This past week while I was making some cards I was thinking about all the different options out there for adhesives for projects. Today, I thought I’d share with your my personal experience and opinions on adhesives I use when making cards and paper crafting. These are by no means all the glues I’ve used. I have some that are only for my scrapbooks, some that I use for general crafts and even ones to use for projects the kids do for school. I have yet to find that one and only, do all adhesive for all my projects. There are also some adhesives out there that I’ve heard a lot about but have yet to try (E6000 for example). Here are my favorite paper crafting and card making adhesives and some reasons why.
First up is my favorite and currently is the one I use on almost all my cards at least once. My giant, pink, ATG (advanced tape glider) gun by Scotch. It is big but I find it easy to use and the 1/4″ adhesive is just big enough to make things stick but narrow enough to fit in small places. Replacing the tape can be a bit of a challenge but they include instructions that aren’t hard to follow. Thankfully though, there is a lot of tape on one roll so it takes a while to run out. It is great for adhering a decorated card front to the base, sticking ribbon down and for gluing custom made envelopes. It is definitely my go to tape runner when making cards. It bonds pretty quickly so you don’t have too much time to fix mistakes but similarly it holds strong. I’ve only had a couple of times with specialty papers that this adhesive has come undone. This tape is also acid free and photo safe so it is OK to use on pictures or in your scrapbooks.
Next, my favorite liquid glue for smaller detail work is the Tombow Mono Multi glue. It is super sticky and great for getting into those small spaces. You only have a couple seconds to move your piece around once you stick it down but once stuck, your paper isn’t moving. I do wish sometimes that the tip was a little finer for even more detailed work but if you squeeze gently it works great. It does have dual tips as you can see in the picture but I have yet to use the broad tip on the other side. The only thing I don’t like about this adhesive is that it can be messy. It cleans up easily but it is still very sticky. Also, this adhesive is permanent if you stick it while it’s wet but if you let the glue dry a little, it becomes repositionable. For this, if you get a little on a place you don’t want it, it will dry clear so you can’t see it but I have found it leaves the area a little sticky. This makes it prone to pick up lose glitter and such you may have on your work surface. Has anyone else experienced this with this glue? Have any tips for me to clean this stickiness up?
I just recently picked up another glue to use for small detail work. It is the Tombow Mono Glue Pen and as you can see, it looks a lot like a small gel pen. I haven’t used this one too much but what I have done with it I like it. Basically you just write with it like you would a pen and it puts a small amount of adhesive on your project. My limited experience with it was that it dries really fast so you need to work quickly or it will lose it’s sticking ability. I did like that there was no squeezing involved to get the glue to flow and it was an inexpensive pen. Have you tried a pen that you like better? Let me know what you think.
Another way to get adhesive on those small Cricut cuts or die cuts is to use a Xyron X sticker maker. This is a great, small gadget for turning any small object into a sticker. Mine is older but the new ones look exactly the same. They are just a different color but the current refills still fit it. To use it, just insert your small items in the top of the X. Pull the tape out the bottom and rub your sticker a little to make sure it is stuck to the adhesive. Take off the top plastic paper and voila, you have a custom created sticker. My experience with this method of getting adhesive on your small work is occasionally, small amounts of adhesive still stick to the edges of your items. This can tend to create a “sticky” feeling to your project. If you use an Adhesive Eraser, it removes the excess adhesive. This is a quick and easy way to put small Cricut letters on your page. You can even put small buttons and ribbon through it to turn them into stickers also. You can put either repositionable or permanent adhesive in it and the permanent sticks just as strongly as my ATG gun does. Xyron makes bigger sticker making machines also but this one is most convenient for small items.
The last of my favorite adhesives is foam squares. I don’t know what I would do without foam dots, foam squares or foam tape. It is such a simple thing to add dimension and interest to an otherwise simple card. These black ones from Hobby Lobby are awesome! The black squares are great for using on darker cards and they virtually disappear. I still use white ones on most cards but these are great for darker ones. They are a dense foam with a VERY sticky adhesive on them. They are also inexpensive and you get a lot in the package (two different sizes). Do you have a favorite foam tape or “pop dot” you like to use?
One glue I use with reservations is the ZIG 2-Way Glue pen. I haven’t had much luck with this pen but sometimes it is all I have when I need to adhere small and detailed items. I have more than once put together a card only to find a couple weeks (or couple hours) later that all the stuff I used this glue on has fallen off. Very frustrating for sure. It is another glue that when wet, it is supposed to be permanent. When it dries a little, it becomes repositionable and removable. I’ve also found that this glue dries very quickly so it can make it difficult if you aren’t ready to stick it as soon as you put the glue on. Another negative for this glue is I suspect it is a water based glue so it has a tendency to ripple and wrinkle paper in my experience. This can tend to create an undesirable effect on your project. I have used the broader version of this glue pen to add a little adhesive to my Cricut mats though and it works pretty good if you let it dry before you add your paper. MAKE SURE you let it dry BEFORE you stick ANY paper on it though or you will ruin your mats. I do have another suggestion for re-sticking your mats though but that will be another day and another post.
One last glue I want to share with you that I have found is Crafter’s Companion Envelope Gum. I had to find mine online (I think I got it at Amazon) and have never seen it in a local store. I haven’t had much experience with this glue but I am excited to give it a try. I’m hoping to use it on custom made envelopes. It says you can either use it to seal your envelopes right away or allow it to dry and remoisten it to seal. I used it on a few envelopes for a gift and it seemed a little temperamental. It rippled the paper a little but if I was careful and just used a thin coating, it wasn’t too bad when it dried. If you use this to create envelopes that can be resealed, make sure to use a small craft brush to apply thinly on the sealed edge and allow them to dry for several hours. I also read somewhere that when you reseal them, use as little water as needed to get it to stick or it will come undone. Have you used this product? I would love to read your comments or suggestions on using this successfully. I got a We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board and am hoping to save money and time making custom envelopes to match my cards.
Please comment below and let me know what your favorite adhesives are. Do you have some that you hate and wouldn’t ever buy again? How about some that are so awesome you couldn’t live without them? A little known adhesive that works wonders? Please share! Hope you have a wonderful day and till next time, keep on crafting.