We’re so excited to get our new guide to DIY supplies out before the holidays! Whether it’s a simple, handmade card or an elaborate wreath, knowing what supplies you need and work best for your task at hand can make or break a fantastic project. Over the past month, we’ve gotten together with the pros at to create a handy DIY Supply Book – a helpful resource filled with tips and useful information about DIY and craft tools and what they’re best used for. is a great resource for any crafter or maker. They stock tried and true supplies and products that help makers, crafters and designers create beautiful and long-lasting pieces.
You may remember our D*S Black Book series where we gathered all of our favorite paints, home accessories and more. Our new DIY Supply Book series follows that same format. For our first edition, we’re taking a deep dive into the world of adhesives – the unsung hero of the DIY world that keeps everything in place and makes the world a little bit prettier behind the scenes.
At the conclusion of this series, we’ll be providing a printable of each “chapter” in our DIY SupplyBook so you can print it for yourself or use it as part of a gift package to encourage a friend or family member to start (or keep) making!
This post is brought to you in collaboration with — where you can find craft supplies, fabric and more for every project! Visit them online and be sure to stop into your nearest JOANN when you’re in the neighborhood. Thanks for supporting our partners who help us bring you original content every weekday.
ADHESIVES HAVE COME A LONG WAY
Modern adhesives take advantage of technological advances and are way more effective than the pastes of the past. Today there is a strong, durable adhesive for just about every job. With the help of JOANN, we’re going to walk you through some of the most common forms of adhesive available for all of your DIY and common household projects. We’ll also be sharing some safety tips for those products that require them, so read on!
Below are the basic glues and adhesives that should be included in your DIY & craft toolbox. We also give you details on four more heavy duty adhesives below.
Craft/PVA (polyvinyl acetate) Glue Recap: Craft glue includes regular white glue, such as regular Elmer’s glue and glue sticks. These are great for light-duty projects using porous materials like wood, paper, plastic and cloth. Set & Drying Time — 1 hour (must be held in place for about 30 minutes) Curing Time — 24 hours
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Image above: An appropriate lightweight project for craft glue!
Recap: Heated glue comes in stick form and must be used with glue guns, which come in both corded and cordless and high-temp and low-temp models. High-temp glue guns can heat glue up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and should be used with caution. Both high-temp and low-temp guns create moderately strong bonds, making them ideal for lightweight materials and temporary adhesion. Set & Drying Time — One of the benefits of hot glue is that it sets quite quickly, about 15–30 seconds, and dries in about 5–10 minutes. Curing Time — 24 hours
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Recap: There are many different kinds of fabric glue. Some fabric glues are similar to standard PVA/craft glues but provide flexibility and wash resistance. Fusible webbing is another form of fabric adhesive; it comes in strip form and melts under the heat of an iron to bond two fabric surfaces together. Set & Drying Time — Bottled fabric glue sets in about and hour and dries in about 12 hours. Curing Time — 24 hours
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Recap: Spray adhesives disperse in fine droplets to provide a thin, uniform bonding surface. Spray adhesives work best on lightweight materials, such as paper, fabric and small or thin pieces of plastic, wood, and metal. They come in both high-tack and low-tack varieties; low tack allows you to lift and reposition the materials, while high tack will instantly create a permanent bond upon . Set & Drying Time — Low tack will give you a few minutes before it sets; high tack will set instantly. Dries within 30 minutes. Curing Time — 24 hours
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MORE USEFUL ADHESIVES
: Rubber cement is made from a mixture of elastic polymers and a solvent that keeps them fluid. The rubbery texture allows you to remove to the material without much damage, which makes it great for mounting posters or artwork or in collage work. It is a fairly toxic substance and should be used in a well-ventilated area. Set & Drying Time — Glue sets in about 15 minutes and dries within 6 hours. Curing Time — 24 hours
: These glues are also known as cyanoacrylates; they are similar to epoxy glues. They provide strong, durable bonds and are great for metal, glass, ceramics, plastic and rubber. Set & Drying Time — about 5–15 minutes to set, dry within an hour. Curing Time — 24 hours
Gorilla Glue and Zap-A-Gap are popular brands of expanding adhesives. The glues are polyurethane based and extremely durable once cured, making them great for industrial-strength projects and heavy-duty materials including wood, metal, ceramics, glass, plastic and stone. The glue has foaming properties that cause it to expand and fill in cracks within a material. The glue hardens once it dries, allowing you to scrape off any excess with a paint scraper or chisel. Set & Drying Time — Varies, depending on which type you buy. The standard drying time is about 1–2 hours and about 30 minutes for a fast-dry version. Curing Time — 24 hours
- Glues marked with * are not ideal for adhering the material but can be sufficient if the project is small and lightweight, and non-functional (craft only).
- When using hot glue for styrofoam projects, choose a low-temperature glue gun only. High-temperature hot glue will most likely refuse to bond and melt the plastic, which gives off harmful fumes.
- Note that only waterproof glues should be used on ceramics such as mugs, dish ware and vases.
- Remember that if your paper projects involve fine artwork or anything you’d like to keep for a very long time, you should use archival adhesives instead of the standard glues above.
Now onto a practical and decorative DIY project that can help inspire you to “make” more often!
A visit to JOANN can spark so many ideas. If you’re picking up some DIY materials for future use, keep those materials (and ideas) top-of-mind displaying them in frames.
Get the full DIY Instructions right here. There are two printable backgrounds to download and print!
Stay Tuned for more DIY Supply Book entries coming soon!