What are the Best Types of Craft Adhesives?
What is the first sign of a true crafter? One, you are about to read about glues and craft adhesives. And secondly, this stuff is really important to you! When you sit down to craft you want to make sure you. have everything you need. Our time is precious and you are taking the time to cultivate your passion and hobby in crafting. Whether it’s scrapbooking, card making, jewelry design, or anything else under the sun, we’re happy that you’ve made it a priority to fit this amazing hobby into your schedule.
And so, because hobbies are meant to be a time to de-stress and relax, it’s important to eliminate any and all frustrations that may come your way during the crafting process. And today we are going to tackle one of the most important topics when it comes to crafting: adhesives.
So picture this: you’re putting your final touches on your beautiful craft. Just as you position the last piece into place, you notice that some parts are beginning to loosen, or worse, even fall off! There’s nothing more awful than spending all of those precious hours of cutting, gluing, and creating only to see your project come apart one piece at a time!
We would never wish this upon anyone, and so that’s why today we are going to go over all things craft adhesive: What kinds are out there? Which craft adhesives are the best for the type of crafting that you like to do? And what brands are the best of the best? Keep reading below and you’ll be a craft adhesive expert in no time!
10 Types of Adhesives for Crafting
1) Glue Dots
Glue dots are amazing craft adhesives for so many reasons! They are easy to use, mess-free, and non-toxic. There are so many different ways to use glue dots, but we recommend doing so for anything related to paper, including but not limited to scrapbooking, card making, photo adhesive, and gift wrapping. Glue dots are also an amazing option if you want to teach your hobby to a little one. Because glue dots function just like stickers, your children or grandchildren will know exactly how to use them and won’t make a mess!
While glue dots do provide a pretty strong bond from paper to paper, also keep in mind that they are easily affected by dust, heat, and moisture. Therefore, if you believe your finished product might be exposed to these sorts of elements i.e. storing them in a humid or dusty room, then glue dots might not be your best way to go. And, of course, we wouldn’t recommend glue dots for any strong bond outside of paper to paper. Our favorite brand of glue dots can be purchased here:
2) Glue Gun
Odds are, even if you’re the most casual crafter, you already have a glue gun in your arsenal. Glue guns are great! They are extremely convenient to use and can hold a strong bond, but you’ve also probably been burned by one before (pun intended). We’ve all probably experienced something we’ve glued with a glue gun fall apart, so let’s dive into exactly what materials glue guns are appropriate for.
Glue guns aren’t the best craft adhesive to hold metals (so count these out for jewelry making). Additionally, while glue guns can hold fabric together, there’s a high chance the heat of the glue will burn your fingers through the fabric- so we’ll discuss safer fabric adhesive options later on. Also, we don’t recommend using it for paper to paper adhesive. Glue dots (above) are a better option for this as hot glue tends to leave bubbles/an uneven surface. Finally, we would urge you to stay away from using hot glue on glass. Shattered glass could result from high temperature glue being met with cold glass.
But, with all that being said, hot glue may be your way to go for more porous materials such as artificial flowers, cardboard, foam board, plastic, and wood. Oh, and did we mention this awesome glue gun hack:
Swap your glue sticks for crayons and enjoy the beauty of melted wax crafting (just make sure to remove the crayon’s wrapper before loading it into the glue gun)! An awesome craft to try, if you’re looking to experiment with something new!
And, final side note on glue guns: be sure to invest in a good one if you’re an avid crafter. Cordless ones are safer and easier to manipulate. Additionally, make sure you have a metal stand, or buy one that’s sold with a stand (below). This will keep unwanted glue off your crafting surface and ensure that you don’t accidentally burn anything during the crafting process.
With an ergonomic trigger, temperature adjustment knob, and safety auto-shut off feature, we love this cordless glue gun:
3) Gorilla Glue
Before diving in a quick reminder: please do not use Gorilla Glue if you believe you will be distracted during your crafting session. Gorilla Glue forms an extremely strong bond, and your crafting surface, tables, chairs, clothes, and skin are no exception to that rule!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way- what can and can’t you use Gorilla Glue for? Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t dry clear. Small bubbles and a yellow-ish tint are customary upon drying, so if you choose Gorilla Glue, make sure it’s for a place in your project that just needs and strong bond but won’t be seen (of course there are other products in the Gorilla Glue line that do dry clear, but if you choose to invest in the original, standard “Gorilla Glue,” then keep this in mind).
According to the official Gorilla Glue website, they recommend their product for bonding with: stone, metal, foam, glass, ceramic, and wood. Their product is also indoor/outdoor and freezing/hot temperature friendly, therefore this could be ideal for a product that will be exposed to outdoor elements or extreme weather (think wreaths and garden decor). Here’s original Gorilla Glue (doesn’t dry clear), but feel free to research their whole line of products beyond this one too:
4) Super Glue
Following in the suit of Gorilla Glue, Super Glue can also be unforgiving in bonding to your household decor or fingertips, so do use wisely and be diligent about using around pets or young children!
Now that our safety announcement is clear, the way to best understand when to use Super Glue is basically the exact opposite times of when you would use hot glue. Basically, hot glue is great for porous surfaces, and Super Glue is great for non-porous surfaces i.e. glass and metal.
