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*

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.

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??




For those of you who have asked about adhesive for glass to glass, metal to glass, etc. There is only one great answer – Loctite 349 Impruv. It dries glass clear and it is phenomenally strong.

One word of warning. It is a UV adhesive so it cures with a UV light. They can be expensive, but I purchased mine used on Ebay. Another caution. If you do purchase a used light, you may need to replace the bulb as they do lose their effectiveness over time of usage.

This stuff is incredibly easy to use if you are willing to purchase the light and the cure is 5 sec. to 5 minutes depending on the wattage of your UV light. But once cured, your worries about whether it will hold are over!

stephanie m holm

Hi, what do you suggest to add fabric decoration overlay to wood, to harden and seal it (glue it, i guess) on there, but this would be for toys that the parents want to be all natural and non toxic, and may get put in their mouths. I would use mod podge or basic decoupage medium normally to harden and glue the fabric to the wood but for toys advertised to be non toxic…i need something.


Was an answer to this posted anywhere? I’m trying something with Ribbon on wood and want to protect the ribbon.


Hello, I take your typical glass or plastic Xmas balls and create a new look, using fabric,paints,gift wrappings etc.. I have tried adding a spray on clear sealant/glaze. I would like a more clear shiny glass hard look. Some tell me to use Ceramic glaze or shalaque but is there product you suggest and is there a product that I could dip the ornament or brush on, I do not have the much luck with spray on. Any suggestions is very much appreciated.


Rustoleum actually makes a spray paint called triple hard glaze. It’s amazing!!! Dries super fast like a spray paint does and is virtually impossible to mess up. Just make sure you keep the recommended distance while spraying so it doesn’t create the dripping look some spray paints get when you’ve applied too much.


Do you know of a sealer I can use over a painted picture on plastic covered csrdboard. Hope you have an answer Dianne

Breana Weatherford

Hi i modpodged an old pleather futon with pages out of magazines. Now i need a sealant so t h at the futon can still be sat on and function normally . Cann u tell me what u think is best . Thank u .


I have some vinyl type boots and the top layer is starting to peel – what sealer can i use to stop this from continuing? Someth Ng that would be flexible?


I am looking for a food safe and waterproof sealer for a stainless steel tumbler. I would like a spray or something real to use, not mixing. Any suggestions?


Polyurethane is actually food safe after it has completely cured (at least 30 days). It is not however dishwadher safe as the water, detergent and heat will break it down.


I have some outdoor wooden Christmas decor that we added glitter to. What do you suggest I deal it with so that the glitter is not washed away if it rains?


I paint plastic 55 gallon drums & i used a sticker on one (not good drawing or writing) & I sprayed sticker with polyurethane thinking it would seal it but it’s not! What can I use to seal sticker & protect it from the weather!

Terri T.

Hello, I found a project where you apply a vinyl letter (or lettering) to a plate purchased from the Dollar Store. Easy. Then it said to apply a sealant to seal it. Well….once it dries, you can see the brush strokes. And…after awhile I could easily lift up the letter along with the dry sealant (it peeled off in strips). If I’m going to give these plates as gifts, I need a sealant that won’t peel off and won’t show brush strokes. Any suggestions? The sealant I am using is the one the crafter recommended but I am sure she had brush strokes too but maybe they didn’t bother her (like they do me!).


Once you apply vinyl to a plate it becomes decorative only and is no longer food safe. There are no sealers that you can apply that are food safe and dishwasher safe. NOTE: Polyurethane is food safe after it cures (at least 30 days) but is not really waterproof so is not really a good option for plates.

Darlene Goetz

I know you can use modpodge to deal it but in order for it to be “too rack fish washer safe you have to bake I it in an oven on 200 degrees for 20 minutes. If it’s glass you put it in a COLD oven and allow the glass to preheat with the oven. Once it reaches 200 bake for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and leave the piece in the oven till oven is cold. Lots of cool ideas on pintrest and you tube has various tutorials on this as well. Good luck and I hope your project comes out great !

