Confessions of an Adhesive & Sealant Junkie


Maybe junkie isn’t the best word.  I just think that sticking stuff to other stuff feels good.  Why is that?  I don’t know.  I have tried many different adhesives and sealants in my day, and these are my faves that make up the contents of my shelf/crafting kit. There is nothing worse than being so ready to finish a project, then not having the right glue or spray, so I keep these in stock at all time.  Please if you have one I’ve overlooked or you think I need to try, share it in the comments!  Get the full low down on the Best Crafting Adhesives and Sealants after the jump…

World’s Best Crafty Adhesives and Sealants That Should Be In Your Kit
*in my humble opinion*

Glue
Aleene’s is one of those brands that you just know makes good stuff.  If you’re ever in doubt just get Aleene’s and you’ll be fine.  No, they don’t pay us to say things like that.  But if you work for Aleene’s and you want to send me a giant box of magical glues and sprays, please go right ahead.  The ones I can’t live without:

Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue, $1.72 for four ounces.  The fall back glue for when you don’t know what to use.  Super strong and it’s very useful that it is clear when your attention to detail is poor like mine.

Aleene’s Crystal Clear Tacky Spray, $4.49.  Spray Adhesive is one of those things you don’t think you need until you use it, then you’re like, oh i should have always had this.  It allows you to glue paper to paper (or other non-pourous stuff) with no lumps and bumps, and dries almost instantly.  I like this one the best because you also have a few seconds to lift the item and re-position it before it dries.

Aleene’s Stop Fraying, $2.88 for four ounces. This is a white glue that dries clear that you use for fabric edges to keep them from fraying.  It is handy if you serge to place a dot where two stitch lines meet.  Also useful if you have a tiny hole in something and you want to keep it from getting bigger.  I also use it on the edges of cotton webbing (like when I made the replacement Doll Stroller seat).  It’s just a great thing to have if you sew.

Aleene’s Fabric Stiffening and Draping Liquid, $5.70.  This isn’t something you MUST HAVE but it’s pretty fun.  It hardens fabric, from a little hard to hard-as-a-rock depending on how you use it.  You can make firm bows and doily bowls and snowflakes, which make lovely gifts and cost so little.  Just a fun thing to have!

Best Test Rubber Cement – $7.19.  Honestly I just love this because it reminds me of being a kid in school and getting it on my fingers and peeling it off into a little ball.

And of course a Hot Glue Gun, $4.85.  I’ve had a super cheap mini one for over six years and it’s all I’ve ever needed – from little paper projects to my king size headboard.

Sealants
Krylon Clear Polyurethane, $4.79. This sealer basically puts a plastic coating on top of whatever you spray it on.  It’s very thin but it protects your finished project from moisture and the elements.  I have noticed over time that it turns a slight shade of yellow, possibly only visible to me, but I have stopped using it for mod podge projects that are white or bright.  I think it is best for wood projects and things meant to go outdoors and get rained on, in which case it is invaluable.  I just picked up the can and it says “adds a warm luster” so I think that means “turns it slightly yellow” ha.

Aleene’s Spray Acrylic Sealer, $7.02.  This is what I now use to seal all those Mod Podge coasters and vases and step stools any other decoupage project.  Dries quickly, easy to apply, keeps the moisture out and retains the original color.  If you decoupage you NEED THIS.  If you don’t use it your decoupaged items can suffer water damage, or worst of all, melt.
Mod Podge.  I’m not going to bore you by explaining why you need this again.  Just get some in glossy and matte and make some stuff!  Search “mod podge” in our search box for projects.
So, do you agree with my selections?  And what am i missing??

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116 Comments

Desiree

Quick question, I am doing a little project for my nieces birthday. I am applying little white stickers with letters on them to spell out a message on bottles of bubbles. The letter stickers aren’t sticking as much as I would like them too. My question would be, in your opinion is there something I could possibly spray on them to “seal” them in place, or would I have to apply a secondary adhesive to each individual sticker for the extra security? Thanks any input would be appreciated!

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Alexus

Hi I just finished using vinal tape to decorate my laptop keyboard around the edges etc cause it was scratched and rough looking.. Now I’d love to find some kind of sealant to spray or paint over it that won’t yellow but will provide a smooth finish and clear as well.. Kinda like layering a layer of gel over it.. Any suggestions

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Sally

Hi. Does anyone know of a good protector for card stock on wood? It is for a sign on a wreath that will be hung outdoors. Thank you!

