- Glue Sticks
- Double Side Tape
- Photo Mounting Squares
- Rolling Tab Dispensers
- Tape Dispensers
- Spray Adhesives
- Glue Dots
- 3D Pop Dots
- Liquid Glue in bottles
- Vellum Tape
- and more that I have missed, I am sure
Within each of these groups are countless products and companies that all claim to be the best and most efficient. It can be overwhelming to a new comer, and for someone who has been doing this for a while, and it can get a little pricey trying to figure out what works best with what and which is most efficient for YOU!
One of the questions I am asked is: "What do you use and why?" So, I am going to go through the products I use and why. I am not saying that what I use is the only way to go, but it works best for me.
I used to spend tons of money on tape dispensers and rolling tab dispensers. I still use them, but when I bought my first Cricut about 4 years ago, I found they were no help at all with putting die cuts together. One day, while in a Target store, I came across a bottle of glue. It had a fine tip and as sceptical as I was, I bought it for that reason only. I fell in LOVE with Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive! It is perfect for putting die cuts together, especially those tiny pieces. It is quick drying and when used in VERY small amounts, there is absolutely no rippling! (Which is why I sceptical in the first place. I had tried other liquid glues in the late 1990's and there were horrible! They ruined everything they touched!)
It goes without saying, this is my favorite adhesive.
Coming in at close second, are Glue Dots or Zots, as one company markets them. These come in handy, when nothing else will do the job. I use them mainly for adhering ribbon to my photo mats and any where else I need ribbon to stay put. Depending on the width of my ribbon, depends on the size I will use, and I am always stocked with mini, small, medium and larges. They even have a thicker one that you can use for a 3D effect, however, I have only used them once. I prefer pop dots for that.
These are also great for adhering buttons, metal embellishments, gem stones and fabric flowers or other embellishments. They are so strong that they will adhere metal to metal! Keep in mind that you only get one shot at putting them where you want them. Pulling them up will tear up your papers, and badly!
What they don't work on are some chipboard materials, felt, and some paper flowers. They will also not adhere to mull berry or handmade papers.
These babies can get pricey if you use them for everything. They run about $4 a box and up. There are about 300 dots per roll and go fast if you are using all the time. If you do use them paper to paper, I have found that thinner papers will show the dots underneath, so best to use them on thicker designs and cardstock.
I recently came across a new addition to the glue dots family:
I haven't tried it yet, but do plan to purchase one when I am out this week. If you have tried it, let me know what you think!
The next product that I use, in almost all of my projects, are 3D-Dots. I love dimension and love for my characters and certain embellishments to stand out. To me, it makes my projects come to life and makes them more realistic. Plus, they are just plain FUN!
I have tried a couple of different companies and my favorite is EK Success. They are easier to work with and aren't thin and flimsy like the Scotch brand. (I was really disappointed in theirs, especially because I love their glue so much) The EK brand adds just enough height where you want it and they are easy to peel back up if you get them in the wrong place.
They come in strips, squares and circles. I buy mostly strips and squares, but the circles are great for small flowers and tiny pieces. They also come in black squares, which are great for Disney characters cut with the Cricut. (They are all cut with black paper for their backing) The black goes fast, so if you find them and want them, get them! I can't tell you how many times I have seen them one day and gone back the next and they are gone.
If you haven't tried these, DO! The dimension they add is amazing and I think you will fall in love with them, like I have. The cost of each package is about $2, at WalMart- a little more at craft stores.
These next two, I use about the same or in equal amounts. They are some of the first adhesives I ever used and I still use them today, just more sparingly. They are double sided tape and photo sticker mounts. I use them for adhering my photos and for working with thinner papers. I love these because you don't need to use a lot for it to work. A little in the corners and you are good. That is why I love the mounts, they are pre-cut and are a perfect size. So, why even buy the tape then? It costs less at about $2-3 each, cheaper if you can fine the store brand. BE CAREFUL though, make sure it says photo safe or acid free! I have come across some that aren't marked. Make it easier on yourself and invest in a desk top tape dispenser, take the roll from it's original packaging and put it in the desk dispenser. It gives you a free had and makes cutting the tape faster.
Photo mounts will run you about $5 a box, average. They have boxes with 250 to 1000 squares, so prices will vary depending on the amount in each box. My brand new favorite in mounts are these little beauties:
MINIS! They are about half the size of the original and are great for ribbon, if you don't have glue dots, and tiny paper embellishments. I was so happy to find these, because it meant no more cutting down the bigger ones! The cost is about $4-5.
Many of you have probably seen the Vario tab dispensers. I do have one and use it, but for one reason only. They are the best at adhering thinner 12x12 paper to cardstock. Why would I do that, you ask? When I create a page or pages for sale, I like for them to feel sturdy in your hands. Sometimes I find a background paper that is perfect for the project, but is too thin to hold up under all I put on it, so I will mount them on cardstock for added strength. When the tabs are dispensed from the roller, they are back to back, no spaces--making them perfect for just this! They are expensive--about $12-14 for the dispenser and about $8 for refills.
My next adhesive is a must if you work with vellum, which I do on a occasion. I have had the same roll for about 6 years now, so a little goes a long way. It hardly shows underneath vellum and is worth it. Don't use too much and make sure it doesn't gum up too much or it will show through. Your cost per roll: about $5
Next on the list: Spray adhesive. I don't use it a lot, but I use it for 2 purposes-- adhering paper to tin and for extending the length of my Cricut cutting mats. I wrote a post about how I do that. Click HERE to read all about it.
Each can will run about $9-11. KEEP THE NOZZLE CLEAN! They can gunk up pretty easily and watch getting it on your hands and clothing. Goo Gone is this product's best friend and about the only thing I have found that will get it off of your hands easily. If getting your hands sticky is a real problem, use a pair of tongs that are just for use with this product, but be sure to ALWAYS use the sticky sprayed side on the backs of your papers, and the clean side on the fronts. You can tell the difference!
Xyron sticker maker. I have one, I rarely use it! It is so much faster to put a drop of glue or a photo mount on the back and stick my die or embellishment down. However, my daughter loves it and uses it for pieces that had an odd shape and are so thin, glue may show behind it. My advice, if you are given one, use it, but don't buy it. There are so many other economic ways of getting embellishments to "stick".
You can easily make your own glue dots using Aleene's, Tack Over and Over glue. Apply small or large dots on a non-stick surface such as acetate. Let dry and PRESTO~Glue dots. Must be the Tack Over and Over Glue.