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Types of Glue for Crafting


(3 Votes)


Here is a guide to the types of glue and adhesives used in crafting. Find the right kind of glue to use for your craft project.

2-Way Glue:  You apply this adhesive to both surfaces you are bonding. If you apply wet to wet the bond is permanent. If you allow the adhesive to dry, apply dry to dry, the bond is temporary.

Adhesive Dots: Double-sided adhesive that is applied in a series of dots rather than a thin solid ribbon of adhesive using a tape runner.

Adhesive Squares: This “tape” has adhesive covered with a paper backing on both sides. Remove the paper backing and apply. Adds a spot of adhesive rather than a line of adhesive like tape runners.

Clear Lacquer: A very clear glue that can be used to bond materials or as a topcoat over a material to give the material a glass like look.

Decoupage Glue:  Thin glue brushed onto surface of paper as a sealer and under paper as a bonding agent.

Dimensional Dots: A foam (can be a dot, square, or other shape) with adhesive on both sides covered temporarily with a paper backing or a solid dot of adhesive. Paper backing must be removed before use. Adds dimension. (Pop Dots)

Double Stick Tape: This tape has adhesive on both sides, but no paper backing.

Epoxy: Usually mixed (2 Part Epoxies) just before use, this glue is as tough as glues come. 

Fabric Glue: Formulated to bond fabric without bleeding through the material and many hold up through washings.

Foam Adhesive: Formulated to have a strong bond when adhering to craft foam or bonding craft foam to craft foam. It works well on slick surfaces.

Foam Tape: Double stick foam where paper backing is removed to expose adhesive, used to add dimension.

Glitter Glue: A liquid thin-bodied glue designed to adhere fine glitters to surfaces, which dries clear and doesn’t “soak up” the glitter, but allows the glitter to float on the glue surface for extra sparkle.

Glue Dots: Solid adhesive usually a dot shape that can be used to add dimension as well as bonding.

Glue Stick: Glue in solid form inside of a tube that is rubbed onto surface.

Glue Pens: Liquid glue in a handy pen applicator with various shaped tips.

Hot Glue: A solid stick of glue that needs to be melted usually with a glue gun or glue hot pot to be applied. As it cools, the glue bonds and becomes solid again. 

Instant Glue: Fast drying, this chemical glue works best on small surface areas using only a small amount of glue. Best on nonporous surfaces.

Jewelry Glue: Designed to hold or bond heavier objects such as a bead to paper or metal to paper.

Paper Glue: A thin-bodied glue designed to bond paper without damage to paper such as buckling or wrinkling.

Plastic Cement: This glue works by dissolving any plastic areas it touches thus bonding two such surfaces. 

Rubber Cement: Glues paper without wrinkling and can be repositioned. Best not to use on photos.

Tacky Glue: Very thick-bodied white glue that can bond with a hold similar to a hot glue without the heat.

Tape Runners: A double-sided adhesive that is applied with a tape holder or runner.

Ultra Tacky Tape: This thick, usually pink tape has an extra bond quality often used to adhere seed or mini beads and is often used for embossing lines.

“Warm” Glue: In the family of hot glues, but this glue is designed to melt at a much lower temperature and is better for delicate materials like mylars, photos, tissue papers. A glue stick is inserted into a dual or warm temperature glue gun.

White Glue:  Non-toxic, nonflammable, this all-purpose glue works on most surfaces and dries clear. 

Additional “Adhesives”

Brads: Usually metal, often decorative with 2 prongs at back. A hole is made for the prongs to be inserted into and then prongs are spread to attach an item.

Clips: Plastic or metal the item to be attached is slipped into the mouth of the clip. Some clips can be opened while others are set. Additional adhesive can be used to bond the clip to surface or the clip is simply “clipped” onto an edge of the surface.

Dimensional Paints: Dimensional paints can act as a glue with strong bonding ability. Great in a bind or if you want a little outline added to an embellishment.

Eyelets: A metal embellishment that needs to be set with an eyelet tool. A hole is made to insert the eyelet, and then the back of the eyelet is set or smashed to set it. Eyelet can adhere a photo, mat, or embellishment.

Threads: Threads and flosses can be used with a sewing needle to stitch or adhere items to surfaces. Often used in conjunction with small buttons.

Photo Corners: Paper or other acid free material with a slot that the photo slides into, the photo corner adheres to a surface, not the photo.

Pins: From safety pins to stick pins, this trendy idea is catching on and makes a decorative statement. It’s recommended that a small hole be punched for the pin to slide through rather than counting on the pin to be sharp enough to poke through thicker papers.

Stickers: Traditional scrapbooking, acid free stickers are used (overlapping item to be adhered with surface) to adhere materials using the sticker like a piece of tape.


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This is a wonderfully useful guide. I also find Super Glue and Wood Glue to be very useful.

This is a nice and simple . Thanks for sharing.....

I want to decoupage a coffee table with old nautical maps..What glue do I use to apply maps to tabletop and what glue/sealer do I use for the top coats that will be WATER proof and Heat a cup of hot coffee place on surface?


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