Glue for cardboard and paper – how to make a choice

For cardboard and paper crafts, selecting the appropriate glue can have a big impact on how your creations turn out. The kind of glue you use has an impact on the final product’s quality, durability, and appearance. Knowing your options and how to select the best glue is crucial whether you’re making scrapbooks, homemade decorations, or packaging materials.

There are several varieties of glue for cardboard and paper, and each is appropriate for a particular use. Selecting the best type for your project can be made easier if you are aware of its features. Considerations include the materials you’re bonding, strength, flexibility, and drying time. The most popular glues for cardboard and paper, their benefits and drawbacks, and application guidelines are covered in this guide.

PVA (polyvinyl acetate) glue is one of the most widely used glues for paper and cardboard because of its strong bond, adaptability, and simplicity of use. It’s perfect for most paper crafts, cardboard model building, and scrapbooking. PVA glues are available in clear and white varieties and are non-toxic, so they can be used for a variety of tasks, from professional projects to kid’s crafts.

Use a glue stick or a glue gun for heavier projects or when water resistance is required. Glue sticks are ideal for joining lightweight cardboard and creating a clean, cohesive bond between sheets of paper. Although glue guns provide a fast and durable bond, their high temperature application means that they might not be appropriate for delicate papers.

Make sure the glue you choose for cardboard creates a solid, long-lasting bond without causing the material to buckle or warp. Certain specialty glues provide increased strength and resistance to tearing because they are made especially for cardboard. These can be especially helpful in structural and packaging applications where longevity is essential.

Type of Glue Best Uses
White Glue (PVA) Ideal for paper and lightweight cardboard, dries clear.
Glue Sticks Great for quick projects, easy to use and clean.
Spray Adhesive Perfect for covering large areas, provides an even coat.
Rubber Cement Good for projects requiring flexibility, can be repositioned.
Double-Sided Tape Excellent for small projects, mess-free and strong.

What should be a quality tool

You must use only high-quality, dependable methods if you want the glued paper product to keep its original appearance for a long time and the connection point to remain undamaged. Good paper glue ought to fulfill the following specifications:

  1. Optimal consistency. Too thick compounds are poorly applied, liquid can impregnate and deform paper.
  2. Sufficient expiration date. If the glue is spoiled, it will spin, lie down with lumps, lose the power of adhesion to the surface.
  3. Lack of chemical smell. Most of the work with paper are carried out indoors, many of them are carried out by children, so the glue should be safe.
  4. Convenience of application. The tool in the aerosol, with a comfortable nose, is easier, faster to apply, moreover, the accuracy of the work will be seriously increased. For adhesives in large banks, you will have to additionally purchase brushes.
  5. Colorlessness after drying. If the glue takes yellow or white as it is drying, it will be noticeable on the surface of paper products, it can ruin them.

Types of glue for gluing paper and cardboard

There are various types of adhesives that are good for working with paper, depending on the composition.

Glue stick

Due to its ease of use and ability to leave hands clean, this type of glue is the most preferred for fostering children’s creativity and is frequently utilized in kindergartens and schools. The glue bottle is small, comfortable to hold in the hand, reasonably priced, and widely available. The adhesive pencil sticks well to paper, cardboard, and textiles and has a fairly dense consistency. It is also reasonably priced. Additional benefits include the ability to apply glue in an even, thin layer and the absence of paper distortion caused by glue. Such a tool leaves no trace behind.

The pencil glue has a major drawback in that the adhesion will not hold for very long and may start to weaken after a few days. When gluing applications on a sheet, for example, or temporarily fastening small parts of paper, adhesive pencils are advised. It is preferable for them to avoid fixing volumetric products, such as intricate joints and seams, as they will nearly instantly separate from one another.


Due to its superior adhesion, polyvinyl acetate-based glue (PVA) works well even with thick paper and cardboard. Additionally, they make applications out of natural materials like fabric, feathers, and threads with the aid of PVA. Superior glue has a thick, white consistency, but it doesn’t turn yellow after drying and almost becomes transparent. It smells unstoppable and is completely safe for humans.

