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10 Best Glues for Paper & Paper Mache of 2023 [Reviews & Buyer’s Guide]

If you are stuck about which glues to purchase for your papercraft, we're here to make it easier.

Best Glues For Paper And Paper Mache

While they are all called "glues," most adhesives are pretty different from one another. Wet adhesives, dry adhesives, tacky glue, hot glue, and many more options are available on the market for various purposes.

Today, we have listed the best glues or adhesives for paper and paper mache. Along with that, we have also included a few multi-purpose options which you can use on other surfaces like plastic, glass, wood, and metals.

So, without further ado, let's start with the reviews.

Listed below are the Best Glues for Paper & Paper Mache:

  • Weldbond ‎8-50420: A universal adhesive ideal for binding diverse materials. A notable drawback includes its opaque drying.
  • Mod Podge CS11303: Best for paper crafts due to its quick drying and clear finish. Packaging might lead to premature drying.
  • Elmer's: Elmer's Glue excels in bonding wooden structures, but the bottle design hampers easy application.
  • GANE ADH0901: GANE ADH0901 facilitates flexible adjustments for lengthy projects, though its bulkiness post-drying limits its use on delicate crafts.
  • Aleene's 33143: Aleene's 33143, an all-purpose adhesive, holds firmly yet comes in small packaging necessitating multiple purchases for large projects.

Here is the list of the 10 best glues for paper & paper mache that can help you quickly and easily create beautiful, long-lasting paper projects.

1. Weldbond ‎8-50420 - Best for Multi-Surface Bonding

We decided to test the 8-50420 model by Weldbond and found it to be a pretty versatile product. It can be used in regular household activities like arts and crafts, yet it is sturdy enough to be used for glass and wooden objects.

Let's begin with the first thing we like about this product. The brand Weldbond is known for its "Universal Adhesive properties,” which means it can bond to virtually any surface. Be it cement, concrete, wood, metal, plaster, tiles, or even glass, this product doesn't fail to deliver each time.

Moreover, it can be used for sealing and priming surfaces too. Let's say you have a concrete or brick wall which needs a filler or primer before a coat of paint can be applied. This is when you can apply this glue and leave it for around an hour to dry. After drying, all the porous areas will be successfully hidden, creating an even canvas for painting.

Not only that, but you can also use it as a strengthener and hardener for pouring concrete. One part of the glue mixed with 10 parts of water creates a slurry that can be added to premixed concrete. The addition of this glue makes the dried concrete significantly stronger.

Despite having multiple uses around the house, there were a few things that online reviewers pointed out. If you are using glue for delicate and intricate projects, you expect the bond to have a clear finish that isn't obviously visible. But, this product dried out to be slightly opaque instead of crystal clear as expected.

Quantity: 1 Bottle | Volume: 14.2fl oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: 24 Hours

2. Mod Podge CS11303 - Best for Paper Arts & Crafts

Another glue we checked was the CS11303 model glue by Mod Podge, which has been an American favorite for the past 5 decades. It comes in 5 bottle sizes ranging from 4 ounces to 128 ounces of glue. Also, it comes in 3 types of packaging - sealer, sealer with spray acrylic, and sealer with brush applicator.

We were excited to try out this promising option from the well-known brand Mod Podge. And what we liked the most was its flexibility and versatility. This glue especially stands out when it comes to paper arts and handicrafts. 

To add to that, you don't have to wait around for the glue to dry before applying a second coat. It dries quickly and settles to give a clear appearance which makes your art projects look neat. Another reason to select this brand is that it provides at least 4 different types of finishes - gloss, matte, glitter, and satin. And this particular glue gives a smooth matte finish. 

Apart from that, this product is not limited to gluing papercraft; it also has many uses in wood, plastic, fabric, and canvas-based projects. If you need a quick glue for creating DIY dresses or fabric and recyclable bags, this glue will be the perfect adhesive for it. 

