Types of Glue & Glue Tips

glue, glue tips, adhesive tips, adhesive, glue 101

Different Types of Glues:

White Craft Glue:

This is the most common craft glue for porous lightweight materials such as paper, cardboard, cloth, and kids’ crafts.

Water is the carrier; this means easy clean up and low toxicity.  Keep in mind that the glue must dry before strength is significant and the project often requires clamping to hold it in place until the glue is completely set and dry.  This also means that white craft glue should not be used in applications that require water resistance.

White craft glue dries clear and is somewhat flexible. Get creative and add fillers, like fine glitter, pigment, or water-based food coloring for decorative effects.

~1 hour set time, with final cure in 24 hours.

Yellow Wood Glue:

Yellow wood glue is also water based – and is made of the same vinyl acetate polymers as craft glue.  It is designed to work with wood and is immediately tacky for better hold in the uncured state.  It is also generally more rigid, hence it is easier to sand.   Some wood glue can also be white and dry clear.  Make sure to read the labels.  Again, you can add sawdust or another powdered filler for special effects.

Wood glues set in ~less than 1 hr.   That said, it could take as long as 24 hours to reach full strength.

Three types of wood adhesives are available:

  1. Type-I exhibits some waterproof properties.
  2. Type-II will perform better in exterior conditions. These adhesives generally have a longer open time and can bond at colder temperatures. Both types I and II can be used for exterior applications, such as outdoor furniture and trim.
  3. Type-III is not water resistant and is designed for interior use only. Type-III is good for interior woodwork and trim projects.

Note: True water resistance for immersion in water requires a marine glue.

Super Glue (also known as cyanoacrylate adhesives):

Cyanoacrylate adhesives bond very quickly and to a range of substrates.  They form a very strong bond and dry clear.  The surfaces to be mated must fit together well to achieve good bonding.  You can buy super glue in a variety of viscosities which enable some leeway in gap filling performance.  However, super glues can be finicky with respect to surface contact and coverage- too much or too little can affect the bond.   In general, super glues are not good for foamed plastic, unless specified on the bottle.

Cyanoacrylates work best in tensile applications that have low impact strength requirements.  In their uncured state, you can use an acetone solvent wipe for cleanup.  However, once cured, solvents can no longer dissolve the adhesive.

Cyanoacrylates work particularly well for balsa wood projects.  Carpenters often use a two part cyanoacrylate to quickly bond mitered wood trim.

Cyanoacrylates can set in seconds to minutes, depending on formulation.  It dries clear and is waterproof.

Bottom Line: Cyanoacrylates are good for projects involving: wood, metal, ceramic, leather, glass, and some plastic where bond line is very tight.

Hot glue:

The melting and cooling of polymers provides the methods of delivery and adhesion for hot melt adhesives.  Hot glue is most commonly applied using a glue gun and comes in low (250°F) and high (380°F) melting options.  Many varieties and performances are available depending on the polymer type.  Hot glue can be used on porous and non-porous surfaces. Because of its high viscosity, it can bond uneven surfaces together and is great at filling gaps.

Hot glue is not typically used in high strength applications. And, it will not survive elevated temperatures near the application temperature.  However, it provides a very quick setting option for a variety of crafts and substrates.  It’s a great all-purpose craft glue for quick set up and execution, but it’s not for use by children.

Hot tip: With hot glue, you can trace patterns to form bead designs on surfaces for texture and paint over it for a 3D surface effect.  Hot glue is often used to add flower or ribbon embellishment on wreaths, headbands and picture frames where stiffness and strength is not such a concern.

Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA):

PSAs are available in sheets and dots and can be used in a multitude of craft projects to include substrates such as lightweight paper, plastic, metal, and glass.

Spray adhesives:

A spray adhesive is a contact adhesive based in a solvent that is applied by spray.  When using spray adhesives, it is important that you apply in a well-ventilated room.  After spraying your project, allow the solvent to completely evaporate before mating for immediate bond.  Once mated, you cannot reposition your substrates.

Spray adhesives can be used with paper, foam board, fabrics, photo, and felt.  Specialty contact adhesives are also available in a can to roll or brush on for larger, more demanding projects that involve wood, metal, and plastic sheet laminates.

Application example: Spray adhesives are an excellent choice for adhering photos or fabrics to a foam board back.

Fabric adhesives:

Fabric adhesives can be liquid white glues like polyvinyl acetate (PVA) types. A variety of products cover lightweight to heavyweight fabric bonding, so it is important to get the correct product to match the hand or drape of your project.  Some versions are safe for washing and dry cleaning, but it’s important to read the glue’s label first.

