Two Basic Considerations When Choosing Papercraft Adhesives

Every paper crafter uses glue in some form or another unless you are one of those clever people who can always work without adhesives. I have made some things without the sticky stuff occasionally but I do appreciate being able to use the right product for the job at hand. ‘But wait’, I hear you say, ‘What’s wrong with using one glue for everything?’

Before you buy that one pot or tube of glue, you might like to know a few facts about adhesives.

  • Did you know there are archival quality glues that will stand the test of time without yellowing, becoming brittle, or losing their hold?
  • Did you know there are prepositional glues that allow you to change your mind about where something belongs on a papercraft project several times?
  • Did you know there are thin, dry glues for delicate paper projects and thick, liquid ones for bulkier creations?

There is so much you can get to know about glues!

A division of the ways:

I tend to divide my glues up into archival-quality ones for my important scrapbooking projects (you know the ones I mean – the ones you want to keep forever like your family history album or your baby’s album) and the non-archival quality ones (I use these for things I probably won’t need to keep forever such as some cards, seasonal things I will probably make again the following year, and the like).

Archival quality glue means this adhesive is acid-free and can be used on photographs. I want this type of glue to dry clear and not to wrinkle my papers as well. This means I use a dry adhesive such as:

double-sided tape photo splits glue dots or some other adhesive that is not a liquid and won’t make a mess in my photo albums

You can also get dry dimensional adhesives that are double-sided and will have the effect of raising an element of your page. There are also very strong double-sided adhesives that are photo safe and can be used for hinging pages together, for example, or adding 3-d elements to a page.

What not to use:

You may be tempted to try using glue sticks as they can appear very convenient and not messy. This type of glue is not very strong though and can lump. Remember that glue sticks are not generally photoing safe. (NOTE: They are perfect for things like school projects though as children have little trouble using them and make less mess with them than they do with something like glue in a pot with a brush attached to the lid).

For heavier paper crafting with chipboard or light woods, naturally a stronger glue is needed. In this case, get out your gun!

Of course I mean get out your hot glue gun. Glue guns need some special handling but are not hard to use, so do be sure to check out some safety tips before trying them for the first time.

Specialist glues

Did you know you can make your own stickers with a Xyron machine? Did you know you can decorate with glues? Would you like to know how to make things without adhesives?

Happy PaperCrafting!