2. Adhesives

Lapbooking Adhesives – glues, tapes, stickers

Can you tell me what brand/type of glue that you use?
Does your lapbook come out looking smooth and neat?


Double sided sticky tape

Tape Runner – Photo Splits

Xyron Sticker Maker

Elmer’s Blue Gel glue

Rubber Cement

Spray Adhesive

Glue sticks


Regular School Glue

Brads and Eyelets etc

Here are various lapbookers responses:

Double sided sticky tape

Double stick tape works really well for us…it’s cheap, mess-free, easy to keep around, and holds really well. It’s also easy enough for ds to use it on his own!

It works the best and lasts the longest.

We use Glue Sticks or double sided tape rather than glue and I sew my minibooks into the folder.

Tape Runner – Photo Splits

Hermafix is great – taperunners.

Tape runner found in the scrapbooking aisle is the best for dealing with paper. A little goes a long way and doesn’t bubble and lasts much longer than glue sticks.

Tape runners- my personal favorite, but the little kids have a heck of a time with them, always messing up the tape or not getting it where they want it.

I have tape runners and photo splits which we use to put the minit books into the lapbook, but I find that the little pieces of paper containing the answers that need to be attached to the minit books end up getting roughed up too much if they aren’t fully covered with adhesive. We may give it a try and then go back to glue stick if it’s too expensive. Maybe if I’m organized and can run them all through at the same time…

We have discovered that we like to use the Scotch tape runners that Wal-mart sells in their Scrapbooking section. Has the same advantages of double-stick tape but it’s skinnier which makes it easier to get into those thinner places.photo splits (they come in a little box and are about $5 at Walmart for 1000 in the scrapbooking area). They stick very well and use no wasted tape.

We also use Zots, the scrapbooking glue dots, my kids LOVE these, but they can get a bit expensive if you’re using them all the time.

We also use scrapbooking little sticker squares for items that need more stickiness. And for really big jobs we use the scrapbook adhesive that comes in a handheld roller dispenser.

We mostly use the roller adhesive (from office supply stores), or those scrapbooking adhesive squares, or glue sticks. For us, we mostly stay away from real glue because it’s too messy. I haven’t personally tried rubber cement, but I have heard some people really like that.

Glue Dots are great too but a little pricey!

Xyron Sticker Maker

I’ve been seeing the little Xyron 150 Sticker Maker machines at Walmart and Target. They look like a little purple or pink X. We’re doing a lapbook with Type It In right now and will have some little pieces that need to be adhered into the booklets, so I was wondering if using one of those might be easier than trying to get glue stick all over the back of the little pieces and then the mess that creates. Has anyone used one before?

I just watched the user video at Xyron and it looked like there might be a lot of adhesive waste when you pull it out to tear it off. I like the look of the larger hand crank one, but it’s twice the price.

I scrapbook and I use the X all the time. it is a great tool for small items. The kids love making stickers out of everything. They have other sizes too. I have the x and another on that does 2 inch items. As far as waste, I just stick the items right after another. Long as they don’t overlap you have no problem. plus when you get done sticking them through the x you can tear it off and leave it like that until you need them.

If you run squares of paper through the xyron,(the x or the crank one) then cut out your shapes, you can use the scraps to cut out punched shapes or letters, etc.

the user video at Xyron and it looked like there might be a lot of adhesive waste when you pull it out to tear it off. I like the look of the larger hand crank one, but it’s twice the price.

Xyron Sticker Maker Machine and there is a lot of waste when you use them. They are nice to make stickers, but can get a little expensive when compared with glue stick or other types of adhesive.

Another great thing to use but much more expensive is the Xyron. This will hold it together well and because it is a dry adhesive it doesn’t bubble and get soggy.

Elmer’s Blue Gel glue

It is not as watery so it doesn’t bubble quite as bad. I would put the glue in a small cup and have a spreader for the child. The thinner you make the glue on the paper the smoother it will look. We also use the Elmer’s glue pens, so far we haven’t had any problem with them. 🙂

The nice thing about the glue pens is that it is easy for the kids to control the flow of the glue so that they are not using too much, thus, no wrinkles. 🙂

i just bought something new at walmart… “elmers craft bond memory book glue pen”. it has a small and large applicator at either end. looks like it may be a good bridge from the stick to the runner… haven’t used it yet though.

gel glue and spray adhesive, but plain old Elmer’s will bubble like crazy.

We have had good success using the blue gel school glue instead of the white. It doesn’t seem to bubble the paper like the white glue can.

Rubber Cement

I use rubber cement – no water, no rippling, no mess – if the glue leaks out of the page simply let it dries and rub it off. Oh and it’s really cheap too 🙂

My kids use rubber cement for their 4-H Record Books. These books must be neat because they are submitted for judging every year. The rubber cement is perfect for this… just be sure to put a THIN layer of it. It works so well for putting photos into the record books, and also clippings like newspaper articles, except just be really careful to use it very sparingly on thin paper like the newspaper. It can go through the paper if there is too much cement used.

