Tools of the Trade | Glue Adhesives

Glue seems like no big deal, right? Wrong! I've tried on way too many projects to use a glue that just wasn't right, and I paid for it later. I'm going to tell you right now, hot glue is so much more than a crafter's crack- it is capable of a lot!

1 | TACKY GLUE: This glue is a thick white cream that takes a while to dry, but it forms a really good bond. I've seen a lot of classmates use it to build wood models, but I'm more of a fan of using Elmer's. I prefer tacky glue for projects that include fabric but don't need to be sewn. I upholstered an old bench once, and I combined tacky glue with the staples to give my wrapped fabric a super strong bond.

2 | GLUE STICK: Glue sticks work well for paper on paper, and that's about the extent of it. The nice thing about this glue is that it doesn't create the ridges that you can get when you use white glue to attach paper to paper, so it has its perks. Also, it's about the cleanest glue you can get for the kiddos.

3 | SUPER GLUE: There's a reason it's called "super". It can attach all kinds of inorganic materials that refuse to stick with white glue. In architectural models, it's great for attaching two different materials, like wood to acrylic, or metal to acrylic, or any other odd combination. Of course, it has lots of around-the-house functions. I even used it to repair my broken retainer (I live a state away from my orthodontist so sometimes I have to get creative, don't tell on me).

4 | GLUE STICKS: I'm not sure why I labeled this separate from the glue gun, but I suppose it's good to point out that it's best to keep a good stock of sticks on hand and buy the correct size for your glue gun.

5 | TAPE RUNNER: This may be slightly mis-categorized since I plan on doing a "Tape" issue of "Tools of the Trade", but ignore that for now. This tape is pretty similar in use and scope to glue sticks, and the ergonomic shape of the casing makes it really comfortable. However, I often run into the issue where I don't keep constant pressure and the tape doesn't always come off the tip, which is a bummer.

6 | HOT GLUE: I called it the crack of crafters; enough said. Oh, you want to know more? Well it attaches paper, wood, and fabric with ease. It can attach plastic and metal, but you have to be smarter than the glue to work with those materials. The glue basically works by squeezing into every crack and crevice of the material and then hardening, which is why it's so awesome at grabbing onto porous materials. Since plastics and metals are so smooth, they don't give anything for the glue to grab unless they have an unusual texture or a nob the glue can wrap around. So if you can create a textured surface for the glue to hold, you're in business!

7 | ELMER'S WHITE GLUE: The reason I specify Elmer's brand is because most of their glues are archival quality. This means if you use it to glue something you want to keep around for a long time (like things in a scrapbook) this glue won't destroy your pictures or papers like some other glues might. White glue is great for paper, wood, and fabric. It dries clear and can be smoothed out to leave little to no trace. It can also be mixed with water to get a thinner consistency which creates a lot of flexibility. I use Elmer's for every single model I build. I would be lost without it.

SPRAY ADHESIVE: This glue comes in handy the most when I'm putting together presentations, specifically attaching layouts and pictures to foam-core backing. As far as I know, that's basically all it's meant for, but it does it's job really well. It is speedy to apply, covers a lot of area, and leaves no bumps or ripples.

WOOD GLUE: As the name suggests, this is ideal for wood-on-wood attachment. After spreading on a very thin layer to the attaching surface, the two pieces must be clamped tightly together and allowed to dry completely. After the glue has cured, those two pieces of wood will be as strong as one piece, and can be sanded and cut as one object. The one downside to this glue is that is leaves yellow stain on the wood, so it's best to plan on sanding off excess glue and/or treating the wood after the project is done.

Hope this information sticks with you! (I'm so funny, I know.)

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