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At some time or other during our crafting experiences, we all come to a place where our project may start to fall apart. Take courage as most DIY crafters make several attempts before they are satisfied with the final result of their work. This is why glue is one of the most essential items that every crafter must have in their toolbox. However, it is important that you choose the correct glue for your particular project. To do this you need to be able to understand what glue is best for your project, and in this article, we will be helping you to select the best glue for papercrafts.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Paper Glues
- 2 Different Types of Cardboard Glue
- 3 What is the Best Glue for Scrapbooking?
- 3.1 Acid-Free Adhesive
- 3.2 Wet vs Dry Adhesive
- 3.3 Is it Important to Make Your Scrapbook Archival?
- 3.4 Repositioning Photos
- 3.5 Best Wet Glue for Scrapbooking: 3M SPRAY MOUNT Artists Adhesive
- 3.6 Best Dry Glue for Scrapbooking: GLUE DOTS INTERNATIONAL Glue Squares
- 3.7 Best Double-Sided Tape: SCOTCH Double-Sided Tape
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Types of Paper Glues
There are more than 350 different types of paper glues or adhesives available on the market, which makes it difficult to choose the right one for your craft project. Each glue type has its specific characteristic, some are used mainly for general craft paper projects, others are more effective for scrapbooking, and some are best used for card making. They are divided into two main adhesive types that are best to use for your paper crafting projects and they are wet and dry adhesives.
These are generally known as glue and come in the form of a paste, liquid glue, and can also come in a spray. Spray adhesives tend to be the best glue for paper to paper glue. Wet adhesives can be used for photos, a non-porous item like metal or plastic, and different size paper sheets. Adhesive can either be temporary, permanent, or repositionable, which means you will be able to move your item around before it dries properly.
Glue sticks are used more frequently by crafters, as well as scholars. The glue sticks are all water-based and come in a ChapStick or tube form and are more effective when used for card making or on a large project that needs smaller details.
The great advantage of the glue stick is that the glue will dry clear, so if you have made a mistake it should not be an issue. Because it is water-based it is non-toxic and acid-free which makes it great for use in scrapbooking. The glue can easily be washed off making it ideal for use by kids as well as adults. It must be noted that the glue stick will not adhere to any plastic material.
This type of glue is also referred to as Tacky or White glue and is perfect for card making or attaching embellishments to lace, paper, or ribbon. It dries clear and will remain wet for about ten minutes, giving you time to adjust your items before it sticks properly. This type of glue is not recommended for sticking any heavy items like coins or gems but is more suited for lighter embellishments.
It is more frequently used for decoupage or projects for kids when covering Papier Mache projects, as well as making handmade party items or a photo collage. The glue is easy to wash off using soap and water. Just a word of caution, you need to wait for the glue to dry completely before you move your project around.
This type of paper gluing is very practical, as it can control the quantity of glue you want to dispense, and it is also portable and easy to carry around. When using the glue pen, you need to take care and not to put too much on your project as it tends to crumple up or warp the paper or board and leave you with a very unprofessional finished article.
You can use the glue pen to write a message or apply a little on your paper and sprinkle glitter or confetti over it for an amazing effect. It can be used for very accurate or precise work like attaching eyes and other shapes to your art project. The glue pen is a must for all crafters and can be used for a wide range of DIY arts and crafts projects
This type of paper gluing is environmentally friendly as well as very economic as you can buy it in large containers and then decant it into smaller glue bottles that are easy to use. All the glue bottles are reusable and come with different types and sizes of tips which can be sealed after use by replacing the cap to prevent the glue from clogging up the nozzle. It is easy to apply the glue and you can get the glue at the right spot you want with no mess or dripping.
Mod podge is glue, a sealer, and a finisher for any of your arts and crafts projects. It is also water-based and non-toxic and acts similar to acrylic paint. You use it for decoupage craft projects by cutting out various shapes from fabric or paper, and then you attach them to some other surface and use mod podge to glue them down. You can then add on more layers until you are satisfied with the finished article like jewelry, furniture, gifts, and much more.
