Best Glue for Cardboard and Paper

Best Glue for Cardboard
Best Glue for Cardboard

It may be tricky to choose a suitable adhesive when you need to bond cardboard cause you must ensure that you make the right choice. You cannot use materials you are not supposed to utilize for your projects or special adhesives that may be unreliable. In the end, it will leave you disappointed.

To know more about the most reliable glue for cardboard and paper, below are the various types of glue.

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Glue Sticks

This type of adhesive has been around for decades and is often used by kids for arts and crafts. It is non-toxic, simple to apply, washable, and quick to dry. Glue sticks are polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or Polyvinyl acetate (PVA), with variations depending on the company's manufacturing.

Glue Sticks
Glue Sticks

Glue sticks have various shapes and adhesion strengths, such as permanent, adjustable, re-stickable, colored, or acid-free. It is used on cardboard and paper, and it can secure the material in place.

Also, glue sticks provide ease of use, but it also dries out quickly with every application. It tends to harden when the tube is not closed correctly.

PVA Glue

PVA Glue
PVA Glue

Polyvinyl Acetate is generally used for box sealing, bind books, glue thin pieces of wood, cardboard, crafts, and paints. It is preferred by many for arts and other projects where you need to glue various materials.

PVA is a permanent adhesive which makes it one of the best adhesives to used to bond cardboard. It has a white color and is clear once dried. Also, PVA is non-toxic, and there is no nasty smell that it emits. There are types of PVA glue, including PVA wood glue and water-resistant PVA glue. It can withstand getting exposed to rain once in a while, but not when submerged in water.

Super Glue

It is a popular alternative when people want to glue stuff because it is easy to use. It is also known as cyanoacrylate adhesive, a fast-acting glue or adhesive used for most materials. It is the go-to glue for many homeowners when they need to bond metal, glass, fabric, stone, glass-ceramic, paper, wood, and some types of plastic. There are super glue brands that are ideal to use on some plastic as they will not melt during application.

Super Glue is ideally used to bond cardboard together, primarily lighter cardboard. It dries quickly; it is incredibly strong and permanent. However, care is required during application because it gets on your skin, and you can only remove it with acetone solvent and not with water.

White Glue

This glue may not be the toughest adhesive to bond materials, but it is handy and versatile. As the name implies, the white glue has a white liquid appearance and is sold in plastic containers or bottles. It is also the glue used for arts and craft making.

Ideally used in paper, cloth, cardboard, and porous pottery, but it is not water-resistant. It also requires clamping the material together to help it attach effectively. It can take 45 to 60 minutes to set.

This glue is non-toxic, safe, and regularly used in school for art projects. Also, it is inexpensive and removable with water.

Elmer's Glue

This glue is PVA-based and a multipurpose adhesive used to bond paper, cloth, felt, and some wood. Since it is non-toxic, it is the most loved brand for teachers, students, and even parents. There is no nasty odor, non-toxic, and safe for kids to use. This glue is easily removed from clothes while washing, removable from the surface and the skin.

It is the perfect partner when making arts and crafts but not ideal for plastic, metal, and glass. Although it is not the most adhesive product to use in bonding cardboard, it will do for thin cardboard and other materials.

The surface should be clean, oil and dust-free, or not stick correctly when applying this product. You don’t need to clamp two materials together for a few minutes, especially paper.

Mod Podge

Mod Podge
Mod Podge

Mod Podge is a glue brand popular with crafters and art enthusiasts using it as a decoupage material. It is a polymer with polyvinyl acetate. It is used as a glue, sealer, and as finishing for most projects. Perfect for gluing paper, fabric, cardboard, glass, ceramic, wood, and some plastics.

It has a medium viscosity and white color with a creamy consistency. Also, there are available finishes such as matte, gloss, glitter, and more. Application is better with the use of a paintbrush.

If used on cardboard, the surface must be oil, grease, and dirt-free. When adhering paper or fabric to cardboard, a mod podge is also commonly used.

Acid-Free Glue

A glue that is alkaline or neutral and not containing acid. This is applied to papers for scrapbooking, arts, and photos. It is used for cardboard and other craft projects as well.