There is an expanded selection of nonwoven tapes and fusing adhesives in rolled good form, which range from highly flexible to stiff for fabric and leather projects and garment construction. These can be found in sewing and fabric stores and can bond permanently without bleed through for a very durable craft.

Fabric adhesives can be used to fix a hem that is falling apart and for DIY projects like making headbands or constructing fabric/foam laminated computer sleeves.


Epoxies are generally two part systems designed for high performance bonding.  While epoxies can be formulated to suit many applications, they are generally very hard, durable adhesives that bond to many substrates successfully in more extreme environments.   Epoxy adhesives can exhibit a range of flexibility and clarity as well as cure speed.

Epoxies have excellent gap filling properties due to their high cohesive strength.


Polyurethane adhesives bond a variety of surfaces. They bond to textile fibers, metals, plastics, glass, sand, ceramics, rubber, and wood.

Polyurethane is a multipurpose glue that comes in one part and two part options.

Polyurethanes can work well on a wide variety of wood species, particularly on woods with high moisture content or on oily woods, where other glues are not as successful. Clamping is required until strength is built; a few hours.  Full strength is achieved in six to eight hours for a very strong and tough bond.

Before completely cured, polyurethane adhesives can be removed using solvents such as mineral spirits or acetone. Dried glue can be sanded.

Glue Sticks:

Glue sticks are great for kids!  They are a low bonding adhesive, but do provide a permanent bond on various types of paper to include cardboard, foam board, and poster board.  Glue dries clear.

Application examples: sealing envelopes, applying labels, paper crafting, art projects, scrapbooking.

Craft Glue Tips:

1.   Not all glues are created equal.  There are many variations within each category and from one manufacturer to another. Read the labels for information on toxicity, ventilation, recommended handling and use, as well as durability in a variety of environments.

2.    Apply adhesive evenly and remove excess quickly.  Immediately clean and cap the adhesive container to maintain shelf life and performance.

3.   For optimum bond strength, it is imperative that the surfaces are residue and dust free. If possible, clean surfaces prior to bonding with a lint-free rag dipped in isopropanol.  Let them dry thoroughly before applying adhesive.

4.    For crafts and repair projects requiring some durability and strength, you can often aid adhesion by roughening the surfaces with fine grit sandpaper to provide “teeth” for adhesives to interlock.  If you cannot abrade the surface, try wiping with isopropanol or acetone before applying adhesive.   This is particularly helpful for smooth, glossy surfaces that can be harder to bond.

5.   Experiment with the glue on scrap pieces of your project.  Check for appearance, adhesion and and resulting bond strength.

Spring Cleaning – Phase 1 – Stamping Style

So, you get the bug as always this time of year to clean things out , start fresh and organize…. Of course, this feeling is more often for me – I have the organiztion bug all the time – it is my happy place. For me though, my problem to keep things organized is at a higher stress level than many because all my fun stuff also includes a whole bunch of inventory.

A lot of times, I just get overwhelmed with all the things I have and it hinders me from completing what I need to get done which then makes me sad which then makes me mad at myself which then creates a feeling of being overwhelmed so then I get sad and…. Whoa!! Does someone else sense a vicious cycle here? Oh My – lol!!! No wonder!!!

Anyway, let’s start with all my wooden rubber stamps. There are so many ways to store these but you have to find what is right for you and how it will work with the way you create. I needed better control over mine and needed them to be more readily available. This took some time, but in the end, it works and meets the need for me – and it is organized – woo hoo!! Here is what I used for this organizational accomplishment: 3 Sets of Plastic Stackable 12×12 bins Foam Board Handles Glue Push Pins Art Notebook Index Tabs Stamping Ink Embellishments (optional)

First, I organized my wooden stamps by category. This can vary by stamper. I chose to separate them by main categories like Party, Happy Birthday, Enjoy, Thank you, Love, etc. Much of these choices depend on your stamp collection. Since I use mine for crops and teaching more than for personal use – my stamps are very wide spread in subject.

Second, I made trays out of foam board. I cut a 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 square and then 1 1/2 x 11 3/4 strips for the sides. I glued them together and secured them with push pins while the glue dried. I glued an extra strip of foam board in the middle for added height and secured a handle in the middle of the tray to easily pick them up and carry them. You should be able to have two trays per Stackable section for a total of 6 trays.

Third, I stamped each stamp image in my Art Stamp Book by category, leaving a few pages between each one as my inventory will grow. Once I finished stamping, I put them in the Stackable Bins by category. First level on the bottom level, the stamps will lay in the bin, then fill a tray full of stamps and lay it on top of the bottom layer, then fill the second tray. This should complete one stackable bin section.

