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Glue dots vs glue sticks

What glue should you use for your next project? 

The right glue can make all the difference in your next craft project. Too much glue bleeds through the paper, while too little can make your project fall apart. If you want to use solid glue, glue dots or glue sticks will be your best pick. Glue dots are double-sided adhesive stickers that respond to pressure as you stick two things together. They bond instantly to just about any surface and don’t require any drying time. On the other hand, glue sticks are a more traditional option and contain a tube of glue that you can smear onto surfaces. This method can cover more ground, however, it needs to dry over time. Both work well depending on the project.

What to know before you buy glue dots 

Glue dots are a great choice for all kinds of projects. You can use them for invitations, programs, and other paper creations. They also work well for wrapping gifts and attaching bows or other decorations to a gift box. Glue dots adhere to metal, ceramic, wood, paper, plastic, glass, foam, and fiber. And since you can control the amount of glue you use, they are ideal for children. Some brands like Crayola even carry glitter glue dots, which are decorative drops of glitter glue that are festive without the mess that comes with liquid glitter glue.

Glue dots pros

Glue dots are ideal for craft projects because they have no fumes, mess or drying time. This makes them perfect for kids. They do not wrinkle paper and are removable, so you can fix mistakes without ruining your projects. They also bond to a wide variety of materials..

Glue dots cons

Glue dots are small, so you might need several of them if you’re gluing larger items. They also might not stick as long as other glues. They can be difficult to peel from the sheet, which may be challenging for children. The process is tricky since you have to unwind the paper liner, stick your item to the dot and then peel it back, pulling the dot with it. You also need to press firmly to make sure it adheres to your project. 

What are the best glue dots to buy?

Glue Dots Craft Dots Adhesive Roll

These glue dots are made in the USA and are non-toxic, free of acid and lignin. They come in a roll of 200 dots and are available in several varieties and strengths, depending on your needs.

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Gorilla Permanent Adhesive Dots

Many people recognize the Gorilla brand for its innovative and effective glue products. These adhesive dots are another winner since they are acid-free, safe for photo use, and clear. Some users felt it wasn’t sticky enough for products other than paper.

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What to know before you buy glue sticks

Who doesn’t remember the joy of opening a brand new glue stick at school? Glue sticks have been a staple of classroom supplies and craft rooms since the 1970s. They are long-lasting, washable, and don’t create much mess. They are a fun alternative to liquid glue and come in many varieties. 

Glue Sticks Pros

Glue sticks allow for smooth application without clumping or bleeding through the paper. They come in affordable single packs or multi-packs, so everyone can have access to a glue stick. They are easy to hold and fit perfectly in little hands. Their caps pull right off too, so they are easily accessible. You can use them on paper, foam board, and cardboard. They create a strong bond with most materials too, so they will stick together for a long time.

Glue sticks cons

Depending on the type of material, it may be difficult to peel off or reposition an item once it dries. And once the glue dries it will not adhere to anything else. If you let excess glue dry hard on the paper, you may see a sheen or bits of clear glue on the page. And if you accidentally leave the cap off, the glue will dry out and can’t be used anymore. Always remember to put the cap on the glue when it is not in use.

What are the best glue sticks to buy?

Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks 

These glue sticks are the best of the best. They go on purple and dry clear, making it easy to see where the glue is applied. This feature is especially helpful for children who need a little more guidance. The glue is long-lasting and a little goes a long way. It is washable, acid-free, and non-toxic. 

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Avery Glue Stick

This glue stick is an incredibly popular product with scrapbookers and crafters alike. Unlike Elmer’s glue stick, it goes on white instead of purple, which may make it a little more difficult for very young children to use. It’s non-toxic, acid-free, and washes off of clothes easily.

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Should you use glue dots or glue sticks?

Glue dots and glue sticks are both easy to use and don’t make too much of a mess. So it really comes down to what your needs are for your project. If you’re hanging a poster to a wall, glue dots work best because you can remove them and they will not damage surfaces. For scrapbooking projects, glue sticks are ideal because they are photo safe and will hold your pictures in place.


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Lorianne Palinkas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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