Adhesive Basics

10/20/2009 at 3:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 48 Comments
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Hi there, blog readers! What do you get if you mix a shiny new BMW and the kitchen sink? I don’t know, but I’d love to find out! Mixing amazing new products with already-have-lying around-the-house items can be so much fun. But  since everyday objects aren’t necessarily made with crafters in mind, one thing I rely on is good adhesive—something that will make my item attach exactly the way I want, perfect look included.

I’ve found that some hard-to-adhere items include:

  • fabric
  • vellum or clear components
  • ribbon
  • metal


Maggie Holmes solved one of these problems in her You layout, shown on page 94 of the October issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Notice that she has included fabric squares with a multipurpose adhesive, such as Helmar’s Craft Glue, in this cute fall-themed layout. Fabric adhesive is available in both liquid and spray forms as well as temporary and permanent forms, so be sure to read the back of the bottle carefully when you make your selections.

Tip: Use fabric adhesive to prevent fabric edges from fraying. Dab a little around the edges of your piece, and the fibers will stay put.

Vellum or clear components 

What do you do when the product you are using is see-through? Suzy Plantamura used a spray adhesive which dries clear to keep her patterned transparency in place on her Glamour Girllayout, also in the October 2009 issue, page 95. Notice that there is no adhesive glare competing with the sweet photos and the bling.

Tip: Another option to securing see-through items is to use a glue dot and place a fun embellishment (like a flower or a chipboard shape) on top of the transparency to hide the adhesive. 

Metal and Ribbon

Supplies: Patterned paper: Ronnie McCray, Chipboard: SEI. ; Ribbon: Cosmo Cricket; Stickers: Dee’s Designs, Karen Foster and SEI.; Rub ons: Glitz Design; Adhesive: Fiskars, Judikins and 3M; Other: brad, nails, patterned paper and screwdriver head.



I took the challenge on myself to see just how far I could take my adhesive with metal. In this ‘for the mechanic in your life’ themed card I included nails and a thick double-sided screwdriver head. I really wanted to know if that head could be made to hold.

I figured a liquid adhesive, such as Aleen’s Tacky Glue, was a must for this type of job. When the card was dry, I shook it and shook it. I’m pretty sure that after an earthquake that metal piece will still be found glued to its paper.


In this card I also played with ribbon. I figured that a tape or roller adhesive would have the real stick-to-it power I needed while keeping a bumpy, wet look out of the picture. I chose  double-sided scrapbooking tape for both my thick and thin ribbon. Not only did it go on easily and smoothly, but it kept both ribbons in place, regardless of weight.


Tip: When selecting a glue for ribbon, be sure to select a glue with enough stick-power. Therm O Web has some fun options in varying sizes. Perfect for lots of different sizes and types of ribbons!

So while combining BMWs and kitchen sinks may require lots of duct tape and super glue (and some muscle action!), completing a scrapbook page made with accents of many different materials can be easy and fun if you have the right adhesive.

Tips from the front lines:

*Reinforce your stickers as needed with extra adhesive. This is especially good if your sticker has lost its sticky due to repositioning or an encounter with a toddler or pet!

*If you want a brad in your layout but don’t want to punch it through the paper (maybe you have something on the other side that can’t have a hole and brad legs sticking through), remove the prongs from the brad and use small dimensional adhesive squares, such as these from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L. You get the same look and texture without disturbing the other side of the paper.

Dorathy Gilchrist, Associate Editor

P. S. Thanks for the warm welcome last week. I loved hearing from you. I think I’ll stick around!



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  1. It’s always nice to see what others use for different jobs. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Thanks for the tips!

  3. I love the idea to use clear spray adhesive for a transparency.
    Thanks for all the great ideas!

  4. Thanks for the tips! I have not some of these products, mabee now I will.

  5. I’m really loving all of the wonderful tips ya’ll are sharing in regards to different adhesives!

  6. I have never tried Fabric! I will have to try that. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Thanks for the great tips. Vellum is always a challenge for me.