Fourth, I labeled my book with the Index Tabs and then labeled by bins. I have a total of 9 bins now full of my wooden stamps with a few empty trays to grow. Since I did not have the room to display all my stamps (I have over 1,200), the book will help with the visual inspiration. I can look in the book, find the stamp I need and then go to the bin under the right category.

Finally – I “scrapbooked” my Art book which I love how it came out. It is fun, artsy and a display all its own. I will make this type of book for my acrylic, silcone and cling rubber stamps.


Tag Challenge II

Here is another inspiration challenge from Tim Holtz! He suggested rub-ons, distress stains and stamping. Great combinations and I just loved the rub-ons. So here is my take on his amazing tag:


One of the things that really inspired me was when I looked at what he did, I immediately thought about all those rub-ons that you have that get ruined or “broken” from sticking to the wrapper – this project allows you to use those remnants very easily without stressing you out. I chose to go with White rub-ons instead of black. I wanted to use up some old stash I had in my book and found some Spring BasicGrey rub-ons and I am SO GLAD I DID!! I really like how they turned out with the stains and paints.


I was able to lightly sand over the white rub-ons once the inks/paints were dry and the white just popped out from the colors. I also used the spray inks from Tattered Angels and Dylusions to color the flowers. I pretty much only buy white flowers these days and then ink or paint to match my page or project. I find I use my stock faster.


This one came together pretty fast and I really enjoyed looking through my stock to find useable items – I don’t always have what Tim uses… mainly because I don’t have his budget – lol. But it is fun to find alternatives. Let me know your thoughts and I truly hope that this inspires you to get out those rub-ons you have had for such a long time and create a one of a kind masterpiece.

Scraps, Scraps and more Scraps

I have many people ask me what I do with scraps but more importantly how I store them.  There are many ways to organize them but the one that has worked best for me are plastic bins.


So, once you narrow it down to what to keep them in – then there is the decision of how to break them down: by color, paper type, weight, style. manufacturer, two-sided ? There are so many ways.  Just think of how you want to use these scraps and make sure they are accessible.  It is like an appliance in the kitchen – if it is hidden, you probably won’t use it.


I have so many scraps and I use specific manufacturers that I decided to put them by color for solids and by manufacturer for designs.


If you view many of the papers that are out there, many companies have a “look” or “Signature Vibe” that as soon as you look at it, you pretty much know who it is. Because of that, I like to separate those looks so I can quickly reach for something that fits what I am doing.


As an example, many years ago, Basic Grey was very unique in their look and design and although I can still spot their stuff pretty accurately, many designers/manufacturers have taken that look and made it their own – so it is not as easy to separate that look anymore because it is everywhere.


Graphic 45 is very unique and distinct so I separate those as well when I want that nostalgic, rich color project.


So I have 18+ drawers separated by solid color cardstock (green, blue, black, whites, etc.) and I have several others like Basic Grey, Quick Quotes, and Ideology and Co’re dinations.  I also have ones that are generic cardstock other which are usually my lower cost cardstocks to draw from or practice on.


This has really helped when I needed that little tag or border, especially if I am using my Vagabond or dies. Of course, no scraps are worth it and just take up space if you forget to use them.


So…. here is your challenge, create an embellishment or tag using only scraps. You will be amazed the inspiration that will come when you remind yourself of some of those papers you bought that still have life left.





Tag Challenge

Tag for Thought….I hope each day we take time to be thankful for those who have fought for our country and given their time and even their lives for our freedom.


For this month’s tag challenge, it was a time of reflection as I made the tag for this month, being challenged by Tim for this 4th of July Freedom theme.  As usual, I never have all the cool things and items that he has, but I do have A LOT of stuff so we made do and improvised with our own take on the tag.


Two tags shown:


The smaller one was used from a clothing tag!  What a great idea Mindy!!!  It was a great thick tag that was a tag on a shirt she just bought for her husband.  It already had the word “Urban” on it and that combined with Mindy’s amazing artistic talent, it came out great!  Product used included: Tattered Angel spray inks, Ranger Distress Inks, DCWV Paper stash paper scraps and some fun metal embellishments from Tim Holtz line with the word COURAGEOUS.  I loved how her tag came out and as usual liked hers better than my own 🙂


The larger tag was made from DCWV Paper stash paper scraps.  I had these laying around and thought I would try using this as the base rather than a shipping or scrapping tag.  Other paper used (Blue stars) is from Canvas Corp – again, scraps from another project. Inks used were Ranger Distress Inks, Tattered Angel spray ink and Fiber Scraps Ink Daubbers.  Added a few metal embellishments, distressed and inked the edges and called it finished.  We both used the crinkle ribbon, inking our little fingers blue and red for the final touch as well as acrylic star clusters.  They were clear stars and we used Ranger Alcohol Inks to bring out the red, blue and gold colors.