Mod podge can be used on fabric, paper, ceramics, and glass, tin as well as on some types of plastics. Even though it is non-toxic, you should be careful not to get it on your skin or anywhere near food. Depending on what project you are working on, there are different types of mod podge and you should read the instructions on the container very carefully before using it.
Also known as glossy glue, it is a three-dimensional, clear gloss medium that will brighten, accent, or magnify the area on any of your scrapbook pages or other papercraft projects. It also acts as a paper adhesive which when you have placed your glossy accent underneath your embellishment, will then stick on top to make it look glossy and protect it. Glossy accents are water resistant but not water-proof so, if water does fall on them, they will soften and become cloudy.
Glue guns have been on the market for many years and are very popular. You just place the glue stick in the gun and switch it on, the glue will warm up and soften so that you can dispense it onto your project. These are excellent to use when you have difficult to reach places and can reach into all those crevices and cracks.
It is not recommended for use by kids as the glue gets very hot and may cause burns. The glue dries extremely fast, which does not leave you with much time to adjust the position of your item. The glue also makes sticky threads that need to be removed quickly, or it can cause a mess. The glue gun can be used for any papercraft and it also works well when gluing all types of accessories to your paper.
Clear Wet Glue
This type of glue is much stronger than white or PVA glue and is also referred to as cold hot glue. You can use it to glue on much heavier items, the glue is also more durable. However, this type of glue gives off a strong smell, so if you are making some special cards, then allow the smell to wear off for a few days before you give the cards away.
This type of glue can hold its shape and dries much like plastic or rubber. It creates a strong bond and is resistant to moisture, heat, weathering, and chemicals. It is odorless, clear, and acid-free and is perfect for card making. The glue is also great for decoupage and is for use on glass and foam.
The spray adhesive comes in cans and is generally used for spraying onto larger areas and is not recommended for card making or general crafting. The reason for this is that when you use it, you need to apply it in a well-ventilated area with the use of protective equipment. This is the best glue for paper to paper gluing. For example, it can be used if you are doing a large wedding seat layout, you can use the adhesive to cover a wide area and hold it down properly.
For most ordinary crafters, the use of super glue is not necessary, but if you are using different metal and plastic items, you may find that super glue is the perfect solution for you. However, you will have to be patient as it may take a long time to set completely.
Dry adhesives come in different forms and shapes like tabs, tape, dots, and also photo corners, and are used by most paper crafters. They are effective for surfaces that are porous such as chipboard, paper, and card stock.
If you have ever bought a magazine that has a free sample attached to one of the pages, and you notice the sticky adhesive at the back. Well, these are glue dots, which lately have taken the crafting market by storm. These small circular adhesive dots adhere well to plastic, paper, metal, glass as well as vinyl and come in a roll form ready to be removed and placed onto your project surface.
You can use them when you want to attach embellishments like scrapbooking pieces, jewels, lace, and lots more. They can be bought in various types such as semi-removable, removable, and permanent and are perfect when adding a special finishing touch to your paper crafting project.
Double-sided or Finger Lift Tape is easy and quick to use, clean, and also sticks instantly to the surface you apply it to. This tape is excellent as it is easy to apply, acid-free, and also heat-resistant. This is an important factor as your project will not come unstuck if you are going to use a heat gun for embossing or speeding up the drying process of your project. They can be purchased in roll form and come in various widths, but the most popular tape paper crafters use is the narrow width, which they use for layering and matting.
If you have larger and heavier projects, then you may have to go for the thicker and wider tape. The double-sided tape is good for use on paper, chipboard, and card stock. Take careful note before you buy the tape, as some of the tapes can be torn off while others need to be cut off. Many crafters prefer the tape that can be torn off as it is quick, but this is completely an individual choice.
The runner tape is the easiest, cleanest and quickest type of paper adhesive, and is excellent for use on all papercrafts. It is photo safe, acid-free and the refill cartridges are very easy to replace. For best results, apply it to very smooth surfaces only.
