Whether you are a seasoned artist or just a beginner painter, something that you may very well have used for at some point or another, is glue. Whether you are gluing canvas to canvas or paper beads or other such materials to canvas, whatever the purpose may be something that you’re going to need is good adhesive.
That being said, finding glue that will work on canvas and other materials is easier said than done, but no worries because that is what we’re here to help you with today.
We have an amazing buyers guide for you to look at that will tell you exactly what to lookout for when buying group or canvas, as well as how to glue canvas to various materials. We’ve also got five awesome products for you to look at, all of which in their own way qualify as the best glue for canvas.
Click here to skip to our recommended pick!
- Temperature resistant
- Water resistant
- Easy to work with
- Ideal for photos, scrapbooking, decoupage, and collages
- Easy to clean up
- Water based and nontoxic
- Easy to use
- Does not make a mess
- Ideal for repairs
- Machine washable
- Safe to use
- Fast and easy
- Ideal for all sorts of artistic purposes
- Bonds virtually all materials
Overall #1 Rated Pick
Elmer's E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue
For those of you who don’t know the number one best type of glue to use for canvas bonding is PVA or Poly vinyl acetate. This is a specific type of water-based glue that dries as the moisture evaporates out of it. This is the type of glue that is most often used for woodworking, but can also be used for other materials such as paper, fabric, canvas, and others. PVA glue is generally yellow in colour but may also be white.
In terms of the number one best glue for canvas, the choice is non other than Elmer’s E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue. For one, Elmer’s is a highly trusted quality brand name, so you know that they tend to deliver great products.
OK, so do keep in mind that this is PVA glue, which means that the bonded forms, although fairly strong, is not the strongest in the world. By no means is this the type of glue that you want to use for structural purposes or for weight bearing applications. However, with that being said, the bond is definitely strong enough for all sorts of fabric, paper, cardboard, and canvas projects.
What is really impressive about this particular glue is the fact that it can be washed in the machine without the adhesion being affected, or in other words, this product does end up being fairly heat resistant and water resistant. Seeing as the purpose of this glue is for arts and crafts, you will also be happy to know that it dries totally clear so you cannot see it once dry.
Glue for Canvas: Buyers Guide
Before we get into reviewing a variety of product, it is a good idea for you to familiarize yourself with glue for canvas.
Are you short on time or just want a quick answer?
Check out our list below for a summary of our results.
- Elmer's E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue (Our Overall #1 Pick)
- Mod Podge CS11301 Sealer, Glue, and Finish
- Ranger TDA47933 Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium
- Tear Mender Instant Fabric and Leather Adhesive
- Gorilla 6301502 Spray Adhesive
Types of Glue for Canvas
The first thing that you need to know about here is what types of glue that can be used to bond canvas to canvas and other materials.
The best type of glue that you can use for canvas, fabrics and other artistic project is PVA or Polyvinyl acetate glue. This is a very simple type of water based glue that cures when moisture evaporates out of it. Although the bond strength of this type of glue isn’t the best in the world, it will do just fine for canvas and artistic related purposes. Moreover, if you find the right kind, they can also be waterproof, although generally speaking PVA glue is not waterproof. This is an ideal type of glue to use to bond canvas to other materials.
The next type of glue that you can use for canvas bonding is fabric glue. Now, fabric glue majors PVA glue with a special brand. Or it could be a more heavy duty industrial strength type of glue. If you’re just doing some normal artwork, then go for a normal fabric glue, but if you are planning to mend clothing and canvas, then it is an industrial strength product that you need.
Spray On Adhesive
If you are doing things like collaging and scrapbooking, then what you are going to need is a spray on adhesive that dries clear and is completely waterproof. Fabric, glue and PVA glue, while they are ideal for gluing together fabrics and other such materials, they do usually not dry clear, which means that they are not ideal for use over top of photographs. If there are photographs involved, your best bet is to use a spray on adhesive.
Although you definitely do not want to use super glue for photographs as simple reality is that if you are looking for a very strong and fast bond that is nearly impossible to break, then super glue is the best way to go.
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How to Collage on Canvas
What we want to do right now is to provide you with a step by step instructional on how to make a collage using canvas and glue.
- The first thing that you need to do here is to choose between the thin and the thick canvases. You also need to choose the size of canvas that you want to work with.