I hope these encourage you to look through your materials and make something fun.  You don’t always have to have the exact items and it is fun to improvise (after of course you get over the depression of not having what you really want – ha ha)





First Steps – Final Wrap-Up

This is my last ‘chapter’ for the First Steps blog.  So far we talked about where and how to get started, getting organized (A MUST), duplicating and scanning rare photos (A MUST), Journaling and a hint of digital.


As my final thoughts, I want to share a little more on the digital world, memorabilia and creating a plan.


Digital Fun! – Okay, you have the CD’s of photos or you have scanned some of the developed


photos you have from the past – Now what? The possibilities are truly endless. There are so many ways to digitally scrapbook.


There are several great digital scrapbooking softwares that can be purchased or can be created and completed online. Use the pictures as they are or you can alter them in so many ways (oh come on, you don’t actually believe all those photos on the gossip magazines are real do you? Do they really allow photographers in all those nooks and crannies of stars lives and at just that perfect moment? – Digital altering baby. (sorry if I ruined it for you).


On the good side, digital enhancements help with lighting errors, focus issues or maybe removing images or turning it to classic black and white and then colorizing it. Like I said… Endless possibilities. Once completed, you can print it yourself, send it off to be printed and book bound or leave it on the computer as a screen saver, send it to family and friends or blog it!


As you are thinking about where to start, how about with an “Event” Book!  Are there 12, 20 or 30 trips to Disneyland in your past? Easy! Do a Disneyland book! Sea World, vacations, birthdays or the Wild Animal Park in beautiful San Diego, whatever “event” works best – a book can be the perfect way to capture all the memories within that theme. As a matter of fact – my next “for me” project, is to do a “Book of Firsts”. It is going to be compiled with all the First Birthday photos of all our children and grandchildren.


Memorabilia –Use it. You know you have them. The ticket stubs from the amusement parks or museums, the small coins from your trip to Europe. Maybe even the drawing from your child from kindergarten. These can all be used. I have scanned the drawings and used them as my background paper. Again, doing this now gives me the digital backup forever and I have used it as part of my scrapbook. As a side note, be careful when using older original items in some of your projects. They may not be acid free materials and may eventually discolor your photos surrounding them.


Bottom line as I wrap up this subject….Just DO it! This is A MUST! – You need to start somewhere. Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up before you get started. If nothing else, just start with a few favorite photos and memories. Your project does not have to be in any particular order, subject or event.  This can cause missed expectations and unfinished projects. You want to just have something that is full of fun pictures, memories, journaling, souvenirs, and various memorabilia – no matter what format that is.


So, no matter what you decide, remember your objective – to enjoy the memories in a special way that will be fun to share with family and friends and will leave a legacy behind that will be priceless. This means thinking “out of the box” – or should I say taking your pictures “out of the box”.



First Steps – Duplicate, Duplicate!

You have lots of photos – but many of them are one of a kind which makes it kind of scary to think about cutting it up and using it – so remember to Duplicate, Duplicate! This is another one of those suggestions I believe is A MUST!

Now, for the “younger” generation (did I just write that? Ugh! I am getting old), you may not know what “film” is. But, in the “olden days”, there were cameras where you had to load “film” into your camera (manually – touching it and everything) and you would actually have to drive to have it developed at a photo place that never heard of it only taking 1 hour to develop. Sometimes you had to wait a week to ten days before you could see if the pictures were good or (in many cases) blurry or too dark. So, for the digital savvy generation, duplication may not mean much. Everything is already digital. BUT, for those of you like me who have grown into the digital age and have the first 31 years of my life on paper, then DUPLICATE, DUPLICATE is for us!
If you think you will have an opportunity to use a photo in more than one project or if it is an extra special, one of a kind, SCAN IT first. This gives you the opportunity to have the original kept in a safe Acid Free place and allows you to print out multiples or even alter them. Altering them can be a huge success to your project, There are so many things you can now do by having your photo in a digital format: fix scratches, correct red eye issues, lighten or darken them, make them black and white or sepia for a unique look, alter the size of the photo to fit perfectly in the size project you are doing and so much more!!! Duplicating also doubles as a great opportunity to have a digital backup of your photos or memorabilia which is great for preservation.
Finally another benefit of thinking about duplication or scanning your originals is if you are wanting to scrapbook or do a project for your children. The first child only has them in the pictures – that’s easy, but what about after a few more kiddos – then many of the pictures have multiple kids in them – who gets that photo in their book vs. the others? Scan them – back them up and use them over and over.
Tomorrow – let’s talk about Memorabilia!!

