Craft glue, traditionally an adhesive that can be used on many materials, is an essential product to have on hand. It’s important to know the properties of what you’re working with, though, as some craft glues are not particularly strong, dry too quickly, or dry with an ugly yellow sheen. At the very least, a good craft glue should be easy to work with and leave no trace, so your projects look as streamlined and undisturbed as possible. Our picks below will help you discover all the amazingly creative things you can do with a simple bottle of glue.
1. Beacon Advanced Crafting Glue
Beacon’s adhesive is an excellent go-to for all crafting needs. It’s compatible with paper, fabrics, wood, cork, beads, and many other popular crafting materials, and because it’s acid-free, you can even use it with photographs. This glue has a viscosity similar to that of hot glue, making it very easy to work with. It’s slightly runny yet controllable and forgiving, so you don’t have to hurry as you arrange your work. It dries in minutes to a clear, superstrong bond, and any unwanted residue, which tends to be stringy, can be easily wiped away.
2. Aleene’s Always Ready Tacky Glue
As its name suggests, this is a high-viscosity, sticky glue. Yet it is easy to dispense, thanks to a smart cap stand design that allows you to keep the bottle inverted so the glue readily flows out. This is an excellent kid-friendly craft glue that has a long open time so you can move materials around before holding them in place. Cleanup is also easy with just soap and water. The glue is almost as strong as Beacon’s and is best used on paper materials, although it will also bond light wood and fabric pieces. This isn’t an acid-free glue, however, so it might damage some surfaces.
3. Elmer’s Craftbond Tacky Glue
A little goes a long way with this nontoxic craft glue, which comes in a good-size bottle for group activities and high-volume work. The spout is small, allowing you to dispense precise lines, but you can just as easily pour out large amounts by removing the screw top. Once applied, this white glue dries clear and fast, leaving a reliably strong bond for lightweight material. Too much of it can leave paper wrinkled, so we recommend being judicious when applying.
4. Eclectic Products Amazing GOOP Craft Adhesive
This glue works on contact, so you have to be precise from the get-go when setting your materials. But once you get comfortable with it, you’ll be reaching for it for jobs that require a superstrong bond. It has a thin viscosity and so is quite runny, but it is compatible with virtually any material—glass, plastics, leather, metal, you name it. Plus, it dries hard and crystal clear, leaving you with a permanent, invisible seal that is even waterproof and able to tolerate extreme temperatures.
5. Gorilla Clear Glue
While not designed for crafting per se, Gorilla’s household glue is another versatile adhesive that is suitable for demanding jobs. It bonds to all kinds of surfaces, from foam to wood, creating a tight and seemingly indestructible hold. The adhesion process is quite lengthy, however, requiring at least an hour for the glue to solidify, then a full day for it to properly cure. Keep in mind that you have to clamp your objects during this curing process, so it is not the best option for more fragile materials.