Saturday, September 22, 2012

Adhesive Rundown

Today we're going to talk about ADHESIVE! A staple of scrapbooking, beginners always wonder what adhesives to use. I conducted a poll on and found that the following were some of the most common used adhesives among the voters:

Glue Dots
Zig Glue
Glossy Accents
Glue Glider Pro

Now, it doesn't take long to figure out that you need several types of adhesive if you're a big paper crafter. I use the following as adhesive:

  • Aleen's Quick Dry or Fast Grab Tacky Glue
  • ATG with non-acid free tape
  • Hot glue
  • Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue

I'll tell you what I like (and don't like) about them:


  • Pros:
    • Cost efficient
    • Good hold for paper
    • No drying time
    • Won't bubble paper
    • Quick application
  • Cons:
    • Big initial investment
    • Takes up a lot of space
Aleen's Quick Dry or Fast Grab Tacky Glue
  • Pros:
    • Dries quickly
    • Cost efficient
    • Strong bond for paper and light embellishments
  • Cons
    • Bubbles under thin paper if applied too thickly
    • Can be messy
Hot Glue
  • Pros:
    • Dries instantly
    • Very strong hold for all craft products
    • Cost efficient
  • Cons:
    • Can be dangerous (burns)
    • Can be messy
    • Requires you to work quickly
    • Bubbles under thin paper
Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue
  • Pros:
    • Strong bond for paper and light embellishments
    • Two tips (broad and fine tip) for various adhesive purposes
  • Cons:
    • Gets stuck on your fingers easily, gumming up your project
    • Pricey

One thing I mentioned in each is cost. That's a big factor in what I use. As for a general purpose adhesive, for a beginner I would recommend the ATG over the Glue Glider Pro. The reason? Cost. Here's what I mean:

  • For ATG, after a $32 investment in the gun, which comes with 36 years of adhesive, the refills are only $10 for 36 yards of acid-free adhesive. It's cheaper at $7 if you use non-acid free refills
  • For the Glue Glider Pro, you get a smaller gun that takes up less space. However, after a $15 initial investment that comes with 40 feet of tape, you only get 13.3 yards for $9.
What about small embellishments? Here I would recommend Glue Dots or Glossy Accents. Glue dots come 300 for $4.29 and Glossy Accents is $5.99 for a bottle that lasts a long time (a little goes a long way!).

So what about the Zig 2-way glue? It works great as a re-sticker for Cricut mats, but unless you want a temporary bond for something, it's not the best adhesive.

The Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue? It's strong, but it always messes up my project as I can't seem to resist getting my fingers in it and it ruining whatever I'm gluing down. But not everyone has this issue, so on cost alone I will judge it. It's a tad bit expensive. It's $3.39, but the bottle is small and you can go through it quickly if you use it exclusively. It's great for small embellishments, but for paper I would recommend a dry adhesive all the way through.

If you're not picky about acid-free products, I HIGHLY recommend a wet adhesive not found in the scrapbooking section. Some favorites are Aleen's Tacky Glue (I recommend Quick Dry or Fast Grab) and the Fabri-Tac glue. It's cost effective and very, very useful. I have found how to use it to glue down paper without it bubbling (a thin layer, which works very well for a permanent bond). It can be used for paper and other embellishments, which I really like. You can also use it for glitter or flocking powder.

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