What’s the Best Types of Paper Glue for Your Projects?

Its no surprise that I love doing lots and lots of crafting. Do you ever have a project that falls completely apart on you and turns out to be nothing like you planned? Truthfully this happens a lot in a crafter's life. Many DIY projects take several attempts to get just right, but with the right knowledge that doesn't have to happen to you! I'm excited to share from my own mistakes, and arm you with the the best adhesives for paper crafts.

Explore four of the best glues for paper projects:

The best glue for paper projects

1. Glue sticks

The first of our types of paper glue is probably the most fun to use: a glue stick! Glue sticks are water based and come in a tube very similar to chapstick. This type of paper glue works best on cards and crafts that require small details on a bigger canvas (think lots of little polka dots on a card). The great thing about glue sticks is that the glue dries clear so if you make a mistake placing the glue, no harm done! These sticks are great for kids projects and are usually non-toxic and washable (whew, that's always a relief). Most of the glue sticks are acid-free too which always makes them great for scrapbooking as well, but I would still always check the packaging as this is still a newer thing. It's also important to note that glue sticks will not adhere to plastic.

2. Glue dots

Have you ever gotten the freebies in the magazines and wondered what the sticky adhesive was? Those are glue dots! Glue dots are kind of becoming a new craze in the crafting world. They are small circular adhesives that come on  a roll and really adhere well to paper, plastic, glass, metal and vinyl. This type of paper glue works well with attaching embellishments (like jewels, lace, scrapbooking pieces, etc). They come in several different types of adhesives such as; removable, semi-removable and permanent. These are perfect for adding those finishing touches on your handmade greeting cards.

The best glue for paper projects

3. Tacky PVA glue

"Tacky glue" as its commonly referred to as is perfect for card making and especially great for gluing any embellishments on like ribbon, lace or lettering. The best part? This type of paper glue will wash off with soap and water. A quick tip for this type of glue is that you must wait until it's completely dry before its bonded. The bond is very strong once it is completely dried. Tacky glue is perfect for creating quick handmade party hats and making a photo collage of all your closest friends.

The best glue for paper projects

4. Glue guns

These have been around for as long as I can remember, which is a great because it means that they really work! Glue guns warm the glue up so its consistency is more malleable. The point on the gun will be able to get into those tiny cracks and crevices when you need it. Be careful with this hot substance, I would (obviously!) not recommend this for kids. This gluing method is known to be kind of sticky and stringy, so have something to clean your hands off with. Glue guns work great on any paper craft and do really well gluing any accessories on to your paper. The glue gun is my go-to form of adhesive for paper!

These are just a few glues that really work well with paper crafts. It's really important to know a little more about crafting glues before starting a project, because it can save you from that dreaded one more attempt at your project!

What's your favorite glue to use when crafting with paper and why?

13 Comments

Claudia Petrilli

Well, I have to say that while this post is very visually pleasing and well organized, it is quite disappointing. I came to it by a google search because I am having trouble with my projects. Yes, I have had ” projects that falls completely apart on you and turns out to be nothing like you planned? I’m excited to share from my own mistakes, and arm you with the the best adhesives for paper crafts.” So after reading the first paragraph, I got really excited thinking I had found the holy grail of glue for paper crafting. But in the end, all you say is that all glues are great. You say glue sticks “great for scrapbooking”. Well no. They are not. project start falling apart after a while. The glue is not strong enough. I have also tried the glue dots but they are not very good for thin or tiny embellishments in my cards. And I got assistance from a Michael’s employee to choose the best one.

You say that glue dots “are perfect for adding those finishing touches on your handmade greeting cards.” and that “Tacky glue is perfect for card making and especially great for gluing any embellishments on like ribbon, lace or lettering.” So basically, all glues are perfect according to you. That doesn’t really help at all.

I find that wet or liquid glues ruin the paper as they add moisture to it and it takes on well, a wet paper look. I also find that dry glues don’t have the strength or stickiness necessary for card making. What’s the point of giving someone a gorgeous card if the embellishments are going to fall apart shortly?

Reply
Deb

I’m having the same issue Claudia. Liquid glue warps and hardens the paper, and glue sticks don’t adhere strong enough and my card comes apart. I’ve used tacky glue and craft bond glue stick and both aren’t giving me the result I want. I may try the glue dots.

Reply
Leigh

I find double sided tape excellent for paper/card craft. It is strong enough to bond heavy papers and light card and doesn’t warp or mark the papers in anyway. Also no need for leaving to dry. I have used this method for a long time with my card making and highly recommend it. For heavier embellishments I use dovecraft acrylic glue. This is strong enough to hold any embellishment no matter how heavy. Hope this helps.