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Vandana

Have you heard of a product called paper perfect adhesive? It is expensive, but I heard it does not leave a sticky residue like mod podge. Your feedback if you are familiar? Also, is there a difference between Mod Podge Original formula & paper formula? I am working on a wood tray that I painted with a paint/primer in 1 formula, then I want to lay scrapbook paper on it. Then seal it. I am looking for my best options.

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tiger

Lovely blog!!

Do you know of any adhesives that is safe for transparent top coating for cake topper. I am not very confident in kylon acrylic spray, or do you think its safe? I am currently using non-toxic gloss coat, that I have to use painting method,which create bubble at some point. And i have to remove them, as i paint. Very time consuming.
Any better idea or choice?

thank u

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Stephanie

hi there – quick glue & sealer question here for a newbie. We are making a giant Plywood sign for VBS that I am glue huge pieces of paper to. I need a good glue which will hold and a good sealant to protect them. They will be in the “elements” for about 4 weeks. Any suggestions???

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Gayle

Will Aleen’s clear sealer work on polymer clay coveres bottles that need to be hand washed.

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Angie

Hi I know this is late but I’m putting accrylic sealant on glassware for my project. Is there any kind of sealant that I can manually paint on? Because the sealant is getting onto my Glass.

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Jaime

yes, you can get acrylic clearcoat sealant in a pot that you can paint on with a foam brush or natural bristle brush in thin layers.

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cora

i’m not sure if anyone will be able to answer this, but I make hand painted patches, and was wondering what sealer would be recommended to keep them waterproof and safe (hopefully for washing too).

I’ve used regular modge podge but found if caught in the rain it turns it white/cloudy before drying again.

ive used patricia nimocks clear acrylic sealer (spray can) but that doesn’t seem to keep things that safe from rain either.

I have also used Folkart outdoor gloss sealer- which seems to seal stuff well BUT when you put it on it really tends to eat away at the paint/ink used in the project and makes it bleed/smear.. a MESS before it even thinks about drying.

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Jaime

This is a good question and not one I’m sure I know the answer too. I would try mod podge (so it won’t smear), but remember mod podge is not a sealant, so after the mod podge dries, you need to add a clear poly or acrylic spray (I prefer acrylic because poly tends to yellow after a few years).

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Rita

Yay! I just discovered the value in gluing things together and as a newbie, was having trouble with my scrapbook pages sticking together. I’m so excited to have a solution, and bless you for posting this!

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nikki

hey all love ths ! im just a stay at home mom looking for a little project to keep me busy for Christmas im going to make some of my family glitter glasses, so im gong to be using mod podge for the layers to stick the glitter to but need a sealant to then place over the top can I use acrlic sealer or will ineed something else that can be washable any ideas? thank you nikki

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Niall

Hey, How are you doing?
Like your page,
Thought you may be the person to ask..

I am looking for a sealant that drys to a completely non sticky finish.
I am making a large acrylic painting in public, and it newly painted parts
are collecting so much dust and grime from the wind, eve after it has dried –
as the acrylic finish is naturally sticky.

Do you know how if there is the type of sealant on the market that would seal
the dried acrylic color so as to have a kind of a clear skin over it, preventing dust and
hair from tacking to it?

I cant seem to find anything on the internet.

Please if you could email me advice
here is my mail nialldooley@hushmail.com

Much appreciated,

Niall

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Sofie

My daughter created a special water bottle for herself. Can I put an acrylic on it so I can wash it without ruining it? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

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Jaime

It should work, but it really depends what the water bottle is made of! I wouldnt want the acrylic to be on a surface she actually will drink from (it’s not something you would want in your mouth).

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Brenda Terrell

I am looking for some kind of decoupage glue that seals the print on paper so the paper can be soaked in water & a transparent decal of the print is created which can then be applied to a ceramic surface. I have 3 plaques that were made this way in the 1970s, but cannot remember the exact product that was used.

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Edna Trawick

Aleene’s OK To Wash-It Glue 4 FLoz Bottle Permanent Fabric Adhesive Ribbons. . . Available at Walmart or Walmart.com

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Amber Gubler

I found some drapes I LOVE by they snag if you barely touch them. Is there anything that I can use to coat them…clear spray to seal them in a sense… so that they won’t snag?

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carole

Do you have a suggestion to use on antique glass ornaments? I have made ornaments with Modge podge on new clear glass which feels heaver the the old ornaments that I have. I want to use something to make them less breakable but wont ruin the finish.

