I paid £4.50 for this 100ml bottle of glue at my local craft shop and have to say this is another good item I have bought from Stix2 who are well known in the craft industry for their quality adhesive products.
If you have been gracious enough to read any of my 'crafty' reviews you will know that I am an avid card maker and am always on the look out for good quality but reasonably priced items as I make greetings cards for charities and voluntary organisations. I have bought Stix2 double sided tape and foam pads/ squares for a number of years now and have been pleased with the quality so I thought I would give their glue a go although it is more expensive than the same-sized one I usually buy at Wilkinsons.
There were 2 things that attracted me -
- the fact that it is acid free and pH neutral which means I can use it for scrapbooking and sticking down photos without worrying about any damage over time
- the fact that it has a precision nozzle which is attached (I always lose my glue tops under piles of card and paper!)
The white glue is easy to use, even when nearing the end of the bottle and it dries clear giving me enough time to ensure my card/paper/embellishment is exactly where I want it and allows me time to reposition elements if necessary. The glue is dispensed easily too without frustrating air bubbles that you can find in cheaper makes and if I wipe around the top after use there is no gunge around the tip.
Although the bottle seems quite small I am surprised how long it has lasted me - approximately 3 months producing around 100 x C5 completed greeting cards - so I reckon it was money well spent.
Picture the scene. It's late September 2012 and I'm getting drunk in a bar with my best friend Michelle for the first time in a few months. Finally we had found a place that had prices similar to most pubs circa 2007. We could get drunk without spending a cool hundred! Amazing. And so we did. Near the end of this night a thought that had been bubbling round my head for a while came tumbling out. "Shell... I think I want to ask Allan to marry me!". Her response came thusly: "Hic, oh! That's nice! Hic, Where's the loos in hic this place?" Shortly on returning it was clear neither of us were in a state to continue any discussion that started more than ten seconds ago. Soon after I decided to listen to my drunken self and began plotting. I decided I would make a scrapbook with all our cinema and theatre tickets, photos and important moments like our first date packed into it. At the end of said scrapbook I would sew pictures of our family and friends holding letters to a fold out sheet of fabric spelling out "Will you marry me?". I had just over three months to make it happen.
===Friends with Knowledge===
The first thing I did was plan exactly how I wanted each page to look so I knew what I'd be needing to print off and collect. I also decided that I should ask my friend Debbie for some direction. She makes scrapbooks to sell and so knows a lot of tricks and tips. Debbie directed me to a craft website with a good list of stocks and supplies you may want for Scrapbooking. One name that kept popping up was "Stix2Anything". I was particularly allured by the promise on the front package of the PVA glue stating that it doesn't wrinkle paper. A miracle I thought!
===Who do Glue?===
This glue is made by a company called "Stix2Anything" who specialise in adhesives. They don't just do glue; they also do sticky pads, magnets, tapes, Velcro pads and a huge range of various other sticky craft related objects. The brand is made by a company called Uk Industrial Tapes who have been around for "over 20 years" and state that they are the UK's largest suppliers to the Art and Framing industry for self adhesive products. There are over 300 products in the Stix 2 range alone. If you want to sit down and have a blether with them you have a few options. You can visit their website at www.stix2.co.uk, if you want to look at or buy any of their products. If you want more of a natter with them, the contact details are as follows:
Westway Industrial Estate
Tyne & Wear
===What is PVA glue?===
PVA (standing for polyvinyl acetate) glue is just the normal white gloopy glue that we will all remember from school. It's great for kids crafts as it's very kind to your skin. If you water it down then you can use it for Paper Mache (generally if you use about half the amount of water to glue it should work out fine, other people water it down a lot more than that but I can't vouch for the results) and various other crafty things. Usually you can buy an absolute tonne of PVA glue for fairly cheap. It's fully synthetic so no animals were harmed in the making, though nearly all glues nowadays are synthetic. Either way it's nice to know that you're not contributing to a million horses being boiled for glue with this one!
