Choosing the Best Scrapbooking Adhesives

Last Updated: May 8, 2022

If you're a scrapbooker, then you know that choosing the right scrapbook adhesives is essential to having great results. You spend so much time designing, embellishing, and creating your scrapbook layout, so you want to make sure that it lasts for a long time. You don't want to see the pages and photos turn yellow and brittle and have things falling off the pages. 

With all the different options in the market, though, it might be challenging to decide which one is the best for you. This post will explore the different types of scrapbook glue and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about adhesives for scrapbooking. We'll also share some tips on choosing the best glue for scrapbooking to get you ready for your next project! Read on to learn more!

Flower and leaf die-cuts popped up on a scrapbook page with foam tape

You Are Loved Floral Scrapbook Layout

What Is the Best Adhesive for Paper Crafts?

The best adhesive for paper crafts is the one that works for your project. 

Remember: not all craft adhesives are created equal. Some are stronger than others. Depending on your needs, you'll find craft glues that are waterproof, removable, smooth, liquid, dry fast, dry clear, dry solid, etc. It's easy to find the best craft and scrapbook adhesives for your projects - from glue tape and tacky glue to foam tape and double-sided adhesives - you just need to make sure that it is compatible with the materials or surfaces you're using.

Adhesive is one of the most essential tools in a paper crafter's tool kit. Different adhesives work best for different applications, so it can be difficult to decide which adhesive is the best for the project you're working on. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced crafter, it is handy to figure out the pros and cons of each type of adhesive and discover the right one for you.

Florals, berries, and branches die-cuts on a family scrapbook journal

Family Scrapbook Journal Page with 3D Florals

Fun Fact! Have you ever wondered why popular glue brand Elmer's Glue has a cow in its packaging and logo? This is because their glue was initially created with casein, the protein in cow's milk. Nowadays, the company uses synthetic materials to make their glue.

What Is the Best Adhesive to Use for Scrapbooking?

When choosing the best adhesive for scrapbooking, the key is to find something that is acid-free and photo safe. A scrapbook album is created to document precious memories and hopefully pass them on to the next generation. So your scrapbook pages need to stand the test of time. And that's why acid and lignin are big no-nos when it comes to using scrapbook adhesives.   

If you don't want your photos to deteriorate or your scrapbook pages to turn yellow over the years, go for photo safe and acid-free adhesives. 

Fun Fact! Lignin is an organic substance found in wood pulp. In scrapbooking, always go for lignin-free paper or cardstock. Paper with lignin will become acidic and cause yellowing over the years.

Colorful 6x6 scrapbook page with die-cut ephemera and colorful patterned paper

Pastel Dreams 6x6 Paper Pack

What Kind of Glue to Use for Scrapbooking?

There are a few elements to consider when choosing the best glue for scrapbooking

What surface and material are you using? Are you using paper, plastic, fabric, or wood? Do you need something that dries fast or slow? Before finding the best scrapbook glue, consider the different formulations of adhesives. Do you need wet adhesives or dry adhesives? Glue for scrapbook paper or photo corners

Certain types of glue won't hold up in different weather situations, so this is another element to consider. While they all accomplish the same thing - bonding one surface to another - each type of scrapbook tape has a unique property and formulation. 

Glitter foliage on a double-sided adhesive sheet

Create Shiny Die-Cuts with Double-Sided Adhesive Sheets

  • Wet Adhesives

 Liquid adhesives can come in the form of a paste, pen, or spray can. These popular scrapbook adhesives are easy to use and convenient. Some liquid glue offers just temporary bonding, while others offer permanent bonding. 

Altenew's 2-in-1 Precision Glue Pen is great for both! For a permanent bond, use it when the glue is wet. For a repositionable bond, allow the glue to set until tacky. ​   

The only catch with liquid or wet adhesives is that you have to have more control over how much you apply. Putting too much liquid glue might cause wrinkling or warping on your scrapbook pages. Instead, you can try the dot technique by adding small glue dots instead of a straight line or using an old paintbrush to spread the glue. 

