Friday, August 29, 2014

3 Best Glues for Felt Crafts

What are the best glues to use on felt? 

my favorite adhesives for felt sheets, needle felting and other felt crafts

3 best glues for felt crafts including needle felted fibers by the funky felter

After almost ten years working with all kinds of felt and fiber crafts, I have used many (many, many) types of adhesives. Either to glue felt to felt or to adhere other objects to the surface of felt sheets or needle felted wool. To save you a bit of headache (and perhaps a tantrum or two - been there, done that), I'm sharing my top three picks for felt adhesives as well as why and when to use them. In addition, I'll give you some pros and cons of each and a few little tips to make the glueing process go more smoothly. Let's get started!


MY 3 FAVORITE GLUES FOR FELT:


Good old fashioned white glue


WHAT? Aleene's Tacky Glue or a good quality, thick school glue.
WHY? It is kid-friendly and all crafters know how kids and felt sheet projects go hand in hand.
WHEN? It works well adhering felt cutouts to cardboard or other somewhat porous surfaces or vice versa.


PROS:
Kid-friendly, usually meaning non-smelly and low or non-toxic
Cheap or inexpensive compared to other permanent glues
Easy access, most non-crafters have this in their stash already, especially if they have kids

CONS:
Dries slowly and really must be left alone to set up and dry
Can be messy and show on the felt's surface if using too much (it globs up easily)
Isn't always reliable if you don't use enough or don't let it set long enough to dry


CRAFT TIPS: I recommend this mainly be your go-to adhesive for kid's projects and small felt cutout crafts because it is convenient and inexpensive. I don't recommend using it on more art oriented or sculptural needle felted pieces as it can show on the fibers when dry and isn't as strong as other permanent adhesives you could use.



Hot Glue

WHAT? The plug-in or battery operated style hot glue gun with glue sticks.
WHY? It is fast, permanent and really good at holding over time.
WHEN? It works well adhering felt to felt or other fiber or fabric.


PROS:
Fast, fast, fast
Holds great over time
No dry time to have to wait so instant moving on to the next step
Great for tacking felt in place before hand stitching like on masks

CONS:
Those little strings it leaves behind can drive you nuts
Doesn't always work well adhering felt to slick or non-porous surfaces like a tin can or plastic - best for felt to felt, fabric or ribbon
Not kid-friendly for little ones or even older ones without supervision


CRAFT TIPS: I recommend this mainly for felt on felt. I often use hot glue to tack down felt cutout pieces before hand stitching. Be sure not to get the glue where you plan to stitch though as it can be difficult to put your needle through later. I've had minor problems with hot glue peeling up when trying to adhere felt to tin cans or plastic so test it out first. Prep slick surfaces by cleaning well and making sure they are dry before using adhesive. Also stick the felt to the metal or plastic while the glue is still very hot to ensure a better hold.



Industrial permanent glue

WHAT? Super strong (and usually super smelly) industrial strength glues like E6000 or Beacon's Quick Grip.
WHY? It is very (very, very) permanent and dries clear.
WHEN? It works great for adhering, well, anything really, whether felt to felt or just about any object to felt.


PROS:
Super duper ridiculously strong hold that lasts
Waterproof after dry and dries clear
Easy to use and spread with a toothpick for even coverage
Great for adhering objects like glass beads to needle felted fibers

CONS:
Smelly, extremely smelly - wear a mask and be in a well ventilated area
Industrial so definitely not kid-friendly
Dries slowly and needs to be secured and left alone so it adheres well
Can harden the felt when dried and also can cause crusty flakes on needle felted fibers if you use too much (you can shave them off with a new razor or trim them with nail scissors)
Strong hold means you have to get it right the first time - no do overs with this stuff!


CRAFT TIPS: I highly recommend this for art objects and needle felted fibers. It is also my go-to for gluing glass beads and other smooth surface objects to felt. I never worry about it coming up later. I use it on all my fiber art pendants and jewelry creations. Be careful with it though! It seriously is industrial strength so follow the instructions and use it wisely with precaution.




And please leave a comment sharing your own felt glue choices and tips. These are my top choices, but everyone has different preferences so do share! I like trying new things and enjoy your suggestions.



3 best glues for felt crafts by the funky felter


(*These are all my personal opinions. No paid advertising for products, just my recommendations of what I like to use on my own craft projects from years of gluing felt and occasionally gluing my fingers together.)


