Adhesives 101: Keepin' it Simple

Adhesives 101: Keepin' it Simple

May 14, 2024Jacqualine Hart

Do you find choosing the right adhesive to be a challenge? In this Keepin' it Simple article I'll share some basic information as well as a Quick Reference Guide to help make the decision easier.


Adhesives are a substance used for sticking objects or materials together. It is the most important consumable tool a crafter will need. Adhesives, like cardstock, are not all the same. If you look, you’ll find that adhesives are all around us. You’ll find them used in household items, automobiles to crafting and so on. Adhesive formulas vary in strength such as industrial to kid safe. They also come in various forms such as liquid, solid, and spray. They can be permanent, temporary, removable, and even waterproof. If you have a need for sticking something together -- there’s an adhesive for that.


To preserve photos and paper crafting projects its important to select an adhesive that is archival safe. Select products that are acid-free and/or lignin-free. Adhesives with these characteristics will not deteriorate your photos or turn them yellow over time. It’s also good to verify if the adhesive is non-toxic.


How do you know which adhesive to use? This is a question that every crafter has asked. My advice, don’t skimp on adhesives. Lower price and often lower quality adhesives will typically produce the same the outcome. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting an adhesive:

 1) Does the adhesive work on the surface you will be using? Read the label to verify.

2) What formula do you need -- waterproof, quick grab, strong bond, permanent, etc? Again, read the label to make sure it does what you need it to do.

3) Did a friend recommend an adhesive? Give it a try! However, keep in mind just because someone else likes a particular glue does not mean that you will feel the same.

There are so many adhesives on the market to choose from. The most important thing to remember is that once you find an adhesive YOU like and it produces the outcome YOU want, stick to it.


General Tips & Tricks

  • Adding too much liquid adhesive can warp and create wrinkles in paper; Use metal tips for thinner application

  • The acidity in hot glue can harm your photos; Be sure to select acid-free and pH neutral brands

  • Gel Medium can act as a sealant or glaze

  • Some foam adhesives are NOT heat resistant; Read the label to ensure temperature resistance

  • Double-sided tape can be affected by temperatures; Cold conditions may cause a weak bond; Extremely hot conditions may cause the tape to loose its strength

  • Non-stick scissors make it easier to cut adhesive foam

  • Drying times vary for wet adhesives based on the thickness of the application; Thin applications require less drying time while thicker layers may need to dry overnight

Brand Specific Tips & Tricks

  • Aleene’s Paper Glaze can be tinted with acrylic paints

  • A needle or toothpick can be used to eliminate (pop) air bubbles in Aleene’s Paper Glaze, Glossy Accents, Stickles, or other 3-dimensional adhesive

  • Art Glitter Glue has a 12-month shelf life from the date of purchase and cannot be shipped during cold or freezing temperatures

  • Dina Wakley Media Gel Medium can be used to dilute paint without breaking down the pigment; this method allows you to change the thickness and transparency

  • Fabri-Tac won’t soak into fabrics but Art Glitter Glue does making it stiff; Try Art Glitter Glue Fabric

  • Glossy Accents should be applied in a continuous motion without lifting the tip from the surface to prevent air bubbles


A Quick Reference Guide has been creating outlining all of the current brands carried by Country Craft Creations as of May 2024. You’ll find their characteristics, what materials they can bond and some applications where the adhesive can be used.

Click the image below to obtain a PDF document that you can print and have on hand when ordering or creating.


This article is part of the May Issue of Country Corner Newsletter. Make sure you are subscribed so you don't miss future issues!
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Comments (1)

  • I looking forward to seeing your printable layouts


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