It’s time to take the confusion out of craft glue! Here’s your guide to the best adhesives for every type of craft project you work on.
Did you know that different types of glue adhere to different materials? I remember when I first learned that important tidbit. I was in the craft store looking for “glue” and was completely overwhelmed by the number of different glue products stocked on the shelves.
It was a major “ah-ha” moment that completely transformed how I approached crafting projects.
Before that, I had always thought that glue was glue. Well, maybe there was a difference between Elmer’s glue and super glue, but that was about the extent of it…and then I scratched my head and wondered why my wood crafts fell apart when I used Elmer’s glue. True story.
Now that I have loads of experience under my belt, and am sharing it with you today with the hope that you can skip that overwhelming experience of walking into a store to buy “glue” because you’ll know exactly what you need!
Tips For Choosing The Best Glues For Crafting
It’s essential to use the right supplies in order to successfully make beautiful projects, and knowing which craft supplies are the best to use can be challenging to say the least.
Take craft glue, for example.
Did you know there were so many options for craft adhesives?
After reading today’s post, you can eliminate the guesswork of picking a craft adhesive and put that energy and time back into doing what you love: making amazing crafts!
Use these tips as a general guide, then read below to learn which adhesives work best with different crafting materials.
- As wonderful as it would be to use a “one glue fits all” solution, crafting involves too many different types of surfaces and materials to make that possible.
- Several options can be used on multiple surfaces, and as a result, most crafters will have a favorite glue that they use often.
- Different types of glues are needed for bonding porous materials (paper, wood, etc.) and non-porous materials (plastic, rubber, etc.).
- If you can, test the glue you want to use for your project before diving in.
Craft Glue 101: The Best Adhesives For Your Different Craft Projects
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Speaking of diving in, let’s jump into learning about glue!
When I was learning about craft glues, one major flaw I found was that most sites tend to list individual glues and state what materials they adhere to.
There can be some overlap in which materials a particular glue works well with, and I found it tough to keep track of which products I could use when working with plastic versus when I was working with fabric.
So I put together a list of common crafting materials and the best craft glues to use when working with them to solve that problem for you. Essentially, I created my list in reverse order.
NOTE: These adhesives are available at large stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and online through Amazon sites. I include Amazon links to make it easy for you to find them and research them further.
Best Basic Craft & Office Glue
If you’re a crafter who likes to do one type of project one day and then jump to an entirely different type of project, it might be a good idea to have a good all-around glue (or two!) on hand. I recommend having these:
Aleene’s Tacky Glue – It’s one of the most commonly used adhesives for crafters. This product has withstood the test of time and continues to be a favorite. Use it with paper, fabric, plastic, and felt. It dries clear but stays flexible.
Glue Gun – This might be the one universal glue that every crafter has. It works on most porous and non-porous materials and is best used for typical craft projects when you need fast adhesion and little to no dry time. Glue guns work by melting sticks of glue, so take care not to burn yourself by touching the hot tip.
Modge Podge – Last but not least…Modge Podge has been around for a long time and will continue to be popular as it can be used to glue, seal, and finish projects. It’s also popular for decoupage projects!
Best Glue For Plastic Crafts
Plastic is a non-porous material, so you need to use special glues designed to adhere to your plastic crafts. I recommend these craft glue products.
Gorilla Super Glue Gel – This is a terrific product that does work well with multiple surfaces including plastic, ceramic, rubber, leather, metal, paper, wood, and more. It dries very quickly (under a minute) without clamping and is impact resistant. Plus, the gel formula helps prevent messes.
E6000 – This is my favorite glue for a variety of non-paper craft projects. It bonds to plastic, wood, ceramic, rubber, leather, fabric, and more. Plus, it’s paintable, dries clear, photo safe, washer & dryer safe, and temperature resistant.
Best Glue For Ceramics
Ceramics are porous but they can be tricky to glue together because you need glue that can withstand some impact and has the ability to be painted. I like using these crafting glues for ceramics.
E6000 – This glue is so good that it’s also flexible and gives you 5 minutes of time to adjust your craft as needed until it’s permanently bonded (great for ceramics!). Note: One “con” to E6000 is the odor. Make sure to work with it in a well-ventilated area.
Aleene’s Tacky Glue – This great all-around glue also works well on ceramics! I wish I had this when I was a kid, I bet my mom wishes I had it too.
Best Glue For Wood Projects
Wood can be tricky to glue because it’s very porous and can have a very uneven surface. For top-notch looking wood craft projects, use one of these products.
Aleene’s Tacky Glue – Have I mentioned how wonderful this glue is? Not only does it work on paper, felt, fabric, plastic, and ceramics, but it also adheres to wood.
Wood Glue – This glue works well for gluing wood to wood, which is really all I recommend using it for. We use Gorilla wood glue for all our DIY woodworking projects.
Best Glue For Leather
Leather is a type of fabric that can present a challenge for adhesives. These two products will create an unstoppable bond with leather.
Gorilla Super Glue – This craft glue goes on strong and never lets go. It creates very flexible but highly impact-resistant bonds. It’s water-proof, works well at adhering different materials together, and works well with porous and non-porous materials.
The Best Fabric Adhesive
Fabrics need special adhesives as well. These two products will cover almost any fabric craft you do.
Beacon Fabri-Tac – This reliable fabric adhesive is one of the best on the market. This craft glue dries clear, is machine washable, flexible, and terrific to work with because it doesn’t seep through fabrics, making it perfect for no-sew projects. I love no-sew projects!
Aleene’s Tacky Glue – A mainstay in the crafting world for a reason, you can use this craft glue on your no-sew projects!
Best Glue For Paper To Paper Crafts
Papercraft projects require a special touch of their own. I recommend using these craft glue recommendations for paper.
Glue Dots – These are amazing for papercrafts. They eliminate dry time and mess, are acid-free and non-toxic, and are perfect for photos, greeting cards, gift tags, scrapbooking, and other paper projects.
Aleene’s Tacky Glue – It’s strong but flexible. Dries clear and doesn’t make paper bubble up. This product has proven itself time and time again.
Glue Sticks – If you craft with your kids, glue sticks are a must-have. They work well for a paper to paper crafts, dry clear, and minimize messes. Tip: Glue sticks don’t work for other crafts, including scrapbooking. Leave the glue sticks for the kids and invest in higher quality glue for your projects.
Best Glue For Rubber Projects
Rubber is one of the most resistant materials for creating strong bonds with adhesives. That’s why you’ll want to use one of these two craft glues with rubber.
E6000 – This crafting glue bonds to materials, like rubber, that many other adhesives can’t. This product is a must-have if you like to craft with a variety of materials. It doesn’t create an instant bond, but that can work in your favor if you need to adjust something before the bond sets.
Gorilla Super Glue – Most adhesives don’t bond to rubber well, however, “super glue” or “Krazy glue” (aka the cyanoacrylate family of adhesives) does.
Barge All-Purpose Cement – Perfect for rubber and foam. This glue requires adding the glue to both surfaces and drying for up to 15 minutes before securing the pieces together. With that said, this is my husband’s go-to glue for anything foam or rubber. He swears by it.
Since there’s no “one glue fits all” solutions for crafting with a variety of materials, this list gives you the best craft glue products for each crafting material to help you feel confident about which adhesive to use on your next crafting project!
If I missed any of your favorite glues, drop a comment below and let me know what you’re using, what you’re loving, and your recommendations. I’d LOVE to hear all about them.
I’m a weirdo.
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