What’s the Best Glue for Paper?

Amanda asks: Grace, what is the best adhesive to use for attaching paper on paper? Specifically, old paper onto new paper. Also, will you please start a Q&A craft blog? Great. Thanks.

Your wish is my command!

The most important thing to be aware of when using old paper and gluing papers together is the acidity. Old papers that are wood-based are going to yellow and deteriorate much faster than cotton-based papers and “acid-free” papers. So the last thing you want to do is add an acidic glue into the mix, too.

When I was in college, I took a book arts class in which we used YES glue, aka YES Lay Flat, which is cellulose-based and doesn’t make paper curl. The instructor swore by it. But I’ve found that YES starts to crackle and come unglued after a while, so my go-to glue is PVA glue. PVA is archival, water-soluble and stays flexible after it dries. (Schoolyard staple Elmer’s glue is similar.) I get my PVA glue in bulk from Hollander’s in Ann Arbor and decant it in a smaller squeeze bottle.

Also, this old-school website tells you how to glue anything to anything. Got more craft questions? Ask me!

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