- Of course, you might need to actually do your artwork.
- Now it is time to choose the glue that you want to work with. Of course, we would recommend going with the product that we chose today as the number one best type of glue for canvas.
- Using an appropriate brush, apply a thin yet even and consistent layer of the glue onto the canvas. That said, if you’re making a collage, it is best to put the glue on the back of the paper as opposed to the canvas.
- Put the paper down on the canvas and then use your hand to smooth it out. Working from the inside to the outside.
- It is likely that some of the glue will leak out in between the paper and the canvas, so use a clean brush or cloth to clean away any excess glue.
- You now want to apply very thin yet even layer up the glue on top of the paper. Allow up to 20 minutes for it to dry.
- Now you can start adding more and more layers like continuously, adding more small amounts of glue to the back of pictures and other scraps and then sticking them to the canvas.
- Once you have applied all of your photos and scraps, you can then apply one final layer upper group to seal everything.
For a more detailed explanation on how to collage on canvas, refer to the tutorial video that we have included here.
- When working with any kind of adhesive, always make sure to follow the proper safety instructions. Although that said our glue is generally nontoxic, so that’s a definite bonus.
- Even if the glue in question is non toxic, it’s probably still best not to try eating it.
- You do want to work in a well ventilated area just so you don’t get nauseous. In case you inhale any fumes.
- When using any kind of adhesive, always wear gloves because you don’t want these things sticking to your fingers.
The Best Glue for Canvas
The top best product [hide]
Elmer's E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue
We do also like how this product comes in a simple squeeze bottle with a precision applicator cap so you won't make a mess while using it. Moreover, the fact that this product dries clear is another big bonus, as it can be used for a variety of collaging and scrapbooking purposes. When it comes down to it, this glue can be used for all types of paper and fabric, and even for wood too.
- Dries clear
- Machine washable
- Made in the USA
Mod Podge CS11301 Sealer, Glue, and Finish
On that same note, seeing as this product is water based, it means that it is very easy to clean up even once this glue is totally dry. If it is on clothing, you can wash it out with ease, just throw it in the washing machine and it glue will come right out. This product can be used on a variety of paper types and fabrics.
Of course, this means that this glue is not waterproof or even water resistant, so it cannot be used for any application that involves moisture. However, it is the perfect product used for things like collages and other such things as it dries, totally clear and also comes complete with various finishes.
- Various finishes
- Washes out of clothing
Ranger TDA47933 Tim Holtz Distress Collage Medium
What is nice about this product is that it is both acid free and non toxic, which means that it doesn't matter if your kids happen to ingest a bit of it. This glue is actually rather permanent. Once it forms a solid bond as it is water resistant. Now, although this product is water resistant, it is not 100% proof, so it's not something that you can use on fabrics that are intended to go into the washing machine.
- Translucent matte finish
- Designed for collaging
Tear Mender Instant Fabric and Leather Adhesive
What is really cool about this product is that it forms a nearly instant bond that dries and cures within just three minutes and can be washed within as little as just 15 minutes after application. Yes, this product is extremely temperature resistant and waterproof, which means that clothing that have been mended with it is machine washable. Even better is the fact that this product is also completely acid free and nontoxic. You may also appreciate the fact that this product ends up being very flexible once cured and even UV resistant.
- Ideal for all fabrics
Gorilla 6301502 Spray Adhesive
Moreover, you may also appreciate how this product can be used on a variety of materials, including all fabrics, plastics, metal, foam, glass, wood, leather, paper, and more.
What is also nice, but this product is the fact that it dries within just a few minutes, and when it does dry it forms a permanent bond that is completely waterproof and temperature proved. With all that being said, this stuff dries 100% clear, so you won't be able to see it. And this means that it is also ideal for use with photographs. Moreover, it also won't yellow overtime. They even meet the new VOC content standard.
- Spray on
- Dries clear
- Ideal for most materials
The bottom line here is that if you are looking for the best arts and crafts glue, then Elmer’s E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue is what you need. It’s simple to use, it’s non-toxic, it dries clear, and it is even water resistant too. This is not to say that any of the other products that we reviewed today are not ideal for their own specific purposes, but the one from Elmer’s is definitely the number one choice on the list today.