Craft Corner: Let's Talk About Glue

Have you ever wanted to put something together but didn’t know what glue to use? Or glued something together only to have it fall apart shortly after? Adhesives are not one-size-fits-all, and when you’re crafting (or repairing) something it really helps to know the appropriate glue to use for your materials. Glue is one of my favorite crafting topics (no, really!) so in this post I will go over a variety of adhesives, their uses, and some tips.


Glue sticks

Use on: paper goods. Don’t bother trying to glue anything else with it.

Dry time: a few minutes

Tips:

  • It’s good for large surfaces of paper because it doesn’t warp the fibers.

  • It doesn’t create the strongest connection, so make sure to apply glue around the very edges and in the center of the page, and apply pressure once you set it down. Sometimes it helps to put a book on top.


Spray adhesive

Use on: paper, cardboard, foam core, glitter, gold leaf.

Dry time: very fast

Tips:

  • It’s REALLY sticky. Make sure you protect the surface you are spraying the item on. I usually put down some cardboard or newspaper.

  • Apply the item you're gluing very carefully as it will be difficult to reposition once it’s down.

  • Use in a well-ventilated area.

  • You can use this with a stencil to create shapes with gold leaf or glitter.


Craft glue (such as Elmer’s. I prefer the clear/gel version of Elmer’s.)

Use on: paper, cardboard, foam core (surface), glitter, (can also be used for wood, but is inferior to wood glue.)

Dry time: at least an hour, depends how thick your layer is

Tips:

  • This type of glue gets absorbed into the paper fibers, so big globs of it can cause warping.

  • Remember to give it ample time to dry, or else it just makes a mess.

  • If you need to use it over a large area, spread a thin layer with a brush or a roller to avoid warping.


Wood glue

Use on: Wood (can also be used on paper in place of craft glue, but it does not dry clear.)

Dry time: a few hours (varies)

Tips:

  • Wood glue works because it gets absorbed into wood fibers and creates a connection between two pieces, but in order for this to happen, the surfaces need to be relatively flush. If try to glue surfaces that leave gaps in between, the bond will not be nearly as strong.