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Crafting with Tacky Glue Vs Hot Glue

Not all glues are created equal. There are many variations within each category, and you need to make sure you choose the right glue for your craft tasks. But in your quest to choose the perfect glue for the job, it begs the question...Is one really better than the other?

While hot glue definitely has its merits, we like to think that Tacky Glue reigns supreme because of its versatility. It's great for gluing paper to just about anything and is a crafter's go-to for small craft projects that don't entail heavy-duty materials like metal. Its "instant tack" thick formula (super grabbing power) is ideal for little, odd objects like shells, buttons, etc. so it grips and holds them in place without the risk of running while the project dries.

Aleene’s® Tacky Glue is a PVA glue, which stands for polyvinyl acetate glue and refers to the type of resin used in the glue. PVA glue is commonly known as white glue or school glue. PVA glue remains flexible when dry and does not affect the PH balance of papers, photos and other items it’s used on and it won't yellow! PVA glue has a thicker consistency than most craft glues, therefore it holds items in place better while the glue is drying. It comes in white or clear  but both types dry clear and are nontoxic. Because of this thickness, it may take slightly longer to dry, however, don’t despair, there’s Aleene’s Quick Dry Tacky Glue if you’re in a hurry!

Hot glue with a glue gun application is great because it sets quickly and can hold a variety of materials together. It works for hard-to-glue items, yet it’s not for delicate items or anything that cannot stand heat. And, speaking of heat, anyone who has used a hot glue gun has surely experience that unpleasant episode when the glue accidentally lands on your skin! (Ouch.) So it's important to remember that hot glue should generally be used by adults and older kids under adult supervision at all times. But Tacky Glue is nontoxic and safe to use for kids and crafters of all ages and skill levels. So why risk the chance of a burn when you get glue gun strength with Tacky Glue?

Glue guns generally come in two basic sizes: standard or miniature. The mini uses much smaller glue sticks, therefore you run out of glue more quickly. Tacky Glue comes in a variety of sizes, perfectly suited to fill your crafting needs. (We recommend the largest one available as you'll probably use it so often.) 

If you've used a hot glue gun, you've most likely experienced "stringing" of the adhesive and the ugly glue "strings" that can get left behind on your project. And why does it string you may ask? Stringing occurs with hot melt adhesives when some of the glue material sticks to the applicator nozzle and then the glue is pulled down. But because Tacky Glue is applied at room temperature it allows for a smooth flow. As a matter of fact, Tacky Glue isn't limited to just one application either. The specialized tip can be cut for more or less glue flow depending on your needs. It can also be brushed on for a smooth, even application.

Another challenge with hot glue is that it dries raised and hard and you see lines under fabric. Hot glue is not flexible and won’t really soak into fabric. It will be thick and hard. But Tacky Glue can be used on non-washable fabric projects for a fairly flexible, yet strong hold. 

Unlike hot glue, Tacky Glue isn't limited to just gluing "this to that." There's so much more you can do with it! Why not experiment with making some bread dough clay, faux stained glass, faux antiqued metal and, of course, the ever-popular … making slime! In case you haven't heard, slime is kind of a THING...a BIG THING. Kids young and old alike are getting their hands onto bottles of glue to make their own sensory play fun. This DIY glitter slime recipe is made with Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue and glitter – are you ready to get your slime on? Here’s an easy tutorial for glitter slime. But you don’t have to stop at glitter… Check out our fun and easy slime recipes with Aleene's glue, how-to videos and slime tips. Our unicorn slime and mermaid glitter slime have magical sparkles, and our special glow-in-the-dark slime is totally nontoxic! 

Slime!

And, speaking of kids’ crafts, these fun Paper Picture Frames are the perfect afternoon craft for little hands. Using some cute pics, cupcake papers, straws and colorful papers, kiddos of all ages can make an entire blooming garden of friends. 

Paper Picture Frames

And, even adults don’t always enjoy working with hot glues. Sometimes when gluing delicate items like paper, it can be tricky and messy. This Paper Wreath is the perfect example of the ideal Tacky Glue project! If you have some old books lying around that you never plan on reading again, you can easily turn them into a decorative wreath! Or, if you love all your books, then just head to the thrift store and snag a few. Grab a bottle of Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue and a foam wreath base (or make one out of cardboard) and you have yourself a rustic wreath that looks good year-round.


Paper Wreath

So, there you have it. Whatever your gluing needs, it's good to know there’s always the right glue for the job.