Back to Basics - Getting to Know Glue!

To help demystify all the different crafty terms and techniques out there, we're introducing a brand-new Back to Basics blog series! So whether you're an absolute beginner or just feel like you need a bit of a refresh, if you search for 'Back to Basics' whenever you come onto our blog, you'll be able to follow the series. 

We're kick-starting this series with a breakdown of different glues. Using the right glue in your project is really important - not all glues have the same properties, so there's no 'one-glue-does-all' that you can turn to. So, without further ado, here's our guide to glues:


Adhesive Tapes:

There are two main types of adhesive tapes - permanent and temporary. They can come on a roll or as a runner.
The runners are quick, easy, and no-mess. They're great for matting and layering where you need to secure paper and card in place but there's no requirement for a super-strong grip. You can get them as either full strips or as micro dots. The dots are good for vellum and for going around different shapes. You can either buy them as disposable ones or refillable.
The tapes are ever-so slightly slower than the runners as you need to remove the protective strip but they're more cost-effective as you're not paying for the dispenser. Most have a similar grip to the runners but you can also get super-strong grip ones (for instance, the red-liner tapes) that are great for things like box-making, adding glittered borders, securing ribbon in place, and for adhering rolled quilled strips. 

Foam Tapes and Pads:

Foam pads on a roll

When needing to add dimension to your projects, foam tape and pads are the thing for you. This could be things like adding height to your mats and layers, creating 'stoppers' on your easel cards, and creating 3D decoupage toppers. Foam tape is also essential when creating shaker cards as they're used for securing the 'shaker' element in place within a window, ensuring nothing escapes and there's room for the elements to move. 

Glue Pens:

Chisel-tip glue pen

Glue pens are handy little gadgets that can be used for either matting and layering or for creating glittered, foiled or gold-leafed flourishes on your cards and other papercrafting projects. If you enjoy hand-lettering/calligraphy, you can also use glue pens for this, sprinkling Sparkelicious glitter over for dramatic results. 

PVA Glue:

PVA Dries-Clear Glue

PVA stands for polyvinyl acetate and is a super-strong bonding glue that is perfect for a wide range of crafting projects. The strong bond makes it excellent for securing embellishments in place and for occasions where a strong grip is required, like box-making and 3D projects. Use PVA when you need to secure non-paper/card items to your projects, like faux flowers, wooden toppers, gems, sequins, beads, and more. As PVA is a 'wet' glue, be careful if using this with lightweight papers and vellums as it could warp them. Glue pens and tapes are better for this. You can also do lots of fun things with PVA glue - for instance, create drops over your work, wait for it to go slightly tacky and then add glitters, foils and gold leaf. If you add the drops to acetate or other non-porous surfaces and wait for them to harden completely, you can colour over the top with your alcohol markers to create your very own, colour-coordinated embellishments. 

Glue Gel:

Pinflair Glue Gel

Glue gel is a thick, strong-bonding adhesive that is great for securing bulky embellishments to your projects. It's also ideal for when creating 3D decoupage projects, especially ones where you want curved, realistic-looking finishes like floral bouquets as you can use more or less glue in different areas for varying heights. 


Check out our collection of papercraft adhesives here!

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