lobby and McDonalds would hire her to accompany them. The job description is 'Generational Communication Facilitator'.

Kit guys are really showing your age if you can't communicate with the youngsters at HL!
:D Just remember when communicating with those kids working in places like that...just keep the words short and sweet!!
Also...what the heck is a frankenthread??????
Wow, thanks for all the ideas! I was really stumped!! I'm giving the mylar a try, I think that will work best in this situation.
I'll keep tulle in mind, I had not heard of that!

Gee, all the fabric stores around here have kindly little old ladies working at them....

Thanks again, I just found the forum a few weeks ago. I've learned alot already going through some of the older threads.
Originally posted by Debbe:
Also...what the heck is a frankenthread??????
Sometimes a thread will take on a life of it's own and wander all over the countryside.

Occasionally, if threatened by pitchfork-wielding Grumblers, it will eventually circle back around to the original question.

Or not.

You'll know it when you see it.