The other day my husband asked me if I had any tape or glue. I answered, “You need adhesive? What kind? I have liquid in multiple forms, foam in multiple shapes, glue dots, and snail in multiple strengths. What are you using it for?” And that’s really the key with adhesive. What are you using it for?
The easiest way to get started is with a tape runner or snail adhesive. The Stampin’ Seal adhesive is strong and goes a long way. If you’re getting more creative and making gift boxes or other constructed projects, it can be useful to have the stronger version, Stampin’ Seal +. Both are permanent and great for bonding layers of paper, but I’m pretty sure I could keep a toddler in place with the Stampin’ Seal +, at least for a few minutes.
Stampin’ Up! offers two types of liquid glue, both are acid-free.
The multi-purpose liquid is a general glue, similar to what you may have used in school, but not quite. This glue doesn’t really dry in the traditional sense in that is stays tacky, so it’s important not to use it on porous materials like ribbons and such because it makes a mess. But if you work in a humid environment you may like this adhesive better for daily card making activities, such as adding layers to your card base, because it’s not going to release like the tape runner adhesives may. I work in a very dry climate most of the year and so I use tape runners primarily for layering paper and liquid glue for adding die cuts or wood embellishments. The applicator has two ends, one narrow for detailed work and a broad rubber tip at the other end that is good for larger surfaces. The more I use this glue the more I like it.
The Fine-Tip Glue Pen is ideal for adding very intricate die cuts to your papercraft projects or delicate embellishments like sequins. The narrow tube allows for exact glue placement. The key to this adhesive is to make sure you replace the pin in the tube to keep the glue from drying out. Besides being a great adhesive, this glue can be used to create a glossy effect. Basically you pool the glue over the piece you want to shine and then let it dry overnight. It dries perfectly clear and shiny. You can see a project where I did this here, on the Shiny Boots Alternate.
Use foam adhesive to add dimension to your papercrafts. Stampin’ Up! calls their foam adhesive product Dimensionals. The foam is pre-cut into hexagons and comes in regular size—about the end of your finger, or mini—about 50% smaller. They are also available in black which is really helpful when working with dark card stock and embellishments. I use Dimensionals in almost every card I make.
Stampin’ Up! also has foam adhesive pre-cut into strips. If you like making shaker cards, you will love this product. The strips are long enough to make lifting up the entire layer around the shaker card easy. They peel off the backing ready to apply. They’re thin enough to bend into circular or oval shapes with minimal cutting. Of course, they can be used just like Dimensionals as well.
Die cuttable foam sheets
One of the newer adhesive products from Stampin’ Up! is their foam adhesive sheets. These sheets are sized to run through the die cutter and create a perfectly shaped piece of adhesive to use with the same shape cut out of paper. No more fiddling with trimming down Dimensional or strips to add your dies. You can also cut them with paper snips depending on the requirement.
Glue dots are often included in the Paper Pumpkin boxes because they are so versatile. They can be used between layers of card stock or DSP instead of snail adhesives. They can be used to add all types of embellishments such as sequins or prepunched layers. I use them for adding twine bows. The glue is basically a small disc of adhesive on either a role (see picture) or a plastic sheet. The sheets that come in the Paper Pumpkin kits have paper covers that have to be removed.
The adhesive sheets from Stampin’ Up! have been upgraded recently which makes a great product even better. The sheets are 6″x12″ and it’s a thin layer of adhesive between two backing sheets. One side is cut into two-inch columns for easy peeling. Peel back the solid layer, add your paper, make your die cuts, and you’ve basically created a sticker. When you peel the backing off the die-cut, the adhesive remains and you can add this layer to your project with minimal fuss. This is a fantastic option for large detailed dies or even just to speed along your crafting when you’re making multiple cards.
Tear & Tape
The last adhesive I have to share with you is Tear & Tape. Despite the name, you can use it with scissors. This tape is Strong (with a capital S). It’s great for constructing gift boxes or shadow boxes or other paper art projects. It comes on a roll and has protective backing on one side. You lay down the sticky side where you want it, peel the backing, and adhere it. But get it right the first time, there is no readjusting after it’s been stuck down.