So, I thought I'd share my adhesive review which appeared on Craft Critique over the weekend. I also wanted to point out that if you leave a comment at Craft Critique with your own adhesive opinions, you can win some cool stuff! So be sure to check it out!
Without any further ado, here is my article:
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB
It’s the one thing I always run out of.
It’s the one thing I never feel guilty buying.
It’s the one thing I use the most.
And, I have a drawer full of it.
I have always believed in the old adage, “Choose the right tool for the job.” This is why I have a drawer full of adhesive. But, I thought that today I would talk about my three most used adhesives: Hermafix Dotto, Glue Dots, and Xyron.
Let’s start with the most controversial: Hermafix Dotto (“Dotto”). Coming in both permanent and repositionable versions, Dotto is a refillable dispenser that releases a continuous line of small dots of adhesive. It handles curves easily and both the permanent and repositionable versions hold extremely well. I’ve never had a problem with slippage or “losing its stick.” I use it every single time I sit down to scrapbook. It is my number one adhesive, adhering paper, photos, chipboard, and embellishments (including metal). The reason it’s controversial is that many users have expressed frustration with “gunking up” after replacing the adhesive roll several times. I find this is solved by taking three easy steps:
1. The plastic roll that accepts the used paper from the adhesive roll has a small plastic square tab attached to a crescent. Use a pair of tweezers or pliers to remove this little square and crescent.
2. After removing an old roll (and before inserting a new one), use tweezers to remove any excess adhesive that has gathered in your Dotto.
3. Remove the plastic circle the adhesive dispenses across (the only exposed circle on the Dotto when it is closed) and clean it thoroughly with Un-du.
Two last notes. One, I feel that the adhesive gets used up very quickly in the Dotto. I definitely have to bring several refills to a crop. That may be a testament to how much adhesive I use. Two, I love that if you make a mistake, you can rub away the adhesive dots with your finger. This works much better on cardstock and patterned paper than on a photo or other shiny item.
My go-to adhesive for all dimensional or non-traditional items is Glue Dots. I use two of the variations of Glue Dots: Mini Glue Dots and Craft Glue Dots (larger). Both of these come on a cardboard roll with waxy paper wrapped around it. To “dispense” a glue dot, you pull back the paper to reveal a dot, push your item onto the dot, lift the item (which lifts the dot), and then adhere it wherever you please. Glue dots hold extremely well, and are thus very difficult to remove. But, they work magic with surfaces that don’t like other adhesives and require a strong bond. I use glue dots to adhere buttons, flowers, quilted items, metal, plastic, beads, glass, and so much more!
Finally, I adore Xyron adhesives for their full coverage! I use the following four Xyron adhesive products: Xyron 150 (little orange “x”), Xyron 500 (items up to 5 inches wide), Xyron 850 (items up to 8.5 inches wide), and the 4-inch Xyron Cheetah. For those unfamiliar with the Xyron sticker maker, it’s a brilliant concept. You place an item into the hole or opening on any of these machines and either turn the handle or simply pull the item through to the other side. Some of the machines have a built-in cutter, others have a jagged edge (like an aluminum foil box) for you to rip off your new “sticker.” The item you inserted will emerge from the other end with full coverage adhesive on the back, and attached to a waxy piece of paper (like a sticker). I like to use my Xyron machines with fabric, ribbon, die-cut letters or shapes, small scraps of paper, or anything that needs full coverage (such as items that will be well-handled). The only warning is that there is sometimes excess adhesive on the edges of items put through the Xyron machines. This is easily solved by using an adhesive eraser (or the cheaper alternative: your finger) to rub away the excess.
The Xyron Cheetah is a little different. It is a hand-held roller that lays down a 4-inch sheet of dots of adhesive. It’s wonderful to have the option of laying down so much adhesive all at once (you can cover the back of a 4x6 photo in a single swipe)! The Cheetah doesn’t work as well on textured surfaces or non-traditional surfaces such as fabric. I use mine for paper and photos exclusively.
In the end, my greatest discovery about adhesive is that there is no perfect adhesive. You have to use a combination of things. “Choose the right tool for the job.”