It should not be your go to for porous materials such as wood and cardboard. So consider Super Glue for your next glass working, vase decorating, or jewelry making project. We love this “molecular bonding” super glue which can even dry flexible when needed:
5) Mod Podge
When it comes to Mod Podge, you’ve got a lot of options. It’s a glue, a sealer, and a finish. It’s great for any collage or decoupage projects on materials like wood, canvas, or paper. The decoupaging possibilities with Mod Podge are endless: decorate a clipboard, beautify your coffee table, create a vision board on a canvas. It even comes in dishwasher safe and chalkboard varieties, if you’d like to give beautifying kitchenware of creating a personalized chalkboard a try!
The biggest things that you should consider when it comes to Mod Podge are its strength (it’s not ideal for forming a strong bond, more so for affixing photos or paper to other items and safely sealing them) and the variety (Mod Podge comes in glossy, matte, glitter, and about 20 more, so do your research before settling on one for your project!) While there are so many types of Mod Podge out there, we like this starter kit becomes it comes with the glassy and matte varieties as well as foam brushes to get your started:
6) Adhesive Spray
Similar to glue dots, adhesive spray is your go to for bonding paper materials. Photos, films, paper, even cardboard and foam are all fair game when it comes to adhesive spray. The biggest difference from glue dots? Adhesive spray is permanent! You can look at this as a pro or a con, depending on the kind of crafting you’re doing.
If you’re making a scrapbook and want the flexibility of possibly re-positioning photos or embellishments, then glue dots might be better for you. But if you’re more of a “measure twice cut once” crafter and want your material to stick FOREVER, then adhesive spray is definitely your best bet.
From creating poster boards to scrapbooks, adhesive spray is the way to go- just remember to cover your working surface to keep the adhesive from spreading where you don’t want it to go! You can’t get better than a 30 second drying time, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with 3M’s spray adhesive:
7) Glue Sticks
Glue sticks are a crowd favorite for children. You’ll find them in day cares, elementary schools, and children’s art classrooms…and perhaps this is where they should stay. Although they are cheap and convenient, they won’t provide the safest and strongest bond. We already know that glue sticks are not ideal for much more than paper to paper bonding, but even at that, you’ll find the bond is weak and not long-lasting. And, perhaps more importantly, using a glue stick on photos could cause damage to your photos overtime.
To avoid all of that, just keep glue sticks for crafting leisurely with your children or grandchildren and save the adhesive spray and glue dots for your own grownup crafting box. We already know that when it comes to school glue, you can’t go wrong with Elmer’s! Here is a pack of their strong bond formula, which we love:
8) Glue Runners
Glue runners mimic the same kind of design as correction tape. A tiny plastic hand held tool that you can run along your desired materials to apply adhesive. Similar to glue dots, glue runners are perfect for paper to paper bonds, easy to use, and mess free. Where they differ from glue dots are that glue runners are more permanent. A better option for long term projects, but a less ideal option if you like to re-position pieces of your project.
Additionally, unlike glue dots, craft adhesives like glue runners are great for bonding ribbon as well, so this may be a better option for you if you want a smooth, mess-free option for gluing down ribbons i.e. gift wrapping or card making. These are also ideal if you don’t want to wait for drying time. With 39 feet of tape and a refillable cartridge, this glue runner should last you quite some time:
9) Tacky Glue
Perhaps one of the oldest products on this list, Tacky Glue has been a crowd favorite for years. It’s no mystery as to why: it remains flexible, it dries clear, and it’s easy to handle. Where this product shines the most over others on this list is with fabrics. Although it’s possible to glue fabric with hot glue as we mentioned before, you are risking bumps in your final product and burns on your fingers…so why not go with Tacky Glue for your next fabric project?
It also comes in a newer fast dry formula- so your drying time can be cut down from hours to just 30 minutes. And of course, it’s suitable for paper, wood, glass, ceramic, and metal too, so it’s a great versatile option for your crafting kit. Here’s Aleene’s fast drying formula:
10) Double Sided Tape
Another favorite craft adhesive for paper crafts, double sided tape affixes immediately and is mess free. If you decide that double sided tape is the way to go for your next scrapbook or card craft, (definitely a good option if you have long pieces of paper like borders or edging), make sure you get an “acid-free” tape, so that your photos say pristine for years to come! Transparent, ultra-thin, and easy tearing, you can’t go wrong with this double sided tape, which is offered in multiple different widths for all of your scrapbooking and card making needs:
We love to give you little tips and tricks to make your hobby even more enjoyable, and we hope you enjoyed learning all about the different kinds of craft adhesives. It’s important to use the best adhesive for your craft to make sure it’s long lasting and durable. Always consider your materials, how long you can wait for your material to dry, and how durable you need the hold before deciding on the perfect adhesive for your project.
Also, check out for the Paper Craft Tools Needed for your Toolbox for other items to keep you stocked. So, now that you’re an adhesive expert, you got this!
As always take some time to invest in yourself and your crafting hobby.
Below is a Pinterest Friendly Photo so you can pin it to your Crafting Boards with ease!
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