About Adhesives


Glue & Adhesives

The adhesives that I use fall into 3 catagories. I don’t have a whole lot of different ones, just different ones for different purposes.  Runny, firm & tape. (really scientific terminology) The two obvious questions are what are you adhering to and what is being adhered?  When I am doing a full paste on, tearaway, I use a basic good quality PVA glue.   If I am adhering something that has to be very precise or that I want to keep dry, I tend to use 2 way tape or a firm glue like a glue stick, or my XYRON 250. The Xyron for those that haven’t heard of it is a machine that puts adhesive on the back of things you pass through it.  There are various widths & types, & although the refills are a little on the expensive side, I still like mine for lots of jobs. The results from the Xyron can be a little hit or miss, but what I love about it is that it is working with everything dry, so you can keep going,  it is especially good for doing little fiddly things & threads & ribbons.  IT IS NO GOOD for old paper…..it just peels it.  Occasionally I use the ‘roller tape’ type glues, but in general I find them to be expensive for an average result. (I usually roll them the wrong way & end up with the tape all pulled out on my workspace!)  Below is my ‘adhesives range’ that I find covers most scenarios.


My basic stock is Helmar™ Professional Acid Free glue.  It is a high quality PVA glue that does not yellow & sets clear.  I use this for adhering backs to cards, setting backgrounds, adding tearaways, etc.  Helmar™ is a quite runny glue, & isn’t suited so well to delicate things like vellum or fine papers or heavier embellishments. 

ULTRA GLUE…(Craft Smart)…….is one of my favs.  It is a ‘gluggy’ glue that sticks things very firmly. It sticks ‘heavy’ things well & is a MUST HAVE for collage.  A word of warning though……….MAKE SURE you immediately put the lid back on firmly.  Ultra Glue dries out quickly in the jar & you need to keep it air tight.

Sometimes I use an acid free glue stick if I want to have a bit longer to work with something (dries a bit slower and is a bit more forgiving than PVA to reposition) or if I want to paint or stamp over the top immediately without waiting for it to dry.  Glue sticks are fine for paper, but are not a very strong bond in general.


When anything is metal I use Helmar™ Gemstone or metallic glue (NO, I don’t have shares in the company, it is just a good product!)  I find that once it touches the metal surface, it goes greenish, & can discolour some papers, so test it first on a scrap.  Dimensional Magic ™, the clear liquid for creating a ‘glass look’ is also good for metals.


I have tried Craft Smart ™ Ultra Glue as it claims not to ‘leach through porous surfaces, fabric & thin paper’.  I like it for fabric, but I find it a little thick to work with to use for papers.  I like Helmar™ better for this job.

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