38 comments:

  1. Hey there...does it matter if it is the eco-felt vs the real wool felt? i am making a poodle skirt out of the eco-felt and need to glue the applique on and i was told that glue and eco-felt don't mix...what do you think?

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't use heat or hot glue with the eco-felt as it is probably made of a recycled plastic base which can melt. You might consider using a thick tacky glue and letting it dry for at least 24 hours. I personally recommend using a 100% wool felt or wool blend felt as it takes heat and can be used with a heat-n-bond iron on backing for making an applique.

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    2. Okay i want to know what you would recommend to adhere felt to fabric (t-shirt) and be able to remove. I would like to wear the shirt after halloween so i would most likely want to remove the felt.

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  2. I want to glue felt to fabric (t-shirt) and possibly, most likely remove. What do you recommend? For a halloween costume want to be able to wear it after halloween. Please help! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi, that's a bit of a tough one of you any to use the shirt after Halloween with no felt. You might consider buying sticky back Velcro tabs. They are sold in small squares and circles usually by the sewing supplies. With these, you could stick it to the shirt and felt to adhere temporarily. Or, a really strong double-sides tape could also work as a temp solution. Hope that helps!

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    2. Obviously this is WAAAAY too late, but in case it can help anyone else, elmers washable gel glue (the blue gel) comes right out of fabrics with a hot wash. I know this because I do faux batik using the glue instead of wax.

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  3. I recently made my son a costume and hot glued some small felt pieces onto a larger felt shirt. Can I put it in the washing machine? Or will the hot glue release?

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    Replies
    1. Having not had a similar situation, I can only give you an educated guess working with felt and other crafts over the years. I personally wouldn't recommend putting it in a washing machine due to the agitation and possible temperature changes. I would recommend hand washing if you want the best chance of it staying intact. Hope that helps!

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  4. Hi,
    we are making some santa keys as a christmas craft at Guides but are having nightmares with the hats. What would you recommend for sticking felt to keys. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. E6000 or Beacon's Quick Grip are my personal go-to's for a really strong glue bond. They do require a longer drying time than other glues (follow the label directions) and are a bit smelly, but usually works on sticking felt to metal, plastic or other objects. Hope that helps!

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  5. Hi! I am trying to glue felt to felt, and I'd like to get a glue gun (Elmer's doesn't seem to stick reliably?). Do you recommend a high temp or a low temp glue gun? Regular size or mini? Thank you SO much for the help!

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    Replies
    1. Personally, I like to use high temp, mini size glue guns. (I sometimes have had trouble with low temp glue adhering well and bonding.) Hope that helps!

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  6. Any suggestions for gluing craft foam to felt? We're working on a quiet book.

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    Replies
    1. E6000 or Beacon's Quick Grip would be my recommendation for a lasting bond (follow the directions on the label). You might also look specifically for a craft foam glue to use. I haven't tried that, but in this case, it might be a better option. Sounds like a fun project! Hope it goes well for you :)

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    2. I'm doing a craft table for the kids tomorrow at my daughter's 6th bday party. We are making ornaments using felt and I want to use elmers glue as it is kid friendly... And this will be kids doing the project. But want to make sure that buttons will stick to the felt using elmers glue... Or what else I could use that is kid friendly and that will hold up. Thank you

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    3. I apologize for not answering sooner! I hope the party went well. For kids especially, a thick non-toxic white glue is what I would recommend. It does take some drying time though so it would be something I'd have the kids do first, let sit during other activities and then come back to it. If it is handled a lot during drying, it will fall apart so hands off after you apply the white glue for at least a few hours. And, I would layer it on pretty thick to adhere well.

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  7. Hello, I was wondering if you could help. We are trying to display a pack of vintage playing cards in a frame and wanted them mounted on felt (like a poker table). First attempt we used Bostick- Blu Tack repositional glu sticky dots (these were like the glue you get onbthe back of a credit card in the post). Over night they all fell off inside the frame. Doh. Second attempt we used double sided tape. They have a week later started falling off again..
    any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you want to keep the vintage cards unharmed, I would consider using photo mounting corners with your cards. You should be able to adhere the mounting corners using a strong bonding glue like E6000 or Beacon's Quick Grip and leave the actual cards unharmed. If you aren't concerned about damaging the cards, you could use the strong bonding glue directly on the back of the cards themselves. Hope that helps!