Reply
Cherie Stark

I agree that liquid glues warp the paper or alter it in a disappointing way. I don’t mind dots if they don’t gum up on me. Lately I made a card using sticky photo squares. They seemed to work well but of course I mailed it and may never know the longevity of the work.

Reply
Barb Gatto

I just finished reading your page and I think it is great. I have used several types of adhesive for all my projects, but the one I prefer best comes in an 81′ (feet) roll, which I purchase at ACMoore. It is called CRAFTY POWER TAPE.

Reply
Sparkly

Claudia, you said exactly what I was thinking about this “tells us not a heck of a lot of accurate information” article. One permanent glue that I have used successfully on paper without warping the paper (cardstock, bond paper, scrapbooking paper, even tissue paper) is YES! Glue. It was very thick and I always used a brush to apply it. I don’t know if it’s still made or if so, if they’ve changed the formulation.

Reply
Heather Hamilton

Hi all! I found that making bows and for a more permanent sticky double sided tape I happened to have tons just up in the cabinet. It’s the double sided tape that comes in the kits to winterize your home Windows. I’m not saying go buy those kits just for the tape lol just mentioning if you have tons lying around give it a try. I had a embellishment taped to outside of a pocket letter(plastic trading card sleeve) I made and tried taking off and it ripped the ultra heavy duty plastic sleeve page before it would release the tape. I bet you can just buy that double sided tape in the Hardware department at your local stores. Have a great day. Hope I helped at least one person. Lol

Reply
Klaus Eyting

I’m not a crafter. I’m a working artist, but I run into the same issues that I’m sure many of you do. Some of my work involves collage and a lot of the content is old newsprint. Glue sticks aren’t delicate enough for small pieces. And yes, many glues will wrinkle the paper or are simply very messy or not adhesive enough. I also can’t afford bleed through on more delicate papers.
There are three products that provide a lot of control while also being very friendly to the work. These are Beacon Zip Dry, Scotch quick drying tacky glue, and Elmer’s Craftbond dual tip glue pens. In the old days we had roller ball applicators that could be filled with my own formulations but I can’t find those anymore.
It’s difficult to find a website that takes a more technical and experienced approach to these issues. In art school we learned more technical information than we did technique. It was almost like a combination of engineering, philosophy, history, chemistry, anatomy, and technology. I don’t think schools are like that anymore.
For a website/blog like this it would probably be a good idea for the person posting to try a variety of products under a variety of conditions and to then report those results. I agree that it isn’t enough just to say that everything is great. That’s only true of life itself.

Reply
Jay

Thank you for this! I’ve been struggling to find glue that leaves a professional finish. Considering I sell my work on Etsy, the right glue is so important for me. I’ve been using Mod Podge up until now which is nice and strong but I find it can be too runny and leaves a mark if I get it on the outside of my work.
I’ve bought your recommendations – they also have great reviews online. I’m looking forward to giving them a go!

Reply
Klaus Eyting

…so to continue my last reply… It is probably better to create your own formulation. I’ll give you one easy recipe. This is for a milk based glue commonly called a casein glue. It can be made in small amounts and will last a long time in storage if treated as I describe. Mix half a cup of skim milk with two tablespoons of vinegar. You’ll see that the milk solids, (curds), separate from the liquid, (whey) over a period of a few minutes Stretch a paper towel of coffee filter loosely over a cup attached perhaps with a rubber band. Leave a depression in the center like the crater of a volcano. Pour your mix through the filter. The curd will make a dryish cake on the filter element. Scrape this into a container and mix with a small amount of water until you create a consistency that will work for a paste. The added element which will make this mixture last even out of the fridge is copper sulfate. You can find it at any Home Depot in crystalline form as a septic system root killer. The crystals are blue. Place a few in a small container of water. The solution will turn the water blue even though not all the crystals will dissolve. Add a bit of this to your casein glue and it will never mold or spoil.
This adhesive can be applied to your paper with a small brush. The paper will not wrinkle and there is no bleed through. It dries clear and can be easily wiped clean if there is excess glue at the edges of your work.
The copper sulfate will also work to preserve wheat paste and starch paste. Hope this helps someone.

Reply
Klaus Eyting

…sorry I left out a step. In the final mix add a teaspoon of baking soda. I’ve experimented with the copper sulfate which creates a foamy reaction. The final glue is very strong, but can be washed out of clothing easily with just water. Casein has been used in art in a variety of forms for hundreds of years.

Reply
Shauna

Thanks Klaus Eyting! How interesting and functional and budget efficient! Does the baking soda go in before the copper sulfate? Thanks a ton!

Reply
Shauna

Thanks for posting this blog! It certainly helped get a conversation going about various experiences and remedies for the crafty mishaps!!

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *