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Essential Glues

Martha Stewart Living, February 2000

Using the wrong glue is like cutting steak with a butter knife -- even if it works, the results won't be satisfying. Most tasks can be handled by one of these seven adhesives. For more specific needs, see our list of specialty glues.

 1. Hot Glue Gun (drying time: 1 minute) Provides an immediate but not particularly strong bond. Joins porous and nonporous materials; can be peeled off the latter. Fresh glue and applicator tip can burn skin. Keep out of children's reach.

 2. UHUstic Glue Stick (drying time: 30 seconds) Good for all papers, including thin ones. Dries quickly, so best for smaller areas. Acid free: will not deteriorate or stain materials over time. Nontoxic.

 3. Sobo Craft Glue (drying time: 10 minutes) Can be used on most craft materials, including paper, cardboard, fabric, felt, burlap, and even glitter when evenly spread. Stops fraying edges on fabric when diluted. Nontoxic.


4. Spray Adhesive (drying time: 1 minute) Best for thin materials (will not wrinkle) and large surfaces, porous (paper, fabric) and nonporous (foil, acetate). Good ventilation needed. Keep out of children's reach.


5. Wood Glue (drying time: 12 hours) Good for all woods, but only for interior projects that are not exposed to high moisture levels. Can be sanded and filed when dry. Odorless. Nontoxic.

 6. Elmer's Glue-All (drying time: 30 minutes) A must-have in any child's craft kit. Familiar and inexpensive, it is best for paper and other lightweight materials. Nontoxic.

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