What is a craft kit essential that every creative needs, but most forget about? It’s craft glue of course! Craft glue is a staple for those of us who enjoy making and creating. It holds our projects together and allows us to create works of art from seemingly nothing.

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To help you navigate the world of craft glue, and to give you some inspiration, we’ve put together a comprehensive craft glue guide. We’re going to cover everything from the basics of what craft glue is to a range of creative hobbies you can try using craft glue.

Ready? Let’s get stuck in.

Your complete guide to craft glue

What is craft glue?

Craft glue is a water-based adhesive that is used to create projects. They’re typically quick-drying, non-toxic and easy to use, making them suitable for children and adults.

However, craft glue is also an umbrella term and there are lots of different types which fall under this category. Hot glue guns, PVA glue and Mod Podge are all types of craft glue.

Some craft glues are more suited to specific crafts as each type of glue varies in consistency, durability and temperature. For example, Mod Podge is best for decoupaging but hot glue is better for woodworking. They’re both crafts but need different types of craft glue.

What different types of craft glues are there?

There’s a huge variation of glues that come under the craft glue umbrella however these are the most popular and most common.

  • PVA glue
  • Mod Podge
  • Hot glue
  • Fabric glue
  • Wood glue
  • Spray glue
  • Epoxy glue

We’re now going to take a more in-depth look at each of these craft glues so you can find the best one for you and your interests. We’ve included what they’re suitable for as well as a recommended brand for each type of craft glue.

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We’ve also included the approximate drying time for each craft glue but it is worth noting this can vary greatly. Different brands, the thickness of the layer you put down, the surface you're adhering to: all these things can affect the drying time.

PVA glue

Best for: Paper crafting, kids crafting
Drying time: Approx. 1 hour (but can take up to 24hrs)

pva glue

PVA glue is a great all-rounder craft glue. It’s child-friendly, easy to clean, and is perfect for small activities using light materials.

This PVA glue from Noble Craft is designed with crafters in mind. It’s tacky, fast-drying, and has an easy application nozzle.

If you’d like to learn more about PVA glue and what type of projects it can be used for, head over to our complete guide to PVA glue.

Mod Podge

Best for: Decoupaging, upcycling
Drying time: Recommended 24hrs

Mod Podge Matte Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish

Mod Podge is a brilliant craft glue that has its own unique formula. It’s a two-in-one, allowing you to both stick and seal your designs with one product.

This craft glue has taken the world by storm and has specifically become famous in the upcycling and decoupage areas. It can be used for a whole host of crafting activities and is a great one to keep in your stash.

Hot glue

Best for: Yarn crafts, ceramic crafts, leather crafts
Drying time: Seconds!

hot glue gun sticks

We love hot glue because it's strong without being toxic or hard to use. Hot glue, typically used with a hot glue gun, is perfect for finishing off designs securely.

It’s great for melding fraying yarns, securing backing and holding items together which need a strong fix. Unlike the other craft glues above it’s waterproof and dries extremely quickly, allowing you to craft more efficiently.

We’ve tried and tested the best glue guns on the market to help you find the perfect one.

Fabric Glue

Best for: Dressmaking, textiles
Drying time: Approx 2mins (but can take up to 24hrs)

fabric glue

Fabric glue is the one for all you dressmakers and fashion designers. Whether you’re attaching applique or securing seams, fabric glue is the only true craft glue that will work.

It’s designed specifically to attach to materials like silk, denim, cotton, etc. Other craft glues (like hot glue) could damage, stain, or pucker the fabrics.

This fabric glue from Home & More is a staple in our sewing kit. It’s durable but also flexible, allowing you to add flourishes to your clothing without a needle and thread.

Wood Glue

Best for: Woodworking, furniture making
Drying time: Approx. 1 hour (but can take up to 24hrs)

gorilla craft wood glue

From fixing a wobbly chair leg to building a bookcase, wood glue is a staple for crafters who like working with natural materials.

Gorilla glues are famous around the world but their woodworking glue is particularly top-notch. It’s waterproof and heavy-duty, making it great for furniture building and woodworking.

Spray Glues

Best for: Photography, cardmaking
Drying time: Aprox. 10-30 mins

Crafters Companion Spray Shine decopauge glut

Spray glues are the rarer craft glue option but are brilliant for those working with photographs. The thin mist allows crafters to add a thin layer of glue which is ideal if you have delicate materials which could damage easily.

