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Handmade Card Making Glue and Adhesive Guide

Card making glue is essential, so aside from all of the pretty papers, fabrics, pictures, and other fun stuff for card making that you can use - finding the right glue for your cards is important.

You want your greeting card to last for as long as possible and finding the right glue will help to ensure that.

Here is a guide to card making glues and adhesives that can help you understand the differences between the different types of glues that you find in the craft store.

I did not list any particular brands that I prefer over another because I think that each person will need to experiment with different brands and use the ones that fit into their projects and budgets.

But I do mention what types of glues and adhesives that I like to use when card making, but again, you will figure out your own preferences as you go along.

This guide is primarily glues and adhesives used in regards to making greeting cards, so you won't find any information about wood working or more heavy duty stuff (I wouldn't know the first thing about that!) -- so please keep in mind that this guide is mainly for card making or similar paper crafts.


Double-sided Adhesive Tape

Double sided adhesive tape (sometimes the brand name Scotch tape is more familiar) can certainly be used in the place of glue for adhering paper to paper / paper to photos.

A lot of scrapbook makers use this type of tape. There is temporary double sided tape and permanent double sided tape. I prefer the permanent double sided tape, the stickier the better in my opinion. This type of adhesive is my most favorite type - no mess and easy to use!

This is usually a flat alternative to double-sided foam adhesive squares and work well with keeping the mess to a minimum.


Glitter Glue / Glitter Glue Pens

Glitter glue comes in a variety or colors and sizes. Some have a thicker consistency than others and work better with larger craft projects. Take care to notice to size of the applicator tip when considering glitter glue. If you are planning on making more detailed designs, then choosing a smaller applicator tip on a glitter glue pen would be more appropriate.

Glitter glue takes a longer time to dry completely than regular glue. So be patient and understand that the thicker your glue art work is then the longer it will take to dry. Remind your kids about this, too, because they may take to poking and prodding their glitter glues before they are dry and this could interfere with the design.

Buying glitter glue can become expensive, so if you are just starting out in making crafts, consider getting a color that will work well with the homemade cards that you are planning on making. Silver would work well with a lot of different holidays (Christmas, birthdays, Valentine's Day, etc...) if you are just starting out.


Glue Pen

Glue pens can be great for more precision gluing. Glue pens can work well with glitter especially if you want to create detailed designs and the thicker glitter glues won't do the trick.










Glue Runner / Glue Roller / Glue Dots / Glue Lines

Glue runners, glue rollers, or glue double-sided adhesive pens - there are so many different names for this type of glue applicator (usually varied by its manufacturers), but I will call it a glue runner because that is what I've always called it. These usually come in an applicator similar to that of white correction tape.

I love using a glue runner for card making! Most of them are really, really sticky and hold securely when gluing paper to paper. The glue runners dry clear and the applicator makes gluing paper a cinch because it is so exact - I can place the glue directly on the edge of the paper without worrying about spill over or getting messy.

And another reason why I love glue runners is that it is not messy. There no glob to clean up after using it! This would be nice to use with kids, but they tend to be a little expensive (at least for me!) so I use is sparingly.


Glue Stick

Glue sticks are cheap and easy to use for card making - especially if making cards with young kids because the glue washes off hands and clothing easily. Glue sticks come in various sizes that range from glue stick pens to a wide-dispenser type of glue stick. There are also colored glue sticks that help in crafting with kids and knowing where glue has already been applied.

The problem I have with using glue sticks for cards is that they are usually not permanent and they don't hold their bond very securely. I prefer to use other types of card making glue, but glue sticks would definitely work in a pinch or if just making cards for fun with kids.


Hot Glue (Glue Gun)

Hot glue comes in the form of a solid stick of glue that is put through a glue gun to be heated and used. I don't really use hot glue guns for my card making craft now because I don't use a lot of heavy-duty embellishments.

