When you're shopping for scrapbook supplies, don't walk past the adhesive aisle! Decorative flowers, quotes, borders, and other embellishments are fun to buy, but you need to have the right adhesive to make sure you can safely incorporate these accents into your finished scrapbook layout.
A glue stick is a scrapbooker's best friend. Glue sticks work well for attaching most flat, lightweight embellishments. They can be used to secure die cuts, paper piecings, decorative borders, embellished photo corners, or scraps of patterned paper used to create a custom background.
If you tend to be a bit indecisive when creating your layouts, a glue stick offering a repositionable bond is good option. repositionable glue secures your items to the page, but lets you remove them without causing damage if you decide you're not happy with the original placement. There are several different brands of these glue sticks, but the Elmer's repositionable Glue Stick is a favorite among scrapbookers.
Double-sided tape is another excellent general purpose adhesive to have on hand. Not all double-sided scrapbooking tape is created equally, however.
Removable mounting tapes, such as the Scotch Double Sided Removable scrapbooking Tape, creates a repositionable bond for photos, patterned papers, and lightweight embellishments. Stronger adhesive tapes, such as the Tombow Mono Permanent Adhesive, provide a long-lasting permanent bond for chipboard, fabric, and metal accents.
Spray adhesive is a little messy for general purpose use, but ideal if you need to attach a die cut with intricate details that would be hard to apply a glue stick or double-sided tape to. Spray adhesive also works well for adhering doilies or lacy decorative papers to your projects.
Krylon Easy Tack repositionable Spray Adhesive is a good quality example of this type of product. For safety reasons, it's best to apply spray adhesive outdoors or in a well ventilated area.
Foam Adhesive Mounting Squares
Foam adhesive mounting squares lift the item being adhered slightly off the background paper. This creates a subtle 3D effect. Foam mounting squares are often used when working with die cuts. For example, you might layer several different sizes of flower die cuts with foam adhesive squares between them. This would create a 3D embellishment similar to a Jolee's Boutique sticker.
Glue dots provide extra staying power for embellishments that are too heavy to be adhered with traditional adhesives. They work well with chipboard and metal embellishments. You only need one glue dot in each corner to secure your embellishment.
Glue dots are pressure sensitive and difficult to remove once they've been adhered to the paper. Make sure you know where you want to adhere your embellishment before reaching for this type of adhesive.
Avoid touching glue dots with your fingers. Press the embellishment to the glue dot, then pull up to remove it from the backing paper. The Glue Dots brand offers a variety of shapes and styles.
Staples add a whimsical and casual look to your scrapbook page. They are often used for securing small bits of ribbon or decorative borders. Staples can also be used to attach vellum to your page, since the transparent nature of this paper makes glue sticks and double-sided tape a poor adhesive choice.
You can use regular silver staples from an office supply store or purchase colored staples that match your layout. Some scrapbookers like to make their own staples by coloring a bar of plain silver staples with a permanent marker before inserting it into their stapler.
Beginning scrapbookers often think of eyelets as simply decorative, but they can serve a practical purpose as well. An eyelet in each corner eliminates the need for adhesive on a journaling block. Like staples, eyelets also work well for securing ribbon and fabric embellishments to your page or for working with accents made from vellum. They come in lots of different styles, from simple to decorative.
Eyelets can be tricky to set properly if you're new to using this type of scrapbook supply. To avoid dented or mashed eyelets, review the following tutorial video.
Brads serve the same purpose as scrapbooking eyelets, but require no special tools to set. All you need to do is poke a small hole in your paper, push the brad through, and flatten the prongs. Scrapbook.com sells a large assortment of scrapbooking brads from popular manufacturers such as Echo Park, Karen Foster Design, My Mind's Eye, and Creative Impressions.
Unlike scrapbooking eyelets, brads are easily removed. You'll still have a small hole in your paper, but all you need to do is bend the prongs back to their original straight position to safely remove the brad from your layout.
If you have access to a sewing machine, stitching on your layouts can be a unique way to avoid traditional adhesives while adding a decorative touch to your page. Sewing on your layout works well for attaching paper, ribbon, and fabric embellishments. Many people like to sew decorative pockets on their layouts to be used to store event memorabilia such as ticket stubs or concert programs.
Choosing the Right Tool for the Job
Having an assortment of adhesive products readily available makes it easier to create pretty layouts for your scrapbook album. Choosing the right adhesive for your embellishments ensures that your pages will be well preserved for many years to come.