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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190 Comments

Jess

i know this was written a while ago, but I’m hoping you still check it, or that someone else will help me. I want to add images to the bottom of high heels, well the arch to be specific, so that when I walk or lift my shoe they will be visible. I might try painting an image, but i was also looking into pasting an image to the shoes but I don’t know what kind of sealant or varnish to use. I need something that is durable and will work on this kind of material. Any ideas?

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Sarch

Hello Jaime, I need your advice, I’ve got a beautiful mural in my bathroom but I’m worried the stream of water from the shower either by droplets or steam might damage it. So I’m want to seal it using a waterproof clear acrylic sealer… Is mod podge or aleenes better for this?

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Tasha McLean

Hi. Any suggestions for gluing glass to glass? I used a glue gun to attach colorful glass filler beads to glass candle holders and drinking glasses to design candle holders. A few beads have fallen off. Was told to switch to E6000 but takes FOREVER for each bead to set and they start to slide down the glass holder. Help!

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roisin moore

im painting on wine glasses and I need a permanent glue spray for sealing would this spray glue do

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merrill

Ideas for how to seal a picture made entirely of tiny rolled colored magazine papers? I want the colors to be protected and a little sun protection and water sealing would be great too. Thanks.

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Kristi

I have photocopies of handwritten recipes that I want to use in a scrapbook. What can I do to the copy paper recipes to seal them prior to mounting on scrapbook paper?
Thank you!

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Betha Wyatt

I have been on internet all morning trying to find something to put on a (fairly good) plastic poncho. I thought maybe vinyl, permanent, waterproof stick-on lettering. But I would hate to use whatever I find, give the poncho as a gift, then later find out the letters came off first time it got wet. I sew a lot. Ninety % of what I do is sewing. So I would like to embroidery on ponchos. Of course, that will put holes in it. Is there a flexible waterproof permanent spray sealant I can use on that kind of plastic (100% PVC) to seal the embroidery? Thank you, Betha

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jgf

i think i would check out peel coatings, or, the clear seal spray stuff they advertise these days.

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Kim Stone

I’m trying to “glitterize” my yeti rambler, and was wonder what you recommend to seal it. I was going to see if I can find something that creates a smooth almost glass like seal. If anyone would know; you would!! Thanks!

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Ashley

This is my exact question, I was hoping someone had answered yours. Bought my daughters the RTIC Tumbler for Easter and wanted to add glitter to them but wanted to make sure that they would last.

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Stephanie

I have a plastic water bottle that has stickers on it…. you can feel the edges of the stickers so I’d like to seal so I won’t have to worry about them peeling or ripping. Any suggestions on what product would work the best?

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Christy lowe

So I painted some old ceramic canisters and love it but they smell! What can I seal them with so that they are food safe for flour, sugar and coffee creamer and won’t make the food smell and taste like a painted surface????

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DeAnna

I have a question about sealers. What might I use to weather seal my art on a DIY hand-painted shelter sidewall? And its canopy. ..I just haven’t tackled that portion yet. Thank you!

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Shanie Kae

Does acrylic sealant melt? I’ve been trying my hands at sharpie mugs and no matter what i do, after a few washes, the paint starts to come off a little at a time. I’ve seen a few posts that say to spray each mugs with 2 layers of acrylic sealant. but what i’m worried about is the sealant melting when you put hot tea or coffee in the mug.

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Ariel Chilton

What kind of acrylic sealant are you using that doesn’t melt/bleed the Sharpie ink on your mugs? I have the Krylon satin finish acrylic sealant but I tested it and it melted my Sharpie ink immediately. Looking for a solution. Thanks!

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Jaime

Double check this on the interweb, but i believe that if you microwave the mug after using a sharpie it keeps it from smearing.

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Ang

I used Aleene’s original tacky glue to glue acrylic jewels onto paper (light and heavy duty paper). Any idea why the jewels won’t stay on well? They’re fine at first but the jewels came off with a simple peel. Help?

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Ashley

What sealer could I use on cardboard to use with food. I want to seal it so that the food greases don’t leak through and ruin it because I would like to use it again in the future.

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Rhonda Magee

I am trying to make door hangers out of screen and am unable to get the paint to build up on the screen. I have tried a couple sealants prior to painting and haven’t found anything that works. Any suggestions?

