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Craft Adhesives - which one to use

Updated on May 14, 2010

There is no one glue that will do EVERY job. And, yes folks, that does include Superglue. Just because it can stick your fingers together doesn't mean that it will stick anything and everything!

So which glue to use for what job?

Making Cards

You will want an adhesive that won't soak into your card/paper, wrinkling or distorting it. A solid glue such as Pritt Stick is fine for sticking most papers and cards, as is double-sided sticky tape - which can also be used for sticking on flat, lightweight embellishments. Tape is better than glue stick for glossy or metallic card, but is not suitable for mulberry or other fibrous papers. 

A thick/tacky PVA glue can used with mulberry paper, but it's best to brush it on for an even application. (Be sure to rinse your brush in water every couple of minutes, to make sure the bristles don't get glued together!)

A glue pen is really handy for small embellishments such as rhinestones, and for applying glitter, flock, etc.

For “lumpy” embellishments, a thick glue is best for a more secure hold. Good water-based adhesives include Crafter's Pick Ultimate Glue or Tulip Dimensional Paint, both of which are tacky enough to hold the embellishment almost instantly (unless it's heavy) and they work on various surfaces so are good for standard, glossy or fibrous card/paper. If these don't work for you, you may like to try solvent glues such as Bostick, Uhu, or Evostick.

If you make cards for resale and make the envelopes to match, you can put double-sided tape on the envelope flap, leaving the backing on the tape so that the buyer can simply peel the backing off to seal the envelope.

Making Jewellery

You will probably be working with a variety of non-porous materials and these can be more difficult to stick together. Hypo Cement is good for bonding plastics/acrylics, ceramic, glass and metal, and it has a fine applicator nozzle for precision work. It's great for sealing knots.

Ultimate Glue is useful for “floating” or “illusion” necklaces, where the beads are glued onto monofilament.

Embellishing Fabric

When glueing on diamante, sequins or other embellishments, you need a glue which won't stain the fabric or dissolve in the wash. If sticking fabric to fabric, it will also be important that the glue dries flexible and doesn't stiffen the fabric. Tulip Dimensional Paint and Hi-Tack Trimit Glue are flexible adhesives which are washable BUT it is best to wash the garment inside-out at a cool temperature as heat can melt the glue. You should also take care when ironing not to overheat the glued area.


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