Choosing the right adhesive for your paper projects can be tricky! Sometimes you have to try quite a few before you find what sticks (pun intended!). However, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
The best adhesive(s) for the job will depend on several factors including the size of the design, the amount of detail, and the project’s intended use. It’s not unusual for me to use two or even three different types of adhesive in a single project.
After much trial and error, I’ve settled on a few must-haves:
- Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive with Ultra-Fine Metal Tip
- Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue
- Scotch Advanced Tape Glider
- Tape Runner XL
- Easy-Tear Double-Sided Tape
- Dimensional Adhesives – glue dots, foam squares, etc.
Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive (commonly referred to as Art Glitter Glue) with Ultra-Fine Metal Tip
Don’t let the name fool you! This glue isn’t just for glitter – and you won’t find anything sparkly in the bottle. It works great on paper but can also be used on wood, metal, cardboard, canvas, plastic, and even glass.
Art Glitter Glue has truly revolutionized my paper crafting and I can’t say enough good things about it. The ultra-fine metal tip allows you to place glue in the smallest, most intricate parts of a project.
It dries fast and clear and a little goes a long way. But beware – once it dries, there’s no turning back. Any attempt to pull the pieces apart will only result in torn paper (ask me how I know!).
Because it is a water-based adhesive, it cannot be shipped in cold or freezing temperatures, so if you live in a cold climate be sure to stock up during the warmer months.
Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue is another excellent liquid glue for your paper projects. My bottle of Bearly Art sits right beside my Art Glitter Glue and I use them interchangeably.
All 2-ounce and 4-ounce bottles of Bearly Art Glue come with a Tip Kit that includes an ultra-fine tip, a fine-tip, a storage tip, and a cleaning pin. I use the ultra-fine tip 99.9% of the time.
When I first started using Bearly Art, I would remove the ultra-fine tip when I was done gluing and replace it with the storage tip between uses.
Over time I started leaving the ultra-fine tip in place with the cleaning pin inserted. Every now and then I have to clean out a small clog, but it’s worth it to me for the convenience of not having to change tips when I’m ready to glue something.
One advantage of Bearly Art Glue over Art Glitter Glue is that Bearly Art is “freeze/thaw stable” and can be shipped year-round.
The Scotch ATG has been a staple in my craft room for years now! When I first discovered it, I agonized a bit (as I’m prone to do) because it was so expensive and wondered if I’d ever get my money’s worth out of it. I shouldn’t have questioned it for a second.
Together we’ve created countless greeting cards, projects for two weddings, a ton of Bible class projects, posters, and so much more. (I’ve even been known to use it when wrapping gifts!)
It can be a little tricky to get the refill rolls installed correctly but once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this handy tool.
See the Scotch ATG in action here along with another of my favorite paper-crafting tools, the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board.
When I need something smaller than the Scotch ATG, I reach for my ThermOWeb Tape Runner XL. It goes on smoothly and works great on straight lines, curves, and even in tiny spaces where I need just a touch of adhesive. (I’ve also used a Tombow Tape Runner but it does not do as well on curves and tiny spaces.)
There are many different Xyron tools to choose from but the ones I use are the Xyron Sticker Maker, the 5-inch Creative Station, and the 9-inch Creative Station. They’re perfect for applying adhesive to the full surface of something.
- Xyron Sticker Maker – this one is great for small embellishments. I also use it when making double-sided faux leather earrings.
- Creative Station (both sizes) – I use these for anything that won’t fit into the Sticker Maker or when working on projects that contain multiple pieces. Both sizes are very easy to use – just insert the project, turn the crank until the project comes out the back, and then use the built-in cutter to slice through the adhesive sheet in a clean, straight line. The drop-in refills include permanent and repositionable adhesive, two-sided (cold) lamination, laminate/magnet, and laminate/adhesive. The 9-inch Creative Station can be adjusted to use either 5-inch or 9-inch refills
Double-sided tape comes in handy when I want to apply adhesive to an area but am not quite ready to stick it to anything. I use it a lot for card kits I make for Creative Cutters or when I’m working assembly-line fashion on multiples of a project.
To use it, simply tear off a length of tape and apply it wherever you like. Once you’re ready to expose the remaining adhesive, just peel off the paper liner, and you’re good to go!
To add dimension to my paper projects, I use both glue dots and foam adhesives. Zots 3D Singles are my favorite glue dots. Each dot is 1/2 inch in diameter but it’s very easy to pull off just a little bit when you need something smaller.
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What adhesives do you prefer for your paper projects? Do you have some favorites not listed here? Let me know in the comments below or over in the Silhouette Crafters by Design Facebook group. It’s always great to hear from you!
Until next time,
Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.