If you use lots of chunky pieces of embellishments (like large buttons, silk flowers, etc...) for your greeting card then you might consider getting a hot glue gun and some hot glue sticks.

Glue guns have different temperatures (low, medium, and high) - for card making a low temperature glue gun would likely work. The higher temperature glue guns are used more for heavy-heavy-duty crafter, like home decor.

Glue guns can range in price from $5 to upward of $20, depending on their quality. The glue sticks for hot glue guns usually come in packages of 12-100 for a few bucks.

Also, there are glitter glue sticks that can be used with glue guns, otherwise the glue is usually clear.


Rubber Cement

Rubber cement is thick and creamy glue that dries clear. It does not wrinkle paper and can form either a permanent or temporary bond depending on how it's applied to your craft.

Rubber cement comes in a jar with a brush applicator attached to its lid. This type of glue can get messy so I would not recommend using it with children. The brush is more ideal for larger paper crafts that don't require precision gluing.

The thing I love about rubber cement is that although it may get a little messy, the excess glue can be easily rubbed off when it has dried.

A drawback that I've noticed with this type of card making glue is that sometimes it can leak through light colored paper. It says that it dries clear, but I'm impatient and will re-do the card using another type of glue rather than wait overnight to see if it will dry clear. Also the smell can get overwhelming if you are using rubber cement for an extended period of time.


Self-Adhesive Foam Mounting Squares (or Circles)

Self-adhesive foam mounting squares or circles are usually made of thick foam and sticky on both sides. They come in various sizes; I usually get the smallest sizes that I can find because I mainly make greeting cards, so I don't need very large squares for my projects.

I love using these types of mounting squares for making cards because it gives parts of the card some dimension and makes it stand out more.

If you are making a type of collage card, then maybe there are some parts of the card that you want to stand out more than others, this type of adhesive would be great for such a project.


Spray Adhesive

Spray adhesive can be used for a variety of materials including paper, photos, and even fabric. I have not used spray adhesive for my handmade cards because I feel that it may be more appropriate for larger crafting projects, such as posters or gift boxes.

Although, I once saw a cool card in a card making book where the author used spray adhesive to glue pretty pink lace to the front of a card. I would think spray adhesive would work well if using lace, doilies, or delicate fabric that would require a thin layer of adhesive rather than lumpy fabric glue.


Tacky Glue

Tacky glue is more durable than regular white school glue (think Elmer's). It dries clear and creates a strong bond that lasts for a long time. Make sure that you read the directions on your tacky glue bottle before card making because there are some materials that the glue should not be used with, such as bare metal. So in case you're making a greeting card with bare metal, tacky glue perhaps is not your best choice.

I have used tacky glue for more heavy duty projects, but have not really used it for making greeting cards. I would probably use tacky glue as a card making glue for semi-heavy embellishments if needed, like buttons, beads, or craft jewels.


White Glue

White household glue is just your basic all-purpose glue. Most schools use this type of glue for student craft work and could certainly be used at home. This type of glue can be used on most surfaces and is relatively durable.

This type of glue is usually inexpensive and can be used for things other than crafting - like small household repairs and such; so it is handy to have around.

I don't usually use this type of glue for crafting my cards, I usually stick with (no pun intended) glues that don't remind me of elementary school - just a personal preference I guess.

Creative Card Sketches

Thank you for visiting my website, I hope you are able to find some great card making ideas. I also wanted to share with you an awesome resource that I've put together just for card makers: 101 Creative Card Sketches.

If you've been searching for a quick and easy way to find card layouts, then this is the perfect solution for you! This book includes 101 card sketches, over 25 card samples + instructions, tips and techniques for using card sketches, handy sketch summary sheets, and lots more, you'll never run out of card layout ideas again!

Thank you again for visiting my website and I hope you continue to find card making a joyful and inspiring hobby for many years to come!

This is a downloadable ebook that you can order from anywhere and have instant access to.
101 Creative Card Sketches

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