During a recent scrapbook room reorganization, I was alarmed to find my adhesive storage had overflowed. I clearly needed to purge what wasn’t being used.
But as I emptied my basket, I realized I used nearly every item in it, depending on the project. Some adhesives were meant for paper, some for ribbon, some for fabric, others to provide dimension, and still others that would act as a sealer, either glossy or matte. I needed them all.
So while I searched for a bigger storage basket, I thought it would be the perfect time for an article on some adhesive basics for scrapbookers, and papercrafters in general.
Tape for me is by far the go-to adhesive. If I was trapped on a desert island with my scrapbook supplies, I would want a never ending supply of permanent Tombow Mono Adhesive at my side. It took a little trial and error, but I finally found the perfect tape runner in this little blue package.
In all my years of using it, I’ve only had one refill break on me before the tape ran out. The runner is easy to use, the adhesive comes out smoothly, it holds well (kind of important in an adhesive), it’s easy to refill, and it’s relatively inexpensive, especially in larger packs and with a coupon. It’s also readily available at big box craft stores. I use it for basic scrapbooking, like adhering paper, photos, some embellishments, and occasionally ribbon.
My only issue is the little boogers of adhesive that build up in the corners. They can impact the smoothness of application, if you don’t do a little pickin’. You can see them here.
Annoying, and a little sticky, but no big deal.
A new love of mine also comes from the Tombow people — the Stamp Runner Dot Pattern Adhesive. This is a tape runner, but you can also apply just a stamp of adhesive, kind of like those old-school adhesive tabs that used to annoy me with their tiny little paper tabs.
I did find that after using it as a tape runner for awhile, it took a few pushes to get a nice even adhesive square. On a side note, this type of dispenser was indispensable when crafting after breaking my shoulder blade. I couldn’t seem to master the pulling motion of a tape runner (without denting my photos), but I could easily use the stamp function.
Like the Mono, it is easy to use and refill, and readily available. It’s also good for basic scrapbooking uses, paper, photos, etc.
I love how it works with glitter, and that I can also pour on embossing powder and heat it up. It even works great on ribbon.
Through the years, I’ve used several different brands of foam adhesives to add some dimension to my projects. A few years ago, I finally settled on my favorite, Stampin’ Up’s dimensionals. What I like most about them is the lack of waste; there’s only a tiny border around the edge of the backing sheet, which you can cut up and use.
With other types, like pop dots, there’s all that extra foam. Now, I know you can cut that up and use it, but it still annoyed me that one sheet contained so few actual dots.
The down side of Stampin’ Up is that you have to order from a demonstrator or online; they’re not available in a store.
I recently bought my first box of American Crafts This To That Foam Adhesive. These little guys have no waste at all. They’re also more readily available, and come in circle and squares.
The first, I think is safe to say, is a favorite of many crafters: Glossy Accents. It is super sticky, has a fine tip applicator, and dries to a nice, shiny clear finish. I like that I can use it as a glue, but also use it to add shiny dimension to stamped images, die cuts and more.
For one, it has a thicker texture, which makes it easy for me to apply an even coat. The 1 oz. size has a built in brush, which means less mess. In fact, I now fill my smaller one from the larger 4 oz. size so I can keep using that brush. It comes in matte or glossy.