It is time for the second part of my Craft Essentials Series.
The first part of the series covered Card stock and it can be found here
Before I get started please remember that this whole series is my personal preference and from my own experiences, I am by no means an expert and always happily welcome any advice my fellow crafters have.
I have to admit I never realised there was so many different types of adhesive, and I know that it can be very confusing as to which ones to use.
I bet that some people are probably are asking “Why can’t I just use glue from the shop down the road? ” and hopefully this post will help you see the differences between all the types of adhesive.
I will apologize as this is a fairly long post, but I wanted to be as helpful as I could.
There is a list of product links at the end of every section which link straight to that product.
Wet or dry ?
I think this question is the most common one I see asked regarding adhesive and the answer really does change depending on what you want to use it for, and also what type of project you are making.
Do you want a bit of “wiggle” room to allow you to perfectly line things up ? Then wet glue is probably the best.
Do you want a project that you don’t have to leave to dry for ages ? Then dry glue.
I suppose i could leave this post at this point, but there is a bit more to take into account to enable you to get the best adhesive for your project.
I have tried to share a little bit of what I have learnt over the years.
I have had a fair few adhesive nightmares, especially when I first started crafting, to me back then glue was glue and I wish someone had explained to me the differences.
So I am hoping that you find all the below information helpful.
Wet glue is exactly what it sounds like, a liquid type of adhesive. And it comes in many forms.
Most people probably think of PVA or Superglue when thinking of wet glue and will wonder why you can’t use that in crafting, well you can !
PVA is water based so if you use it on card/paper the paper will often warp or wrinkle unless you use it sparingly, also as it is water based it can cause ink runs & affect certain finishes. But if you do use PVA…which I know plenty who do..Make sure you use it in small amount on paper and also remember that it does take some time to stick.
But you can use it on thicker cards and also I have used it within mixed media.
A good alternative to PVA is Tacky glue, which is PVA based but tends to stick quicker and doesn’t tend to warp paper quite as much.
PVA is probably the most widely used glue and can be a really useful adhesive to have in your home. But remember as it is water based it isn’t waterproof and things like humidity can affect projects it has been used on.
I have never used superglue in crafting, but I know a few people that use it to adhere embellishments as it tends to dry instantly and gives a very strong bond so is very hard to remove without ruining projects.
If you are going to use Superglue then make sure it is a type suitable to be used within crafting.
I spoke to a crafty friend who uses it and she recommended going for a model superglue as it tends to be acid free.
These are often forgotten about within crafting, but can be a great adhesive to have in your craft room. Ranger do a great one which I have used numerous times over the years. It tends to be fairly fast drying and gives you that little bit more control over applying than most wet glues. If I want to adhere paper with a wet glue then this is what I tend to use.
A good tip for these is if you are using tape but want some wiggle room the applying this over the top of the tape. Some glue sticks can also be used to apply certain foils
One wet glue I always make sure I have is a good all purpose one. I tend to use Collall.
I like to think of all purpose as kinda a cross between PVA & Superglue.
They tend to have to have the strength of superglue, but with some “wiggle” time like PVA.
It also is a good glue for use with embellishments and just if you want something that bit stronger.
Glossy Accents & Ranger Multi Medium Matt
A lot of people don’t seem to realise that you can use Glossy Accents as a glue, but you can and honestly it is a great, strong glue but due to its glossy nature is can show very easily on your project if any smudges or comes out from under embellishments, so be careful when using this. I know a lot of people use it for applying embellishments as it gives such a good bond.
Ranger Multi Medium Matt isn’t technically an adhesive, it is more of a medium and used in mixed media to give a matt finish and for image transfer and resist.
But it makes an awesome glue, especially for small embellishments such as sequins and gems. Due to its matt finish it is pretty much invisible when dry, and also gives a strong bond which dries fairly quickly for a wet glue.
Dry adhesive tends to be tape, tape pens/guns & foam adhesive. It comes in various different sizes and also strength and has a ton of different uses.
One of the main advantages with dry adhesive is that it is dry ! which means no drying time, and next to no mess, but it also means no wriggle room so mistakes can be harder to correct.
Double Sided Tape
There really is so many different types of tape glue, you can buy it on a roll or in tape runner form, it really is personal choice.
You also have different strengths, but all tend to be double sided.
One of the post popular types of tape tends to be Scor-Pal tape as it comes in lots of different widths and gives a nice strong bond.
Another good strong tape I’d recommend is red liner tape, this is super strong and a great tape for also applying foil or glitter stripes to projects, it can also be heat embossed.
