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Archive | July 25, 2010

Adhesive Review: The Good, The Bad and The Tacky

Today Scrapbook Update welcomes guest blogger Molly McCarthy for a comprehensive review of scrapbook dot adhesives.

When not testing adhesive, Molly McCarthy teaches Cricut and Photoshop classes at Treasured Memories Scrapbook Store, Inc. as well as serving as a marketing consulting within the scrapbook industry. She resides in Oak Park, CA with her husband and two kids who provide endless story and photo opportunities for her scrapbook pages. To learn more about Molly, follow her on Twitter.

In need of a new adhesive that holds your paper and photos together on your next layout? Scrapbook Update has tested eight everyday-use adhesives and is reporting back on the good, the bad and the tacky!

The good news is that adhesives have improved tremendously over the years. The eight adhesives tested did a commendable job adhering paper-to-paper and paper-to-photo. They were tested on both flat and textured cardstock (i.e. Bazzill) and all held items together, though some did a better job than others on the textured cardstock.  The best application for all of these adhesives is on flat cardstock or photos but it’s nice to know that the industry has tried to address one of paper crafters’ biggest complaints regarding adhesive’s tackiness and the ever-popular textured cardstock lines.

If all of the adhesives worked in a straight line on flat cardstock, then what is there left to talk about? For this review, I added three other factors that are useful in an everyday adhesive. These included the ability to move around curved shapes, ability to remove stray adhesive, and the ability to reposition an item once it was adhered down.

Best Overall Adhesive
Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller (49 feet)
This is the best overall adhesive for day-to-day use. It goes on smoothly and evenly, and it goes around curves with ease. Because of its tiny dots, it’s easy to remove stray adhesive and it’s forgiving enough to rearrange paper or photos on the page. The dots stay put, making it easy to reapply paper/photo. It also gets high marks for a dispenser that has been created using 65% recycled material.

Best Around Curves
American Crafts – This to That Dots (32 feet)
This adhesive has the tiniest adhesive dots. Because of the thin line and the tiny dots this adhesive can go around a curve like Mario Andretti at the Indy 500 and not lose any of its adhesive. It’s ergonomic design makes it easy to tell the correct way to hold it. The protective cap is not attached, though, so I worry about misplacing it while working.

Easiest to Remove
Tombow Mono Adhesive DOTS (49 feet)
Tombow DOTS were the easiest to remove with a gum eraser or a finger. This works well when you get a bit crazy with the adhesive.

Most Tacky
3L Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner (33 feet)
This adhesive wins hands down on tackiness (the good kind). If you have two items that you never want to be separated, then this is the adhesive for you! The E-Z Runner holds two items together like they are in a vise.

Most Innovative Design
Martha Stewart Crafts Tab and Roll (32.8 feet)
The Tab and Roll adhesive is designed to be two adhesives in one. When in stamp mode, you will get a small tab of adhesive – which is great for those who want to conserve their glue. It can then be switched to a roller mode for longer adhesive strips. In either mode, it works best on flat paper on a flat surface. The bulky cartridge makes it difficult to keep the unit flat when in roller mode, so some adhesive dots don’t adhere correctly. It’s also unfortunate that adhesive is wasted when switching between the tab and roller modes. Keep trying Martha!

Most Difficult to Find
Kokuyo Dotliner (52.5 feet)
Last year when Kokuyo announced it was discontinuing its American distribution of the popular Dotliner, scrapbookers began to stockpile this beloved adhesive. While it can be found on several specialty online sites in its Japanese packaging, it’s not sold in mass distribution as it used to be. For those who love this adhesive, the Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller is almost the twin sister of the Kokuyo brand. It works and functions pretty much exactly like the Kokuyo. Note: Don’t confuse the Kokuyo Dotliner with the Dotliner POWER. They are completely different adhesives.

Widest Adhesive
Kokuyo Dotliner POWER (32 feet)
At 10mm, this adhesive is the widest I tested. It is super tacky and will hold your project together tightly. It works best in a straight line. The adhesive case is huge and difficult to hold, not to mention difficult to find at your local scrapbook store. A good substitute is the Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Runner. It’s not as wide but it definitely has the tackiness to hold a project together.

Quietest Adhesive
The Duck (27 feet)
If you’re working in “stealth” mode late at night, the Duck will adhere your items with quiet ease. They’ve changed the adhesives’ shape from dots to lines so it’s no longer possible to erase stray adhesive, but if you’re working into the wee hours and don’t want to wake your family this is a good choice.

For a complete guide to the features of all the adhesives that Molly tested, download our PDF comparison chart of dot adhesives!


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Watch Scrapbook Update ***Live*** from CHA on Tuesday at 4pm CDT!

Scrapbook Update is going to be bringing you a new kind of coverage from the CHA show floor on Tuesday, July 27th from 4pm-6pm CDT. Editor Nancy Nally will be doing a multimedia live blog tour of the show floor to show off some highlights of the show and provide an overview of what the show is like. We’re planning to bring you text, photos, audio, and video content as part of the live blog right from the show floor! And you’ll be able to interact with your Scrapbook Update reporter on the scene by commenting on what you’re seeing, and asking questions!

To watch the coverage live just visit the Scrapbook Update live blog page anytime during the 4pm-6pm coverage window on Tuesday. If you miss the live event, the coverage will be archived for reading/watching afterwards to see what you missed.

Afraid you’ll forget about the live blog event? If you click through to the live blog page right now, you can sign up to have the live blog service send you a reminder email about the event ahead of time!

Please Note: Plans are subject to change because this event is heavily dependent on cell reception conditions in the convention center. [Insert your own AT&T or iPhone 4 antennae joke here.]

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