There weren't any significant flaws that we could find in this multi-purpose glue. In fact, one of the only complaints we have is that the bottle gets used up pretty fast because of its various uses around the house. Apart from that, it's only an issue if the packaging is faulty. That's when the product dries out quickly.

Quantity: 1 Bottle | Volume: 32fl oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: N/A

3. Elmer's Glue - Best for Wooden Structures

Next, we have Elmer's wood glue, which is a good option if you want to build or repair wooden furniture. It comes in a standard-sized bottle that holds 4 ounces of strong carpenters glue. Read on to find out more details about this product.

Initially, we wanted to review glues that would have many uses, but we also wanted to see the adhesives which were engineered for specific surfaces. That's why we ended up checking out this glue by Elmer's, which is specially made for joining wooden structures.

We liked how easy it was to apply and spread, making it an excellent selection for completing carpentry projects. It sets fast and forms strong bonds, which might even be more robust than wood. While working with wooden furniture, there are various points when sanding the panels is necessary. After the structure of the furniture is complete, the next logical step is to paint it.

At this point, if the glue is too strong to sand or refuses to take coats of paint, there will be glaring errors in the final product. These are the things that Elmer kept in mind while creating this glue because you won't have any such complaints with this option. Also, the adhesive is yellow, which blends well with all shades of wooden furniture.

While we didn't think there were any flaws worth mentioning, we did have a few ideas about what could be improved. The bottle could be shaped a bit better to allow for easy pouring of the glue on surfaces. Also, a sturdier cap would prevent the glue from drying in between uses.

Quantity: 1 Bottle | Volume: 4fl oz | Dry Color: Yellow | Cure Time: 24 Hours

4. GANE ADH0901 - Best for Flexible Adjustments

Another option we looked at was the ADH0901 glue by GANE, which also goes by the name "Yes Paste." The good thing about "Yes" is that it provides various packaging options, and you can purchase the pack or bottle size which suits you best.

One of the first things we liked about this option was its thick consistency. The glue is essentially an all-purpose stick flat glue that is water-soluble. But coming back to the consistency, it makes working on projects more manageable, mainly because it is a slow-setting glue.

Slow-setting glue is useful for longer projects where you want some time to rework and adjust. The quick-setting glues do not provide the same benefit. That's why if you are a beginner at making paper mache, joining fabrics, or even wood, this product will suit you well.

Furthermore, after drying, it doesn't leave a whitish opaque color on the surface. Instead, you will see a crystal-clear finish with enough transparency to look presentable. Also, with this product, there isn't any fear of allergic skin or respiratory reactions because the paste is acid-free and completely void of odor. 

Although this option has practical benefits like allowing rework by setting slow and giving a clear and polished finish, there were a few downsides too. This kind of glue doesn't work well for intricate artwork and delicate gluing of small pieces. It ends up looking bulky after drying.

Quantity: 1 Container | Volume: 15.89fl oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: N/A

5. Aleene's 33143 - Best for Everyday Household Use

Another glue we added to our list was the 33143 by the brand Aleene's. If you are looking for a premium all-purpose adhesive for everyday use, this option is one to consider. It comes in reasonably small packaging with 118 milliliters of product per bottle and has a cap stand feature too.

Right off the bat, we appreciated the all-purpose formula, which could be used on several projects involving wood, paper, foam, and felt. The glue has the ability to hold items firmly upon contact, and slight pressure is enough to glue together household items permanently.

Another feature we liked was the option to adjust the applicator tip to suit our needs. We have seen a few good products with awful applicators, which completely ruin the overall experience. A good glue stick or bottle is one that has high-quality glue along with a user-friendly bottle. 

With this option, you can cut the tip at any one of the 3 designated lines to select the size of the opening tip. Apart from that, this craft glue also had a useful cap stand feature. The cylindrical cap can be placed inverted so that you don't have to waste time squeezing it to get the glue. 

Another fun use for this glue is that it can make DIY slime for kids to play with.

In our experience, there wasn't any massive flaw worth talking about, but they had limited options in packaging. If you want to use glue for a large project, you'll need to purchase 4 or 5 of them because individual bottles are too small.

