Acid-Free Adhesives

Scrapbooks are a great way to preserve memories and photos. However, it’s the adhesives or glues that hold it all together. Glues are used to hold our personal and family memories for a lifetime and beyond, so we need to make that they are the right ones. There are so many options available today, so a little advice will go a long way to preserving precious memories.

The days of white glue, rubber cement, cellophane or sticky tape have been replaced with photo corners, brad fasteners, acid-free glues, double-sided tapes, glue dots and tabs, liquids and pastes. 

It is imperative that you choose one of these newer options to prevent damage and degradation of your photos, especially if you choose to use original photos.

Types of Adhesives

There are two different types - wet or dry.

The wet types are usually glue and come in liquid, paste, stick or spray form.

The dry types are usually produced in tape, tab, dot or photo corners form.

In either case look for the words :-

  • acid-free
  • pH neutral
  • archival safe
  • photo safe

Using glue or tape on the back of photos is you own choice. However, photo corners work best if you want to be able to remove the photos at a later date and you don't want them to be damaged by the glue. Photo corners are the best idea for heritage photos especially if you are using originals.

Remember to read the labels on the glue, tape or spray before buying them. Most manufacturers will list what the product is best for and whether it is acid-free or not.

Glue Sticks

Glue Sticks are inexpensive, easy to use and not messy.

They are great to stick two layers of paper or cardboard together, or, paper to cardboard.

You only need a small amount on each corner and in the middle if you are attaching a small piece of paper or cardboard to a larger piece. The more you use the more lumpy and damp your layout will become.


Liquid Glue

Liquid glue is one of my favourites and I like to use it on the back of photos to attach to a mat background and adding embellishments like flowers.

Liquid glue can come in a small bottle or a pen.

It can be a little messy so only use the smallest amount. As it is a wet type, the more you use the more lumpy the page will become as the paper aborbs the moisture.

Double-sided tape

Double-sided tape is another great product and easy to use. It will come in a roll or a tape dispenser and can come in a number of different widths and lengths.

If you buy a roll, you unravel the roll the desired length of tape you need and one side will have a backing adhered to it. You can stick the tape to you page or photo first then remove the backing.

If you have a tape dispenser, you roll or run the dispenser over the area you want the tape and your item is all ready to be adhered. Tape dispensers can be disposable or refillable so choose the option that suits you budget the best. 

Glue dots

Glue dots are small dots of adhesive that are great for adding dimensional or heavier elements such as ribbon or buttons to pages. They come in a roll or sheet, and are pre-dispensed in a small box.  

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