Crafting Glues for Your At-Home Art Projects

Choose the right adhesive and get ready to bond.

byJeremy Helligar| UPDATED Jul 17, 2021 1:05 PM
Crafting Glues for Your At-Home Art Projects
Sometimes plain white glue simply won’t do. Pexels

No artist or DIY tool box is complete without good glue. But with so many different types of the sticky stuff on the market, how do you pick the best one for your particular needs? Hot glue, which must be melted before being applied and then cooled for bonding, works great with plastic, fabric, styrofoam and ceramics. Water-based PVA is traditional white, multi-purpose glue, and it’s an effective adhesive for crafting, household repairs and book-binding and can be used with wood. Superglues provide more fastening power and are strong enough for bonding metal and glass, while fast-drying Mod Podge combines glue, sealing and finishing functions with extra durability.

Non-toxic, it can be sanded smooth and comes in a variety of coatings, including gloss, matte, glitter, satin and antique.

Available since the 1960s, Mod Podge works better than traditional white glue for decoupage projects as it contains sealers and varnishes that help it go above and beyond merely sticking things together. Some people use it to preserve the beauty of finished puzzles, but it also can serve more basic adhesive functions when used with fabric, wood, tile and clay. Despite its cloudy, white consistency, Mod Podge dries clear.

This product shows up clear to let your artwork shine.

PVA glue is water-based, which means it won’t hold up against wet conditions, but one benefit of its relatively extended drying time is that you get some wiggle room if you are unable to attach with precision. Superglues dry more quickly and are water-resistant, but they’re not waterproof, which means they can only withstand intermittent exposure to moisture. Wood epoxy and polyurethane adhesives, though, are 100 percent waterproof and will survive both sinking and swimming for extended periods.

It’s acid-free, so it won’t ruin your photos when you use it to attach them to a scrapbook.

For those who would rather avoid messiness and potential toxicity while performing the art of bonding, a glue runner offers a cleaner alternative. It lays down smoothly and evenly, so it’s great for scrapbooking and wrapping gifts. Just attach it to a dry surface (fabric, foam, paper or wood) as a double-sided adhesive.