Whether you’re attempting to create the leaning tower of cardboard, want to add some decoration to your storage bins, or one of the many fun cardboard craft projects, you’ll need a way to bind it all together. And while you could use either duct tape or staples, these things don’t usually give you the seamless aesthetic that glue does.
But not all types of adhesives will work well on tough materials like cardboard. Only the best glue for cardboard can do that and more. And on that note, let’s look at some of the best adhesives for cardboard craft projects.
Glue for Cardboard – Buying Guide
Putting two pieces of cardboard together can be done in a variety of ways, whether it’s cutting a slit into the cardboard pieces, folding it or using a cardboard box glue. And out of these options, gluing cardboard is the best method. But not all cardboard adhesives work the same, and some may do more than bring your cardboard city come to life.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one adhesive, or need a non-toxic glue for the kids, check out our list of decent cardboard glues.
|Mod Podge||4.8 / 5||Water-based|
|Lineco Books||4.7 / 5||Non-yellowing properties|
|Syntrific Hot Glue Sticks||4.6 / 5||Flexibility|
|Gorilla Original Glue||4.6 / 5||Waterproof|
|Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue||4.5 / 5||All-purpose|
|3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive||4.5 / 5||Spray-on adhesive|
Types of Cardboard Glues
There is more than one type of cardboard glue out there, and each is ideal for a different type of application. Let’s take a look at the main types of cardboard glues out there and what they have to offer.
PVA stands for polyvinyl acetate, which is a water based resin. This is actually the primary ingredient in many types of wood glue, as well as generic white glue, such as Elmer’s that kids use in school. PVA is best used for light wood, cardboard, paper, and other such materials. It does form a strong bond, it dries quite quickly, and remains flexible once dry. That said, this type of glue should not be used for weight bearing applications.
Rubber Cement Glue
Rubber cement is an adhesive polymer, usually latex, which are very strong. These are usually mixed with a solvent such as acetone to keep the glue fluid enough to use. Rubber cement dries clear, it does not cause wrinkles, and does not shrink as it dries. Therefore, it is ideal for gluing soft materials together, such as cardboard, as well as for things like crafts and scrapbooking too. Simply put, it dries into a thin layer of solid rubber.
Spray adhesive is the perfect thing to use if you want to quickly bond some cardboard to cardboard, to paper, and to other such materials, and even for fabrics like felt too. These are designed for larger surface areas, as the spray is usually not too precise. It works well for larger art projects. Beware that general spray adhesive doesn’t form the strongest bond, so it should not be used for heavy materials, although there are heavier duty spray adhesive options out there.
Technically speaking, tacky glue is actually a brand name of glue, one that is similar to wood glue and Elmer’s glue. In general, tacky glue is designed to be, well, tacky. This means that it instantly sticks to whatever it touches, it’s very thick, and should not be runny. This is a strong multi-purpose type of glue that can be used for varying applications.
Hot glue is also ideal for cardboard gluing purposes. It is very thick and does not run, it dries very quickly, and it forms a very strong bond. That said, if you don’t know what you are doing, it can be a bit messy.
Let’s quickly go over some important safety precautions to follow when using glue for cardboard.
• Always wear gloves when using this kind of glue. It can quickly stick to fingers and pull your skin right off.
• Always read the directions on the label. Some glues have strong fumes which may require you to wear a mask or respirator.
• Always use this type of glue in a very well ventilated area.
How to glue cardboard
Figuring out how to glue cardboard together is simple. All you need is a decent cardboard box glue, some cardboard, and time. To bind your cardboard together, add some adhesive to both pieces of cardboard. Then bring those pieces together and let them dry. You can repeat this for the edges of the cardboard as well.
Best way to glue paper to cardboard
Gluing paper to cardboard can be tedious if you use the wrong glue. So to avoid soggy wrapping paper, you’ll want to use either a gentle water-based adhesive, spray adhesive, or tacky glue. These types of adhesives will allow you to press the paper onto the cardboard without soaking the paper in the process.
Water-based glues and tacky glue adhesives will offer the most maneuverability. Spray adhesives will give you the best bond in a short amount of time.
How to glue fabric to cardboard
Before you glue fabric to cardboard, make sure the glue you’re using is adhesive enough to bind to both materials. Thicker adhesives will often work best for bonding fabric to cardboard since it won’t soak through the fabric material. Water-based adhesives will work too, but it may take longer to dry and could ruin the fabric.
