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Tool Box: Bring Your Own Adhesives: Let's Stick Together

Tool Box: Bring Your Own Adhesives: Let’s Stick Together!

Which adhesive is right for your project?

Basic day to day use adhesives

  •  ·      SNAIL
  • ·      Green Glue (Tombow Multipurpose Glue)
  • ·      Glue Dots
  • ·      Dimensionals

The 4 adhesive products listed above should be in every Crafters Tool Box. I will post ordering information below.

SNAIL or mono-tape by other brands, is by far the least expensive per inch, and easiest to use tape type adhesive. And the best part is the holder handle is refillable. It is acid free so it is safe for archival projects like scrapbook pages or Project Life books or any framed works and other crafts. It is double-sided and breaks off the dispenser plastic strip very easy. SNAIL is quick to work with and quick to snap in a refill.

Disadvantages: SNAIL is not a very strong adhesive and is best left for paper to paper application. I have used it on ribbon and buttons and other embellishments but if your project gets handled a lot or might get bumped, or mailed, I would stick to using it for paper to paper application. It does work great for photographs, as they are paper backed. SNAIL is not repositionable on paper and other materials.

Green Glue, as it is called by many as a nickname, can be used for paper to paper as SNAIL can be, gluing on embellishments, gluing on ribbon, but there is a risk of it bleeding through the ribbon, really anything that needs to be held together you can do it with green glue. It is a strong, not super strong, but very strong bond. And it too is Acid Free, making it safe for scrapbooks and Project Life books. And because it is strong, you do not need to use a lot to hold down your paper or item.

I personally have gone to using Green Glue for my cards and a lot of other projects just because it is more affordable. It is great in a classroom setting for me too. Even when I am making many swaps, it still dries quick enough to make it worth the savings to continue using it. Plus, I have had SNAIL let loose on some projects in the summer heat and humidity. Not something you want to happen when you are mailing a beautiful handmade card to someone.

Green Glue is repositionable until it dries. Which has been another advantage for me when using it for mass projects. I can lay a card layer down and move it around until it is in place. With other adhesives, like SNAIL, you really need to get it positioned correctly the first time.

Disadvantages: it takes a while to dry. It takes around a half hour, maybe more depending on how much you used, to dry. Even heat setting it doesn’t speed it up a lot. It is an air-dry set for best practices. You can use clamps or clothespins to hold until dry time is complete, but if you are doing multiples of items that means you need to have a lot of clamps and space to set them until they are dry. For instance, a very large bouquet of flowers. Or you are using it to place glitter. There might be other options we have that are better suited for this application.

Glue Dots: Mini glue dots are a quick and easy and inexpensive way to hold down a flower or embellishment on your project. Glue dots hold down buttons, ribbon and bows, acetate window sheets, vellum, foil paper and more. I would call them a medium hold. The bond is stronger than SNAIL but can be removed if necessary. Call it semi-permanent bond. They can be rolled into smaller balls if your object is, for instance, thin bakers twine, which gives you little room to hide your adhesive.

Disadvantages: Glue dots are small and you sometimes need more than one if your item is bigger and heavier. Not a deal-breaker by any means, just fair warning. If you need a bond that is strong and permanent then pass on the glue dots. They will work for your average application. Another disadvantage, is once you touch them once, maybe twice with your fingers you lose some of that bond due to the oils and dirt naturally in your skin.

Dimensionals: I was a young stamper when Stampin’ Up! released dimensionals. They are still, one of my favorite adhesives. Accounting for tax, they average about 2 cents each US. And unlike most other double-sided foam adhesives out there for crafters, ours have no waste! I use the edge pieces and corner edges when I have bigger items I am using or layering. My only waste ever with Dimensionals is the waxy paper backing, which I believe can be recycled in major areas. Dimensionals add height to paper layers, items, flowers, whatever you need to add a little height and depth to something. I would give the bond a medium rating. It holds quite well, but there are stronger adhesives out there, but most do not give you the height you get with Dimensionals. And if you need to move or remove a Dimensional, we have a tool for that and rarely is there a residue left behind.

Disadvantages:  Other than Dimensionals are not a super strong bond, but a darn good one, is their size. That is part of why I use the edge of the Dimensional page, it is easy to cut them down for small objects. So really, there are no big disadvantages to them. I <3 2="" 300="" a="" after="" and="" at="" cents.="" good="" o:p="" out="" package="" rounding="" shipping="" taxes="" their="" them="" to="" us="" yeah="">

That wraps up the 4 basic adhesives I feel every crafter, papercrafter, scrapbooker, or whatever your title is, should have in their tool box. See below for ordering information from me!

Reminder on Products Discussed:

SNAIL Adhesive 
Double-sided, instantly bonding permanent adhesive. Easy to apply and refill. Remove with Adhesive Remover. Acid free.
SNAIL (13.1 yards) • 104332 $7.00 
Refill (13.1 yards) • 104331 $4.50 

Multipurpose Liquid Glue - (Green Glue)
110755 $4.00
Crafters’ dream glue! Adheres glitter and other embellishments; includes narrow tip and broad tip. Strong bond; dries clear. 0.9 oz. Acid free. 

Mini Glue Dots®
103683 $5.25
Instant dots of adhesive. No fumes, no mess, no drying time. Holds heavier embellishments. 300 dots. 3/16". 

Stampin’ Dimensionals
104430 $4.00
Double-sided adhesive foam dots add depth and dimension. Instant bond. 300 pieces. Acid free. 