I really love the cement because if you overdo the cement, you can let it dry a second and take your finger or swab, etc. and simply rub it away. It is like that rubbery stuff that you sometimes find on the packaging of something that has been shipped to you. In fact, I think it is the same cement. Just be sure to keep the sheets apart for a few minutes or the sheets(with photos, etc. on them) can get stuck together. Even this has happened before… all we do is to gently separate them and rub the excess cement off. It is kind of like the eraser bits when using rubber erasers…

Rubber cement is cheap, and instead of using the brush it comes with for application, you can also use q-tips and smaller paint brushes to apply it so that it doesn’t get too messy. Someone already posted on it and said that even if you do make a mess, it’ll clean up real easy! A big plus in my household! LOL!

rubber cement (acid free) and an adhesive runner.

Elmer’s Rubber Cement last night at Target and it works great!! Our lapbook looks so neat and clean – and *smooth* !! 

old Elmer’s will bubble like crazy. If you use a paint brush and paint the glue on thinly it does not bubble. 🙂

Rubber Cement and an adhesive runner.

Glue Dots are great too but a little pricey!rubber cement. It doesn’t go very far though (as compared to school glue); so I try to find the larger jars and keep extras on hand.

Spray Adhesive

We use spray adhesive and double-sided tape (packing tape for heavy stuff).

You have to make sure to do the spray adhesive yourself (or kids over 13 or so), and it has to be done outside, but it works really well 🙂

gel glue and spray adhesive

Three years ago Tammy Dubin said the best thing is 3M Spray Adhesive. I use this – BUT let me warn you…it’s messy! Sticky hands, sticky paper… when you have small papers that you need to glue, the air from the spray swishes the little papers off to never never land…

Glue sticks

We are using scrapbook adhesives either the squares or roller type. I have found that over time the glue stick glue lets go and stuff falls out if you are keeping for a while and all the regular school glues just don’t look right especially if you have thinner paper. Glue sticks tend to dry up and pop off after a while.

glue sticks- messy and hard to control but good for the kids that can’t figure out tape runners.

We use stick glue, but I make sure I buy any brand that says “photo safe” or “acid free”. Ross Stik and the Staples brand (in Canada anyway) are both acid free.

I would not use Glue sticks even though they are fast and easy to use. They tend to lose the stickability after a few weeks, at least for me. i have used glue. You have to be very careful and use just a little, and spread it out. It does stay, though.

Double stick tape is ok for adults but I found some brands easier to use than others. Some, the backing was hard to take off and tore some of our backs when removing; some tape twisted when coming off the roll, it was wasted, some had a cutting edge that would not cut right and became very frustrating for my dc.

We use Elmers Glue sticks. They go on purple and dry clear. They hold single sheets well. Glue sticks tend to dry up and pop off after a while.


Glue sticks are awful! As is white glue

Regular School Glue

school glue should not be used, as it will cause the paper to bubble and wrinkle. Some folks use rubber cement or spray adhesive – I’ve found double stick tape to be the best for our projects. Easy to use, non-toxic, no mess, and good, flat adhesion.

One thing I do when using glue or paints on regular copy paper is after I print whatever I am working on to the copy paper I then iron on wax paper on the backside. It helps to minimize any bubbling and seals the paper as well so you don’t have any bleed through.

When I am finished with my painting and gluing I again iron wax paper onto the project except this time I put it on both front and back and iron it. It gives the paper some texture and stability. I have also noticed that the paper is easier to cut as well. I use the used wax paper as a mat to work on for future projects so as not to waste the paper and then I can just throw it away when I’m finished painting or gluing and my work service is clean. 🙂

If you really want to use the regular glue, then have the kids brush it on. Just make a little puddle, dip, and brush. We use rubber cement and glue dots.

They were happiest with glue- plain old Elmer’s glue. You just have to smear it only with just enough and do not have large puddles of glue. I would practice with some project that would not matter what glue was used until you found one you liked. Glue sticks worked well IF the project was protected by a plastic cover, such as a page protector.

The glue stick was their next favourite adhesive. They were not really impressed with the double sided tape because of the price vs how much tape they could actually use and the difficulty with the cutting and use of tape.

We have used glue with lapbooks, scrapbooking and projects. It by far is the easiest to use for my dc AND the projects stay together when finished- even when handled a hundred times.

Tacky glue most of the time and again I use a paint brush to paint it on. When using the nozzle we tend to get way more glue than needed and also we waste a lot more. 

Brads and Eyelets etc

I really like using brads and eyelets to attach things. My kids have had a ball using the eyelet setters. You may want to give these a try too. Brads now come in hundreds of shapes, styles, themes, colours and sizes.

– collated by Johanna W, 2008, off various lapbooking sites

2 Responses to “2. Adhesives”

  1. Marlene Says:

    Thank you for compiling this. It wil prove very helpful to our Cottage School group next year.
    I love using brads and the double sided stick squares the most, I will be trying some of the other suggestions listed here.

  2. Can You Use Rubber Cement For Scrapbooking | scrapbooking Says:

    […] 2. Adhesives | Lapbooking 101 – We also use scrapbooking little sticker squares for items that need more stickiness. … It doesn’t seem to bubble the paper like the white glue can. Rubber Cement. I use rubber cement – no water, no rippling, no mess … […]

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