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.
- Dries clear
- Fast-drying formula
- Works on cardboard, metal, plastic, cork, and more
- Dries fast and clear
- Photo safe
- Water Resistant
- Dries and cures quickly
- Cleans up easily with soap and water
- Can be sanded smooth
- Strong bond
- Long lasting
- Easy to clean
- Mess free
- Great for arts and crafts
- Dries clear without wrinkles
- Transparent when dry
- Durable bond
- Non-toxic formula
- Dries clear
- Works on paper, wood, cardboard, metal, foam, and more
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Creating a cardboard masterpiece takes time, energy, and an adhesive. So when you’re assembling your cardboard creation, try our top pick – Lineco Books pH Neutral PVA Glue. It is one of the many decent craft adhesives available.
This handy adhesive can bond your cardboard pieces together quickly, seal any crevices, and leave a satin finish as a finishing touch to your project. Lineco PVA glue works on a variety of surfaces and comes in a resealable bottle.
But the best part about this type of glue is the adhesive is all water-based. So, if you need glue to be a little more liquid, you can add a little water. You can also apply multiple coats, which makes it a nice adhesive for photo albums, poster board, and more.
All in all, this is the best adhesive for cardboard and cardboard craft projects alike.
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.
- Lineco Books by Hand pH Neutral Adhesive – non-toxic cardboard adhesive (Overall #1 PVA glue for Cardboard)
- 3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive – strongest glue for paper (Spray-on adhesive)
- Gorilla Clear Glue – waterproof glue for paper (Waterproof)
- Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue, and Finish – for thick cardboard (Water-based)
- Elmer's X-TREME School Glue (Flexibility)
- Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Glue (All-purpose)
- Syntrific Hot Glue Sticks – for cardboard boxes
- Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue – for gluing fabric to cardboard
Types of Cardboard Glue
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 glue is best used for cardboard, light wood, 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.
The Best Glue for Cardboard
|Lineco Books||5 / 5||Professional artists, photographers, bookbinding, and more|
|3M General Purpose Spray Adhesive||4.5 / 5||Covering cardboard and poster board with paper|
|Gorilla Clear Glue||4.6 / 5||Sealing cardboard boxes edges, home repairs, and more|
|Mod Podge||4.8 / 5||Decorating cardboard and bonding other types of children’s arts and crafts projects|
|Syntrific Hot Glue Sticks||4.6 / 5||Large cardboard projects and gluing small pieces||Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue||4.5 / 5||Arts and crafts projects and gluing fabric to various surfaces|
The top best product [hide]
Dries fast and clear
Has toxic vapors
Dries and cures quickly
Sandable, paintable, and stainable
Potential skin and eye irritant
Cleans up easily with soap and water
Can be sanded smooth
Dries clear with a subtle sheen
Easy to clean
Great for smaller arts and crafts
Great for arts and crafts
Dries clear without wrinkles
Thick formula for tackiness
Not for weight bearing applications
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
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.
Glue for Cardboard: FAQs
Does wood glue work on cardboard?
Does hot glue work on cardboard?
Does super glue work on cardboard?
What is PVA?
Does epoxy adhesives work on 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.