Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Scrapbook Adhesives

Today I'd like to share my favorite scrapbooking adhesives with you...and also where I buy them. :) There are only three that I use on a regular basis, though if you remember my scrap room tour, you know I have a ton of different kinds of glue (for some odd reason I love finding new and novel kinds of glue!). These three are my staples, though.

First up is my Scotch 3M ATG gun. I use the ATG 714 model, which dispenses 1/4" adhesive. 3M also makes a 1/2" variety, and while the guns are within a couple of dollars of each other in price the adhesive is about twice as much for the 1/2" vs. 1/4". I've had my gun for more than two years, and I've never needed anything wider that the 1/4" it provides. If I ever do need a 1/2" strip, I'll just put down two rows of adhesive right beside each other.

I know that a lot of scrappers are concerned about the size of this gun. My advice is don't be intimidated! Yes, it is large (ginormous honkin' huge, to be exact) but it is not heavy at all and is extremely easy to use. Reloading is not difficult (there is an embossed guide on the tape roller inside the gun itself to show you how to load.

The gun is also fairly expensive on its own (about $43 here) when compared to other adhesive dispensers that are available. It doesn't look so expensive, though, when you compare the cost of the refills for it vs. the others.

Scotch ATG Gold tape is SUPER sticky and comes in a 36 YARD roll for about $3.50 + shipping if you order here. I'll compare that in cost to the cheapest alternative that I've found (and also my other favorite tape runner) in a moment, but just for sheer length this has everything beat. I can go through pretty much an entire crop on one roll, which means no time spent reloading. With my Tombow, I'd go through 5-6 refills in a night.

My advice is to stock up on enough of this stuff to last you a year. Yes, it's a bit of a cash outlay at first, but then you only have to pay shipping (for me ~$7-$8 for a 24 roll order) once a year and you're pretty much guaranteed to never run out of adhesive.

That brings me to my other favorite runner that I've already mentioned- the Tombow Mono. While I dearly love my big ATG and use it constantly when I'm at home, there are times when I want to scrap on the road (like our road trip to take a cruise from Florida last year) or when I travel for work. Not only is the ATG a little large to use in the seat of a car, but I worry about it getting damaged when I pack it in my checked luggage when I fly. If my $4 Tombow dispenser gets smashed, no big deal, but it's a huge deal if my $40+ ATG gun gets whacked.

I was already a Tombow girl before I bought my ATG, so this was an easy choice. Refills are I think $3.99 at Michaels (maybe $2.99- I can't remember), but I order them here for $1.81 each!! That's an awesome price. The only catch is that you have to pay shipping ($7.95) if you order under $75 worth. I'd suggest doing the same as with the ATG- stock up in one shot, or maybe split the order up with several friends. Also, if you Google around you can find 5% off coupons for that store, which will be the equivalent of a couple of free refills.

So, how about a quick cost comparison?
  • ATG is $3.50 (let's say about $4 with shipping) for a 36 yard roll. That's about 11 cents per yard.
  • Tombow Mono is $1.81 for a 472" refill (if you order from the link above) or about 14 cents per yard. I don't have heartburn over the small cost difference there- they're both great adhesives and each has its uses.
But what about the Glue Glider Pro, which is often the alternative choice for those who don't want to shell out for the ATG gun?
  • Glue Glider Pro Perma Tac adhesive comes 40 feet to a refill and is $7.99 at my Hobby Lobby. I'll be generous here and say you used a 40% off coupon to get it for $4.80. That's still 36 cents per yard- more than three times the cost of ATG adhesive!!
When you do the cost comparison over time, the ATG will more than pay for itself because of the cheaper refills.

I've covered tape runners, but how about all those little fiddly bits that runners just can't adhere for us, either because they are too small to get the tape on, or too heavy for the adhesive to hold up? For those items, I use Glue Dots. I've tried other brands including Zots, but after a while they lost their hold and stuff fell off of my pages. I've yet to have a Glue Dot fail on me.

If I need just plain, thin (low-profile) Glue Dots, I buy them at Hobby Lobby either with a 40% off coupon, or I wait until they are on sale for 30%-40% off and buy several packs at a time. I've not really found any place better for ordering them in bulk.

Pop-Up Glue Dots (medium or high profile, depending on your preference) are another story entirely.

These dots only come 75 to a package and are about $4. My Hobby Lobby doesn't even carry them (in fact the only store near me that has them is my LSS), so I'm not able to use a 40% off coupon. I tend to use a lot of these (and probably a lot more now that I'm all into the cupcake topper stuff), so I searched around until I found a place that sells them in boxes like this one.

That's a lot of Glue Dots!! You get 1,000 high-profile dots (1/8", equivalent to what's in the Pop-Up Dots package) for $36, or if you want more subtle dimension you can get 2,000 medium profile (1/16" dots) for $29 (the medium dots are definitely the best deal). Again, you have to pay shipping (about $7.50 for me, and when I added a second box the cost only went to $7.75, so this is another case where ordering with a friend is a good idea). You'll want to be sure to get the Super High Tack variety as they are permanent bond.

If you have a store in your area that stocks the high-profile dots where you can use your 40% off coupon, then that's your best price, but the deal on the medium profile dots can't be beat!!

That's it for my favorite adhesives. So, what about you guys? Any favorites? Anyone as enamored of their ATG as I am? :)

1 comment:

Nerissa Alford said...

This is such a great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I may have to get the Scotch gun. I'm making a ton of cards with photos & this would be perfect!