Karen Scott

I’m VERY new to crafting and have hot glued glass beads to glass bowls …but they tend to pop off here and there after flue dries. Sometimes a day later. Im teying to sell in a craft show but am afraid they will all come apart. Is there some type of sealant spray I can use to prevent this ?

Amy Lynn

Try using E6000 industrial strength adhesive. I use it to glue rhinestones to fabric headbands and they last for days.


I’m making a cribbage board, and plan to decorate the wood with paint and paper cutouts. What sealant would you recommend that would not discolor the paint or paper colors, and would help seal the paper cutouts? I’m also wondering if sealing after drilling the peg holes will mean that I need to somehow protect the holes from getting filled with sealant, making them unusable?


Hello! I am a sealant novice here – I would like to make ornaments for about 20-25 people using pine cones. I want to put white paint and glitter on them (to make them snowy) and add a piece of paper with “Merry Christmas” on it. My question is: what can I ‘seal’ the paper with to make it solid (not flimsy) to glue on the pine cones? Thanks!! -Sam


I love making cinnamon Christmas ornaments for friends and family, and I use super fine glitter and Elmers glue. Is there a spray sealant that doesn’t have an overpowering chemical smell that will ruin the integrity of the cinnamon? I’d like to have them smell as yummy as possible, and of course stay pretty for a very long time.

Thank you!!! Amy

kelly ladd

I’d like the answer to this too. I’m looking for an acid free spray adhesive that doesn’t have a strong chemical smell. My husband is severely allergic to chemicals and I’m looking for something I can spray outside and eventually bring inside that won’t bother him. Thanks!


I’m looking for a sealant to use on EarPods – I’ve recently turned Apple bright white headphones into a matte black finish. But looking for a non-toxic sealant to use as the final layer before skin contact…

Thanks for any info.

little moon lover

could I use any of these on a ceramic mug I painted? I don’t know if they could be toxic since I’ll be drinking from that.. any sugestions? I haven’t found anything online that might help :/


Why is my paper or fabric not sticking to my glass plate using matte Mod Podge? should I be using something else? I put a nice layer down on the glass and then added my paper or fabric and then waited for it to dry and then applied an outer coat to the back waited for it to dry but it still peeled at edges, Should I be spraying my glass with something first? Glass is clean and free from all finger prints etc.


Hi, I am making paper covered wood letters with hooks to hang in a bathroom. I adhered the patterned paper to the letters with Elmers Spray adhesive. A few days later, I sprayed on my Spar Urathene to seal them. This caused the paper to lift off of the wood – but not all of the way, so I can’t remove it completely to start over! This is a special order for a client, it’s a disaster! Any suggestions??

maggie yamamoto

I am painting the inside of glass bottles and I want them to be waterproof so that I can put fresh flowers in them. What sealer would you suggest that I can pour in and roll around for a complete seal?

Jan Kuttner

Hi! I’m attempting my first fabric wallpapering in my kitchen …very country… and would like your thoughts on hanging as well as sealing, so it can be washed, like around the sink area. Thinking starch to hang but then polycrylic afterwards…? Unsure of which finish though or even if this is best process…oh, and fabric is mostly red, so nervous about bleeding, too. Please advise

Christine O

I’ve spray painted glass Mason jarsand now need a sealant do it doesn’t scratch off.i tried using an acrylic spray topcoat and the colors started dripping sludgey like it was Melting the color off…help.i need these in 2 days for a Bachelorette party!!! Thank you

Ann Schultz

I’m doing a play and need real pies to last the weekend know if anything I can spray on to make crust stronger?

Kelly A Carlin

I’m currently flipping a buffet and had to remove faux leather material. I’m wanting to replace the material with textured painted wallpaper. I’m having major trouble removing the adhesive. Is there any sealant or primer I can paint over the remaining residue to insure the paper will stick?