All it requires is for you to roll off the tape where you want to apply it and the job is done, there is no peeling or cutting required. So, if you do not want to be bothered by peeling off backing strips, then the runner tape is the answer. The runner tape is an excellent choice for kids’ projects, at the office, or craft projects of your own at home.
The foam tape is mainly used for adding dimension to your project, which can alter the entire appearance of your card or project. Foam tape is a double-sided tape that has a foam layer in the middle and is very quick and easy to use, similar to double-sided tape. The double-sided tape is made from exceptionally flexible polyurethane foam rubber.
They are supplied in different depths and widths and come in different colors. This means that you can buy a darker shade of foam tape so that when it is applied to a card that has dark colors, the tape will not be visible. Foam tape is a great tape to use for card making and also for scrapbooking, which gives you a 3D effect.
Foam pads are sticky pads that come in different thicknesses and sizes and come in a roll or sheet form. They are acid-free and very easy to peel off and apply. They are used for 3D-effect on smaller areas when applying your smaller embellishments. They can adhere to plastic, paper, wood, fabric, and lots more. You can also stick them onto your foam tape when extra layering is required and give you depth and dimension. They are mainly used when you do not want any sharp edges like the foam tape has.
Washi tape is more of a decorative tape and is used in scrapbooking and journaling to give added decorative patterns on and around the edges of the page. The effect of the washi tape is similar to sprinkling glitter onto some double-sided tape, but now you have a good quality look without the messy
glitter all over the show. Kids of all ages love working with washi tape, being able to create all kinds of patterns and designs on all sorts of materials. You can transform your school books and materials, your nails, ornaments, and even the walls of your house with the washi tape and it is a lot of fun doing it.
Masking or low tack tape, as it is often referred to, is not used for any finishing effects on your project. Masking tape is more of a temporary sticking down or masking off certain areas. Before using a low-tack tape, it is advisable to test it out first to see if it will leave any marks on your paper or board. It is also not advisable to leave it stuck to your board or paper for too long, as it may start to bond and will be difficult to remove.
With all of these different types of glue available, the task of choosing the correct type of glue to suit your needs can be difficult. So, to further help you in selecting the right glue for your project we have designed a crafters glue guide table below, which is easy to follow and will help you with your choice.
Quick Guide to the Best Glue for Paper
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Different Types of Cardboard Glue
There are a variety of cardboard glues out there on the market today and each one has its specific type of application. We will now be looking at some of the main cardboard glue types and discover what they are best used for.
Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) is the glue that has a water-based resin and is the primary ingredient for many different types of wood glues, as well as the glue kids use every day at school. PVA is the best choice for
gluing cardboard, paper as well as lightweight wood items. The glue forms a very strong bond, dries quickly, and also once dry, stays flexible. Just a word of caution, this type of glue is not suitable for bonding very heavy items.
Rubber Cement Glue
This is a latex, polymer adhesive and creates a tough bond. This glue is normally mixed with some solvent like acetone to keep it fluid for easy application. Rubber cement is a glue that doesn’t wrinkle paper and dries clear. Also, it will not shrink after it dries and gives you a solid rubber layer. This makes it ideal for gluing cardboard for various types of crafting projects.
If you want to form a quick bond with cardboard to cardboard, or paper, or even with felt, then a spray adhesive is the correct product to use. Because it is a spray, it is intended more for larger surface areas and is not too precise. Take care when using it as a spray adhesive does not give you a very strong bond so, it is suggested that you do not use it on materials that are too heavy.
Tacky glue is the brand name for a particular type of glue that is very similar to wood glue and is designed to remain tacky. This type of glue should be fairly thick and it sticks instantly to anything it comes into contact with. Although it is good for us3e on cardboard projects it is also a multi-purpose glue that has many applications.
