Friday, 17 March 2017


We're back with part two of our group post on adhesives...

Susan:  My trusty old pink ATG gun travels everywhere with me, making me a little unpopular at crops as it’s recently begun to complain loudly sounding like a strangled seagull! I will buy a new one if it gets too much; I couldn’t be without it.  The downside of ATG guns is the cost of the refill tapes.  I have found Viking Tapes to be good value and they have a speedy service. Have you invested in a Diamond Press Mini Cutting Machine?  I absolutely adore mine!  The best deal at the moment is at The Range and also Hobbycraft, where they have it for £15.  Anyway, the reason I am wittering on about this little machine is I have a tonne of teeny dies (they go through a Big Shot absolutely fine) which leaves the fiddly problem of adhering the die cuts to your projects.  Three solutions – the first is dust off your old Xyron Sticker Maker.  Cut a length of paper or card and post it through the Zyron; you can then put the ‘stickered’ paper/card through your die cutter! Jen of Wearcraft and Crafters’ Companion demonstrates this far better than I can describe it in her video here.  The whole video is well worth watching but the sticker bit is at around 19.00.  Recently, I’ve found an even better way is to cover the back of your paper or cardstock with double sided tape before cutting the die - hey presto you have turned the die cut into a sticker! 

Roxy: How would we scrapbook without some kind of adhesive?  I tend to use whatever I can pick up easily, and is cost effective.  I have tried out the "ATG" gun, but personally found it bulky to hold, and tricky to use.  Safe to say I don't have one now! However, I recently attended a craft fair (Make It & Stitch It) and bought a fair amount of good quality double sided tape!  Honestly, you can totally tell the difference, once stuck it won't move! 

Maria:  I must confess that I am no expert in this subject.  I was always on a budget when I started scrapbooking so sadly I stuck to bad quality tapes for a long time and now I regret it bitterly!  I used to buy Hobbycraft’s own double-sided tape because it was cheap, and to be honest, it was not too bad for the majority of tasks.  However, it did let me down a few times, making me realise that you do get what you pay for

I found that it was showing through thin paper and also it was no good for attaching thick cardstock or cardstock with a bit of glitter on it.  Unfortunately, I learnt this the hard way and some of my projects were ruined because of it.  For glitter cardstock I then started using the commonly named ‘red tape’, a very strong adhesive that gets its name from the red release paper.  I buy mine in bulk in a variety of widths from Affix It Craft.  This tape is really strong and sticky!  So be careful where you put it because you won’t get a second chance to move things around.  I use this tape every time I want to make sure that something is definitely not going to move!  I have also used cheap tape runners, both permanent and removable, however, I found that I was going through them at a very high speed and wanted something more durable.  The removable tape runner is perfect for when you are adding layers but you’re not too sure where you are going to position them, so it gives you the chance to change your mind before you apply the permanent glue!

Jackie: I used a yellow ATG gun, had it for years and even though others complain about theirs, I love mine.  It does have its problems when re-loading a new roll of tape, sometimes it's straight forward, other times I could gladly through it throw the nearest window, but like I said, I wouldn't be without it.  As mentioned above I buy the tape from Viking and do a bulk order with a few friends, so it brings the cost of the tapes down per roll and also saves us on postage.  My 3D foam, I buy from Poundland, yes Poundland, you get 1 large roll and several sheets of the small pads for a £1, its works for me.  I do have some American Craft 3D pads in my stash, which are thicker and give a better dimension to my layouts.  Also in my stash, I have some funky foam sheets that I got from Hobbycraft, again I saw someone use these on a you-tube video as 3D foam pads, use with double sided tape, great for large areas that need dimension.

Emma C: Ahh adhesive... when it comes to glue I’m really not fussy.  As long as it sticks and stays then I’m good.  I generally use double sided tape and actually haven’t bought any new tape in about 2 years. I went to the NEC Hobbycraft show 2 years ago and one of the show deals from Meiflower crafts was something like, 16 rolls of tape for £8 - and I split it with a friend!  Not sure whether the fact I still have it says more about how much I craft or how much is on a roll!  

