Buying Guide: Glue

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Buying Guide: Glue

Crafting Time:
  • Varies
Skill Level:
  • Beginner
Project Courtesy of: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
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Additional Information



What to Know When Buying Glue


Glue is a substance used to bind or fasten items together.  There are numerous different types of glue for different purposes. Each having its pros and cons and materials or substances for which it is best suited.  Following are the most common types.

Key features:


White Craft Glue:White Craft Glue

Sometimes referred to as school glue.  It is good general glue and can be used with paper, cardboard, wood, Styrofoam, and kids’ crafts.  It can be cleaned up with water and typically is non-toxic.  The glue dries clear and slightly flexible.  Fine glitter, food coloring, and the like can be added to create decorative effects.  Not recommended for scrapbooking as paper can bubble or warp when wet. 


Tacky Glue


Tacky Glue:

Can be used with paper, fabric, wood, metal, glass, ceramic, paper, china, Styrofoam and most plastics.  Dries clear.  Not recommended for scrapbooking as paper can bubble or warp when wet.  


Hot Glue:Hot Glue

Applied using a glue gun.  Available in low and high melt options.  Good general use glue with quick set-up.  Does add dimension and can yellow and become brittle over time.  Not good for high strength applications.  Often used in floral arranging.



Spray AdhesiveSpray Adhesive:

Contact adhesive that is applied by spray.  Once two items are placed together repositioning is minimal or non-existent without ruining the bond.  Can be used with paper, foam board, felt, fabric, and photos.  Protect surfaces from overspray and use in a well-ventilated area.   


Fabric Glue:Fabric Glue

Made specifically for bonding fabric; most stay bonded even after washing or dry cleaning.  Available as liquid glue and in a web form that must be ironed on.  There are a variety of products available.  Some produce a stiff result and others are more flexible and allow the fabric to drape.  Be sure to read the label to get the right product for the project.  Fabric glues are a great solution for the non-sewer and quick fixes.



Super Glue: Bonds quickly, forms a strong bond and dries clear.  Super glue is best for items with low impact strength requirements.  The items must fit well together and too much or too little glue can affect the bond.  However it bonds quickly and easily to fingers and skin but can be difficult to remove once dried.  It is good for metal, plastic, rubber, and ceramics.


Glue Stick: Glue in a solid form that comes in a plastic tube.  It is dispensed like a lip balm by turning a knob.  Glue sticks are great for kids as there is minimal mess.  They are a low bonding adhesive and are best for various types of paper.  The glue dries clear and can be found in a purple form so you can see where it is applied but still dries clear.  


Epoxy: Usually 2 part systems designed for high performance bonding.  Can be formulated to suit many applications, they provide durable adhesion.  Usually “mixed” at time of use.  Must be allowed to completely cure (dry) before touching again or bond will not hold.


Archival Quality Glue: Acid free glue that won't yellow, become brittle or discolor surfaces; dries clear.  Made for use with preservation of paper, photos, precious documents, and book bindings.  One specific for scrapbooking is Zip Dry Paper Glue. It dries fast, will never wrinkle paper, and yet is strong enough to bond metal, trims, jewels, and wire to scrapbooks.


Other Tips:

  • Not all glues are equal, find the right product for each project

  • Glue can dry out quickly; immediately clean and cap the container    

  • Apply adhesive evenly and remove excess quickly

  • For optimum bonding ensure surfaces are residue and dust free before applying adhesive  

  • Lightly sand or score some materials like metal, some plastics, ceramics, and woods to aid adhesion and create a stronger bond

  • Make sure to read the label to ensure the items being bonded are listed for the chosen glue

  • Hot glue, super glue and epoxies are not recommended for children