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  8. Hello, i want to make a play mat. I know many ppl use glue guns for these but i am concerned that it wont leave a smooth finish. I have worked with E6000 to make costumes before and thought it worked out well. My concern is, once the project is done, will it still be harmful for children? And will the mat be so stiff that I won't be able to roll it up for storage? Thanks for putting this up, it was helpful reading the different glue recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. E6000 while a great, strong bonding glue is not non-toxic like an Elmer's white glue made for kids. That would have to be a judgement call on your part as to whether you feel the glue would stay adhered and not be harmful if it came up and was ingested. I am uncertain if it would be too stiff to roll for storage, not having any experience making this particular craft project. I recommend you do a small trial version testing your various glue options to see what works best. Best wishes on your play mat!

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  9. Thank you so much for the information. I am making felt frosty the snowman hats for Christmas and I was using a spray adhesive, which worked fine in the beginning, only now it is coming loose. I didn't want to use hot glue because I was afraid of lumps and bumps under the felt. I have E6000 so I will try that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the E6000 works well for you. I have always had good luck with it adhering felt to almost anything! Beacon's Quick Grip is a bit faster drying and also an excellent glue product for many diverse materials including felt.

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  10. Hello I'm making a quiet book out of felt and the only pre made shapes had adhesive on the back. Can I put glue over the adhesive? Do you think this will work as a long term solution? Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First, I'd recommend that you sacrifice one shape, cut it into a few small pieces and test some glues on it. I think your best bet would probably be to stitch around the edges with colorful embroidery thread though after putting down the adhesive backed felt shapes. You could use a simple running stitch or whip stitch along the edges to secure them in place. Your needle might get a bit gunky from the glue sticking to it, but you can clean it off with a bit of rubbing alcohol and keep on going. Let me know how your glue tests go if you try it. A thick tacky glue, quick grip or e6000 would probably work best; however, for a book that a child is going to use often, I personally don't recommend using toxic glues of any kind. It is entirely your decision, but stitching (as slow as it may be) is probably the safer route here to go. Best wishes on your project!

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  11. Thank you so much for the tips. I am a very crafty person and do projects with my kids A LOT. However this is the first time I've ever tried to glue felt with the kids. Very careful kids and hot glue to the rescue. The white glue turned into a HUGE mess :)

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  12. I am helping my grandson do a valentine mailbox and would like to put felt over a cranberry juice plastic bottle. What would hold best for this project? Thanks!

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  13. Before I knew it my husband ironed an iron on decal on his poker table project. Right dab in the middle of the felt part. I have a really good feeling it is not going to stay. I hate to tell him that. Do you know of any type of spray we can spray on top of it to seal it? He still needs his cards to slide across the table with ease. HELP!

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  14. I'm having a superhero b-day party for my 3 year old. I have nylon capes I want the kids to be able to decorate. I was thinking of using the felt sheets that come with an adhesive on the back so the kids can easily (with the help of parents) peel and stick on the capes.
    Do you think they will stick to nylon?
    Option 2 would be for me to make a bunch of felt capes and use the peel and stick felt to decorate. But not even sure if that would stick. :/
    Do you have any experience with these types of material/products?
    Thanks!

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  15. Your blog is very informing, thank you. I want to try my hand at these bib necklaces. I'm going to back it with felt, but actually glue beads and foil-back rhinestones on to my template made from sheets of foam. I've searched and many comments are that some glues will eat away at the foil back, resulting in the rhinestone to loose it's color. Any suggestion for adhesive here?

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  16. Where can I buy E6000?

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  17. Hey,
    I want to make a blanket for a Model Horse. What would I use to glue ribbon to felt?

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  18. This was very helpful. Thank you.

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  19. Hi, I've been working with a glue gun and it worked great for felt on felt. when I tried to glue the felt to a knitted hat and a sweater though, it wouldn't adhere...any ideas why and what to use? I'm in a time crunch now and I'm contemplating duct tape lol. Help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would recommend simply hand stitching it on to the knit materials. It will hold up better over time. A basic running stitch or backstitch for a more finished look would both work well. Hope that helps!

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  20. My glue gun isn't working to stick felt to a sweater...what should I use? Help!

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  21. I am making a train table, we chose to use felt for the grass and water. What glue would u recommend? I would like a nice smooth finish

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  22. Hi, I'm trying to make big swollen Mickey Mouse gloves out of felt fabric, intending to stuff them with upholstery foam on the inside. Is there any glue you can recommend that won't give any visible damage to the felt while applying the foam?

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