Adhesives: A Master Class

Yesterday, I shared this baby card for The Paper Players:

After I completed this card, I realized I had inadvertently made a card that would make for a great discussion of Stampin’ Up!’s line of adhesives. Here’s a quick rundown of the adhesives I used with a quick explanation of why I used them:

  • SNAIL ADHESIVE. I find that SNAIL Adhesive is the best way to attach thin papers like Whisper White, Very Vanilla or Designer Series Paper. The adhesive is permanent and won’t warp the thin paper (when using Multipurpose Liquid Glue on these thin papers, make sure to apply a very thin layer, or it will warp the paper a bit). I used SNAIL Adhesive on the Whisper White circle and to attach the large piece of Daffodil Delight Designer Series Paper.

  • MULTIPURPOSE LIQUID GLUE. I was hesitant to use this liquid glue at first. I’d been using monadhesive for years and didn’t want to change – I’m brand loyal AND change adverse. I gave Multipurpose Liquid Glue a try, though, and find that it’s perfect for attaching card stock and thin papers that have to be exactly placed. I affixed the 2-1/2″ Marina Mist circle with Multipurpose Liquid Glue. Within the first couple of seconds of attaching the circle, I could still move the circle to line it up exactly.

  • STICKY STRIP. Sticky strip is a perfect adhesive to attach ribbon or for any permanent holds (e.g., assembling 3-D projects). I used Sticky Strip here to attach the scallop ribbon and to attach both ribbons to the backside of the cardstock.

  • MINI GLUE DOTS. Not only are Glue Dots adorable, they are also effective for attaching small objects. On this card, I used Glue Dots to attach the Daffodil Delight Stitched Ribbon and to attach the faux bow. Here’s a “duh” trick I figured out: roll out the sheet with the glue dots on it, press the bow against the strip to remove the dot and then attach the bow to the card. This is much easier than pealing off a glue dot and transferring it to the area that needs to be added.

  • CRYSTAL EFFECTS. Crystal Effects is a clear globby glue (I don’t think Stampin’ Up! defines it that way). It comes out of the bottle with ease and has a smokey tint to it at first, but it dries clear. It’s a perfect tool for adding a 3-D appearance to projects – just spread it on and let it dry. Here, I used it to attach the three heart buttons. I made sure to add the Crystal Effects to the entire back of the button so that it wouldn’t dry uneven.

  • STAMPIN’ DIMENSIONALS. Must I say more? If you have ever looked at another post of mine, then you’ve seen Stampin’ Dimensionals. I love them. They are good for anything. You must have them. I just might have a video coming about them. End of discussion.

An Adhesives Summary

I created this reference chart to help you when making your adhesive choices. Click on the image below to reference a .pdf of the chart that you can print out and post in your craft space. You’re welcome. 🙂 - Adhesives Reference Chart

Now, head on over to to stock up on these adhesives so that you’ve got plenty on hand when you need them.

I won’t leave you hanging without a new project. I’ve learned that lesson before, so here’s a sneak peek at the project I’ll be sharing tomorrow. If THIS won’t draw you back, then NOTHING will:20130217-201142.jpg

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

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  1. Hey Brian! Great post. I really love the tombow multi and it is now my second most used adhesive. In addition to what you shared about this all-star, I would add that it has two tips to choose from. One is small and pointed for helping you control the placement and amount, the other side if *awesome* for squirting out a larger amount and smearing it. I do that when I am attaching dsp to a canvas for a mixed media piece. The final reason I love this multi glue is because depending on how you use it, it can be permanent or non-permanent. For example, I can put it on the top of a stamp that I converted from wood mount to clear mount, let it air dry and then I can use it on my clear blocks without fear it will fall off while stamping, yet when I am done, I can easily peel it off the block and put it back in the case. Super stuff!!! [this concludes my public service announcement]

    Looking forward to the full reveal of the card tomorrow. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Oh my word! I thought all day yesterday of putting out an Adhesive post so similar and chose to post a card instead. Wow, you are in my head Brian!

