Believe it or not, you can probably use a different type of glue for every single craft you do.
There is a bewildering number of choices out there when it comes to choosing an adhesive for your craft project.
Not every glue is well suited for every craft type. Sometimes it even goes beyond just the material type. If your craft needs to withstand some shaking or baking, you might need to choose a different type of glue to make it through all the different temperature ranges and rigor.
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Glue for Paper Crafts
While some cards might receive some rough handling, the main concern with cardmaking and glue is no warping the paper. You don’t want to use a water based polymer glue that bends the delicate moisture sensitive paper.
You also don’t want to use anything too hot like a glue gun because it melts the ink for some finishes.
My favorite is actually tape. For more smaller surface areas, I like to stick to a glue pin for a dedicated glue with a fine point tip. Here are some of my top choices.
Paper flowers are actually quite forgiving in terms of glue. If I’m not in a hurry and want to make a simple rolled flowers, a simple non-toxic polymer glue (even Elmers!) works just fine. My favorite non-toxic polymer glue is tacky glue.
For some flowers where I need the glue to set faster, I like to go with a hot glue gun. Try to pick more clear glue sticks so that it is not visible on the flower.
I make a lot of felt flowers and I hate to sew. I am totally reliant on glue for my felt flowers. I’ve used a thicker polymer based glue like Tacky Glue for Fabric and this is a great all purpose non-toxic glue.
Sometimes I’m in a hurry and use a glue gun instead which also works.
For real leather, I recommend just finding some other way to keep things together like sewing and a fastener. Glue looks weird on real leather. If you have to, try and go with a dedicated glue like Gorilla Clear Grip for real leather.
Faux leather usually has a felt or fabric like side for my favorite is actually to use a hot glue gun for this. The only problem is sometimes you have to glue leather on leather in which case you can either use a stronger hot glue gun stick like Gorilla hot glue stick or something like E6000. This is what I do with my faux leather earrings and bows.
Plastic is the trickiest because of its non-porous surface. For jelly sheets and other PVC of acrylic surfaces, I found the only thing that reliably works is E6000. The only problem with E6000 is it stinks and is toxic. Please use this glue in a well-ventilated area.
I find gluing wood to be a stick endeavor. All wood is different. There different levels of smoothness in finish, the grains, the colors etc. I actually find matte Mod Podge to be a reliable glue for wood across the board. The best part is it’s non-toxic and you can use it in place of tacky glue on many occasion so it is multipurpose as well.
Other notable mentions
You might be wondering but what about super glue?! Well, I actually find I rarely use super glue because it dries too fast and I don’t work at that level for my crafts. I frequently get the glue on my fingers so I need something that I can get off easily. I save super glue mostly for repairs around the house.
Sealants – this isn’t really a glue but it kind of is. To make thing dishwasher and weather safe, I will use Acrylic sealant on mugs and surfaces where I’ve applied vinyl. I’m not a huge fan of sprays because I don’t have a lot of indoor space where I can spray so if the surface area is small, I might just paint it with clear nail polish.
Spray adhesive – same thing here, I try to get away with every other glue possible because having to use spray adhesive. If it is an intricate paper piece, I will flip it over on an old magazine and use the adhesive roller.