There are many ways to stick things together when paper crafting. As a new crafter, you may start out with white “school glue” or double-stick tape. Stampin’ Up! carries a lot more options that are generally easier to use and/or stick better. For instance, I have not had any Stampin’ Up! adhesives buckle my paper. Here are my reasons for selecting one adhesive over another and some added tips.
(This video needs to be updated to include Fast Fuse, Tear and Tape, and the Fine Tip Glue Pen.)
Multipurpose Liquid Glue If I had to pick only one adhesive, this would be it. It dries fairly quickly and stays stuck in most cases. It has a large and a small tip. It dries clear, but stays sticky. It’s great for paper to paper and for glitter. It is made out of latex, so use with caution if you have that allergy. Acid free.
- I nearly always use the small tip. I keep the bottle upside down in a little glass jar so the glue is always at the tip. If you don’t, you are likely to squeeze the bottle to get the glue out. When it finally reaches the tip it will come out in a blob and it keeps coming out making a big mess. I never have this problem when I keep it upside down.
- A little goes a long way! Use a tiny bit so it doesn’t ooze out between layers. If you get it where it’s exposed, allow it to dry and erase it with the Adhesive Remover.
- If you want to use it as a temporary bond, let it dry before adhering.
- Try putting a thin layer on the back of clear-mount stamps, allowing it to dry thoroughly before using the stamp, to hold the stamp to the block.
Stampin’ Dimensionals If I had to limit my adhesives to two, Dimensionals would be on my list. They stick well and add a little elevation to layers. You get 300 for $3.95. Many of us also use the borders too. Cheap thrills!
Fast Fuse SNAIL used to be my favorite “Go To” adhesive, but I’ve moved on to Fast Fuse. While it has a bit higher initial price, it’s actually the same price as SNAIL once you start using the refills plus it is a strong adhesive, great for 3D items. It does have a learning curve to use it. Since the adhesive is so strong, you really have to break it at the end of your application line. If you don’t break it, it will pull a bit of adhesive from the role and you have to use your finger to roll some adhesive to the wheel. I like to use a little twisty motion to break it, but Stampin’ Up! recommends a check mark action.
Snail Adhesive These dispensers take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hand of it, it’s the easiest adhesive to use. It doesn’t need any dry time. It’s “permanent,” but some people find things don’t stay stuck over time… perhaps it depends on weather conditions. There are refills available. Acid free.
- If you use Snail with torn paper or any material that my come apart, you’re likely to pull the scraps into the dispenser. This makes the tape rewind unevenly and can jam up the works. It can be fixed, but is very difficult. I usually just give up and put in a refill. Then I hit my forehead and remind myself not to use this adhesive for that kind of material.
- I put my name on the gray “keeper” side. My home dispenser has magnets on this side that I stick the wall of my work area. My travel dispensers hang from a retractable badge lanyard. (Remove the plastic snap part, run the cord around the plastic tab of the gray “keeper” side.)
- I use it for wrapping presents. It works great on most wrapping paper and doesn’t show.
- If you have trouble using Snail, find the bumpy ridges and put your index finger there. Be sure you open the cover. Pull your line of adhesive slowly. You don’t need to push hard.
Tear and Tape It replaces Sticky Strip. I had a love/hate relationship with Sticky Strip. I loved that it made a very strong bond which is great for boxes, wrapping paper around 3-D containers, or other projects that need to stay stuck. But hated how difficult it is to use. I literally cheered when I saw Tear and Tape in the 15-16 catalog! You can tear it, the backing is easier to remove, and the backing doesn’t have that frustrating static cling. I call it TNT and have a love/love relationship with it!
Glue Dots My perverse inner child calls these Snot Dots. They are little sticky dots that are great for sticking on buttons and similar non-porous design elements. They’re also great for holding down a bow or box corners. No drying time and easy to use.
- I carefully fold back the paper strip until I find the next glue dot. Keep the whole roll covered with the paper strip or you will have glue dots stuck all over.
- Press the project to the glue dot on the roll or lift a glue dot from the roll with a Paper Piercer. Glue dots stick to you nearly as well as they do the paper, fabric, foam, plastic, or other material.
- If the Glue Dot is larger than your embellishment, just fold the dot over on itself.
Those were the adhesives I use the most.
Here are some other adhesive choices.
Fine-Tip Glue Pen Like the Crystal Effects, it dries clear and is great for gluing those little glossy elements like sequins and buttons. It has a teeny tiny tip so it’s perfect for those thin die-cuts. It takes a few minutes to dry, but it’s much faster than Crystal Effects. Here’s a video from Stampin’ Up! I love this new glue and it may make it to my Top 5.
2-Way Glue Pen Comes out blue, but changes to clear as it dries. If you use it when it’s blue it is a permanent bond, but if you allow it to dry it is temporary like a sticky note. It works great for masking and stencils! When you use it for the first time, you will need to move the glue to the tip by pushing the tip in a few times until it becomes blue. Try putting it on the back of clear-mount stamps, allowing it to dry thoroughly before using the stamp, to hold the stamp to the block. Acid free.
Anywhere Glue Stick Kid’s glue sticks leave big blobs and chunks, then dry out and stop sticking. The Anywhere Glue Stick is not at all like that! It has a large rectangular surface to get into corners and cover large areas and it doesn’t leave chunks behind. Stampin’ Up! recommends storing it in a plastic bag to keep it from drying out, but though I rarely use it, mine has not dried out. Better safe than sorry. Acid free and non-toxic.
Crystal Effects Stampin’ Up! says it dries in an hour depending on thickness, but usually let it dry overnight. It’s a great adhesive and adds a glossy design element. I have trouble with it drying in the tip. Open the cap and push the dried bits out with a straightened paper clip or try this clever trick. Acid free
- Stick buttons to projects.
- Turn paper circles into 3-D glossy buttons.
- Adhere buttons or paper to thumb tacks or magnets and add a glossy finish for your bulletin board.
- Create water droplets.
- Turn a stamped jar or fish bowl into “glass.”
- Add a drop of refill ink for a colored glossy finish.
Other related products.
Silicone Craft Sheet When adding adhesive to small pieces, this sheet reduces adhesive messes. Snail doesn’t stick to it. Liquid glues peel off easily when dry. Great when using hot glue!
Adhesive Remover OK, we all make mistakes. This is not an adhesive, but it will help you erase your adhesive mistakes. Use it like a regular eraser to rub off adhesive. It works great with Snail. Allow Liquid Multi-purpose glue to dry before trying to erase. I wouldn’t use it with Crystal Effects or Sticky Strip. If the Adhesive Remover gets gummy, just pick or rub off the balls with your fingers or cut off the top layer.
Goo Gone This is not a Stampin’ Up! product, but it’s great for removing stickers and sticky residue. Apply it over the sticky area and let it work for 1-10 minutes. Labels come right off! Sometimes you can even reuse a paper layer after removing it from another layer. I use it to clean my scissor blades when they get sticky. It says it removes crayon marks from walls. It even works as a stain remover on fabrics! It is a petroleum product, so it may leave it’s own stain.