Acid-Free glue is super strong, non-toxic, does not color, and is permanent. During application, only a thin coating is needed, particularly for photos and paper. It is not advisable to use it excessively.

For cardboard use, you need to press the pieces together and let them dry thoroughly.

Contact Cement

A glue is made from elastic polymers and dissolved or mixed with a solvent called toluene, hexane, or acetone. The solvent helps the rubber stay fluid with every application. It dries out when left without its cover.

Contact cement has different varieties where one can work on various surfaces and another for just a specific surface.

This glue creates a permanent bond but must be allowed to dry before bonding two surfaces to make the bond more secure. It is used for various materials, such as leather, metal, wood, paper, and cardboard.

Epoxy Glue

This adhesive includes two compounds that you need to mix. It is the hardener and the resin often sold in tubes or cans. These two ingredients make the glue strong, durable, practical, and can resist water. It is used to bond metal, ceramics, rubber, plastics, and stone.

Epoxy glue is a strong adhesive that makes it a favorite even as industrial glue.

For cardboard, it is another glue that is effective, and with the option of liquid or paste, users can choose when they need epoxy glue for smaller applications or cover a wide area.

Using epoxy glue is ideal for mixing only the right amount of formula, so there will be no wasted adhesive.

Hot Glue

They used this with a gun to melt the glue stick and apply it to the material you are using. It is utilized for craft making and gluing different materials. They made glue sticks of EVA or Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, APAO (Amorphous Poly Alpha Olefin), and PA (Poly Amides), among other elements.

Hot glue can glue paper to paper, and using it is easy as long as you get the glue guns hot enough to melt the glue sticks to help create a runny consistency.

However, anyone using glue guns has to be careful with it, especially kids.

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What is the Best Glue to Use on Cardboard?

Best Glue for Cardboard
Best Glue for Cardboard

The best glue to use is PVA GLUE OR CONTACT CEMENT. If you want a more affordable glue, PVA is cheaper, while contact cement is expensive. Both adhesives are durable and dry quickly.

PVA is strong enough to hold the cardboard together, and it only requires a thin layer applied to the surface. It also dries quickly, but for it to adhere completely, you need a few hours to ensure the bond quality.

Contact Cement

If you need to glue cardboard to other materials, contact cement is ideal. It is also used as adhesives to wood or plexiglass. If using it to glue cardboard to cardboard, just a thin layer is required, and then drying for a few minutes is needed to have an instant bonded material.

Hot Glue

Because of its versatility, hot glue is also best to bond cardboard. It can be a permanent adhesion, and because of its runny consistency, it can fill up gaps and press two pieces of cardboard together. Also, since most hot glues are colorless, it looks neat once dried.

Best Glue Used for Paper to Paper?

Best Glue Used for Paper to Paper
Best Glue Used for Paper to Paper

If gluing paper to paper, there are many options of the best glue to use, such as:

PVA GLUE Some PVA glue is also known as white glue and is generally used in school projects or arts and craft making. Paper will bond securely with PVA glue as it dries fast when applied, stays flexible, and bonds strongly.

Glue Sticks

Since glue sticks are water-based, not only is it easy to use but safe for kids even if they have it on their skin, cleaning it with water is easy.

They commonly used glue sticks for projects where paper to paper adhesion is required. This glue dries quickly and is clear once dry. Glue sticks are often used for kid’s projects and for adults who use them for scrapbooking.

Elmers Glue

Besides being water-based, Elmer’s glue dries up quickly when you paste it on paper. As long as you apply just the right amount, there is no need to let it dry for minutes. The tip of the glue is also the perfect tool to apply the glue to the area. However, you need to make sure that you close the cap after use as it clogs up with dried glue after a while.

Spray Adhesives

If you need to bond a paper on a large area or a paper of enormous size, a spray adhesive is recommended. It may not be the ideal glue for minor projects or crafts, but this is an excellent option for a big-sized project. It also requires a ventilated area during application.

Best Hot Glue For Using on CardBoard

Various hot glue adhesives are used to bond cardboard.