  3. Aha! Using crystal effects to ‘attach’ – that’s one I didn’t know. Thanks for the tip Brian 😉 Nothing worse than seeing an adhesive through an embellishment.
    We have 3 different grades of PVA glue as well as paste here at work (In the Bookbinding workshop). Each with it’s own use/application depending on the material we are working with. They also differ in how they dry – flexible, hard, sticky, non-sticky (when dry) for different aspects of the binding process. I love my job….. and am a bit of a glue geek 😀 Now just don’t get me started on paper & card Grain direction……

  4. All of this adhesives are fantastic!! My favorite is the Crystal Effects. I love the transparent look of it when it dries when you add it on top of images. The “Sweets for the Sweet” stamp set has a stamp that looks like candy and, when you pour Crystal Effects on top of it, after it dries, it looks like it’s wrapped!! But it never occured to me to use it as glue to attach embellishments like those really cute clear buttons. Thank you for that tip.

  5. You are a very nice man ! This was very helpful . I thought for a second there you had left another couple of go to adhesives out and then I saw them on the chart . You are the one that put me on to using Two way Glue for doing the Triple cards and there are times when I will reach for the little Glue Anywhere Stick …There isn`t a one of these products that I don`t like (I love the Multi Purpose Mono but, don`t use it as much because I tend to get it everywhwere and then there`s Sticky Strip ( getting the pink covering off is a real challenge for me and believe me I have tried several tips given ) I will say that SU has the best of all of these and I don`t sell them . Thank you for the chart ,Brian …!! Oh and see if you can get Vickychicky to do a guest shot on one of our club videos ? I know about weave direction for material but, I would love to hear more about card grain direction ……!

    • Sonny, I think you’re on to something there! I’ll reach out to Vicky and see if she provide some cool paper tips – all the way from across the pond. Will be a great “extra” for our club members.

  6. Ah, so that is how you adhered the little clear buttons, Brian, so masterfully, with no hint of adhesive! I never would have figured that one out (and I DID wonder!). Love how you made up the adhesive chart for us (and, yes, THANK YOU!). And your rundown of how and where you used each adhesive on the card made for such an informative post this morning. I also appreciated your section on the Multi-purpose Glue. I had this glue long before I migrated to SUO. I watch people use it in their video tutorials, but I rarely reach for it. Now I am definitely going to try it in the situation you did. Also being a brand-loyal person, I admit that I use 3M Scotch Double-Sided Tape on many of my cards! (Blush) However, I was in Finance at 3M for almost 10 years, worked with the Tape Group, and got it through the employee store much less pricey than I do these days. I’ve used it mostly to adhere cardstock (after using an embossing folder) to the card base. Okay! I also have used it to adhere matting layers as well. (Blush) In the past year, I have tried to migrate to the Snail Adhesive. Question: What adhesive do you use to adhere embossed (via embossing folder) card stock to card stock base to keep it secure? I have actually used the Snail on ribbon the way you used the Sticky Strip. Don’t get me wrong, I like your idea. Just haven’t tried it. And you are “preaching to the choir” about Dimensionals and Glue Dots. I might have a panic attack if I ran out of either. There is NO substitute in my humble opinion for the Stampin’ UP! dimensionals. They are the right thickness for most projects and can easily be double-mounted or more if need be! This is coming from someone who also had to migrate from another one of 3M’s products (foam tape). I have one more Stampin’ UP! adhesive product endorsement. Their/your Mini Glue Dots are the perfect mini-size (not all other brands are that perfect and SU!s are always consistent.
    Oops! My coffee cup is empty! I’d better go make myself another cup! Thanks for this great tutorial on adhesives, Brian, and for the chart as well. Have a great Presidents’ Day!

    • Wow! Suzie’s talkative this morning. I’m going to copy-paste this into its own blog entry. My work here is done. 🙂 I really enjoy reading the feedback and everyone’s perspectives on their adhesives. A passionate bunch, that’s for sure.

  7. hey Meg ..I forgot to say thank you for the tip on using Mono for the wood mounteds …I convert the roll arounds because I usually love the stamp but, just don`t want to roll it . Isn`t this interesting that we are all so passionate about glues of all things !!

