Today I thought I would talk about adhesive choices when creating collage work.
Glue sticks work well for gluing paper onto other paper surfaces. The glue is lightweight, so it helps to prevent the paper underneath from curling and warping.
Glue sticks however, have a tendency to cause your paper images to become unglued from the surface. So it's really important that you completely and evenly cover the area to be glued and press the image firmly onto your base paper.
I like to use the handle part of my scissors or a bone folder to press my image firmly onto surface.
Glue sticks in my opinion are really only good for gluing paper to paper and should be avoided when gluing paper to canvas, wood or objects.
There are other glues that are much more durable for those surfaces.
Moge Podge and Matte Medium
Mod Podge and Matte Medium are very similar. They both come in either matte or gloss finishes, they dry clear and they are both excellent for gluing images to canvas, wood or objects.
To use simply brush on a layer of the glue of your choice to the back of your image. Place your image on your canvas and then brush another layer of glue over the image to seal it in place. Make sure to press firmly to remove any air bubbles underneath your image.
Both glues dry pretty quickly, but you will have a few seconds to move your image around. Just note that your paper will become weak and more likely to tear if you move it around too much after gluing.
*Tip* For those of you who don't mind getting messy, try applying your glue with your fingers instead of a brush. I find that using my fingers to apply the glue gives me great control on the amount of glue applied to my paper and it allows for better control on removing air bubble under my images. I just simply press the glue covered images firmly down onto my canvas with my fingers (I press quite hard). Just make sure that your fingers are well coated in glue or you will tear your paper. Lubrication makes everything better! :)
Pros and Cons of Mod Podge and Matte Medium
Mod Podge is thicker than Matte Medium and can be thinned out slightly with a little water. It is also less expensive than Matte Medium. I tend to prefer Matte Medium over Mod Podge just because I find Mod Podge to be too thick for my taste and find using water to thin it out to be a pain. The use of water can also make my paper images too weak and cause them to tear. Mod Podge is definitely not for delicate papers!
You can find Mod Podge in the craft section at Walmart or in the adhesive section at the craft store.
Matte Medium is what I always use. Yes, it is a little more pricey, but the ease of use has me sold. I have not yet found a surface that I couldn't use Matte Medium on. It works great for papers (even some delicate papers) as well as for gluing objects to my canvas or board.
Matte Medium is basically liquid plastic so it works really well for protecting vintage text and images, which have acids in them and can destroy your collage over time.
Just simply add a layer of Matte Medium to the back side and front side of the vintage image to coat it and add to your collage. That's it. Your image has now is protected by a layer of plastic!
You can find Matte Medium in the painting section at the craft store.
This is by no means a definitive list of the glues available to use in collage, but they are what have worked best for me. Try out different glues and see which one you like best.