Quantity: 1 Bottle | Volume: 4fl oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: N/A

6. Tombow 62191

Up next, we have the 62191 model by Tombow, which is also called "Mono Multi Liquid Glue." This option comes in compact can packaging which contains 25 milliliters of the product. If you are looking for multi-purpose glue for all kinds of arts and crafts projects, this option is worth considering.

The first thing we liked about this product is the ergonomic design of the dispenser. It consists of dual applicator tips which you can use for different functions. The smaller pen tip is great for attaching embellishments, sequins, and rhinestones to fabric and paper. At the same time, the other broader tip can be used for application to a more extensive surface area.

What's more, the dual function is not limited to the application; you can also use two types of glues with this product. You can get a repositionable adhesive or a permanent bond, depending on how you use it. 

To get a repositionable bond, you need to apply the glue and let it dry on the surface for a few minutes. This ensures that a tacky bond is formed, which is pretty maneuverable. To get a permanent bond, you'll need to stick the two surfaces together while still wet. So, apply the glue and quickly place the fabric or embellishment to get a long-lasting permanent bond.

The narrower edge seemed to be much more helpful when it came to home and dressmaking projects. The only issue we saw with the broader end was that it didn't come with an airtight cap. As you can guess, when the dispenser opening was exposed to air, the glue dried up.

Quantity: 1 Bottle | Volume: 0.88oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: N/A

7. Elmer's E430

Next, we have another option from the brand Elmer's. The E430 model, also known as "Craftbond," comes in various packaging sizes, but the standard amount of product is 4 ounces. This option makes an excellent glue for household crafts and projects.

First of all, this glue impressed us with its durable and permanent bond-forming formula. It is clear when dried and doesn't leave any film or layer which might ruin the look of the surface. Also, even after drying, it gives flexibility for a few minutes. These few minutes are essential if you need to rework time and again.

Apart from that, it is a safe and non-toxic formula that effectively works on porous and semi-porous materials. It makes its way into the gaps of porous surfaces and fabrics and helps to improve their integrity and strength. Another thing we liked about the formula is its consistency. It is neither too thin to run upon opening the cap nor too thick to stick on the nozzle.

Also, it comes in a fairly easy-to-use and straightforward bottle which is convenient to squeeze and apply. No need to worry about spills either because they can be cleaned up using water.

This glue turned out to work excellently on paper crafts and fabric. However, you need to be careful about placing it on photographs, bare-metal, submerged, or heated surfaces. Don't use it outdoors either because it cannot withstand heat and tends to melt when exposed to higher temperatures.

Quantity: 1 Bottle | Volume: 4fl oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: 1 to 2 Hours, Overnight

8. Lineco FBA BBHM227

Another option we added to this list was the FBA BBHM227 model by the brand Lineco. This is one of the best glues if you are looking to bind books and all kinds of paper projects. It comes in a cartridge bottle with 16 ounces of glue in it.

Firstly, since Lineco is a leading and trusted brand for archival and high-quality art supplies, we had high expectations for this product. And it did not disappoint. The adhesive was great for gluing paper crafts, small wooden toys, and framing. 

Furthermore, this professional quality adhesive is water-soluble so you can select the drying time depending on your needs. If you are working with kids to make paper crafts and paper mache, then you can opt for thinning the glue by adding water. This solution will be easier for children to work with and will not dry out quickly.

Along with that, this is a handy option for bookbinding, mounting artwork, and fixing daily objects and books around the house and office. Also, it is free from acid and allergy-causing chemicals and dries quickly enough without leaving any residue on the nozzle. These features make it a popular glue for everyday use.

We wished this option were more versatile and could be used as an adhesive for glass and small pieces of metal. But, it seems to work well on paper and many other surfaces, which is fine too. The only drawback reviewers found was in the packaging and shipping and not the product itself.