Rachel Siegel

First off, I am a self-proclaimed “Sealant Virgin”. On that note, I’m working on a mosaic picture frame using broken seashells. I’ve got the gluing part down, but I’m clueless as to the whole sealant thing: To use or not to use? That is the question… And if so, would using it benefit my project?(I have a general understanding of sealant’s intended purpose, but only can picture using it on flat, decoupaged surfaces.) Due to differing heights, shapes, sizes, placement, and textures of the applied medium-sized shells, your thoughts on using a sealant, and what type/brand should I use making certain that it’ll apply evenly, as not to “pool up” in holes of shells, nooks & crannies, etc.(Application tips and/or tricks are ALL welcomed, down to the littlest things.)
**There is NO redoing this one; I’m using shells from our trip to Spain.**

Ps- my now fiance and I are going to reveal our Spain engagement using this specific frame project of mine, (with a close-up shot of my new ring on!) to his parents when we arrive back. A lovely memory to hold on to, I thought.

My go-to glue (other than mod podge) is BEACON FABRI-TAC; it works on everything & cleans up nicely (I’ve never even used it on fabric)! If you try it, let me know how you like it, in comparison to your above suggestions. Thanks Jaime, and to all repliers! I apologize for the lengthy, detailed comment; I just SO want, well need, to do this right!!! Otherwise, I will have nightmares about sealant for the rest of my life and our future together will depend on therapy and how to get over the fear of the “S” word…
-Rachel S


I actually made and sealed a seashell frame! i included it in our book, pretty prudent home. i ended up spraying all the shells with spray paint, and i sealed them with an acrylic clear coat spray. it looked amazing and a couple years later the frame still looks great. no weird pooling or anything like that. i think sealing with a spray is key when working with something dimensional like shells.


What sealant can I use on a piece of decopauged jewelry? I don’t want to use an epoxy resin but I’m worried a regular sealant won’t work when when are sweating in the hot sun! thoughts?? 🙂


I am making wood furniture (branches and twigs) for an outdoor fairy garden. Using stones on wood as well. My local hardware store recommended Weldbond. I have spent 2 wks making stuff and just came across some articles saying Weldbond isn’t for outdoor use! I contacted Weldbond myself and they said if items are constantly getting rained on they won’t hold but if I used a sealer they would be ok. I realize I would need to reseal every year I’m ok with that. Looking for advice on whether using Weldbond with a sealer will work? Anybody tried it? What suggestions do you have? I just tried E6000 with window and door open and fan going after half hour I couldn’t take it anymore nasty headache won’t use again. What about hot glue and then sealer? Just need something that will work for our Ontario summers. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


I have a question or two…will Aleene’s Stop Fraying show on my fabric? Would it work at a place where the fabric will bend [the groove or crease of a book cover)?

Andrea Petersen

What do you suggest using for acrylic on canvas with buttons and beads? Thanks!


what would you recommend for a decopatch on glass bottle. i want it to be washable. how would you advise me to seal it? i tried resin but it made all the colour seep from my decopatch paper

darlene oordt

hello I’m looking for the best spray for a cardstock wreath craft that I created to seal it before I hang it outside. Worried that it will bleed or cause the paper to shrivel. Thanks!

Georgia L Grau

I recently bought some franklin mint plates at a garage sale and want to make cake stands out of them.However on the bottom it says could be toxic not to put food on them,is there anything I can put on them so I can put food on them?


I have a question about decoupage. I began doing this back in scouts a very long time ago – before Mod Podge. I have always used 2:1 white glue to water (or tea for the vintage look). The question rests on price point when planning a group crafting event for a fundraiser. Mod Podge comes in at about $1/oz versus a white glue solution at about 48¢/oz for an ornament that will be sealed after drying with polyurethane or acrylic for outdoor tree decorating. The glue solution is what I have always used and never have had any complaint. Somebody talk Mod Podge to me and tell me why I should change. What am I missing other than expense?


Hi, I was wondering. If I have something that is say made and dried in aleen’s tacky glue, and I spray aleen’s acrylic spray, will it melt the dried glue I spray it on?




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