  8. Great ideas and great los!

  9. I love these layouts! And thanks for the tips. I was actually using fabric on some cards today, and I used “Wonder Under”, an iron-on fusible webbing. Very quick and easy.

  10. Thanks for the tip for fabric because I just made a card with fabric and I had a hard time keeping it stuck to the card and from fraying.

  11. Oh wow! I can’t tell you the number of ribbons on my layouts that are either weird looking because they got soaked with liquid adhesive to Make.It.STAY! or that just fall off every time the page is opened. I am so glad to get your fix on this. And such an easy fix it is! Woo Hooo!

  12. Thanks for all the great tips!!!

  13. Great tips! Love the brads idea. 😉

  14. Thanks for the awesome tips and the great inspiration, too!

  15. Thanks for the tips! Really like the fabric ones.

  16. neat to see what works best on a variety of mediums. thanks for the info.

  17. I LOVE my Aleenees Tacky Glue and I use it for EVERYTHING!

  18. Again, as yesterday, lots of good information on using adhesives properly. I love Aleene’s quick dry tacky adhesive, too. Had a bottle with my crafty stuff. Found it one day and started using it in my scrapbooking. It is great for that.

  19. Great ideas-love the brad tip!

  20. Great tips! I really needed some better adhesive ideas for ribbon.

  21. Love all the tips especially for all the different materials.

  22. Great post, it’s really helpful to see suggestions separated by type of material.

  23. I needed the tip for vellum. Thanks!

  24. I haven’t tried spray adhesive for scrapbooking yet. It may be just the solution for those tricky transparancies.

  25. Great Tips, Thanks !!

  26. I also ways have a hard time with vellum, thanks for all great the tips!

  27. I have been wanting to add fabric to my lo’s for a while…can’t wait to give it a try.

  28. Great article with lot’s of good uses for various adhesives. Thanks.

  29. thanks for the great adhesive tips!

  30. thanks for the tips on the different adhesives and how/what to use them on.

  31. The brad tip is wonderful! I use brads ALL the time.

  32. I like the tip for the brads! I don’t always have another page on the back and hate to have things coming through to make the back look ugly. Great idea!

  33. I like the tip for the brads! I don’t always have another page on the back and hate to have things coming through to make the back look ugly. Great idea!
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  34. Adhesive is such a big part of our craft. Thanks for focusing on this and giving so much info.

  35. Those are wonderful tips. You know adhesive is such an important part of scrapbooking and cardmaking. Nothing is more frustrating then when you done a project and you see an embellishement come off or get lost.
    Thanks so much for the info. I think I need to rethink my adhesive stash. Have a great day!

  36. I love the fabric on the LO and always have had trouble adhering vellum so thanks for the great tips!!

  37. I didn’t know tacky glue would work in a scrapbook. Is it archival safe?

  38. Thanks for the tips! Always helpful to have more adhesive options.

  39. love all these great tips!

  40. Thanks for more adhesive tips today!

  41. A former designer from Simple Scrapbooks uses Fabri-Tak for adhering fabric to paper. I’m wondering if it’s safe? Have you smelled it? Sure makes me wonder.

  42. Adhering ribbon is sometimes problematic for me–thanks for the tips!

  43. Thanks for the tips! Can’t wait to try the tip on my metal embellies!

  44. I have always had problems with vellum. Someone finally gave me the tip of using an adhesive specifically made for use with vellum. I am just getting into transpereancies so am excited to try the spray adhesive. Thanks for the tips.

  45. What a great idea…metal!

  46. Great information and tips!

  47. Vellum is such a PIA to adhere; however, I started using WackyTac Vellum tape and it works like a charm. I used the brad snipping technique just recently and it works great..snipped part of a foam square to place on the back & voila!

  48. What a fun week – all these great tips!! Thanks CK!!!

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