If you have any form of cardboard you want to bond together, then hot glue is the one to use. It is extremely thick and does not run; it also has a very fast drying time and forms an extremely strong bond. However, if it is the first time you are using it, beware as it can be rather messy if you do not know how to handle it. When using any form of glue to bond cardboard there are some safety precautions that you need to be aware of:
- When you use this glue, remember to wear gloves as it is quick to stick to your skin and can cause damage if you do not remove it immediately
- Many of these types of glue require you to wear a respirator or mask, as it emits strong fumes. Working in a well-ventilated area is usually a good idea. We do strongly recommend that you always read the manufacturer’s instructions first.
The Best Glue for Cardboard: LINECO Adhesive
To make your craft project into a masterpiece, you will need energy, time, and of course an adhesive. We recommend Lineco Adhesive as it is considered the best crafting adhesive on the market. It can bond all your cardboard items together very quickly and will give you a satin finish. It also comes with a bottle that is resealable to keep your glue from drying out.
The glue is of high-quality, long-lasting, and is used for archival purposes and storing records. It is an excellent glue to be used for framing and photography. It is water-soluble, which means you can add water to it and extend its drying time. Lineco adhesive is fast drying to a clear finish and acid-free, which will not yellow over time.
The main advantage of this glue is that it is water-based, so if you find the glue slightly too thick, you just need to add a little water. This glue can be used to apply multiple coats which makes it perfect for, poster boards, photo albums, and much more. This type of adhesive is regarded as the best glue for cardboard craft projects.
What is the Best Glue for Scrapbooking?
When choosing the best glue for scrapbooking, you must choose one that is acid-free as you want those photo memories to last for a lifetime. Not so long ago the options for scrapbooking adhesives were very limited, but today there are amazing options available to make your scrapbooking experience easy and enjoyable. We would like to help you choose the right glue for your scrapbook, so we need to consider a few especially important aspects first before you make up your mind.
Firstly, it is important to remember that photographs and acids just do not mix. Photographs have been processed using an acid formulation and when that acid combines with the acid from your adhesive, a chemical reaction takes place. This means that the acid starts to bleed into the photo causing them to yellow, and may eventually ruin them completely. To avoid this experience, you need to buy acid-free pH neutral safe glue which will be seen on the label.
Wet vs Dry Adhesive
You need to decide whether to use a wet or a dry adhesive or opt for both of them. Wet adhesives are in the form of glue sticks or acid-free sprays, make sure the brand you choose is glue that doesn’t wrinkle paper or cause the glue to become brittle when dry. Dry adhesives can come in dots, photo corners, or tape. We recommend when gluing in photos, you use dry adhesives especially for scrapbooking, or for larger surface areas the use of a spray is easier.
Is it Important to Make Your Scrapbook Archival?
If you want to make your scrapbook last for a long time, we recommend that you use photo corners so that you will be able to remove them if you want to. However, if you do not mind your photos being stuck down permanently, then the use of dots or double-sided tape is recommended.
You need to decide if you want your photos to be permanent in your scrapbook or if you want to reposition them at any time. When you first start with your scrapbook, you may not be sure as to the positioning of your photos and if you glue them down then that is where they will remain. But if you have stuck your photo down and then want to reposition it not all is lost. Simply use some dental floss to safely remove the photo from its position. So, when it comes to the question as to what is the best glue for your scrapbook, then both wet and dry glue options should be considered.
Best Wet Glue for Scrapbooking: 3M SPRAY MOUNT Artists Adhesive
When gluing paper with wet glue, there are many options available to choose from as we have seen in our article above. The choice all depends on what you want to do. We recommend the following, however, there are many more options to suit whatever you are working on.
We recommend the 3M Spray Mount Artists Adhesive as the best-wet spray adhesive for sticking your photos and embellishments into your scrapbook, as well as many other art projects. It is a specially formulated acid-free spray adhesive, that dries very quickly and will not bleed through or wrinkles your paper. The product has been specially designed to glue items to a large selection of surfaces.