Can you use wood glue for cardboard to wood bonds?
Yes, wood glue adhesives are good enough for gluing cardboard to wood. Cardboard comes from secondhand paper materials, and it will easily adhere to the wood.
The top best product
- 1 Types of Cardboard Glues
- 2 PVA
- 3 Rubber Cement Glue
- 4 Spray Adhesive
- 5 Tacky Glue
- 6 Hot Glue
- 7 Safety Precautions
- 8 How to glue cardboard
- 9 Best way to glue paper to cardboard
- 10 How to glue fabric to cardboard
- 11 Can you use wood glue for cardboard to wood bonds?
- 12 Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue, and Finish – for thick cardboard
- 13 Elmer’s X-TREME School Glue
- 14 Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Glue
- 15 Lineco Books by Hand pH Neutral Adhesive – non-toxic cardboard adhesive
- 16 Gorilla Original Gorilla Glue – waterproof glue for paper
- 17 Syntrific Hot Glue Sticks – for cardboard boxes
- 18 Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue – for gluing fabric to cardboard
- 19 3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive – strongest glue for paper
- 20 Does wood glue work on cardboard?
- 21 Does hot glue work on cardboard?
- 22 Does super glue work on cardboard?
- 23 What is PVA?
- 24 Does epoxy adhesives work on cardboard?
The Best Glue for Cardboard
|Mod Podge||4.8 / 5||Decorating cardboard and bonding other types of children’s arts and crafts projects|
|Lineco Books||4.7 / 5||Professional artists, photographers, bookbinding, and more|
|Syntrific Hot Glue Sticks||4.6 / 5||Large cardboard projects and gluing small pieces|
|Gorilla Original Gorilla Glue||4.6 / 5||Sealing cardboard boxes edges, home repairs, and more|
|Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue||4.5 / 5||Arts and crafts projects and gluing fabric to various surfaces|
|3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive||4.5 / 5||Covering cardboard and poster board with paper|
Cleans up easily with soap and water
Can be sanded smooth
Dries clear with a subtle sheen
It contains larger quantities of the active ingredients which helps to form an extremely strong bond. This is an extra strength formula with a very long lasting bond.
This stuff is great for kids, because it features a 100% non-toxic formula, and if not yet dry, it can be easily washed off with nothing more than soap and water.
Elmer’s X-TREME School Glue works really well for paper, fabric, cardboard, and other such materials. That said, do not use it for extreme weight bearing applications. It does form a solid bond, but it cannot handle too much weight.
Easy to clean
Great for smaller arts and crafts
It is very thick and easily sticks to whatever it comes into contact with. It doesn’t need any clamping and it dries very quickly too, thus making it very easy to use. It also comes in a no-run formula, so it stays where you apply it without having it run everywhere and make a big mess.
We do also like how it comes complete with a fine tip applicator, so you can be precise with the application process. Something else you might appreciate is that this glue dries clear, thus making it perfect for arts and crafts. It also won’t cause paper and cardboard to wrinkle, like so many other glues do.
Great for arts and crafts
Dries clear without wrinkles
Thick formula for tackiness
Not for weight bearing applications
Dries and cures quickly
Sandable, paintable, and stainable
Potential skin and eye irritant
Transparent when dry
Will bond most materials including glass, cardboard, jewelry, and more
Works on paper, wood, cardboard, metal, foam, and more
Flexible tacky bond
Dries fast and clear
Has toxic vapors
Does wood glue work on cardboard?
Yes, wood glue will work on cardboard since cardboard is a wood-based product.
Does hot glue work on cardboard?
Yes, hot glue works on cardboard the same way it would work on any other paper-based material.
Does super glue work on cardboard?
Yes, super glue and other similar adhesives will work on cardboard. But this will also make the cardboard very rigid.
What is PVA?
PVA is known as polyvinyl acetate. It is a synthetic polymer that is usually a part of non-toxic PVA adhesive formulas. It can bind porous materials such as cement, wallpaper, plaster, and more.
Does epoxy adhesives work on cardboard?
Yes, the epoxy adhesive will work for bonding cardboard. But this cardboard material is not as strong as glass and may tear away over time. Thus the epoxy may outlast the cardboard.
Cutting and binding all those pieces of cardboard can be tough if you don’t have the right tools for the job. With our top pick or any of the other decent adhesives for cardboard, you’ll have your craft project looking great in no time. We hope this guide helps you find the best glue for you and your cardboard crafting needs.