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sharon

Hi,I have a question about what is the best waterproof spray I can get for one of my craft projects.. It’s like a cranberry spray plant but it wld be submerged in water in a cylinder vase with a candle in it, problem is I tried it & the color would come out & turn the water into color.. I’m looking for something I can get now from a store since my event will be in 3 days.. Thank you in advanve😊

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Maree

Hi hopefully someone can help… I want to glue a digitally printed vinyl sticker onto some raw plywood (I don’t want to treat/seal it because I like the raw look/finish). Obviously the sticker alone won’t hold for very long, so I’m wanting to use a strong spray adhesive to assist, but not damage the vinyl. It will need to be a permenant fix, as it’s going to be some art for my home. Thanks

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Jaime

it will be really challenging not to have the vinyl ripple. you may want to test out on the back with some scrap vinyl with a glue like gorilla glue or the all purpose e-600 applied with a foam brush in an even layer. another option would be to lay the vinyl out, trace it carefully, and fill the wood that will be covered by the vinyl with wood filler, then send it down and apply the vinyl on top.

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Jean Bishop

I am making some coasters using tiles and I am using liquitex gel medium as an adhesive and top sealer. As it’s an acrylic gel it’s waterproof and is fine with cold drinks but a mug of coffee sticks to the coaster and lifts it up. Is there something I can use as a top coat to make my coasters fully useable with hot drinks? Thanks for any help.

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Deb

I want to decoupage the inside lid of my mint tins but need a sealer that is good grade/safe. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

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Paula Plotner

I’m trying to find out how to take or wipe off excess MOD podge that I put on a vinal seat. It’s already dried

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Haleigh

I’m not sure that this has been specifically asked or not, if it has, just link me to the answer :)

I have a canvas jumpsuit that I want to paint on, and I have two different problems
:
1. I need a clear medium that I can mix with fluorescent powder to be able to paint onto the canvas, what should I use?
2. I need a sealant that will be resistant to water, other liquids, general wear, be flexible and seal in acrylic paint well on the fabric. I also need it to seal in glitter, and keep it looking glittery…. Any suggestions? A combination of things maybe?

Thanks so much!

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Sherene R Cowan

Hello,
I am trying to preserve fresh flowers before electroforming them. I have tried several methods, none successfully yet. At this point, I am simply trying to keep the flowers attractive long-term without drying them. For now, I am using Foliage sealer and a basic spray lacquer I purchased at Lowe’s. This is not the result that I really want, because the lacquer won’t hold up in my electroplating solution. I have tried a surfboard resin that is activated by UV light, which works well in the electroplating solution, but it doesn’t like the lacquer either.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Anything would be appreciated, and if you could be specific about the brand of products you are using, that would be helpful, especially since I have tried other methods before, but missed out on the basic steps or the specific resin or type of lacquer used.

Thanks,

Sherene

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Betsy

Hi, I have a cotton dishtowel (old style thin and light-weight cotton) with a map printed on it that I’ve stretched over double thickness foam-core board to make a hanging picture for a kitchen wall. I want to seal the picture, don’t mind it becoming shiny – I actually would prefer it look vintage, and am thinking a decoupage treatment, or wax of some sort. My goal is to be able to dust it and wipe away any splatters from the kitchen over time. Don’t want it sticky. Thanks if you can help! Betsy

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Jaime

Hmm. You could start with fabric stiffener maybe, then seal it up with a clear adhesive. I would test this out on another dishtowel first though as I’m not 100% sure it will work. That’s a tough one!

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Rylie

Hi there, hopping you can help, i make these little wooden mountains for kids, i’ve been paining them with an acrylic paint and i’m really struggling to find a good sealant to protect the wood/paint job and leave a nice smooth finish. The ones i’ve used either yellow the white, or are sticky and don’t leave a nice even finish. Please help :-)

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Annie

Hi Jaime, I really need your help!

I recently designed some menus for a hotel, and they’re on a great paper stock call Plike, however they’ve found that it marks really easily and so gets grease stains etc. What sealer would you recommend for this? We don’t want it to change the colour of the paper or darken it, as currently it’s fully on brand.

Thanks so much! A

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Olivia Horvath

I would like to make customized mason jar tumblers. What kind of sealant could I put on the lid that would be non-toxic to the consumer and waterproof to condensation?

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Jaime

I wish I could say this exists but I don’t know of a non toxic sealant you could use on a lid!

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Mary Hood (@xrayctprof)

Do you have any suggestions for reapplying and sealing labels to a slumped wine bottle? It would have to be pretty water resistant, food safe, clear and glossy. I read somewhere that slightly diluted Weldbond would work. I don’t think anything would be durable enough to put a label back on the top side for a “cutting board” application, but for display only on the top side or for the underneath side for one that will be used as a cutting board or server.