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Crystal M.

Fingers crossed someone still reads this!!!! I am needing to buy and use dyed, freshwater pearls, on a white dress. This dress will be washed/dry cleaned after application. Are there any sealants that are waterproof to the point of being washed/dry cleaned? I don’t want the pearls bleeding onto the dress. Thanks in advance.

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Jaime

I don’t know of any that I could promise would last through a dry cleaning. HOWEVER, you should be able to purchase garment-safe dyed freshwater pearls with drilled holes so you can sew them on!

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Crystal M.

I’ve looked everywhere. I can’t find the color and size (4x3mm) I’m looking for in a garment safe pearl. Do you think clear top coat for nails would work? Or an outdoor sealant?

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Bianca

Hi can you put items in the microwave with this Mod Podge sealent? I used it on mugs but don’t know if they are microwave safe now.

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Komal

Which modpoge could I use on yarns that come out as fine tiny hair like structures from the weaved pattern so that it stays firm and intact and prevents it from shedding anymore?

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Vanessa

I made letters for my son’s room and embellished them with stickers. Some are raised. What kind of sealant should I use? So you think plain mod podge or should I use a spray?

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Kathrine

I’m cutting out tiny felt flowers and bows for headbands and hair clips for my daughter. Is there some sort of spray or glue that I could put on them when finished to firm them up and make them last longer and not let the felt fray?

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Sarah

I used glitter and glitter glue to cover plastic cups but the glue is disintegrating when I try to wash my cups. Would a clear sealant fix this problem?

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Sandi

I don’t know if you still check this, but I want to cover an insulated tumbler (like a yeti cup) in glitter and seal it…what would you recommend to use? Should I mod podge, glitter then seal? What do you seal it with for a cup like that? Thank you so much in advance!

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Jessica

Hi. Do you know of any product that would prevent cotton cords on leather shoes from absorbing the leather dye?

Thank you! Have an eye on some sandals on eBay so the sooner you can respond the better 🙂

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Sarah Wiegand

I’ve been making a lot of things with felt and am curious if you have recommendations of what you can maybe spray over a completed project to keep it from wear and dirt…?

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slow

Great post 🙂 Do you have any suggestions for a non-spray clear sealant for decoupage? Thanks x

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Neenie

I need advice from a sealant junkie!!
I applied paper decals onto painted wood. The decals aren’t sticking permanently, lifting on the edges. It is a gift so I can’t try something and have it not work! Since the 13 letter decals are perfectly placed already, I am searching for a solution that won’t require that I remove them to add mod podge onto the wood and decal backs first. Is there such a product that will work? I just envision everything making the decals lift and curl more!!

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Jaime

I am sad to say that I don’t think so. Because wood absorbs moisture from the air I don’t think there is a solution to seal it without removing the decals!

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Dena

Have you answered about glittering a yeti cup? I saw a few questions about it but haven’t seen an answer!

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Gemma smith

Hi, I’m looking for advice and hoped you could help? I have scoured the net but can’t seem to come up with a definitive answer. I want to customize some patent heels in Beetlejuice style for my sisters 18th but tried sanding lightly and spraying with enamel paint but when I tried to mask them to put the black on the paint came off. I’m wondering, if I decoupage on the shoes first them sprayed would that work of is there another way? Many thanks. X

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Jaime

I would spray, then seal with an acrylic clear coat spray, then when completely dry, tape for the next layer.

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christina sponseller

Help!!!!! I applied vinyl to wood, sealed with modge podge and now in certain areas the colored vinyl has a white foggy look almost like the modge podge is getting moisture but it’s not the modge podge because it is not went to the touch. Could it be my fault for stacking the wood pieces less than an hour after spraying them with the sealant? If so, do you have any idea how I can get the white foggy look removed? I tried respraying with the sealer but it isn’t making any changes to the white areas. Your help is very much appreciated! 🙂

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Jaime

Did you seal the wood before you applied the vinyl? wood absorbs moisture from the environment so it could just be getting through some air pockets under the vinyl

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Elena Torres Kruzan

Would you know how I can preserve a heat transferred photo to tee shirt knit used on a quilt? I made a beautiful quilt for my brother and want the pictures to last.

