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Adhesive Dots – Some Sticky Stuff!

Reported by Kristine Fowler

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I am an adhesive junkie. While some of my crafty friends rely on one product for all of their gluing needs, I instead have several sticky substances in my craft arsenal – each with their own intent and purpose. Today though – I’m going to focus on one of my all time faves – adhesive dots!

So, What are They?
Regardless of who makes them (GlueDots by Glue Dots International, Zots by Therm-O-Web, Memory Dots by Stix2Anything), the purpose is the same: double sided ‘dots’ of adhesive that form a strong, instant, mess-free bond when applied to a clean dry surface. Replacing other sometimes messy ‘wet’ bond type of adhesives like white glue, paste, or even hot glue, there is no drying time, so you you can bond paper, cardboard, wood, plastic, glass, metal, leather, fabrics and more, instantly. They are available in multiple sizes, thicknesses and adhesive strengths.

Here’s a quick peak at a few of the different packages of adhesive dots that I have in my craft cupboard today. {notice I am not partial to one manufacturer over another!}

As you can see above, adhesive dots are packaged in few different ways. I’ve seen them on a roll, in a dispenser (not shown) and more recently in perforated sheets. As you have probably guessed, my preference is definitely the sheets. Since they are perforated, you can separate one or two dots from the rest, making things generally easier to manage – and the sheets are protected by a clear overlay that covers the dots until you’re ready to use them. The dispensers are good too, but they are perhaps not the most eco-friendly choice since I have yet to find one that is refillable.

Regardless of how they are packaged, application is simple: you need to simply press the item to be adhered against the adhesive dot, and peel the item and the dot away from the liner – then press your item into place. If you’d like a visual, GlueDots has as a short ‘how-to’ video on their website, that shows you both the rolls and the perforated sheets.

Of critical importance is the idea that you do not need to ‘touch’ the adhesive dots to apply them. For me this is great because there are no ‘sticky fingers’ (I hate that!). Not only is it not necessary to touch the glue dot, but it is also not recommended, since dirt and oils from your skin can compromise the adhesive bond.

So what do I use adhesive dots for?
Probably my most favorite use for adhesive dots is to adhere ribbon to a card front or scrapbook layout. By using an adhesive dot to secure each end of the ribbon on the back of the card panel instead of wrapping the ribbon completely around, I can conserve ribbon, and save money, without compromising on project quality. Because adhesive dots are super sticky, I am confident the my ribbon is going to stay put and not come unglued, and since the glue dots are ultra thin (unless you specifically buy dimensional ones), there is no added bulk.

The pictures below will hopefully help you understand what I mean.

Here I have taken my stamped ribbon and cut it just larger than the card panel – wrapped it around and have adhered one side (the bottom) with a glue dot.

This next one is a close up of the adhesive dot applied to the other end of the ribbon so that it’s ready to be pressed down (this was a bit tricky to photograph since the dots are clear, but if you look really close you can see it).

And here’s the finished card! I simply took the completed panel (ribbon and all) and adhered it to the card front. Now it might not look like I saved a ton of ribbon on this card alone, but if you use this method it really does add up to big savings over the life of the spool.
Stamp Credit: Snow Friends (CTMH)
I also love using dots to adhere chipboard letters and shapes, buttons, or any otherwise chunky or heavy embellishments to a project. If the letters/items are thin, and I don’t have any ‘micro’ dots handy, I have been even been known to cut the dots into smaller ‘strips’ before adhering (this really only works with the perforated sheet type) or at other times I have coaxed the regular round dots with a piercing tool to better fit the shape of the letter. Because adhesive dots are a dry bond adhesive they are mess-free and I don’t have to worry about wet glue seeping out from behind the item once I press it into place – and the bond is instant with no dry time.
Here’s a couple of other quick projects so you can see what I mean. Here, I used adhesive dots to secure both the wooden star and the button to the card insert. Because of the way the card is structured, these embellishments actually function as a type of ‘pull’ to remove the insert from its cover. So in this case, I really needed something that would stick strong – so I went with adhesive dots.
Stamp Credit: Always Remember (CTMH)
Here’s a closer look at the combination… notice that the button is almost suspended as it layers on the star with only a portion of the two pieces overlapping:

