What is the best glue to use for scrapbooking?

If you are looking to see what the best adhesive for scrapbooking is, then this beginners guide to scrapbooking adhesives will help answer your questions!

One of the essentials for scrapbooking is understanding the different scrapbook adhesives and their applications.

One of the important things about adhesives is making sure they are acid-free and that they will cause minimal damage to important photos or documents.

This guide to the best adhesives for scrapbooking will hopefully have you on your way to creating beautiful layouts in no time!

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1. Scrapbooking glue

You’ve probably come to this post to get a clear answer on what is the best glue for scrapbooking.

Firstly, I wish it were that simple! What I’ve found over the years is that it’s more about what you are going to stick down and to what.

I will take you through some of the common types of glue for scrapbooking and then which is the best scrapbook glue for the materials you are using.

1.1. Wet scrapbook glue

Wet glue is just that. It is wet when it is applied, but when it dries, it forms a strong bond between your items. 

However, not all wet glues are created equal.

So then, what glue to use?

I like to stay away from large bottles of glue. While they are more cost-effective, after a while they become thicker and don’t flow as easily. I filmed myself creating a page and I swear over half the time was spent just trying to get glue out of the bottle! It was very frustrating!

For this reason, I like to use small bottles of high flow glue. Typically they will have a small opening so you are able to control the amount of glue that comes out of the bottle.

Wet glue is one of the best glue to use for paper crafts because of its versatility. Some glues can be used as sealers or for creating dimension.

This little bottle will last longer than expected due to the amount of glue that comes out. Easy to use and bonds well.

Not just glue, but also a sealer for all your project needs. Be careful with the placement though as it may crinkle your scrapbooking paper.

1.2. Glue sticks

The best glue stick for scrapbooking will need to be a good quality one. You could steal the kids’ glue sticks, but the adhesion won’t last.

As glue sticks are formulated for sticking paper together, they are useful for scrapbooking. They are quick and convenient to use.

Personally, I don’t use glue sticks, but that’s only because I’m a fan of wet glues. But I’ve watched many popular scrapbooking videos with scrappers using glue sticks.

1.3. Glue runners

Glue runners for scrapbooking are very convenient and less messy than conventional glues.

They are quick to use and easy to store. You don’t have to worry about spilling glue if a lid comes off. Also, little hands can’t make a mess either if they find your supplies!

Glue runners are perfect for use on paper. However, for heavier embellishments, you will need a supplementary glue.

So quick and easy to use, this glue runner will apply a line of glue tape to your project. 

1.4. Glue dots

Adhesive dots for scrapbooking are also known as glue dots. They are small pieces of glue that are used to adhere your scrapbooking elements together.

Glue dots are made from acid free glue. They are double-sided and have a slightly gummy texture.

There is a knack for using glue dots. But once you’ve worked it out, they are quick and easy to use. They don’t dry out either, making them an ideal adhesive.

The best glue dots for scrapbooking will be ones that permanently bond, like these ones.

1.5. Glue pens

Glue pens for scrapbooking are a convenient way to stick down small pieces of paper and die cuts.

One of the best reasons to use a glue pen is because it comes out in a nice controlled amount. You won’t end up with big globs of glue over everything!

These are perfect for when you only need a small amount of glue.

A glue pen like this Zig one is a ballpoint, so the glue flows out easily.

1.6. Hot glue gun

Using a hot glue gun is NOT recommended on your scrapbooking pages. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, it is not acid-free and so over time acid may leech from the glue and damage your photos and memorabilia.

Secondly, the heat of the glue will have a tendency to warp your pages. Although your page will flatten over time while in an album.

However, having a glue gun in your stash is going to be very handy if you want to start to branch out and create off-the-page items. These items tend to be on display and need strong and sturdy glue. Generally, the acid-free component isn’t as important to these items.

A mini hot glue gun will be all you need to start creating your off-the-page projects.

2. Scrapbooking tape

The best tape for scrapbooking will largely depend on what you need it for and your personal preference.

There are many different types of tape which typically come in various sizes. I have a friend who uses super-wide tape, whereas I prefer thinner tape.

One advantage of tape is that it is not messy like glue can be. You don’t need to use a lot to stick lighter things down, so it can be cost-effective.

One thing you cannot do is sew with your sewing machine over double-sided tape. The needle will get gummed up and break.

2.1. Double-sided tape

The best double sided tape for scrapbooking would be the standard 12mm or 0.5″ one. This is the size that is the most popular.

One feature of double-sided tape for scrapbooking is that you can tear it by hand. This makes it quick and easy to use. However, I like to use a tape cutter as listed below. 

Scrapbooking double sided tape has backing paper on it for ease of use. When you place it down on your surface, the backing will ensure nothing sticks to it until you are ready.

Tape is versatile and can be used to stick down a number of mediums. For instance, I use it to stick down the ribbon.

This is probably the most standard scrapbooking tape. A simple 0.5″ that sticks well and has a good bond.

A strong and tacky scrapbook tape is used when you need to stick down heavier embellishments. 

This scrapbook double sided tape cutter is the perfect tool to break off pieces of tape.

2.2. Scrapbook tape runner

A scrapbooking tape runner is a quick and convenient way to get your papers stuck down. Similar to the glue runner, you run this along your paper and it leaves a trail of tape behind.