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Sarah

I wold lIke to decopage some fabric onto the plastic legs of a kids’ table. If I spray the finished legs with acrylic sealer, will it prevent the sticky texture that modge Podge has?
Thanks

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Jaime

yes, mod podge first, let it dry, then seal with acrylic sealer (spray or brush on, i prefer spray). just make sure it’s a “clear” one.

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Beverly Crittendon

I want to adhere a piece of leather to the back of a clear acrylic tray.What could I use thar would be invisible?

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Ben

I want to stick some old cassette tape sticker labels onto some USB hard drives for an archival art project. I would like to seal the stickers onto the drives so that they never fall off or fade. Any tips?

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Kelli

Do you know of a way I could seal stickers on a metal plate. I want to put my phone number on a metal plate and want it to be waterproof. Can it be done and what would I use? Thanks!

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natasha Matthews

Please comment back about glittering the yeti. I’ve seen several comments below about tht and I can’t find an answer on what to seal the glitter after its modge podge on. I MP wine glasses etc but a yeti is steel. Others I’ve seen are glassy and shiny and I can not find a straight answer anywhere. I don’t wanna pay someone $100 to do it when I can do it myself. Thanks

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Catrice Bradley

I need advice about decoupage wine glass. If I went all the way up to the rim of the glass what can I seal it with to make it food compliant or drinkable.

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Kathy

How many layers of acrylic sealant would you recommend for photos modpodged to a painted wood table? Thanks in advance

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Bethany Guarrero

What would work best to seal a Nalgene water bottle so that the stickers I have on it will stay put and waterproof? Thanks so much!

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Tom Burns

The boards on my potting table top aren’t put close enough together to keep water from going through and wetting things in the drawers below. What kind of sealer or caulking should I use to keep water from getting in the drawers?

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julia shutts

I added stickers to wood I painted.what can I use to seal them so stickers won’t come off

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Sandi Zorn

Hi, I just came across this article because I am now in need of a glue suggestion. I was given a cake plate cover by an elderly friend. It’s a clear hard plastic. Wouldn’t you know, naturally, my husband was careless moving it around and he cracked it. It’s not separated but the crack is visible & I desperately want to keep it from spreading. It’s a clear-ish hard plastic (not sure if the very slight yellowing color is from age or just the way it was manufactured). But it needs a clear drying glue & preferably one that also allows for a quick washing when needed. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!
Sandi Z

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Christine

I have two questions. I am making a project with a glass jar and will be putting 3 different color pebbles inside. I would like the pebbles not to mix and not to move if shaken for any reason. What type of glue would be best? I will be attaching a decal to the outside of the jar and would like to seal it so it does not get ruined. What type of sealant should I use?

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Christina

I have all these circle cutouts of cardboard and would mike to make a little extra cash with them! I love to write and take pics , so I was thinking of putting my writing on my photos and adhering them to the cardboard cutouts. What kind of sealants to use? I have a Hobby Lobby and a Wal-Mart nearby.

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Paul

Please reply if you have advice for me. I am doing cardboard block printmaking with my class. Trouble is once card is stuck down, it eventually peals when rolled over with roller and ink. The children still get some great prints, I just get frustrated that card peels. How would I prevent this? Would one of the sealants mentioned above work?

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Brittney

Hi I have a question. I have a foam head I sequined with pins and I’m not sure what I can put onto it to protect the sequins and to keep them in place a little better. What would be safe to use on sequins??

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Hannah

Hi, so this was totally an accident, but my niece was putting stencil art on the plastic top of a laptop and it messed up, so we used rubbing alcohol to get it off and ended up just kind of blending the permanent markers into a sort of tie die on the top. I know that it will eventually come off if handled too much, what kind of sealer/topcoat should I use? I don’t want it it bleed off at all. Thanks!

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Patricia

Hi, I have some pieces of paper craft made of ordinary paper and I’m trying to seal it so that it doesn’t open or fall apart and also to protect it from moisture. I’m not able to pull it apart being afraid not able to put it back as is if I were to glue it back piece by piece. So I’m wondering if there is something that can be use to glue it externally while protecting it from moisture?

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