First Steps – Divide & Conquer – Get Organized

In the very beginning intro on this series, I said I would give suggestions and MUST DOs!!! This is a MUST.

Conquer your fears! This can simply mean getting all your pictures in a safe place, surrounded by acid free materials. Acid Free refers to products that are manufactured free of acid to prevent deterioration and discoloration of papers and photos.

Divide them by year – chronologically is the best. There are great photo organizers available or you can use acid free small file pockets or folders. I know budget is important, but remember, you are dealing with something that once lost or damaged, may not be replaceable – so find what works best for your situation.

If you have photos in old plastic page photo albums…RUN, don’t walk and get them out NOW! This was me. I do enjoy the organizational side of things and when our kids were young, I would not get our film developed until I had a photo album to put them immediately into. I mean, what is the point of spending all that money developing them, if they just sit in a box, right? Well, many of them had already discolored before I learned about “Acid Free” and what that meant. They are now still organized with little file folder tabs, but… you guessed it – IN A BOX!!! Ha! How funny is that?!? Well, at least they are in decorative photo boxes and look nice (if that helps). And, they are safe and I can pull them out and use them or scan them anytime I need them and they are NOT discoloring anymore – that is what is important.

Write it down before it melts away! As you “go down memory lane” while organizing or filing your photos, write down your thoughts as they come to you and keep them with the photos. This will help you when you get around to doing a book or project.

You DON’T have to scrapbook EVERY picture you have. You WILL STILL have an archive of photos that you don’t want to discard and WILL STILL need to have a safe place for them to live, so this is why getting organized is so important. I mean, really?!?!? How many different ways can you scrapbook those 50 photos of the Grand Canyon? Actually, don’t get me started; I could probably find a way! (Maybe that will be a different “How 2” for later –I think I will call it “Scrapbooking for the Obsessive Compulsive Photographer” – My husband could co-author it without any hesitation!!)

Stay tuned tomorrow for when I talk about First Steps – Duplication and the Digital World

First Steps – Start in the Present

So, you have not scrapped in a long time or maybe you never started?!? Scrapbooking to me is the tag line I put on our logo – it is leaving a legacy for your family. It is about expressing your take on things, your wisdom, humor, love and memories. We make time for things that are important to us and family is important to me and recording the memories for generations to come is priceless.

Whenever I get a chance, I love walking around the antique stores (especially with my friend, Mindy). One of the saddest things that I see regularly is the scattered black and white photos throughout the store. Someone’s memories lost and being sold to strangers. No one documented who was who or took the time to journal. What a tragedy to lose such rich family history.

I don’t want that to happen with our family photos and I hope it won’t happen to you, so let’s get you motivated and started!! The best place to start is with the present and work backwards. Why? Well, the number one reason is that you are more likely to remember what happened yesterday than you are in remembering what happened during your trip to Sea World in 1985. Starting with the present helps you capture the current memories and ignite the buried ones. I don’t know about you but it will either take a case of WD-40 or 20 cases of Ginkgo Biloba to unlock those rusty file cabinets in my head but I am willing to try – how about you?


First Steps – Intro

Your kids are grown up and out of the house, you already have three grandchildren and people start talking to you about Scrapbooking!! What are they thinking? Don’t they realize how MANY photos you have? What about the stress we put on ourselves to get those albums done before the children graduate from high-school? Or the special album for your parents 50th Wedding Anniversary that you want to tackle? 50 years equals a lot of pictures and memories and most of them are black and white AND one of a kind, which can be really scary to use. Arrrrgh – does it have to be this difficult?

Believe me, I’m in the same boat. Our children are all adults with children of their own and I really only started scrapbooking about 13 years ago – so no scrapbook for the kids before they graduated! With that said, I have made scrapbooks more for others as projects or gifts than I have for myself. It can all be VERY overwhelming to say the least, but hopefully my suffering through all the scenarios will help you get through it a little faster or at the very least, less stressed and a plan of attack.

There are several ways to approach it, and I will share some suggestions (and some MUSTS!) that will hopefully get your “thinker” going and get you motivated to at least take your pictures out of the original envelope they came in.

So, whether you like being told exactly what to do or want just a guideline, I hope over the next few days, the ideas I will share can help.

Tune in tomorrow where I will talk about starting with the present and working backwards.

Thank you for sharing your time with me and have a blessed day!!