The spray canister has been specially designed to spray at a wide-angle for bigger areas and larger paper surfaces. It does not require a large amount of spray to stick your photos to the scrapbook pages, but it is suggested that you only use a very small amount. This means that one single spray is sufficient to mount your prize photos to the scrapbook page. If you have made an error, then simply peel it off and reposition it where you want it to go.
The 3M spray gives you around 12 hours to reposition before it dries and forms a secure bond that does not yellow or becomes brittle over time. When using this spray glue it is advisable to wear a mask and spray in a well-ventilated area only. However, this spray is not as noxious as many other spray types of spray glue on the market.
Best Dry Glue for Scrapbooking: GLUE DOTS INTERNATIONAL Glue Squares
When working with dry glue there are many options available to choose from as we have seen in our article above it all depends on what you want to do. So for this section of the article, we are going to give you two options to choose from but remember there are loads more to suit whatever you are working on.
Glue dots are very handy to have in your toolbox because there is no waiting time for the glue to dry and you have no mess to clean up afterward. The glue dots from Glue Dots International are all multi-purpose, acid-free, and non-toxic. Applying a little pressure they can adhere to almost any surface like fabric, glass, plastic, paper to name but a few. You can purchase these glue dots in removable or permanent format and their dispensers each hold 200 adhesive dots that are 3/8 of an inch in diameter.
You can use these glue dots for scrapbooking, greeting cards, photos, decorating, stained glass, and many more craft projects. Remember, glue dots are available in various sizes as well. Ensure when buying these glue dots that they are the correct ones for scrapbooking purposes.
Best Double-Sided Tape: SCOTCH Double-Sided Tape
Double-sided tape is ideal for fixing larger items onto your scrapbooking pages, as it adheres immediately, with no mess, and is super-fast to do. The Scotch Double-Sided Tape can be purchased in roll form that comes in various widths, however, the narrow width is ideal for use on your scrapbook pages for layering and matting. When buying your double-sided tape, take note that they come in rolls that need to be cut off with scissors, or rolls that just tear off. This is entirely up to you, but many scarp bookers prefer to tear the tape off, while others prefer to cut the tape to the correct length.
Often crafters become very frustrated with double-sided tape as they struggle to peel off the backing strip. So, manufacturers have developed a finger-lift tape that has dry edges on either side that allows you to remove the backing strip with ease. There is also the runner tape that only requires you to roll out the tape where you want it and the job is done, no cutting or peeling necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Stick Cardboard With Hot Glue?
Yes, hot glue will work just as well on cardboard as it does on any other paper or card you may choose to use.
Can You Use Super Glue on Cardboard?
Yes, you can use super glue to stick cardboard, but be careful as it will leave your cardboard fairly stiff and rigid afterward. There are better glue options for cardboard, so it is best to read the glue instructions before using it.
What is PVA?
PVA or Polyvinyl Acetate as it is known is a synthetic polymer that forms part of the non-toxic adhesive formulation. It can bind some porous materials like wallpaper, cement, plaster, and much more.
Is Epoxy Adhesive Effective on Cardboard?
You can use an epoxy adhesive to bind your cardboard, but the cardboard may tear away after a time. This means that the epoxy adhesive will outlast your cardboard.
Can Super Glue be Used on Any Surface?
Superglue works on most surfaces such as ceramics, plastics, glass, fiberglass, hard PVC, polycarbonate, wood, metal, and much more. There are certain hard and smooth surfaces and plastics that require a more specific glue type.
Can You Use Super Glue on Paper?
Yes, super glue can be used on paper. You just need to apply a small amount and spread it out evenly, careful not to get any on your fingers. Even though you can use superglue, there are better options for paper.
Can Hot Glue Sticks Provide a Permanent Paper Bonding?
Hot glue sticks do create a strong bond for crafting purposes but are not recommended for structural applications.
Finding the best glue for paper can be tricky, because there are so many different options available for gluing paper. Follow our complete guide above on all the different types of adhesives that you can use to help you find the perfect match for your project.