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Jaime

I just don’t feel comfortable recommending anything as “food safe,” i’m sorry! i’m not a scientist or food safety expert so I just can’t make those kind of recommendations!

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Joss

Has anyone figured out how to put non-stick clear vinyl onto fabric? I saw Krylon Clear Polyurethane is good for plastics but is it okay to put on fabric? And, will the fabric not yellow per prettyprudent.com’s mention that Krylon Clear Polyurethane yellows. Many thanks!!

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Jay

What would be the best and most non-harmful (no vapors after curing) spray adhesive for attaching black fabric to reflectix for my car windows?

Thank you Much

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vee

you need to try crafters pick glue,that stuff is amazing,ive glued some stuff that i thought was impossible to ge a good bond with

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samantha

HI I am trying to make a serving tray for fathers day and every paint that I find says not to have in direct contact with food once it’s baked. I would be using the enamel paint. Is there a sealant that I could use that would make it safe for food to sit on? If not I will have to find something else for my son to do and he has his heart set on doing this.

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mindy

I would like to do a baby block decorating station at a baby shower and allow people to paint/use markers/decoupage baby blocks, and I am looking for a sealant to spray on afterward that would be safe to end up in a baby’s mouth every so often. Do you know if any of these would apply, or do you have any other ideas?

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Jeni

My silk flowers that I dyed keep bleeding! They have been dry for over a month and the color still ends up on my hands can I spray them with something???? Help!! They are for a bridal bouquet!

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Stephanie

I put vinyl stickers on a glass container for father’s day presents. I want to seal them so that they do not fall off. What should I use? I do not want to dull the glass or see the sealant once it is dry.

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Victoria wilton

I’m sticking photo pictures to cabaichins but not sure if I need a sealant and if so which one

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Heidi

I have a sealant question! Someone gave me a clear plastic tumbler with stickers on it. I’d like to seal over the stickers so they stay on when I use/wash it. I’m only going to be hand washing, so it doesn’t have to hold up to the dishwasher. Any suggestions?

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Nicole

Hi there. I created a memorial rock fountain for my mom’s memorial. I had guests write on smooth craft rocks with sharpie markers, sharpie pens and (unfortunately) some used just regular ball point pens (eeekk!) After a few days of the water running over them, I noticed some of them fading :( I immediately took them out until I could find a solution to seal them and protect them from the water. I read that thompson’s water seal spray or clear nail polish should work. I did “tester rocks” with each….FAIL. The ink ran with both products. What would you suggest to use? I love the rocks with heartfelt messages and will be so sad if they can’t be in the running water of the fountain as intended. HELP?!?!?!?!

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Melinda

Hi, I noticed there was a similar question in the recent comments that prompted me to ask – I’m also having guests at a baby shower decorate wooden baby blocks with permanent markers. They seem to be unsealed. I did a test and the permanent marker bleed a little when I was drawing against the grain. I’m happy to sand them to make them less grainy but is there something I can seal them with initially to allow the marker to work properly? And then after they have been decorated, what should I use then? Thanks heaps for your help! Melinda

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Canny

Hi there! I’m working on personalized cardboard sleeves for coffee cups (for a wedding). Any sealant recommendations so the ink won’t smudge?

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Ebone

Hello Jamie,

I have some sequin fabric where I’m trying to Make it into a skirt but the sequins keep falling off….Can you suggest a sealant that would help seal the sequin in….
I was thinking the mod podge? What do you suggest.

Thank you for your help

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Julia

I’m applying stickers to a mason jar for a project. I would like to seal the stickers so the item can we washed. I’m making “Apple Pie in a Jar” and creating a western theme on the jar.Any suggestions for a sealant?

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Chrissie

I wanted to know it there is anything I can use to seal acrylic paint on outside of wine glass. So I can wash glass without having paint come off..

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Shelby

Hey Sealant Junkie!
I’ve been crafting my own sunglasses and have been adhering thick foil type material to the sides. I’m looking for a sealant that is thin, dries clear, water proof, and preferably UV resistant. Something that can hang through rough times when people wear them out and about. Right now I’ve tried krylon acrylic coating and also the clear polyurethane, but both are still sticky enough to get hair caught in them. Any ideas on a better sealant that doesn’t have any sticky ?
Thank you!

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Kristen

I did a project with the child I nanny for it basically entailed stick a paper cutout onto packaging tape and filling in the void by sticking buttons and beads to the packing tape. We would like to give them to grandparents, but I’m afraid that dust, dirt, fuzz etc will stick to the packing tape in the small gaps between the buttons. Is there anyway I can seal the beads and buttons in to not only protect the exposed packaging tape but also help keep buttons/beads attached?

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