A personal preference of mine is to not use a tape runner on photos. This is because sometimes it can leave an imprint if you have pressed too hard.

But it’s fantastic for adhering paper to your scrapbook layout.

Ergonomic and refillable, this is one of the best tape runners for scrapbooking.

3. Photo corners

Photo corners for scrapbooking allow you to slip your photo onto your layout without using a permanent adhesive. This means that any potential damage to your memorabilia will be minimised.

Scrapbooking photo corners can also be used as an embellishment as they come in a variety of colours.

Clear photo corners will ensure you will see your entire photo. But coloured corners can be fun to use too!

4. Other adhesives

Glue and tape are the most popular adhesive items for scrapbooking, but they aren’t the only ones! Two more useful products include mounting tape and a Xyron sticker maker.

4.1. Mounting foam

An easy way to create dimension in your scrapbooks is by using mounting foam. It helps to lift elements on your layouts to make them more noticeable.

Mounting foam can come in a few different ways. It can come packaged as tape, dots or pre-cut sheets. It works similarly to normal tape and glue dots. 

Mounting tape is a great way to build dimension. Tape is useful as it can be cut to size.

4.2. Xyron sticker maker

A Xyron sticker maker works by putting a layer of adhesive on your scrapbooking embellishments.

This is great for items like ribbon and die cuts. You simply put the element into the machine and pull the backing paper through. The item will come out ready to go straight onto your layout.

It is a mechanical machine so you don’t need to worry about having a power source. The Xyron also has refillable cartridges.

There are a couple of different sizes to choose from. This one is the slightly larger 5″ one.

5. Non-adhesive options

If you don’t want to use an adhesive to stick things to your scrapbooking pages, you have a couple of options!

Some of the items I like to use include the following:

  • Brads (otherwise known as split pins)
  • Staples (a tiny attacher is a great stapler)
  • Pockets and envelopes
  • Sewing

The fun thing about using items like these is that they are functional and can be used as a design element.

what is the best glue to use for scrapbooking

This birthday scrapbooking layout shows how an envelope can be used to hold photos.

6. Adhesives based on materials

From the above scrapbooking adhesives reviews, there are many different types of glues and adhesives for scrapbooking.

The best adhesive will be a combination of the type of glue as well as the type of material you are looking to stick down.

6.1. Photos

The best glue for scrapbooking photos is not wet glue. The reason for this is because wet glue can leave visible marks on your photos.

For permanently sticking down photos, tape is the best option. I use a 0.5″ double-sided tape along each edge of the photo. I haven’t had any photos fall off my layouts yet.

A non-permanent solution to stick photos in your scrapbook is adhesive photo corners.

6.2. Paper

Personally, I think wet glue is the best glue for scrapbooking paper. This is because it’s easy to smear a bit on the paper and place it down.

I find that tape is just as effective, but it takes longer to measure the tape, cut it, peel off the backing and place it. So for ease, glue wins.

Just be careful not to use too much or it can warp the paper.

6.3. Plastic

For thin plastic embellishments, especially ones that are see-through, the Xyron is perfect.

But if you want to know what glue to use on plastic, then again, I would use wet glue like Dimensional Magic.

Dimensional Magic is great for sticking down plastic embellishments because it is very strong. This is also the best glue to use on resin items such as the cabochon flower in the photo below.

best adhesive to use for scrapbooking

6.4. Metal

The best glue to use on metal is wet glue like Dimensional Magic again. It really does have strong adherence.

Otherwise, I’ve successfully used double-sided tape on flat items. Make sure you use the red line tape though so you can be sure your item won’t wall off your layout.

6.5. Fabric

If you’re wondering what glue to use on fabric, I would choose a spray adhesive. This is because it sticks to the surface of the fabric and doesn’t bleed through. If you were to use wet glue, you would see it come through onto the surface of the fabric.

For ribbons, I would lean more towards the Xyron or a piece of double-sided tape.

Otherwise, sewing the fabric onto your layouts is also an option!

Permanent and strong adhesive that is perfect for sticking down the fabric on your scrapbooking pages.

6.6. Felt

Spray adhesive is what glue to use on felt in your scrapbooks. This is for the same reason as fabric. It gives it a nice coating that sits on the top of the felt without bleeding through.

While the felt will stick nicely to your scrapbooking paper, when you try to stick embellishments on top of it, they sometimes fall off. For this reason, I would be strategic in how you use felt in your scrapbooks.

As you can see in this layout, the other embellishments are mostly on paper. If they were on the felt, they would probably fall off!

6.7. Vellum

What glue to use on vellum paper?

Personally, I use wet glue strategically on vellum paper, hiding a dab of glue under other papers or embellishments.

But since researching for this article, I’m curious to see if the spray adhesive will work as it dries clear.

I’ll experiment and get back to you on this one!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are so many adhesive options and finding the best scrapbooking glue can depend on a number of things.

Don’t let all this information overwhelm you though! Scrapbooking shouldn’t be stressful!

I hope this article has helped explain some of the differences in each type of adhesive. So next time you go to create, you will know what you need to use for a lasting bond on your scrapbooking pages.

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