Types of Craft Adhesives Every Crafter Needs

7 minute read

Are you a crafter who wants to know what the best craft glue for your DIY projects is? Whether you’re an occasional crafter who dabbles in a few handmade projects here and there or an obsessed crafter who enjoys creating every day, craft glue is an essential item in your crafting tool kit.

So if you are on the lookout for the best glue for paper crafts, sit back, relax, and enjoy this guide on different types of craft adhesives that every crafter needs.

Double-sided adhesives sheet from Altenew

What are adhesives?

If you have ever stuck things together, then you have probably used adhesives before. Whether it’s a simple paste, kid’s glue, Scotch tape, epoxy, craft adhesive, or even stickers - adhesives are tools used for sticking or binding things together. In today’s world, you’d be hard-pressed to find a product that does not use at least one or two types of adhesive - from simple bottle labels to home appliances and even automobiles! 

Did You Know? Various kinds of glue were used throughout history, such as starch-based paste, animal and fish glue, egg-based paste, and tar and beeswax. But it wasn’t until 1876 when the Ross brothers were given the first US patent to produce casein glue. After that, adhesives evolved from rubber cement to natural rubber-based adhesive to pressure-sensitive adhesives or PSA. Some examples of PSA are the widely popular Scotch tape and sticky notes.

Brittanica defines adhesives as “any substance that is capable of holding materials together in a functional manner by surface attachment that resists separation.” Cement, paste, glue, or mucilage are a few common terms used to describe any “organic material that forms an adhesive bond.”

3 pack glue tape from Altenew

What is craft adhesive?

When you craft, you create, make, or put various materials and elements together. That’s why it is not unusual for a crafter to have a few different types of adhesive in their crafting tool kit. Liquid adhesive or solid adhesive, removable adhesive or permanent ones, there is no denying that it is one of the most important tools when doing any kind of craft. There are various aspects and elements to consider when finding the best glue for paper crafts - from your personal preference to the type of surface that you will use it on.

While you can simply use glue or a double-sided adhesive for sticking things together, specific surfaces and DIY projects require a particular type of glue. A craft adhesive is basically the term used to refer to the non-toxic glue (usually white, but it can be clear too) used for many crafting projects on a variety of surfaces: from paper and fabric to wood and foam. For instance, if you are a card maker, it’s essential to know the best adhesive for cardstock.

Instant dimension foam tape from altenew

Instant Dimension Foam Tape

Types of adhesives for crafting

Glue pens, glue tape, tacky glue, foam tape, or double-sided adhesives - there are so many different types of adhesive that you can use for your DIY crafts. Depending on your project, you can either opt for a removable adhesive, waterproof adhesive, liquid adhesive, or clear adhesive. Figuring out which glue suits your handmade projects is one vital step in the crafting process.

Best craft glue from Altenew

2 in 1 Precision Glue Pen

What is craft glue?

Craft glue is a staple tool in every home. It is used in simple school art projects and DIY arts and crafts. This type of glue refers to any quick-drying and non-industrial adhesives that can be used for simple crafts. Here are some more characteristics of a craft glue:

  • It is water-based.
  • It is quick-drying.
  • It is non-toxic.
  • It is non-industrial.
  • It can be in a solid or liquid form.
  • It can be clear or white.
  • It can either be removable or permanent adhesive.

What is tacky glue?

Anyone who has been crafting for a while has probably used tacky glue. It has been around for ages, and most crafters swear by it. If you have just started creating DIY crafts, though, you’re probably asking, “what is tacky glue?”. Aleene’s, dubbed as America’s Favorite craft glue, is the most popular and the original tacky glue. It is a type of glue that is thick, fast-grabbing, and dries permanently. Due to its thicker consistency, it can quickly create a solid bond to grab on contact. This PVA or polyvinyl acetate glue comes in either white or clear glue and is non-toxic.

Learn more about picking the best adhesive for your project!

What is the best adhesive to use for card making?

Nowadays, we are always on the lookout for the one thing that can do it all. It is inevitable since everything in this world is either automatic, digital, or multi-purpose. Most crafters would seek “the one glue that fits all,” however, there is no such thing. Remember, while glue can stick things together, not all craft glue is created equal.

Craft adhesives from Altenew

Adhesives from Altenew

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

What surface and material are you using for your craft? Are you using glass, paper, plastic, fabric, or wood? Before you can find the best craft glue for your homemade creations, consider the different formulations of adhesives. Do you need water-based glue, hot glue, or polyurethane glue? 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 glue has a unique property and formulation. Always remember these the next time you find the best craft glue for your bonding needs.

If you're looking for the right glue for your scrapbook projects, check out our products!

While there are plenty of adhesives that you can use for your DIY paper crafts, it is vital to have a few popular ones on hand. Once you’ve determined the surface you’re using it on and whether you need a removable adhesive or a permanent one, you can start investing in a few different adhesives. Here are 4 of the best glue for paper crafts:

Strong craft glue pen from Altenew

2 in 1 Precision Glue Pen

1. Glue pen - As the name suggests, this liquid adhesive is in the form of a pen. Because of its fine tip, it provides precise application. A glue pen is a must-have for card making since it is perfect for putting together intricate and small die-cut pieces. So, if you are looking for the best glue for 3D paper crafts, you should give glue pens a try.

Double sided craft adhesives from Altenew

Sticky Essentials Foam Tape, Masking Paper, & Adhesive Sheets Bundle

2. Double-sided adhesives - These come in different forms and sizes. Some companies and brands sell it in the form of a tape roll, while others offer it in sheets. It is acid-free and more permanent than glue tapes. Most card makers use it for layered die-cutting, especially for sticking intricate and detailed die-cuts. Its ease of use makes it the best adhesive for cardstock. These are pretty sticky, especially once the backing sheet has been removed.

3 pack craft glue tape from Altenew

3 Pack Glue Tape

3. Glue tapes or tape runner - Most paper crafters will swear by this and tell you that it is the best glue for 3D paper crafts. Or any paper craft, for that matter. A glue tape is ideal for paper-on-paper adhesion. It can be either permanent or removable adhesive and refillable or disposable. Most glue tapes come in their own compact dispense in varying sizes. These are one of the best and simplest adhesives for card making that you’ll find in the market today.

Instant dimension foam tape from Altenew

Instant Dimension Foam Tape

4. Foam tapes (foam dots or foam squares) - In the world of paper crafting, dimension is the name of the game. That’s why more and more card makers love using foam tapes on their crafting projects. These come in various sizes and shapes, the most popular being circles and squares. The foam dots or foam squares come in a plastic sheet and are adhered to a piece of backing sheet. It can also come in a tape roll. This is perfect for achieving instant 3D or pop-up effects on cards. It’s a favorite among card makers and scrapbookers because it is super easy and convenient to use.

Best craft glue tape for scrapbooking and card making

Craft glue tape from Altenew

The video tutorial below shows a fun, quick, and easy way to use removable adhesives on Vellum paper! Yes, you read that right. While most crafters would think it’s a big “no-no,” Lydia thought it would be fun to shake things up and break the rules! Watch the video and let us know what you think in the comments below.

Crafting without glue or adhesive can be extra challenging, especially in the world of card making and scrapbooking. Some can get away with using washi tapes or other kinds of tape, but it’s still crucial to use the correct craft glue on your paper crafts. From the simple act of bonding paper and cardstock together to adding die-cuts, stickers, and other embellishments on the card front - the use of glue is necessary. We hope this blog post helped you figure out the best craft glue for all your bonding and crafting needs.

Feel free to check out Altenew's adhesives for DIY paper crafts here!

Your Ultimate Guide to Paper Crafting

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