===Why choose this?===
There were a few claims that made me want to use this glue. I soon realised that it was just normal PVA glue the same as you get at school but was hoping the claims would live up to the hype. The first was that it was Acid free and PH neutral. Some glues can eat away at your photos and papers if you give them enough time. It doesn't have any fumes that will be harmful and you can happily get this on your skin without any worry. In fact, many people will probably know (or be) someone who loved coating their hands in PVA glue at school, waiting for it to dry and then peeling it off. So it won't ruin your photos and it won't burn your skin. It's pretty non-toxic though there are reports of it being toxic if you eat it. I did find a forum where a member ate it and had no ill effects so who knows what the truth of the matter is. Either way, it's not the tastiest salad dressing so probably best just leave it alone.
===Twisted and Humourless===
The biggest claim that hooked me was that it categorically does not wrinkle paper. As I had a few pages that needed to be covered entirely in another sheet of card as a background I really wanted an adhesive that wouldn't wreck and wrinkle anything it touched. Unfortunately the stix2 that I used didn't live up to this claim at all. The pages that I stuck a background colour down to first of all ended up wrinkling and warping. Apparently the only way to stop that is to cover both sides of the paper in the glue first and then let it dry, but that may leave your paper looking messy. I was mildly upset by that. I did notice, however, that it only seemed to wrinkle larger pieces of paper. The background colour sheets were bad. The smaller bits and bobs in the forefront of each page were much better. Still, I'd recommend avoiding gluing as much as you can if you want your project to look good.
The bottle comes with a pointed tip so that you can squeeze the glue out fairly accurately which is great if you are trying to glue smaller items. When you aren't using it you simply twist the lid and it closes itself. Obviously it's best to give it a little clean with some kitchen roll or a rag after use so that any excess glue doesn't get a chance to dry in the tip and cause a blockage. PVA can be used on woods, fabrics (as long as you don't intend to wash them) paper, card and various other porous materials but it's a fairly light glue so if you are wanting to attach heavier objects or metals and plastics, you'll probably be better looking for other glues for the job. I only used this glue for paper and card, attaching any heavier objects (like decorative metal door keys) into my scrapbook by sewing them it to the page with wool.
===Sealing the bond===
Despite the glue not quite living up to it's anti-wrinkle claims, I have to admit that it does work very well. I remember PVA glue at school that would dry out quickly and have bits and bobs falling off everywhere. This stuff sticks everything down without any issues. The only thing I would advise is to be careful. It dries clear, but it can make the paper look darker. For example, I was using blue paper on one page and accidentally got a tiny smudge of glue on the top side of it, the blue where the glue is looks a lot darker than the rest of it, similar to how some clothes look darker when they get wet.
The glue came in quite a high price on the website Debbie gave me so I Ebayed it. I got it for just under a fiver for one tub containing 100ml of glue. That pretty much matches up with the price on the Stix2 website. I haven't seen it cheaper elsewhere though I'd keep my eye out as I got totally stung on the sticky pads I also bought for this project. I bought two bottles to be safe but one turned out to be more than enough for what I needed. I was happy to pay the higher price for the promise of not wrinkling the paper, however, now that I know this is a complete false claim, I'd not be quite as happy paying that much for it.
I will be giving this glue 3 stars out of five. While the bottle made it very easy to be accurate, the glue did manage to wrinkle the paper. It stuck everything firmly but was also a little messy and left tiny parts of my scrapbook looking a bit grubbier than I'd have really liked. Thankfully I was covering those parts with other things anyway or I'd have been rather displeased. The price was quite high for promises that it didn't deliver, but I am unsure if the other much cheaper glues that give you a much larger quantity for the same price would stick as well as this has. It's a handy item to have in your craft supplies box, but I'd recommend trying to avoid using it if you can. Double sided tape and foam pads may do the job just as well and if I ever do a scrap book again I'll be trying them first.
Oh! And for those interested... he said yes!