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Updated Jul 13, 2022 11:11 AM

The best glues for scrapbooking keep your images and decorations firmly in place without degrading them over time. You might initially think it’s one-size-fits-all when it comes to adhesives, but scrapbooking enthusiasts will quickly tell you that getting the right adhesive is essential. In order to make scrapbooks that will last, you’ll need high quality glues that resist wear, don’t flake, and won’t stain or seep through your photos.

It’s all about identifying the materials you’ll be using and pairing them with the right adhesives. To help you on your scrapbooking journey, we’ve broken down this list of the best glues for scrapbooking for any type of crafter.

Things to consider when shopping for the best glues for scrapbooking

Type

The type of glue you’ll use depends on what you’re adhering together. You’ll also have to consider whether it’s age-appropriate and comfortable for the individual to use. There are several types of scrapbooking glues, including:

  • Liquid/Craft Glue for attaching paper, card sheets, magazine photos. 
  • Wood glue for wooden objects like frames, wooden sticks, etc. 
  • Fabric for attaching fabrics.
  • Stick for paper. 
  • Pen for tiny objects, narrow corners, or small crevices. 
  • Dots for most objects, can also be used as a design motif. They’re great if you want to change out items more frequently because they are more of a temporary hold.
  • Hot glue gun for most things except metal. 

Photo safety 

Typically, photo safe glue means acid-free. Acid can wear down your materials, making them brittle or warped and eventually fall apart. Look for “acid-free” or “photo-safe” in the description when purchasing your supplies.

Non-toxic

Make sure the ingredients are safe and non-toxic to keep you and children safe.

The best glues for scrapbooking: Our picks

Best glue stick: Elmer’s-E5010 Extra Strength Glue Sticks

Elmer’s

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Why it made the cut: With over 4,000 positive Amazon reviews, this acid-free, non-toxic, and photo-safe glue stick is great for paper and boards. It’s also washable and easy to use. 

Key Features:

  • Volume: 1 Oz
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Package Material: Plastic

Pros:

  • Budget friendly 4 pack
  • Extra strength hold
  • Colorless application
  • Easy to use
  • Great brand reputation 

Cons:

  • Not ideal for complicated projects

Elmer’s has a long history as a reputable brand for glues and adhesives. This four pack of glue sticks are photo-safe and acic-free, and easy to use for no-mess bonding during scrapbooking. Elmer’s Extra Strength Glue Sticks not only provide smooth sticking, but it also dries two times faster than Elmer’s regular Glue Sticks.

It works for a variety of paper types including cardboard, foam board, display board, and computer paper, so you can get creative with what you want to include in your scrapbook.

It features a snap shut lid, twist end to supply more glue, and colorless application. The main complaint was that it wasn’t strong enough for more complicated projects, but for scrapbooking, this has plenty of hold. 

Best acid-free: Lineco Neutral pH Adhesive, Acid-Free

Lineco

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Why it made the cut: Acid-free and photo safe, this PVA formula provides secure attaching that won’t wear or cause it to become brittle over time. 

Key Features:

  • Volume: 4 oz
  • Product Dimensions: 3.81″ L x 3.81″ W x 16.0″ H
  • Acid-free: Yes

Pros:

  • Acid-free
  • Photo-safe
  • Great for binding
  • Best for paper products

Cons:

  • Thick formula
  • Can be difficult to get out of the nozzle

With a quick setting time and remoistening capabilities, this acid-free, photo-safe formula works for prints, photos, postcards and other paper items for your scrapbooking needs. The acid-free formula keeps your photos safe from warping, chipping, and becoming brittle over time, so you won’t have to worry about ruining your precious memories.

Many people use this glue for repairing old books, but you can use it for any paper items or cut outs. It’s pricier than some of the other options, but for 4 oz and the professional-grade quality, we think it’s worth the money. It can also run a little thick, making it hard to get out of the nozzle. Shake or stir well to thin it out.

Best glue pen: Aleene’s Pen 2-Pack Tacky Glue

Aleene’s

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Why it made the cut: With over 10,000 Amazon ratings, this all-purpose formula, 2-pack glue pen is super handy for tiny crevices, corners, and other difficult to place areas of your scrapbook.