  8. I am so happy that y’all have found this post helpful. As I wrote it up, I was worried I’d receive backlash for not posting a brand new project. I have referred to this chart so much that I’ve pretty much got it memorized. Few cards are complete without some sort of adhesive.

    • Brian, your post today is actually like you were in my head, too (how DID you get in both Patti’s head and mine the same day??)….I actually AM almost out of Dimensionals (gasp!), am about to make my first Snail purchase (yeah, don’t tell Mary!), and have my first batch of Crystal Effects en route to me now. But I’ve been wondering–TRULY wondering–about the best adhesive to use for the huge batch of birthday cards I’m making…how well the Snail will hold up as opposed to the Multipurpose liquid. I’ve gotta be making them NOW….and won’t be giving them out til May. Your post was very helpful and superbly timely–thanks a bunch! Terri O

  9. Thank you for compiling the adhesive info into one chart. It is a nice reminder of all the wonderful products offered and their intended and unintended purposes.

  10. I always follow but never comment. I like being in the “shadows”, but today I had to comment. I really like your cards, etc…..but this little tutorial is SUPER. thanks a bunch.

  11. I learn something new almost every day from you (and the others who comment). Adhering clear buttons with Crystal Effects — great tip for me today! This is the only blog where I also read all the comments! Soooo glad I found your blog!!

  12. Good Morning Brian and also Good Morning to the BK Admiration Society (that’s what I call your blog when talking to my friends)! I printed out your adhesive chart on some white card stock and n put it into a clear plastic page holder. It is now directly over my stamping table for several reasons: 1) I love making spreadsheets on the computer and this one is actually pretty (yup, I’m definitely OCD) 2) this will remind me that there are more glues and tapes in my stash that I need to take advantage of and 3) you have GOT to love a 7 star adhesive! LOL Thanks Brian, so sweet of you to share your knowledge with us every day.

  13. This is a wonderful post, Brian and thank you for the great chart! I use only SU! Glue products..okay, once in a great while, but only if I somehow manage to run out of my sticky strip! But totally love our dimensionals, glue dots and the Tombow glue which is a bit messy but fabulous! Thank you for this information…hope sales will increase for our glue products for all demos! Happy Presidents Day and hope you are off today!

  14. Ment to add that I do not feel that we always have to see a card…especially when your provide great product information! But always love seeing your creations and learning from your creativity! Schmooze, yes, but from the heart!

  15. Thanks so much for sharing this info! I tend to stick to one or two types of adhesives, even though I have all the SU! products in my stash. My goal for 2013 is to start using more of the products that I’ve purchased so that I can justified my need (aka obsession) to have everything SU! sells. And I am newbie to your blog and LOVE it! I’m all about clean, simple cards and you speak to this perfectly 😉

  16. Love the glue info. What about vellum, that’s a tricky one? Thanks to everyone in this passion for paper craft, I am not alone!

  17. Me, too, thanks for the adhesive chart! I printed it and will use it to get out of my SNAIL, glue dot and dimensional rut…

  18. Big hugs to you Brian for creating the chart of adhesives. A great reference for everyone. Never, never thought about using crystal effects under clear embellishments. Brilliant!

  19. Your card is great and your blog is awesome! 🙂

  20. Such an adorable card, Brian! I love the little heart buttons and the layered ribbons!

  21. Thank you for taking the extra time and explaining how you used the adhesives and for making the chart. I like things printed as I forget easily.
    I like the Ducky card. Thanks again.

  22. Hi Brian,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to put this info together…it will be a great tool in my stamp classes. I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, but right after the new catalog came out last June, SU! announced that the price on the 2-way glue stick had increased to $4.50, so I didn’t know if you wanted to make the change on your chart or not…either way, it’s a handy tool. Thanks again!

  23. Hi Brian,
    If you get a chance in 2015, could you please update this to include the Fast Fuse? Adhesives are KEY to a project and this chart is so helpful! Also, just started to follow you on Pintrest (after getting blog updates). Now I can see all your great cards in one place! Don’t know what took me so long…
    – Diane

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