I recently completed a 9000 piece puzzle
that is 192cm x 138cm (76 inches by 54 inches for those of you of a non-metric persuasian). I want to hang it on my wall. I looked into puzzle glue, but it is not recommended for puzzles this large.
My husband's family always used to cover puzzles with clear contact (the sort you use to cover books), so we tried that (front and back). Unfortunately there are two problems:
1. It is not rigid. When we tried to hang it, it buckled and curled and bent.
2. The contact does not seem to hold every individual piece. When we tried hanging it, several chunks of puzzle detached themselves and fell down inside the plastic "envelope" formed by the contact. We managed to remove a bit of the contact and replace them, but obviously the contact is not sticky enough, or is not in touch with all of the pieces, or the weight of the puzzle is causing the pieces to detach.
So our thoughts now are:
1. glue the whole thing to a rigid backing of some sort? (After removing the contact from the back) We could use cardboard or foam, but I am concerned that this might not stick any better than the contact did. Also anything thicker than thin cardboard gets very heavy at this size.
2. glue a strip of rigid backing across the puzzle at several points? This would solve the rigidity problem, but not the detaching problem.
3. Something like one
The third option seems like the best solution so far, so here is where my main question here comes in:
I cannot find a banner rail that is exactly the size we need (76 inches). The largest one I've found is 72 inches. It seems to have stoppers on each end (see the second link above). Does anyone have experience with these - is it possible to remove these stoppers and use the rail on something longer than it was designed for? Alternatively, if we buy two of the smaller plastic ones, could we join them side by side and have it still look okay? If we can't get exactly the right length there, could we trim one of the plastic rails down? Does anyone know if these sort of rails would hold something as heavy as a puzzle, rather than the posters they are designed for?
My other question is whether anyone has any better ideas for hanging this monster? We can't afford to have it professionally framed - I have done that with smaller pieces at a cost of several hundred dollars: I hate to think what it would cost for something this size. My budget is a maximum of $200.
Finally, a little bonus question: we are going to be moving overseas sometime in the next year. How the hell do we take something like this with us? Will it be easier if we DON'T mount it to anything beforehand?
In case anyone wants to recommend products or services, please bear in mind that I am in Australia.