PVA is easy to distribute and doesn’t distort paper, but it needs to be applied in small amounts to the thinnest sheets. Usually, it is made in tiny, pliable bottles with a thin nozzle or brush. It is impossible to leave a package open for an extended period of time because the product dries quickly and can form a dense "cork" in the dispenser that needs to be taken out. The glue dries completely in a day, but it sets in three to five minutes.

Super glue

These funds, which have the strongest grip force and are based on cyanoacrylate, maximize on porous and thin materials. Supercles include the well-known brands "moment," "second," and numerous others. You can glue cardboard and paper structures of any complexity and hardness with the aid of tools. The adhesive composition is equally appropriate for non-formed bases made of these materials:

Since the instantaneous grasp of supercles is one of their distinguishing characteristics, precision in application and speed of part pressing are crucial during operation. Children shouldn’t be given these kinds of funds because they can burn their fingers, give off strong odors, and need to have the room properly ventilated while working. Nevertheless, some will work better than others for the most dependable paper sticking.

What other glue is suitable for paper and cardboard

To work with solid paper, acrylic adhesive compounds are utilized. They are frequently made as sprays, which makes them easy to use and prevents hand contamination. Water-based acrylic adhesives should not be applied to extremely thin materials as they run the risk of distorting the material. These funds have a tendency to turn yellow over time, so it’s best to use them on dark materials or from behind buildings.

The silicate, or chancellery, is another suitable glue. Adhesives based on silicate compositions with improved setting are also available; these are referred to as "liquid glass." They are frequently used to adhere cardboard, paper, and crafts like papier mâché. The glue area may turn yellowish with time, and the glue along the seam may crumple. This is not a problem with "liquid glass," but the service life of regular stationery glue is quite short. Neither fund is appropriate for photo attachment to the album because the image is lubricated and pictures in the application areas fade.

Gummiarabik glue, an Arabian gum diluted in water, can be used to join paper goods. This composition is dependable, highly adherent, and safe for human use. Although ready-made adhesives are sadly hard to find on the market, some artisans make them by hand by combining 10 g of gum with 20 ml of water.

You can also use carpentry glue, which is reinforced PVA with strengthening additives, to work with paper. There are other varieties of carpenter glue that are made with casein, mezra, fish flour, and bone. The jet mass, acting as a kind of glue, joins paper, cardboard, boxes, and crafts that work well with fabric fast. The product can have an unpleasant smell, but it does not yellow or crumble over time.

The best adhesives for decor

A large selection of adhesives that are ideal for creativity are available in the stores. When handling paper, the following brands are suitable for use:

  1. Glossy Accent from Ranger. Transparent glue-fluid giving glossy coating. Non -toxic, easy to use, allows you to connect volumetric products, suitable for both paper, cardboard, and for acrylic, plastic, metal, bulk materials.
  2. Polymers -based universal glue. Thick, but distributed by a layer of any thickness. Ideal for scrapbooking, other areas of creativity, can glue paper, cardboard, natural and artificial skin, fabric, wood, cork. Grasping occurs in 20 minutes, and complete drying – per day.
  3. "Professional binding" from the "decor factory". It is used for binding work with paper, cardboard, fabric and skin. Helps to form an elastic layer on products, which protects them from damage.
  4. TYPOGRAPHIC. Binding glue used for gluing force boots, fastening individual blocks, gluing roots, as well as for any other work with paper, cardboard. It is used in scrapbooking, the manufacture of boxes, notebooks.
  5. Tacky Glue Original. High -quality glue from the USA, has existed in the market for more than 50 years. Reliable, durable, quickly grasps the surfaces due to thick and sticky texture. Great for creativity, household needs. Works best with paper, cardboard, wood, felt, other types of fabric. Non -toxic, does not yellow even after a few years.

Glue for photos

Adhesive pencils marked "for photo" are available in the stores. In such packages, they have a higher clutch power than traditional methods. A thin layer of glue is applied to the picture, and it is then instantly leaned against the album page. reputable brands are:

  • Ranger;
  • Aleene’s;
  • Erich Krause.

