There are zillions of adhesives available. If you’re new to paper crafts, you might be wondering which adhesives are the best. Below are my picks for the best adhesives for paper crafts.
To be honest, I haven’t tried every single adhesive available (although I frequently do check out new ones.) Also, “best” is a subjective word; one person’s “best adhesive” might well be another person’s “worst adhesive.” So, you might want to think of this as being a list of my favorite adhesives, rather than the definitive list of best adhesives. I acknowledge that there might be other worthy additions to this list.
If I had to choose only one adhesive to craft with, Zip Dry paper glue would be the one I choose. Zip Dry is a great all-purpose adhesive. I’ve used it to put entire albums together; it works well for attaching everything, including tricky embellishments like ribbons and crystals.
Zip Dry is a liquid adhesive that comes in a bottle. It dries clear and will not wrinkle paper. Like the name suggests, it dries fast — a quality that impatient paper crafters are sure to appreciate.
Zip Dry adheres well to most surfaces that card makers and scrapbookers would be interested in gluing, including photos, paper, chipboard, acrylic, felt, beads, glitter, wire and metal. I’ve only had one failure with Zip Dry, and that was an attempt to glue large pieces of beach glass to clear acrylic. I have yet to find a scrapbooking adhesive that will work with that particular combination, but Zip Dry has done an amazing job with everything else I’ve tried gluing.
Zip Dry is acid-free and lignin-free.
If you try Zip Dry, I’d recommend using it in a well-ventilated area, as it has a strong odor.
Zip Dry is made in the USA, so you’re assured that the workers making it were paid a fair wage for their work.
Where to Buy Zip Dry Paper Glue:
There are bunches of different places to buy Zip Dry Paper Glue. You’ll usually find it available for sale at all of the following online retailers:
- Click here to shop for Zip Dry at A Cherry on Top Crafts. Before you purchase, be sure to check their discount codes; this store not only tends to have some of the lowest available prices on a huge variety of craft supplies; they also usually offer excellent discounts you can take advantage of. They sometimes have discount codes available for free shipping, a percentage off your entire purchase, etc. This is the online store I buy the most from, not only because of their great prices, but also because it is easy to pick up your phone, call their number and talk to an actual employee of their store (not a clueless call center worker) if there is ever a problem with your order, or if you have questions or need help. I LOVE THIS STORE.
- Click here to shop for Zip Dry at Scrapbook.com. Scrapbook.com is my other favorite craft store. If you need your adhesive right away, your best bet is to buy it at a local craft store — but otherwise, Scrapbook.com would be my top pick for the best place to shop if you need it shipped FAST.
- Click here to shop for Zip Dry at Amazon.
Cherry Tape is my new favorite dry adhesive. It’s available in a variety of different widths, so you can choose exactly the size(s) you need for sticking whatever size elements you’re planning to work with. You get a giant, seemingly never-ending roll for the price you pay. Cherry Tape is made in the USA, so you’re assured that the workers making it were paid a fair wage for their work.
Where to Buy Cherry Tape
Like the name suggests, Glue Dots are small round sticky dots of adhesive. Glue Dots are double-sided. Considering their small size, they’re surprisingly sticky and strong.
I usually use Glue Dots for adhering faux flowers and other small embellishments to my paper craft projects. I don’t consider them to be an all-purpose adhesive, but I do use them frequently.
There are multiple types of Glue Dots available. Some are clear, and some are recommended for use with Vellum. These are the types of Glue Dots that I find particularly appealing.
With Glue Dots, you don’t have to worry about strong odors. You also don’t have to wait for them to dry; this product gives you instant gratification.
Glue Dots are archival-safe; they are acid-free and lignin-free.
Generally speaking, Glue Dots aren’t messy to use, although every once in awhile one will “gum up” on me when I’m trying to remove it from its packaging.
Xyron Sticker Makers:
Xyron sticker machines really shine in one specific area: when you’re trying to attach small flat items, die cuts or oddly-shaped embellishments to your paper craft projects. They’re also great for attaching ribbons. If an item is too thin for attaching with a tape runner, adhesive from the Xyron machine will usually do the trick.
I’ve written a product review of the Xyron 500 Machine that has further details and considerations. That’s the only Xyron product I’ve personally owned, but I’ve seen favorable comments about many of the other Xyron adhesives as well.
Scor-Tape adhesive is really, really sticky. It’s packaged in generous-sized rolls and is available in different widths. Scor-Tape is permanent; there is no re-positioning it once it’s stuck down.
Scor-Tape is acid-free and heat-resistant. It’s compatible with embossing powder, foils, and other fancy embellishments. I used it as an almost-all-purpose adhesive; it’s great for many different types of projects, including scrapbooking layouts and handmade greeting cards.
Adhesives That Didn’t Make My Favorites List:
I’ve owned, and used, gallons upon gallons of Mod Podge. Why do I keep buying it? I don’t know. Habit, I guess. And because I don’t know of a better product for decoupage-type applications, which I enjoy. But a lot of times when I’ve used Mod Podge, I’ve regretted it later — because there are times when it doesn’t dry completely, or gets gummy, sticky and gooey. Like I said, I do use Mod Podge frequently, but I’m definitely on the lookout for something better.
Many scrapbookers would list at least one tape runner on their favorites list. The 3M ATG is really popular, and worth checking out. If I were going to buy a tape runner, that’s the one think I’d probably get, but there are plenty of good ones available. Someday I might actually buy one, but so far every time I’ve considered it, I’ve ended up with a new bottle of Zip Dry instead.
If you’re new to scrapbooking, I do recommend trying out a few tape runners; borrow a friend’s before you invest in your own.
So there you have it: Those are my picks for the best adhesives for paper crafts.
Share Your Picks for Best Adhesives for Paper Crafts:
You’re invited to share your own picks for best scrapbooking adhesives in the comments section below. Thanks in advance to everyone who posts a comment.
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By Amy Solovay
About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design.
This page was last updated on 4-28-2023.