Crafters Campion sells wonderful spray glues which come in a range of finishes. They allow you to stick your designs down with a shiny or matte finish, giving a professional feel to your projects.

Epoxy

Best for: Resin projects, home improvements
Drying time: Approx. 5 mins

Bloc Expoxy resin glue

You’ve probably only heard of epoxy glue if you’re a fan of resin crafts. It’s not necessary for most crafts but for resin makers, it’s a staple. Epoxy glue is created by mixing the hardener with epoxy to create a strong, waterproof substance.

This handy little two-pack from Bloc does the job brilliantly. It’s small yet strong and sets in just five minutes.

It’s important to be knowledgeable and protected when using Epoxy resin. Make sure you head over to our beginner's guide to epoxy resin before you work with it.

Which is the best craft glue for you?

We’ve shared the most common craft glue types but now we’re here to help you with your specific requests! Read our craft glue FAQ and find the best glue for your project.

Craft glue FAQ

What is the best craft glue that dries clear?

elmers craft bond glue

Most PVA glues dry clear but if you’re looking for a strong, sticky and transparent glue we’d recommend Elmer's Craftbond Tacky Glue. They also have a fabric glue version!

Is craft glue eco-friendly?

Most craft glues aren’t eco-friendly. The synthetic substances they’re made from are often derived from plastic. Plus the majority of craft glue comes in plastic packaging.

The benefit of craft glue is its tackiness but this causes problems when it comes to materials bio-degrading. It often means materials like plastic, cardboard and paper can’t be recycled properly as they have traces of glue residue.

What is the best eco-friendly craft glue?

eco friendly glues

You’ll be pleased to learn that there are some incredible eco-friendly craft glues out there. Gathered’s favourite is Coccoina Natural Glue. Their glue is both natural and biodegradable. It’s made from potato starch and is a brilliant planet-friendly alternative. It’s also a great price!

What is the best kid-friendly glue?

hobbycraft school glue

Most standard PVA glue is non-toxic and suitable for children. Simply check the back of your craft glue to see if it’s child-friendly.

If you’re in the market for kid-friendly glue then retailers like Hobbycraft sell craft glue specifically designed for children and school settings.

It’s cheap, easy to use, and not as tacky as some of the more professional craft glues (meaning it’s easier for you to clean!)

pva glue crafts

What is the best metal glue?

JB Weld’s Original Cold-Weld epoxy

Epoxy adhesives make the best metal glues and are one of the only types of craft glue which will hold metal against metal. You need to look for an epoxy glue that specifically states it works on metal.

JB Weld’s Original Cold-Weld epoxy is a brilliant metal glue that not only sticks metal against metal but also metal against concrete, brick, fiberglass and more. It has incredible holding power and is both waterproof and heat resistant.

It’s great for household repairs but be warned, it can be extremely toxic. Use protection when applying and use sparingly – this glue is not suitable for most crafts!

What is the best glue for fabrics?

bostick fabric glue

Fabric glue differs from normal craft glue because it’s more flexible, allowing softer materials to mesh.

One of the best glues for fabrics is Bostik Fabric Adhesive. It’s strong, dries clear and can withstand washing and ironing. It can stick to a huge range of fabrics such as PVC, denim, leather and more.

What is the best glue for plastic?

bostick hard plastics glue

You need strong, durable glue for plastic. The best glues for plastics are epoxy glues - but you do need to be careful and select an appropriate product, as some glues (such as super glue) can melt certain plastics and polymers.

Bostick’s Hard Plastics glue is a fantastic clear adhesive. It’s perfect for sticking acrylics, PVCs and Rigid Plastic. It’s water resistant too so perfect for household repairs.

What types of projects use craft glue?

Craft glue is useful for a huge range of creative projects. If you need a little inspiration then don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’ve collected three categories of glue crafts.

First, we have craft glue projects in which glue is the main material. These are super fun, easy, and take very few supplies – all you need is your glue!

Then we have crafts where your glue will come in handy. These are craft disciplines you already know and love, for example, cardmaking and paper crafts. Your new craft glue will help you improve your projects and you may even discover another passion.

Finally, we have glue-based crafts which are great for kids. These projects are ideal for families/schools and will help your little ones get creative.

Grab your glue, it’s time to find a project to make!

Craft glue specific projects

Glue gun crafts

Glue gun crafts

Glue guns are a crafting staple. They’re versatile and allow you to make projects with more diverse materials like plastic.

