How To: Fix A Broken Puzzle Piece With Household Materials  The Missing Piece Puzzle Company
August 14, 2023

How To: Fix A Broken Puzzle Piece With Household Materials

How to fix a broken puzzle piece

Fixing a broken piece of a puzzle really isn't as challenging as you may think. 

The task requires a few household tools, and perhaps a little patience, and will save your puzzle from being tossed out in the trash.  Please keep in mind that the success of this project may depend on the severity of your broken piece.

Next are a few ideas to repair a puzzle piece with a clean break.

Suggestions To Repair A Broken Piece With A Clean Break

It's true that all puzzles were not created equal.  Some puzzles peel easy while some shapes may break easy.  It all depends on the strength of the board, the cut of the piece, and the puzzlers handling of the puzzle pieces.  I'm sure that we can all agree that some puzzle pieces are definitely more fragile than others.

Here's a great way to repair a broken puzzle piece.

What Household Items Can You Use?

Repairing a puzzle piece that has a clean break requires a few household items that you might have laying around. 

Materials you might need:

  • Clear tape: For small and clean breaks, clear tape can help hold the pieces together without causing significant distortion.
  • Craft glue or adhesive: If the break is clean and large, a craft glue or adhesive specifically designed for paper might be suitable.
  • Wax paper or plastic wrap: To prevent the puzzle piece from sticking to other surfaces during the repair process.
  • Toothpick or small brush: Useful for applying a small amount of adhesive without making a mess.
  • Tweezers: For holding and positioning small puzzle pieces.

How To Fix A Broken Puzzle Piece

Assess the Damage: In a well lit area, gather the items and the broken puzzle piece.  Examine the broken edges of the puzzle piece to determine the extent of the damage and how well the pieces fit together.  Line up the puzzle piece so that it will attach with the least damage showing, if any.    

Prepare the Area:  Place a piece of wax paper in the area of the repair.  This will be useful to contain any mess that might occur.  You will use more wax paper in future steps, so please make sure you have a large square.

Prepare the Pieces: Gently clean the broken edges of the puzzle piece to remove any debris or puzzle dust. Make sure the edges are clean and free from any residue.

Fit the Pieces Together: Align the broken edges of the puzzle piece to see how well they fit. If they fit neatly together without gaps, you're in luck.

Using Clear Tape: If the break is small and clean, you can use a thin strip of clear tape on the back of the puzzle piece to hold the broken edges together. Make sure the tape doesn't cover the puzzle image. Trim any excess tape.

Using Craft Glue: For larger breaks, place a small amount of craft glue on one of the broken edges using a toothpick or a small brush. I prefer to use a toothpick, as there is less mess.  Carefully position the other piece and press the edges together gently. It's very important to wipe off any excess glue with a damp cloth, as some glue dries much faster than others. Be cautious not to use too much glue, as it can cause warping or distortion in the puzzle board.


Press and Hold:
Once the pieces are aligned and glued together, gently press the broken edges together and hold them in place for a minute or two to allow the adhesive to bond. Use tweezers to hold small pieces.


Wax Paper or Plastic Wrap:
Place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap over the repaired puzzle piece to prevent it from sticking to other surfaces. You can place a weight on top to apply gentle pressure while the adhesive dries.


Drying Time:
Allow the adhesive to fully dry as per the instructions on the adhesive packaging. This might take a few hours to overnight.


Inspect and Clean: O
nce the adhesive is dry, carefully remove any excess glue that might have seeped out during the repair process. Check the front and back of the puzzle piece to ensure it's clean and intact. Remember that repairs might not be perfect, and there might be slight variations in color or texture where the break occurred.


Additionally, the above steps are general guidelines. Always follow the instructions on the adhesive you're using and proceed cautiously to avoid damaging the puzzle piece further. If the puzzle piece is valuable or irreplaceable, consider seeking professional assistance or advice from the manufacturer. 


PRO TIP: 
Repair any areas that may be discolored with a Sharpie marker, colored pencil, or other method.  Try to match the color as closely as possible. 

Remember that repairs might not be perfect, and there might be slight variations in color or texture where the break occurred. Additionally, the above steps are general guidelines. Always follow the instructions on the adhesive you're using and proceed cautiously to avoid damaging the puzzle piece further. If the puzzle piece is valuable or irreplaceable, consider seeking professional assistance or advice from a conservator.  I've recommended to a few customers that they contact their local college Art department for help.  Be creative!


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I hope that this simple process helps to complete your puzzle.  As always, #puzzleonpuzzlers.If you need some professional supplies, such as puzzle board, puzzle covering, etc., we've put together an inexpensive kit for you. 

 The Missing Piece Puzzle Company