And finally, here’s another variation of the same card design where I used adhesive dots to glue the flower and button.
Stamp Credit: Always Remember (CTMH)

Now since adhesive dots are so sticky – you might be wondering how you get ‘unstuck’ if you find your adhesive dot stuck somewhere it shouldn’t be. I warn you now that it’s not always possible to get out of this situation unscathed. First though I would try gently peeling the dot away with your fingers. Failing that, I recommend using a second dot to pry away the first. And lastly, if these attempts are unsuccessful, you may find yourself resorting to an adhesive removing product like Undo. Unfortunately you might have already mucked up your project by this point, but you’ve learned a valuable lesson -when you need something to really stick… use an adhesive dot!
So, in summary:
Pros:
  • strong hold
  • instant, mess-free bond
  • no ‘wrinkly’ paper that you might get if you apply too much of a wet-bond adhesive
  • multiple sizes available to suit any project need
  • multiple adhesive ‘strengths’ (e.g. permanent, removable….)
  • versatile: you can use the to bond plastic, wood, metal or practically any other medium
  • no drying time
  • non-toxic
  • most that are marketed to crafters are acid-free (this is especially important to all of the scrapbookers out there)
  • inexpensive
Cons:
  • If you’re a messy crafter like me, and end up with a pile of scraps and supplies that clutter your work surface, you can lose them quite easily if you’re not careful (they are clear after all). If they get lost and they’re ‘covered’ by the adhesive protecting film then you’re good, but if they are unprotected – you will likely find them stuck somewhere they shouldn’t be (your table, the card or layout you just finished, or maybe even the cat – yikes!)
  • on one package of GlueDots there is even a warning: ‘may stick aggressively to some surfaces’; if that surface is somewhere you want it to be then fantastic, but if not… well… see my suggestions above for removal.
Now I said it upfront, and it’s probably pretty clear from all of this that I LOVE adhesive dots, but what about you? Are they among your favorite adhesives, or can you share an alternative opinion? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!
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12 Responses to Adhesive Dots – Some Sticky Stuff!

  1. Anita November 11, 2009 at 11:55 am #

    I love dots. I agree that sometimes they land where you don’t want but they hold embellishments on wonderfully.

  2. Elaine A November 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    I use the 3-D dots as the sticky element when I want to put clear embossing powder in a bottle cap. I stick 1 or 2 to the image in my bottle cap, melt it with my heat gun, sprinkle embossing powder and then heat again, adding more powder as needed.

    Elaine Allen

  3. Linda November 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Oh I could never live without my gluedots. And oh so true that once they are stuck you will not be able to remove them.

  4. NancyS (momsnack) November 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm #

    Non-craft use: I like to use Contact paper under the kitchen sink, but don’t want to make it permanent so I can replace it easily – I put a row of dots about 8-10 inches apart around the perimeter of the paper and it sticks easily.

  5. susanscraps November 11, 2009 at 2:09 pm #

    I LOVE, Love, love GLUE DOTS!!!
    I’ve used the zots also, never heard of the other ones that you mentioned…Xyron has some too, they aren’t bad, but they are NOT Glue Dots! I use all of them, craft, memory book, pop-up and minis(my fav) and I even have a package of the vellum ones somewhere! LOL
    couldn’t create without them!

  6. Patchi November 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    I love glue dots too – as you said, for ribbons, buttons and flowers. Quick and to the point!

  7. SueB November 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    LOVE ’em and couldn’t imagine not having them around … but have you tried the dispensers yet? I like having them portable and had switched from the rolls to the sheets, but I like the convenience of the dispensers now!

  8. Anonymous November 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Yup its all about the dots…
    Love em…
    Diane

  9. Jenn November 11, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    I usually love glue dots, but on my last purchases of them, they didn’t seem as stick 🙁

  10. Kristine November 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    So what I’m hearing is that ya’ll love adhesive dots as much as I do!

    Jenn….sorry to hear that you might have got a bad batch…I hope you won’t give up on them, they are such an amazing product with a multitude of uses!

  11. java diva November 11, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    I use fine-pointed scissors or my fingertip craft knife to try to remove as much of the glue dot for that rare oops when it needs to be removed.

  12. mbdesigns November 12, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    I have to chime in and add that I too cannot get by without them. I did not know about the embossing with them. That sounds really neat. Another use for a terrific product. Yippee.