Acid-Free Tacky Glue is a liquid product that can be used to adhere pictures. It has the consistency of regular PVA but does not turn yellow or cause spots. Convenient thin-bonnet bonnet that is economical to use is included with the product.

Uhu Creativ is another premium glue for the picture. Its structure is similar to that of a "moment," but it is non-toxic and does not have an unpleasant smell. This product attaches glossy paper and sturdy cardboard with ease. It can also attach photos to the skin. Even thin paper is not deformed by glue. Uhu Twist & Glue is another tool made by this company. It dries a little bit longer than equivalents, but it doesn’t contaminate paper or photos despite having a fairly liquid texture.

The "Crystal Moment" glue is frequently used to affix pictures. This tool works flawlessly with rubber, plastic, paper, and skin. Because it contains acetone, it is toxic, but once it dries, it is safe for humans to handle. When working with glue, it’s important to have adequate ventilation, and people who have allergies should only use personal protective equipment.

The quality and longevity of your projects can be greatly impacted by the glue you use for cardboard and paper. Knowing the various adhesive types and their specific uses will help you get the best results whether you’re working on crafts, school assignments, or business presentations. This guide will walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of each type of adhesive, from basic school glue to more specialized adhesives like PVA, rubber cement, or spray adhesives, so you can make an informed choice based on your specific needs and project requirements.

Homemade adhesive compounds

You can use your creativity to create crafts, adhere paper, or make other creative items without having to go to the store. You can make strong glue with your hands. To achieve this, combine water and potato starch, and then follow these steps:

  • Pour a little starch into the container;
  • Dilute with a small amount of cold water until a viscous mass is obtained;
  • Put the product on fire, add boiling water, mix well;
  • After boiling, immediately remove the composition from the stove, cool, regularly mixing so that there are no lumps.

A little brown (about 25 g per liter of completed Clayster) can be added to a jet mass to give it even more grip.

Here’s another recipe for making paper glue at home:

  • Soak in the container of gelatin (1 pack), adding a little water to it, leave for 5-6 hours;
  • pour a glass of water into the saucepan, put it in a water bath, enter the dissolved gelatin and a spoonful of flour into the water;
  • warm until the mass begins to resemble thick sour cream;
  • Remove the product from fire;
  • pour in a tablespoon glycerol and alcohol.

Additionally, solid carpenter glue that comes in bars or powder form can be diluted at home. The glue is diluted with cold water, brought to a boil in a water bath, and vigorously stirred until bubbles begin to form. Once the fire is extinguished, allow it to cool before using it to create crafts.

For cardboard and paper projects, the quality and longevity of your work can be greatly affected by the glue you use. With so many adhesives on the market, it’s critical to comprehend the particular requirements of your project in order to make an informed choice. You can choose the best glue by taking into account its strength, drying time, and ease of use, as different glues have different qualities.

PVA glue, sometimes referred to as white glue, is a flexible adhesive that is frequently used on cardboard and paper. It is a safe option for kid-friendly crafts because it is non-toxic, dries clear, and is simple to apply. For projects that call for a strong bond or moisture resistance, it might not be the best choice.

Consider using a spray adhesive or a glue stick for projects that require more strength. Glue sticks are easy to use and tidy, making them perfect for small-scale paper crafts. In contrast, spray adhesives ensure a smooth and wrinkle-free finish by applying an even layer of glue, which is particularly helpful for larger surfaces.

Your best option may be hot glue or rubber cement if you need a strong, long-lasting bond. For scrapbooking and other paper crafts where repositioning is required before the glue sets, rubber cement works great. Applying hot glue with a glue gun creates a sturdy bond ideal for larger cardboard projects, but because of its high temperature, it must be handled carefully.

In conclusion, choosing the appropriate glue requires weighing the adhesive’s qualities against the demands of your project. You can make sure your cardboard and paper creations are both long-lasting and visually appealing by being aware of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of glue.

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Daria Yakovlev

Interior designer, author of online color design courses. I will help you create a harmonious interior using color.

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