We’ve collected the best glue gun crafts from around the internet so you can start making. Our round-up includes everything from book vases to plastic bottle wreaths.

Get sparkly with glitter glue crafts!

the best glitter glue craft ideas

Everyone loves glitter. It unleashes our inner child and encourages us to take crafting less seriously. Glitter glue crafts are a great way to tap into childhood nostalgia without breaking the bank.

Explore our collection of the best glitter glue crafts which include DIY earrings and upcycling projects.

Go crazy for Mod Podge

Mod Podge ideas

Mod Podge is a brilliant craft glue and can be used in a number of different ways. To help you make the most of your Mod Podge we’ve rounded up the best Mod Podge ideas from around the web. If you love decoupage and upcycling then this is the article for you!

Craft glue projects

Cardmaking

card making techniques masking main

Cardmaking is the craft most commonly associated with glue. It’s a staple when it comes to creating 3D, interactive cards. It can be used to embellish, decorate and add features to DIY cards.

There’s plenty of cardmaking projects here on Gathered for you to test your new craft glue on. We have everything from tutorials on how to make cards to a collection of patterned papers which are designed for decorating!

Quilling

paper quilling for beginners 4

Quilling is a beautiful paper craft that uses glue to create intricate paper patterns. Craft glue is integral to creating quilled designs.

If you want to give quilling a go make sure you check out our 16 quilling ideas for beginners. It includes tutorials for quilled flowers and even a quilled butterfly!

We also have a guide to the best quilling tools for beginners so you can pick up the other tools you need besides your craft glue.

Looking for more paper-based projects?

If you enjoy making paper projects then you’ll also love our collection of easy origami projects for beginners.

Scrapbooking

travel scrapbook idea 1

Record your memories with craft glue! Scrapbooking is a craft loved by adults and children alike and is a wonderful way to remember all your adventures. Craft glue will be your best friend throughout your scrapbooking journey and you can use most craft glues for it (PVA, spray glue, hot glue all work well).

We've created a guide to the best glue for scrapbooking to help you pick the right adhesive for your needs. Head over to our scrapbook ideas for some inspiration or take a look through our scrapbooking kits to pick up a starter pack.

Resin crafts

Epoxy glue is the one and only craft glue when working with resin. Making resin creations is an art form and can be a tricky process to get right!

Luckily we’re here to talk you through the whole process in our guide to resin for beginners. We also have a round up of the best resin moulds and some beautiful resin ideas to inspire you.

Decoupaging

Decoupage ideas

Welcome to the world of decoupaging! Decoupaging is a craft that uses craft glue and paper as its two main materials. Mod Podge is fantastic for decoupaging and we show you exactly how you can use it in our how to decoupage tutorial.

You may already have your craft glues but you’ll also need some decoupage papers. Take a look through our range of decoupage papers and find some that suit your style.

Now you’ve got your papers you can start creating! Head over to our collection of decoupaging ideas to find a range of DIYs inside including our decoupage tray DIY.

Craft glue projects to make with kids

Child-friendly paper craft projects

Rainbow sun catcher

Craft glue isn’t just great for adult projects, it's also suitable for children. PVA glue is affordable and is ideal for nearly all children’s crafts.

Keep your kids entertained throughout the school holidays with our collection of paper crafts for kids. There’s bookmarks, silly glasses and even craft castle storage.

Paste and make with craft glue

paper mache recipe step 6

Most of us have tried our hand at paper mache at least once in our lives. It’s a classic craft glue project which children love getting involved with. Use your PVA glue and our how to make paper mache tutorial to help your kids make their own creations.

Make slime with craft glue!

How to make slime

Craft glue and slime go hand in hand and it’s a project we know will make your kids very excited. Learn how to make slime with our step by step tutorial and let their little imaginations go wild!

Why we love craft glue!

As we’re sure you know by now, we’re huge fans of craft glue. Its sheer diversity makes it an absolute essential for us. It doesn’t matter if you have a small budget or a small space, there's a craft glue out there for you and your needs.

Once you’ve picked your perfect craft glue the possibilities are endless! From cardmaking to paper crafting, your craft glue will become your new project BFF.

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Discover the beauty of papercraft with Gathered

Craft glue is a paper crafting essential! Find a whole host of gorgeous papercraft projects right here on Gathered.

Authors

Phoebe Burt
Phoebe BurtSEO and Communities Editor, Gathered

Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.

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