  • Dry Adhesives 

This type of adhesive is ideal for mess-free and hassle-free bonding. Here are a few of the most popular dry scrapbook adhesives.

2-in-1 Precision Glue Pen, Double-Adhesive Sheets, and Masking Paper for Scrapbooking

Best Adhesives for Scrapbook Paper

1. Double-Sided Adhesives -  This is a kind of pressure-sensitive adhesive or PSA. This scrapbook glue doesn't warp the paper and is mess-free, acid-free, and non-toxic. It comes in either a tape roll or a sheet. It is handy for die-cutting, creating your own embellishments, and sticking intricate dies to your scrapbook layouts.

Using a 3-pack scrapbook glue tape on 3D floral die-cuts and 3 handmade cards

Scrapbook Glue Tape

2. Glue Tape or Tape Runner - A glue tape is ideal for paper-on-paper adhesion. It can be either permanent or removable and refillable or disposable. 

Most glue tapes come in their own compact plastic dispenser in varying sizes. It produces a clear, self-sticking strong adhesive, making it the best glue for scrapbook paper. The only disadvantage is that some companies' glue tapes aren't refillable, so you'd have to dispose of the dispenser and buy a new one every time.

Altenew Instant Dimension Foam Tape with a handmade card and a bone folder

Foam Tape Adhesive for Scrapbooking

3. Foam Tape - This is a double-sided adhesive made from foam. It provides more dimension than a regular scrapbook tape and comes in various thicknesses, widths, and lengths. 

Foam tape provides a permanent bond and a lot of versatility since you can cut out the foam tape pieces according to the shape or size you need. It comes in a plastic sheet and is adhered to a piece of a backing sheet. It can also come in a tape roll. This scrapbook adhesive is perfect for achieving instant 3D or pop-up effects on our scrapbook pages.

Slim colorful washi tapes on a memory-keeping journal layout

Using Washi Tape as a Scrapbook Adhesive

4. Washi Tape - Washi tapes might not be the stickiest and strongest adhesive for scrapbooking, but they have unique advantages. The best thing about using washi tapes on your scrapbook layout is that they serve as a decorative element. For example, you can use wide washi tapes as a background, embellishments, or borders for your photos.

Scrapbook album page with a dotted washi tape background and fussy cut florals from a wide washi tape

Fussy Cut Florals from a Washi Tape

What's the Best Way to Stick Photos in a Scrapbook?

The best way to stick photos in a scrapbook is to use an acid-free, non-toxic, and photo safe scrapbook glue or tape. You can use liquid glue or dry ones like double-sided adhesives and foam squares or foam dots. Using scrapbook photo corners is also ideal and helps with longevity. Scrapbook photo corners are pieces of paper, usually triangle-shaped, in various sizes, colors, and patterns with adhesives on the back.

Did You Know? Duct Tape was originally called Duck Tape because it is waterproof, "just like water off a duck's back." Later on, they often use this tape for wrapping air ducts, hence the name "duct tape."

Which adhesive is best for small craft projects?

A liquid glue pen is perfect for small craft projects! It features a fine tip to allow for precise glue application - just perfect for those detailed die-cuts, small embellishments, sequins, gems, and more! This type of glue can be repositionable or permanent.

Using a scrapbook glue pen on "winter" word die-cut

2-in-1 Precision Glue Pen

Find the Best Glue for Scrapbooking Today!  

So, what's the verdict? What scrapbook adhesive should you try first? 

When it comes to finding the best adhesives for scrapbooking, everyone seems to have their own favorite, and it's tough to figure out which one is the best for you. Now that we've taken a look at some of the most popular scrapbook glue and discussed what makes them great (or not so great), we hope you have a better idea of what to use on your scrapbook album. 

Although it is handy to have a few different types of adhesives in your arsenal, you don't need to own all of them. Instead, just choose the best one for your project and stick with it (pun intended)! 

Read up about the origin, manufacturing, and different uses of craft adhesives on our All About Crafting page!

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