What Are The Best Glue For Card Making

As a beginner, I started with a glue stick and nothing else, with absolutely no clue about card making supplies and what glue to use for card making, I just end up getting frustrated.
Card making seemed fairly straightforward at first glance, but it didn't take long to realize I was going to need a few more types of glue if I wanted to really start making fabulous cards.
When it comes to choosing the best glue for card making, it really depends on how you want the card to be used and what you want to do with the glue.
How do you want the card to be used? Well, if you're making a super special card that's designed to be a keepsake, you will want to ensure your adhesive does not eventually discolor the card or lose its "sticky power.'' If you're making a card that you don't expect the person to keep for a long time, the quality of the glue will be a lot less important.

What do you want to do with the glue? This question refers to what you are trying to stick together. Glue sticks work great for sticking paper to a card, but don't work at all for sticking a fabric element to your card.
Likewise, liquid craft glue is great for sticking fabric, but will most likely be too wet and runny for paper, warping your paper in the process.

To help you have more success and less mess when it comes to making amazing cards, we have outlined the best glue for card making below.

Stick Glue

Stick glues are the type often used by kids, where the glue is pushed up and down in a similar way to lipstick.
This is an essential glue for most card making as they are easy to use and are great at sticking paper and cardstock together.

Their major upside is that they are incredibly affordable and can be purchased just about everywhere.
The downside is that they are terrible at fine work or for adhering to anything other than paper or card, such as ribbon or ornaments.
If you want your card to be longer-lasting, make sure to spend a little more on a quality glue stick that is both "extra strength'' and "acid-free'' so it stays put and doesn't eventually discolor the card.
The Elmers Extra Strength glue stick below can be purchased from Hobby Lobby.
card making glue stick
Use stamping and embossing techniques
to make amazing patterns with your stencils!

Tape Runner

Tape runners are a super useful tool that is pre-filled with tape.
They fit nicely in your hand and you simply roll the device onto your card. I prefer to use this over a glue stick as it's nice and neat and they work fantastic for sticking paper and cardstock.

They are not as affordable as glue sticks as they tend to run out quickly if you use them a lot (like I do) however, they do seem to stick a lot better, even the cheaper brands.
For me personally, a tape runner is one of the best glues for card making.

This Scotch brand tape runner can be purchased from Amazon.
tape runner for card making

PVA or Craft Glue

PVA or craft glue is a white liquid glue that comes in a squeeze bottle and dries clear.
It works great for sticking down thicker pieces that need a little extra strength but it's not ideal for paper of thin card as it tends to warp the surface as it dries. It's also ideal for sticking down plastic or wood embellishments but it should be used sparingly as a little really does go a long way when it comes to PVA glue.

The below Elmers extra strength craft glue can be purchased from Hobby Lobby.
mod podge pva white glue

Hot Glue

Hot glue comes in sticks (similar in size and shape to a pencil without the tip) and must be used with a hot glue gun.
The glue gun is plugged into a power-point to heat up with the glue stick inserted into the back of it. When the gun heats up the glue melts, and as you pull the trigger, the melted glue comes out of the nib at the front of the gun. You apply it to your card and stick your elements together while the glue is hot, as it cools down it dries solid, sticking your pieces together.

It's not useful for sticking card and paper together as it's too heavy, but this glue really shines when it comes to sticking down elements such as plastic flowers, fabric, beads, etc. that need extra strength.

The hot glue and gun below can be purchased from Amazon.
leaf stenciling
Hot glue is perfect for materials that don't stick well with normal adhesives!

Glue Dots

Glue dots are a ''blob'' of adhesive that stick to a variety of surfaces.
They are most often used for attaching elements or to stick a card layer down that doesn't necessarily need to sit flat against the card base.
Glue dots come in a variety of sizes and formats from rolls, to tape dispensers to little perforated squares that you press against the item you wish to be stuck down. They are a fast and easy solution to adding layers and embellishments to your card making.
Many card makers swear by glue dots!
The Glue Dots below can be purchased from Hobby Lobby.
glue dots for card making
Glue dots are crafters best friend when it comes to adhering embellishments!

Glue pens

Glue pens are my favorite glue or adhesive to use for cardmaking, unlike glue sticks you don't have to worry about wrinkling up your paper or smear too much glue and make a mess on your card, it's pen-like structure allows you to precisely apply adhesives with less effort especially on embellishments with intricate shapes.
The Glue pen below can be purchased from Amazon.
glue pen for card making

Foam Squares

Foam squares are amazing for adding a 3D effect to your elements or layers. I use them a lot, particularly on simple cards where I want to make an element, such as the words or maybe a little picture, stand out.
In the summer-themed card below, you can see I have used foam squares to make the sunglasses pop out a little bit to add some depth and interest to the card.
For me, foam squares are one of the best adhesive or glue for card making!
summer themed card layout using foam square adhesives
Make a 3D layout with less effort using foam squares!
Foam squares are sold at most craft stores and you can often find them in the craft section of two-dollar stores.
You usually peel them individually off a sheet, stick one side down to the piece you want to adhere to, then peel the cover off the other side of the foam square and stick your items together.
The foam squares below can be purchased from Amazon.
foam square adhesives

Double-Sided Tape

Double-sided tape works similar to foam squares, except it comes on a roll in a long strip. It can be purchased as flat tape, or as foam tape to give a 3D effect and add some depth to your cards.
I personally love the foam double-sided tape for when I want to make a whole layer of my greeting card pop out.
In the example below, you can see I have been able to get the top floral layer to pop out a little by adhering it with double-sided foam tape.
floral card layout
A beautiful layered card layout using double sided tape!
Double-sided tape is not a tape you will use for every card, but when you need to use it, it's super handy to have. I often skip buying the foam squares in lieu of the tape as I can just cut a little snippet off the double-sided foam tape roll as I need it.
The double-sided tape below can be purchased from Hobby Lobby.
floral card layout

Adhesive Spray

Adhesive spray comes in many different types for different purposes however, both low tack (not permanent) and permanent are the most useful when it comes to the best glue for cardmaking.
Adhesive spray is exactly like a can of hair spray in the way it comes out of the can so it's really easy to use and just like hairspray, it smells strong and should be used in a well-ventilated area.
Low tack or non-permanent spray-on adhesive is used to hold something in place temporarily. You would use this to hold a stencil onto your card while you use it so that you can remove it easily afterward.
Permanent adhesive spray is good for sticking down large pieces such as a second layer to your base card. It allows you to get a really good even coverage of glue but once it's stuck, it's really stuck and cannot be removed without tearing the paper or card.
The permanent adhesive glue below can be purchased from Hobby Lobby.

Decorative Glue

Decorative glue is a glue that has a ''fun'' element, such as glitter, sparkles, or a puffy finish. It's not used to actually stick things together. Rather, it's placed on top to add a fun element to your card.
Glitter glue is particularly easy to use as you just smear the glue wherever you want the glitter to end up. The glue dries fairly quickly and of course, the glitter is left behind in all its sparkly glory!
The glitter glue below can be purchased from Hobby Lobby.
Draw outlines and fun letterings on your card using glitter glue!
As a cardmaker, you won't need every single one of these glues however, having three or four different types will make cardmaking a lot easier.
When it comes to the best glue for card making, I would suggest starting with either a glue stick or tape glue, plus double-sided foam squares and PVA glue. This will cover you for a variety of different card-making techniques.

Do you have a glue that you just can't live without? We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy card making! 💖
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