Quantity: 1 Bottle | Volume: 16oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: 48 Hours

9. Glue Dots 23680T

Next on the list, we have the 23680T model by Glue Dots. What's different about this option is that it isn't a liquid glue that can be bottled; instead, it consists of glue squares. So, instead of pouring adhesive on surfaces, you can roll the dispenser along the area and use sticky tape for bonding.

Before we talk about anything else, note that this glue is not liquid glue that can be squeezed and poured out of a bottle. Instead, it is a stick-on glue that is applied from a dispenser that produces sticky squares. These are essentially double-sided adhesive sticky tapes that are perfect for home and office use.

Also, these are the safest option for kids to use for all of their creative projects. They offer a strong, permanent bond and can be used for building crafts that require extra staying power. Besides, they are removable so that you can use them in books, scrapbooks, and memory boards. Simply peel off the surface and wipe with a moist cloth to remove the adhesive.

Moreover, these glue dots are ultra-thin, which won't create any visible bumps in papercrafts. Its permanent low profile also allows for the layering of paper without generating any bubbles. Finally, these glue dots are non-toxic, mess-free, and require zero dry time.

Although we liked most aspects of these small glue dots, we faced a few issues while using them. The dispenser is a roller that needs to be placed flat on the surface and gently dragged to release the glue dots. Sometimes, the glue dots get stuck to each other if not removed carefully.

Quantity: 1 Pack | Volume: 0.8oz | Dry Color: Clear | Cure Time: N/A

10. 3M 3M6065

We decided to test the 3M6065 model by 3M, also known as "Spray Mount." This is the only adhesive on the list which comes in a spray can. One can have 10 fluid ounces of adhesive, and it leaves a transparent film of glue upon drying. 

To begin with, we liked that the solution used in the can is completely acid-free and chemical-free. So, there is no need to be concerned about any ill effects of spraying on the respiratory system or skin. What's unique about this product is it dries clear, so you cannot see a film of glue, and neither does it bleed to neighboring surfaces.

Furthermore, if you are looking for a convenient method to spread glue, you might find the spraying method interesting. It is a versatile, fast-drying adhesive that can bond a wide range of lightweight materials. The spray glue has an aggressive tack that spreads evenly across surfaces to cover with a thin layer of glue for easy bonding.

Along with bonding paper, cardboard, fabric, and cushion foam, it can also be used for projects involving plastic, metal, wood, and much more. Since the glue is repositionable, you need not worry about making a few adjustments before it dries. However, it does dry out fast, so you'll have to work a bit quickly with it.

While this product works well on paper and cardboard, in our experience, it didn't show the best results when bonding plastics and photographs. When we tried gluing photos to scrapbooks, it seemed to work at first. But, after a few hours, some bubbles started appearing, which needed to be pressed gently to remove them.

Quantity: 1 Can | Volume: 10.25oz | Dry Color: Transparent | Cure Time: 24

What Is the Best Glue for Paper & Mache?

In the realm of arts, crafts, and DIY projects, the question often arises as to which glue is the most suited for paper and mache. Many factors contribute to the decision-making, such as the quantity provided, the volume of the product, its dry color, and the cure time required post-application. In the table below, a direct comparison is drawn between notable glue products, helping to identify the 'best' choice based on these very attributes.

ProductQuantityVolumeDry ColorCure Time
Weldbond ‎8-504201 Bottle14.2fl ozClear‎24 Hours
Mod Podge CS113031 Bottle32fl ozClearN/A
Elmer’s Glue1 Bottle4fl ozYellow‎24 Hours
GANE ADH09011 Container15.89fl ozClearN/A
Aleene’s 331431 Bottle4fl ozClearN/A
Tombow 621911 Bottle0.88ozClearN/A
Elmer’s E4301 Bottle4fl ozClear1 to 2 Hours, Overnight
Lineco FBA BBHM2271 Bottle16ozClear48 Hours
Glue Dots 23680T1 Pack0.8ozClearN/A
3M 3M60651 Can10.25ozTransparent24 Hours

Buying Guide For The Best Glue For Paper & Mache

The glues we have mentioned here come in various textures, consistencies, and dispensers, and some are designed for specific functions. Out of all these options out there, it may get a bit challenging to decide which glue or adhesive is suitable for your project. This buyer's guide will help you walk through the aspects you must consider before settling on a final choice.