Bonus material: Non Stampin’ Up!  Adhesives

As a bonus, I will cover some basic information related to the non Stampin’ Up! Adhesives.

Glue sticks (now a retired product from Stampin’ Up!)
What it is:
Glue in a solid form that comes in a plastic tube. You probably recognize these from your childhood.
How to use it:
Apply by rubbing glue on the surface. This is great for covering large areas. Best for use on paper.
Glue sticks have a weak bond except for adhering paper to paper.
Glue sticks are somewhat repositionable to a limited degree. Quickly soaks into paper.
Glue sticks are easily cleaned up with water and soap.

Redline Tape (now a retired product from Stampin’ Up!)
Double sticky super sticky tape with a typically red clear nonstick covering on the outside of the strip. This type of adhesive must be cut with a scissors to size, it is non tearable. Many brands exist on the market.
Redline tape bond is strong. The adhesive is non-repositionable and will tear paper or other materials, including ribbon if you do try to reposition it.
One big disadvantage to this tape is the clear red plastic backing sticks to everything and can be a challenge to corral and dispose of it. Cats like to chew and swallow it making it a safety hazard in your craft area unless you get every piece.

Crystal Effects glue (now a retired product from Stampin’ Up!)
Liquid dimensional adhesive. Self-leveling when it dries and can dry as a mound unless brushed flat. Crystal Lacquer and Diamond Glaze are similar brands. Somewhat bonds to smooth glass and metal.
The bond is medium strength. If the object you are adhering is too heavy the bond may release. It is great for coloring with re-inker ink refills and adding glitter to make your own glitter glue.
Crystal Effects is soap and water clean-up. Which also means that if your item is something to get wet, the glue will release.
Crystal Effects is more of a decorative adhesive rather than something I would use as a bonding agent.

Hot Glue or Hot Melt Adhesive
What it is:
A solid stick of glue that is placed in a hot glue gun which melts the glue as it’s applied. As it cools, the glue becomes solid again.
There are different types of hot glue depending on your application needs, different strengths and heat and cooling temperatures.
How to use it:
Use hot glue for just about any type of material (except metal) for fast setting and quick-drying adhesion.
Hot glue can have a strong bond. Hot glue is not a quick adhesive because it needs time to heat up to its melting temperature. Hot glue can also be dangerous in that you can burn your fingers easily when using and possibly your work surface.
Hot glue is best for large bulk projects where you need a strong bond that dries quickly. For instance, making flowers.

Hermafix Dotto Adhesive (retired Stampin’ Up!)
What it is:
It comes in a handheld tape runner dispenser that is refillable.
How to use it:
Many places sell Hermafix or Herma Dot. The bond is weak. This is a great adhesive if you are looking to try out placements before a final design. It can also be used to hold your clear block mount rubber stamps that are having trouble adhering to your block. Wipes clean or wipes away with an adhesive remover.

What is e6000 glue used for?

Amazing E6000 has exceptional adhesion to wood, metal, glass, fiberglass, ceramics, and concrete. It also adheres strongly to leather, rubber, vinyl and many plastics. Amazing E6000 dries clear and once cured, it's waterproof, washer/dryer safe, paintable and safe for photographs.
E6000 bond is super strong, but I have had it not adhere to certain items, surprised me too!
Disadvantages to E6000: need to work (no getting around this one) in a well-ventilated area or you risk light-headedness and other. You must cover your work surface properly or risk damage. Again, it bonds to just about anything. If you are working in bulk or on a large project, E6000 can be expensive relative to say, hot glue, for the same quantity. And it does need drying time, at least an hour, best if left set overnight to make sure it is completely cured.

Mod Podge
What it is:
Decoupage, often referred to as Mod Podge, is used mostly for crafts to bond and seal paper.
How to use it:
As mentioned, Mod Podge is great for bonding and sealing paper but it also gives a nice glossy finish to your work. There are many finishes available: matte, satin, semi-gloss, high gloss.
Mod Podge has a weak bond strength. It is soap and water clean-up. Mod Podge is widely available and inexpensive, brand dependent.
Mod Podge is mostly a decorative use adhesive, creates a shiny coating over projects.
Disadvantages: weak bond, drying time, a few hours to overnight to fully cure.

Scotch Magic Tape
Scotch® Magic™ Tape is the preferred tape for offices, homes and schools. It's invisible when applied and won't show on copies. This is an ideal tape for permanent paper mending. It can be written on with pen, pencil or marker, it pulls off the roll smoothly. Scotch® Magic™ Tape cuts easily & is very reliable. The tape is photo safe and made in the USA with globally sourced materials.
The tape has a weak bond. It is widely available and an affordable adhesive. Dispensers are refillable. Tape has adhesive only on one side. In crafting it is mostly used for taping items on the back of your projects, like taping a ribbon and hiding the ends on the back side of your paper.

Packing Tape
Box sealing tape (also "Packing Tape"; "Parcel tape", UK) is a type of packaging tape which is clear or opaque, and used for closing packages for shipment. It is usually two inch (48 mm) or three inch (72 mm) wide and is made of a polypropylene or polyester backing.

Packing tape has adhesive only on one side. It has a medium bond. Tape runner style dispenser that can be refilled. It is not repositionable. Sometimes leaves a residue on work surfaces, that in most cases can be cleaned up with rubbing alcohol.

In crafting it is often used for techniques more than as an actual adhesive.


I hope you have found this second, Tool Box: Bring Your Own Adhesives: Let’s Stick Together, of a series of 4 posts about adhesives helpful to you.

Next in the series – Tool Box: Bring Your Own Adhesives: Let’s Build Something.



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