This type of hot glue has a light color and will have less odor. It is utilized to join cardboard, carton, or cardboard with other materials. It may not be ideal for hard-to-bond materials, though.

Eva Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate

It is a high-performing hot glue that is around for decades. It is an everyday glue for cardboard and other materials. The consistency of this hot glue is the reason it is a favorite for most adhesive applications today.


Another hot glue is used to bond not just cardboard but also wood. It has a high-performance quality and is an excellent choice for most bonding applications. It requires a higher heat as compared to other hot glue.


This hot glue has been around since the 90s, and it is considered a regular glue that can bond cardboard, among other materials. It demands a high level of heat to get the consistency that is required for every application.

Some Samples of Hot Glue Sticks are Below:

* GORILLA HOT GLUE STICKS – This type of glue stick is popular because of its reliability. Also, it is water-resistant and is weatherproof. It has a smooth consistency when melted and is easy to apply during the process. It offers excellent adhesion for different materials, mainly cardboard.

* SUREBONDER HOT GLUE STICKS MINI – These hot glue sticks are safer to use and dependable to bond materials such as cardboard, fabric, foam, and paper. It can hold cardboard to cardboard adhesion with good quality. These hot glue sticks can melt even at lower temperatures.

* SUREBONDER HOT GLUE STICKS – An economical and affordable glue stick available for purchase. It also has a superior quality attachment and can bond various materials like cardboard.

* 3M HOT GLUE STICKS – Although there are various sizes of hot glue sticks from 3M, many people commonly use this size. It has a satisfactory bond quality for standard applications, including bonding cardboard to cardboard.

Can You Use Spray Adhesive on Paper?

It is an excellent choice whether for cardboard, wood, plastic, or paper. It offers a permanent bond when used on paper.

Spray adhesive is the favorite tool for people who don’t like using liquid glue. However, it requires correct usage, or it can be a big mess if used carelessly.


* When using spray adhesive, the working space has to be well-ventilated. It is not advised to use the spray in an enclosed area.

* Cover the area where you will work with plastic or paper sheets to avoid over-spray and clean the location.

* Ensure that the material to be bonded together is free from dust, lint, or even oil. Brush the paper surface and remove any particles before using the spray.

* Every time you use the spray adhesive, always shake the can first to help combine the ingredients and make it more effective.

* Hold the spray a few inches away from the paper, or having it near the surface can cause puddles or bubbles to appear.

* Only a light coat is required if you are using it on paper. Overdoing it can ruin your project.

* Wait for a few seconds and let the adhesive set in before pasting the materials together. Smoothen the area until all points and the edges are joined completely.

What is the Best Method to Glue Paper to Cardboard?

When bonding paper and cardboard, there are various adhesives one can use for long-lasting or permanent adhesion. Some samples of adhesives are below.

White Glue

If sticking paper and cardboard together, white glue is one option. White glue is absorbed with the porous property of cardboard, and this helps the glue penetrate the inner lining of the material to help it adhere and stick together.

Once applied, it needs drying for 30 to 45 minutes for stronger adhesion. This glue is the best material for bonding paper to cardboard, and it can hold the materials together for long periods.

Hot Glue

When bonding paper to cardboard, another of your option is using hot glue. It provides a powerful bond for a long time. It is not messy as long as you know how to use it correctly, plus you have control of the thickness of the glue application.

Ensure that you use a thin application first if you do not want a bumpy surface quality after the application.

Spray Adhesives

If you need to bond cardboard to paper for your scrapbooking or craft-making, spray adhesive is also the most go-to glue for art enthusiasts. It is easy to apply since there is no messy glue to work with, but it requires care when spraying. Also, ensure you have read the instruction before the application.

Mod Podge

Another option is by using a mod podge to bind paper to cardboard. Mod podge is a popular means for those who love to do artwork, and it is commonly used as well with cardboard to paper. Different brands are available depending on the finish you prefer, such as matte, gloss, and more.

Sometimes mod podge is used when adhering newspaper to cardboard to make stunning creations, such as decorative boxes, coasters, canvas art, and more.

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Ian Walsh is the creator and author of and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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