Paper glues can be broadly categorized into wet and dry adhesives. Take a look at the different types of glues available.

  1. Wet Adhesives

    • Glue Bottles

The benefit of glue bottles is that they come in various sizes, so you can buy larger quantities for a larger project. The bottles are reusable, so you can fill them up again whenever required. However, make sure to close the cap correctly; otherwise, the glue at the nozzle will dry up.

    • Glue Pen

Glue pens are practical to hold and use. What's more, you can control the amount of glue to apply by changing the pressure from your fingertips. But, keep in mind that applying too much on paper gives a crumpled-up look.

    • Glue Sticks

This glue is perfect for paper crafts since it is not too wet and often comes in chapstick packaging. It is an ideal option for bonding delicate envelopes and children's artwork. However, it does not bond with plastics.

    • Mod Podge

This water-based paste is an excellent option for decoupage art because it can be handled easily and shaped using fingers. To add to that, you can also use mod podge to bond small accessories and pieces of jewelry to papercrafts.

    • Spray Adhesive

This adhesive comes in cans and is generally used to cover larger areas in a short amount of time. To use spray glue, you need to have a proper ventilation system and protective eye gear. Also, it dries quickly, so you'll have to work with this glue immediately.

    • Other Wet Adhesives

Other kinds of wet adhesives are glossy accents, super glue, PVA glue, clear wet glue, and glue guns. Each of these glues is designed for specific purposes, which they always mention on the packaging.

  1. Dry Adhesives

    • Double Sided Tape

You will find double-sided tapes helpful for quick fixes and repair work. If needed, you can remove them to fix errors. However, be careful if you are using a heat gun over it because it tends to stick to the fabric permanently.

    • Glue Dots

Glue dots are versatile because they can bond to most surfaces, including paper, plastic, metal, glass, and vinyl. To add to that, they are mess-free and can be removed too. 

    • Runner Tape

Runner tape is the best option for bonding smooth surfaces. All you need to do is run the tape across the fine paper or fabric, and it's done. Furthermore, there is no peeling or cutting required for this option.

    • Other Dry Adhesives

Foam tape, foam pads, washi tape, and masking tape are other kinds of dry adhesives that you can opt for. The benefit of all dry bonds is that they don't cause unwanted sticky hands, and there is no chance of them running or spreading to other surfaces.

How do I properly apply glue for paper and machel projects?

Apply with a brush, spatula, or the applicator tip, ensuring a thin and even layer of adhesive. For delicate projects, use a light touch to avoid wrinkles or distortion.

Can I use these glues on photographs and other more delicate materials?

Yes, but choose a pH-neutral and acid-free adhesive to prevent damage or discoloration. Always perform a test on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire piece.

How do I remove glue residue from paper or machel surfaces?

To remove glue residue, lightly dampen a cloth or cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and gently wipe away the adhesive. It is essential to be careful not to damage the paper or mache material.

Is it safe to use these glues with children supervised?

Some glues, like PVA and glue sticks, are safe for children under adult supervision. Some types, like rubber cement and spray adhesives, contain strong fumes and chemicals that are unsafe for children.

So, here we come to the end of our guide for the best glues for paper and paper mache. Out of all the options, we felt the CS11303 model by Mod Podge stood out as one of the best glues for daily use. Another glue we would recommend is 8-50420 by Weldbond, which we liked for its versatility.

Sometimes, tons of options can confuse us and leave us wondering which product might be the right one. But, a little bit of research goes a long way, and it is always better to make an informed purchase, especially if you have a time constraint. 

We hope this review-based guide helps you navigate through the options to find the perfect adhesive for your next creative project. Don't forget to tell us your favorite one in the comments below.

That’s it for today, bye.