Tape runners are very popular now, they are very easy to use and come in a variety of different “uses” from repositional to strong hold. I use tape runners more than any other type of glue, but I would shop around as I have found some don’t hold that well. The disadvantage with tape runners is that they do work out a bit more expensive than rolls of tape.
You also have the large ATG guns which are VERY popular, I will confess to have never used one so I cannot comment, but I do know a lot of people who swear by them, they are similar to the smaller tape runners, but are larger and can hold more tape, which according to a couple of crafting friends makes them more cost effective.
I just wanted to add about low tack tape, this comes in many forms but is something I would definitely recommend, it can be used to tape down paper when water colouring, for holding dies in place and also if you want to work out placement of items. I have in the links below including several different types of low tack tape, but it is something I would suggest any crafter have a roll of.
This is an essential for me, you can again buy this in several different forms from huge rolls to small precut squares/dots.
Foam adhesive gives dimension to projects and tends to be used in shaker cards and also the currently very popular slider cards.
My advice is to invest in both the roll and the precut squares. The roll is very handy and allows you to cut large pieces….trust me you do not want to try and cover the back of a large piece of card stock, or make a shaker with lots of small foam squares, I have done it and it took forever and was a nightmare and ended up with foam tape everywhere….even on the dog !!
Foam adhesive tends to be fairly inexpensive and would be something I couldn’t craft without.
In this section I wanted to cover a couple of adhesives that don’t really fit in with the above, or are brand specific.
Hot Glue Gun
If you haven’t used one or seen one these work by melting solid glue sticks onto whatever you want, they glue tends to dry straight away and gives a good bond.
This is something that is handy to have, I have to admit I have used mine more around the house than in my craft room. But be aware they do get very very hot and will cause burns if not used correctly. If you are using one please use a glass/heatproof service and be careful !
If you want to apply quite large/heavy embellishments then I’d definitely recommend a hot glue gun. You can pick them up fairly inexpensively and you can even get cordless ones now.
Stick-It adhesive sheets are fairly new and have been so well received.
They are a very thin sheet of double sided adhesive which can be die cut, or used in large pieces.
The thing for me that sets this apart from other double sided adhesive sheets is that it doesn’t fully bond until you firmly press it down,so if you place an item down and then want to move it, as long as you haven’t fully pressed it down you can.
Also because it is so thin it really is brilliant for using to adhere die cuts without adding any extra dimension to them.
A brilliant adhesive, that I would highly recommend, especially for people who use a lot of die cuts.
Xyron now offer lots of different machines which take different sizes, some you can add magnetic backing to items and also laminate. They run purely off you pulling the adhesive sheet, or the larger machines you need to turn the handle so no need to worry about electrical elements which is great if you want to craft with children.
They are also good if you don’t want any extra dimension to your projects.
I have the small sticker maker which, like all the machines you buy cartridges for and I have had mine for years. I am currently debating if to buy one of the larger machines as I have seen lots of good reviews.
They are a dry adhesive which does have a lot of uses and are great for apply a nice even layer of adhesive. Something I’d recommend trying if you haven’t.
Amy over at Prairie Paper & Ink
has created a couple of projects recently using Creative Stations so i’d check out Amy’s blog for some more info.
This probably would come under tape adhesive as they come on a roll. They are small circles of double sided adhesive which can be used for applying embellishments, small elements and you can also apply glitter to them and create your own glitter dots. These were hugely popular in crafting in the 90’s, but I don’t see many people using them anymore which is a shame as they are a great adhesive for smaller items.
These seem to bit of a love or hate item, but they can be a useful adhesive to have.
If you want to adhere a delicate item, or even a large item that you want to get a nice even layer of adhesive on then Spray adhesive can be the one for you.
You can various spray adhesives just make sure you get one which has the correct bond for you….you can get repositional or permanent.
PLEASE make sure you use spray adhesive correctly and in a well ventilated area.
I have an old box which I lay items in and then the box is take outside and sprayed, this is something I would recommend doing.
I hope this post has helped to show why there are so many different adhesives, and also what some of their uses are.
I like to have a selection of both wet & dry adhesives, but again this is my personal preference.
Just remember whatever glue you use make sure it is Acid Free and suitable for the project.
I have ruined projects by using the wrong type of adhesive and it was horrible.
If anyone has any other recommendations of glues, or any hints and tips then leave a comment below.
Next Craft Essentials will be Ink Pads.
If you want me to cover any Craft Essentials then let me know.
Have a great day & happy crafting