Key Features:

  • Volume: 0.63 fl oz (each)
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 0.88 x 7.75 inches
  • Package Material: Plastic

Pros:

  • Inexpensive 2 pack
  • Customizable nozzle
  • Non-toxic, kid-friendly
  • Works on most materials

Cons:

  • Not great for felt

With an all-purpose formula that works on paper, wood, felt, foam, and ceramics, this handy glue pen is great for those hard to reach places, corners, tiny attachments, strings, and more. It’s ultra-tacky, non-toxic, and kid-friendly. 

We love that you can customize the tip of the nozzle depending on your creative needs using a pair of scissors. The handy pen design means you can easily take it with you on-the-go.

Customers say they love that it’s easy to use and works on most items. The main complaint is that it’s a bit thick, and didn’t work as well on felt as other materials.

Best liquid: Tombow MONO Aqua Liquid Glue

Tombow

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Why it made the cut: With over 100 years experience in this category, Tombow liquid glue has dual sided tips and high quality ingredients for long lasting adhesion.

Key Features:

  • Volume: 1.69 oz
  • Product Dimensions: ‎1.11 x 3.34 x 7.4 inches
  • Acid-Free: Yes

Pros:

  • Acid-free/Photo-safe
  • Dual tips
  • Washable
  • Dries clear

Cons:

  • Too much can come out easily with light squeezing

Tombow has a great brand reputation with over 100 years experience. With dual broad and pen tips, this acid-free and photo safe liquid glue is washable and easy to use. Great for mixed media projects and scrapbooking, the broad tip is ideal for quickly covering a larger surface area or for materials that need more hold. The pen side creates cool lettering or thin designs. Just add glitter or coloring to the glue and make awesome fine or chunky designs. 

It dries with a clear matte finish, but just be careful – it can come out easily with minimal pressure. 

Best removable: Glue Dots Removable 3/16″ Square 450pc Dispenser Glue

Michaels

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Why it made the cut: Don’t get too attached with this 450 piece supply of acid-free, non-toxic, and photo safe removable glue dots.

Key Features:

  • Size: 3/16″ (5 mm) each
  • Acid-free: Yes
  • Quantity: 450 pieces

Pros:

  • 450 piece pack 
  • Acid free and non-toxic
  • Kid friendly and photo safe
  • Removable/temporary
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Less strong hold
  • Not great for strings or thin pieces 

If you like to experiment with designs without having to destroy expensive materials, this may be the solution you’re looking for. At 3/16″ (5 mm) each, these little dots are the perfect removable adhesive when you want some flexibility with your scrapbooking. 

This pack comes with 450 pieces of non-toxic, kid-friendly, acid-free, and photo-safe glue dots. They come out of an easy to use dispenser, making them a breeze to work with and very practical! 

The only downside is that because they’re removable or “temporary,” they’re not going to give you as strong of a hold. That’s sort of the name of the game though when you’re after a removable product. Because they’re round dots, they’re also not ideal for thin pieces, strings, or anything fine enough to show the dot underneath.

FAQs

Q: What are glue dots?

Glue dots are adhesive dots that are used in scrapbooking and for general use to stick objects together. They are small, round, double-sided dabs that provide a strong hold for paper, cards, decorations, etc. 

Q: What’s the best way to stick photos in a scrapbook?

The best way to stick photos in a scrapbook depends on what is most comfortable for you to use, the materials being stuck together, and the size of the materials. 

Glue dots are great for smaller materials, a glue pen is easy to use, and liquid glue is best for embellishments like plastic or metal adornments. 

Some glues might not be age-appropriate; for example, a hot glue gun might be inappropriate for small children who could burn themselves. 

Q: What is photo-safe glue?

Photo-safe glue refers to ingredients in glue that won’t harm paper, cardstock, or other photo materials. This usually refers to glue that’s void of acid. Look for “acid-free” and “photo-safe” when choosing your glue.

Final thoughts regarding the best glues for scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is such a fun way to show off your creativity, preserve memories, and provide sentimental and heartfelt gifts for your loved ones. Be sure ot get the right supplies to keep your scrapbooks safe and long-lasting with these photo-safe glues! 

Methodology: How we picked the best glues for scrapbooking

Scrapbooking is a creative pursuit and that means materials are a very individual choice. For this list of the best glues for scrapbooking, we started with a wide search across the scrapbooking community for the most trusted and well-regarded products. We relied on a mixture of editorial reviews, user feedback, and feature lists. Luckily, these glues are relatively inexpensive, but we recommend trying them for the first time with pictures and scrapbooking materials that you’re not particularly attached to. Not only will it give you a feel for how it sticks to the substrates, but you can also get an idea of how fast the glue dispenses and other experiential variables.