Liquid glue is a very versatile product that comes in a variety of formulations for different purposes. Most liquid glues are water soluble, and easy to use and clean up. This makes them especially great for school projects, crafting, poster-making, and scrapbooking. You can even use it for slime projects! While having specialized glue is ideal for some processes (e.g., woodworking), it’s always a good idea to have a versatile formula on hand. Below, find our top 5 recommendations that provide a strong bond to surfaces including paper, cardboard, wood, fabric, and many types of decorative embellishments.
1. Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
This all-purpose adhesive will succeed at essentially any task. You can use it on myriad materials, including paper, fabric, rubber, and even glass. The nontoxic glue dries quickly but still gives you some time to adjust your materials. It also dries clear, so you never have to worry about excess goo showing up. Introduced decades ago, this classic glue remains a favorite of professional artists, crafters, and kids alike, offering an excellent combination of strength, safety, and easy cleanup—all you need is soap and water.
2. AmazonBasics Clear Liquid Glue
AmazonBasics Clear Glue is less viscous than our top pick, which makes it a great option for filling in cracks and hard-to-reach areas. This 9-ounce bottle also stands out because it’s clear, so it’ll never obstruct your view as you work. This also makes it an especially good pick for working with paint (like in acrylic pours), slime, and other mediums whose colors you want to retain. It even dries clear—and the bottle is clear, too, so you’ll always know how much glue you have left.
3. Prang Roll-On Liquid Glue
At first glance, this looks like a glue stick, but the oblong container is loaded with liquid that you apply by gliding its tip along a surface. This makes it exceptionally easy to produce neat and even layers of glue. The rounded tip is very smooth, leaving a fully sticky area in its wake. This glue comes out bright green, so you always know exactly where you’ve applied it, but it dries perfectly clear—and wrinkle-free for a seamless bond.
4. Elmer’s Washable School Glue
There are many reasons why Elmer’s glue has been the standard in schools for decades: It is nontoxic, easily washes off clothing or skin, and doesn’t run. Plus, it’s economical, with each fluid ounce costing a fraction of the cost of other products. While it does take a few minutes to dry, this allows young ones to take their time to place their materials and reposition them if they wish. The nozzle dispenses the glue evenly and prevents too much from gushing out, even if the bottle is vigorously squeezed. Made to work on a variety of surfaces, it’s also ideal for DIY creations popular with children, like slime and kinetic sand.
5. Tombow Aqua Liquid Glue
Tombow makes a high-quality (and admittedly pricy) glue meant for precision and accuracy. Its dual-tip applicator provides versatility: use the pen tip for fine detailed embellishments, the brush tip under the pen tip for broad strokes, and the broad tip for decoupage. The glue goes on clear and stays clear, and it’s acid-free and safe for photos. Be mindful that the 1.69-ounce bottle is smaller than some others, because it’s intended chiefly for precise application on paper and photos, so it comes at a higher price point.