Jess Claire:  In terms of adhesive I go for what I can get hold of quickly and cheaply.  I have bought cheap tape runners in the past but they ran out too fast and not everything I want to add tape to is flat.  I tend to go for Wilkos' double-sided tape or glue dots.  Both £1 a pack.  I have a Wilkos a walkable distance from me so I can always pick some up when I do a photo paper run (hint also Wilko finest).  They both work great on paper and card, on acrylic or flair.  I tend to choose based on size; glue dots for small bits and tape for bigger pieces.  Because I am predominantly a pocket scrapbooker everything ends up encased safely in the pockets so the tape doesn’t have to work too hard.  In 3 years of scrapbooking, I've never had anything fall off.  I did, however, need to seek advice from my fellow UK scrap addicts on how to adhere wood veneer because I wanted something that wouldn't show through.

Laura Jane:  When working on scrapbook layouts I use a variety of adhesives depending on what I am working with.  For layering and matting cardstock or paper I use double sided tape, which I have found to be most cost-effective from the UK store The Works - a pack of four rolls for £1; I tend to bulk buy these as I also use them attaching my fun foam to the back of layers/photos/embellishments to add dimension.  If I am attaching small embellishments or small pieces of ephemera I will use glue dots.  So far I have found the Bostik brand to be the most reliable although there are many brands available.  If I am using particularly intricate die cuts, I will run the cardstock through my Xyron sticker maker prior to cutting the piece in my die cutting machine as this allows me to create a fully adhesive die cut sticker rather than having to try to get tiny amounts of glue onto very small areas.

Laura:  I buy all my red backed tape and foam from Affix-it Craft.  They are a UK manufacturer and are very reasonably priced - I guess because you are cutting out the middle man and buying direct.  I have an EZ grand too, which a similar to the ATG but smaller and more compact.  I like it and have never had any issues with it gunking up, nor have I had a problem putting a new cartridge in.

Sarah:  I use a variety of different adhesives in my scrapbooking depending on what I’m doing or what I’m sticking.  For most things like matting and layering and sticking ephemera, punched paper shapes or die cuts I use a tape runner from Stix 2.  Foam dots are always close at hand for raising up embellishments from the background.  I avoid using Double sided tape as much as possible (I can’t get on with peeling the backing tape off!) but I will use it occasionally if I have a big stack of multiple paper layers which might be too heavy for the tape runner adhesive.  My advice is to try lots of different adhesives - what works for one scrapper won’t suit another.  Find what ‘works’ for you!

Lisa-Jane:  One thing we can’t scrap without is adhesive of some sort and we all have our favourites and the ones we’ve come to loathe!  My main go-to is my ATG gun which works out really cost effective when you consider that the rolls last for ages!  The other glues I prefer to use are glue dots in all sizes - perfect for buttons, sequins, even wood veneers (get the ones on the roll that don’t have annoying clear static bits), foam tape from the pound shop when I need dimension and, wait for it, a glue stick!  I’m currently using the Tim Holtz collage stick which is triangular in shape rather than the round tips we’ve known for years.  They stick paper to paper pretty well and can even help to move things around because they are a bit slippy.  If I’m trying to line something up, I’ll coat the double sided tape with glue stick so that I can move it a little bit if I need to.  Once it’s in place and the glue stick dries, the DST does the main job of keeping things in place for good.


  1. This is some great info! I love hearing others' personal stories and recommendations. I love to have an adhesive for every purpose: tiny glue dots, big glue dots, liquid adhesive (I use Tombow), and of course the ATG tape "gun." There is a slight learning curve to get it to go down smoothly (it has to do with when you release the trigger as you're pulling off your paper), and it is large, but well worth the space on your worktable for the speed and convenience.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  2. Glad I'm not the only one using a gluestick! I use the Tombow one it's fab, I wasn't sure at first because it didn't seem to stick but it's designed to be moveable for a little while then it sticks for good once it's dry.
    One thing I would say about cheap doublesided tape is that it goes yellow and cracks really quickly. I've had some layouts that I've had to stick back together and repair, they're not that old either about 5yrs. I used to bulk buy the one from Craft Creations. It put me off using it anyway, I just use it for cards now ;)


Thanks for your comments...