Which Glue for the Job?

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Choose the Best Glue by Type of Craft, Art or DIY Project.

Ever wondered which glue is best for your craft, art or DIY project? In this overview, I am comparing different glues and adhesives, and their uses. So, you’ll get all your sticky questions answered!

I want to start with the all-time favorite glue which is ideal for professional paper art and decoupage as well as fun paper craft projects. It is Yes! glue. (Sometimes called “the official Yes! paste” or “Yes Stikflat Glue”).

Yes! Stikflat Glue

The Specifics: Why a favorite? This glue is an all-purpose, layflat, white glue that won’t buckle paper, thus allowing you to create a professional finish. Therefore it is used by professionals, including bookbinders, printers, libraries, and greeting and sample card makers. This glue is an acid-free, smooth flowing adhesive, and is permanently flexible. Low odor and easy clean-up.

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What is also amazing is that you can dilute Yes!-glue a bit which makes a tub like this last forever. A tub like this is approximately $8 and lasts and lasts. Trust me, you will LOVE ME for this glue secret alone, but there is more to know.

If paper is not your art-of-choice, read on… There are other excellent glues, each the best for specific craft projects, materials and adhesive needs.

General All-Purpose Glue

The Specifics: Clear household adhesive dries transparent. Use this kind of glue for kinds of projects where you don’t need a strong bond.

    Materials to Glue on:

  1. fabric cloth, incl. cotton or linen canvas
  2. soft flexible plastics
  3. thick paper aka card stock
  4. can be used on metal, cork or leather.

Application Howto: Where surfaces are absorbent spread the glue onto one surface and press both surfaces together firmly. Otherwise spread a think film on both surfaces leave for a brief moment and then press the two items together for several minutes.

Glue Removal: It depends on your surface. E.g. For plastics, remove any spoils/excess glue with a damp cloth while the glue is still sticky. Consider acetone or nail polish remover to rub away at the adhesive on things like metal.

Final Notes: Can not be used on polythene, polypropylene or polystyrene as it eats into the surface, it is not suitable for repairing pottery and similar heavy items as the glue is not strong enough. be careful around varnished surfaces as this glue can lift the varnish off a surface and damage it.

LATEX

The Specifics: A rubber-based adhesive in white and clear formulations. It produces a flexible bond. Ideal for repairs

    Materials to Glue on:

  1. fabric
  2. upholstery
  3. rubber
  4. paper
  5. wood.

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Application How-to:Depends on the materials you are gluing. If your materials are delicate/lightweight, then avoid the glue to penetrate. Apply just a thin coat to each surface letting and then let it sit until your glue has become semi-transparent. That’s the moment to push the two surfaces together. For other materials, you can just apply a light coat to one of the surfaces and push them together and secure for several minutes.

Glue Removal: Comes off easily with a damp cloth when the glue is still wet, when dry pick off the access glue and scrape with a sharp knife for fabrics you will need a solvent cleaner.

Final Notes: A useful adhesive to have on hand for small touch ups, this latex glue also comes in a non toxic variety for children’s use.

EPOXY RESIN

The Specifics: Epoxy resin has a very strong durable bond once set. This glue dries clear and is heat-proof. Great for repair as well as artistic creations.

Materials to Glue on:

    Suitable for

  1. China and pottery,
  2. glass
  3. jewelry
  4. wood, metal, leather and similar organic materials.

Not suitable for styrofoam.

Application: Epoxy resin is a two-part glue: a base + a hardener. You need to mix the two parts before use. Realize it’s quick-setting so you must prepare everything in advance. Following the directions on your epoxy resin mix the epoxy and hardener together ensuring that your surface is clean. Apply a thin layer onto one surface and squeeze the two surfaces together. Secure your materials until the glue has set.

Glue Removal: If you get it on your skin then use a industrial hand cleaner, remove excess glue from surfaces with a cloth dampened with white spirit. Once set you will need to chip away at the glue as it is solid once dry.

Final Notes: Once the adhesive is mixed you only have a few minutes to work with it and if you are fixing pottery that you intend to use, after a long period of time the resin will eventually break down.

Contact

The Specifics:A petroleum-based adhesive, which is extremely inflammable. Applied to both surfaces, it bonds on contact.

Where to use: On a variety of surfaces such as laminate, wood, rubber, stone, leather, it is heat and water proof.

Application: Coat both surfaces with the adhesive and allow to become tacky then press the two surfaces together.

Glue Removal: It is difficult to remove once it is dry so wipe off any excess as you go with a damp cloth, you can use a acetone to wipe the residue down and large amounts would need to be chipped away first.

Final Notes: You need to work quickly and it is not suitable for plastic pr polythene items as it can wrinkle the surface.

PVA Glue (polyvinyl acetate)

The Specifics: white creamy adhesive that is water soluble and provides a permanent bond which can be stronger than material itself.

Materials to Glue on:
Use for general indoor woodwork repairs, plus hardboard, polyurethane, foam, paper, fabric, leather, and carpets. Can also be watered down to make papermache glue or used as a protective coat on indoor artwork.

Application: Squeeze a thin layer onto one surface and press together straight away. Clamp or secure for at least one hour to allow setting.

Glue Removal: While it is still wet remove with a damp cloth, once set use mentholated spirits.

Final Notes: Not suitable for water contact, you will need a waterproof PVA for those jobs.

Which one to get:
Gorilla glue. It also comes in a waterproof, clear version, so there’s one that’s perfect for whatever job you are working on.)

SUPERGLUE

The Specifics: Originally used by the air force industry these adhesive needs only a tiny spot to produce extremely strong bond onto almost any surface including your skin.

glue - photo by Joel Kingsbury

Materials to Glue on:
For use where you need a Instant bond, metals, plastics,glass,ceramics, rubber.

Application How-to: One tiny drop onto one surface and push both surfaces together straight away. Always where rubber gloves

Glue Removal: If you get skin contact immediately soak in warm soapy water, if available use a solvent cleaner and try to separate skin gently.

Final Notes: Though it is an effective adhesive it can be quite expensive for large projects, it is highly dangerous and should be kept safe at all times. As this is a thin liquid it is not useful in filling Gaps which may be required to fill broken pottery etc to even out the edges.

ACID FREE GLUE

The Specifics: This is an archive glue that can either go on white or clear. This glue contains no harmful acid it is suitable for paper, card and some plastics.

Materials to Glue on: Use for archival documents, Scrapbooking and photos.

Application – Howto: Apply a thin layer of glue to one surface and press the surfaces together, you can also apply small dots into the corners of a photo for easy application. It comes in many different forms, such as squeezy bottles, roll ons and droplet.

Glue Removal: When wet use a damp cloth to wipe away excess, once dried gently separate the items being careful not to tear the papers.

Final Notes: This glue is easy to apply and purpose built for Scrapbooking, there is no substitute when it comes to archiving your memories.”

yes glue

ref. craft glue, gorilla glue, how to, Yes glue, Yes paste

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