All About Gel Mediums, Glues and Other Adhesives

Hello everyone,

This is Bela and I am super excited to be a part of Itsy Bitsy Design Team once again this year….

Today I am not here with an art project. I’m here to explain a very important topic which you all must have understood by now from the title.

I am taking this opportunity to explain to you all about what I know about glues in this post. I hope this will be helpful and solve lot of dilemmas and answer lot of queries you have in your head about adhesives.

Usually when we think about glue what comes in our mind is sticking or pasting. However, with the emergence of beautiful art works like scrapbooking, mixed media, decoupage etc. there are several products out there which can not only confuse you but also overwhelm you, when it comes to choosing the right adhesive for different purposes. I also get lot of questions about gel mediums , Deco Magic, and silicon glue when I conduct demos in stores. So without further ado, lets jump into this topic and I hope the details will give you further clarity and help you use glues with more confidence. By the end of this post you will definitely know which glue, adhesive or medium you need to use for which kind of art and craft.

Heavy Gel Medium:

I always get maximum questions related to Gel Medium and since this medium can be used in crafting as well as painting let me cover it first. Basically, heavy gel medium exactly as the name says is used for adhering heavy objects. It is extensively used for mixed media as usually lot of 3D elements are used in mixed media for textures and layering. To stick heavy metal embellishments, MDF cutouts, chipboards, resin embellishments etc. this is the best medium. It dries clear and the bond is very strong. Therefore it holds all the embellishments very well in their desired positions.

When crafting, whether you are using the matte or glossy doesn’t matter. If you use it to adhere then it will go under the element so you can use either the matte or the glossy.

However, when it comes to painting, we can mix heavy gel medium in acrylics to give volume to the paint. So if you are paintings with lot of textures or the project involves knife painting, then the glossy or the matte finish matters. You can choose which finish do you need according to your requirement.

Soft Gel Medium:

Just as the name says, the Soft Gel medium has a slightly more flowing consistency compared to the heavy gel. You can stick light weight things with this. It’s the best for scrapbooking , card making, etc.

I personally use it to give a coat to my pictures in scarpbooking layouts and mixed media. One coat of the matte or glossy, according to your preference can be applied on your photograph which will protect the photograph from the mediums that we use during process of creating the project.

Also, this gel is best for sticking small elements like craft pellets, art stones, microbeads, shimmer, glitter, sand, etc. Just apply the glue on the area and sprinkle the lighter elements on it or mix it along with craft pellets, art stones or microbeads or pearls and apply it on the desired areas with either a palette knife or a brush.

Now lets talk about its  use in paintings. Just like I have explained about the heavy gel medium you can use soft gel medium too in painting. The only difference is that you should use this when you are paintings something flat and don’t want dimension on your paintings. Just mix the glossy or the matte gel according to your preference with acrylics and paint away! It also gives more drying time to the paint and opens a window during which can play around with the colours if needed. You can achieve better shading on your canvas with acrylics which otherwise dries very fast.


Deco Magic:

Deco Magic is a premium decoupage glue specifically used for decoupage. It’s available in glossy and matte finishes,  so you can select the one you need. It works well for decoupage napkins as well as decoupage paper which is a little thicket. It is also widely used for reverse decoupage. Other than that, this glue can be used for sticking regular craft elements on to various surfaces.

Silicon Glue:

This is a super strong glue and I reach out for it when I want to adhere something strongly but at the same time want the glue application to be precise. Its so easy to apply it right where you need, even in tiny areas…thanks to the precision nozzle. For small or tiny metals, MDF elements, paper flowers, microbeads, chipboard etc. I often use this glue.

Texture Tack:

This  Glue is awesome and has strong adhesion if you have to stick tiny embellishments like sequins, glitter balls, microbeads, sand, sparkle or any other kind of sprinkles. Apply it generously on to the area, leave it for 15 to 20 minutes till tacky, after that sprinkle any of the tiny sprinkles as desired. Great for mixed media, paper crafting, general crafts and more.


Craft Glue:

Craft glue is used for basic crafting, for example, school projects, DIY’s, card making etc. It is ideal for sticking most craft accessories like crystals, craft sticks, buttons, sequins, ribbons, glitter, papers and general craft supplies which are usually used in school projects or by kids. It is non-toxic and water based so comes off easily if kids get it on their hands and is also safe for them .

Paper Crafting Glue:

This glue again like craft glue is for paper crafting. It is water based and non toxic so safe for children. Spreads easily, best for scrapbooking, school projects, sticking light embellishments etc.


Scrapbooking Glue:

It is acid free and non toxic. The best part about this glue is that it has archival quality and is  photo safe. It dries quickly and is super strong. I absolutely love to use this glue for my art journals. As the name says it can be used for  scrapbooking and other paper crafts like quilling and punch craft because it has a precision nozzle which helps precise application.

Extra PVA Glue:

This versatile, multi surface, extra PVA glue provides strong adhesion to most craft materials. Its concentrated is strong and can be used for any kind of crafting. Best for home and office use. It can be diluted with water for a free flowing consistency if needed.


Glue Gun:

Last but not the least, lets talk about glue gun. Very widely used by loads of people for different kinds of crafting. This is the most popular  kind of glue. There are 2 types of Gun available at the store, battery operated and electric. Both work the same way. You have to insert a glue stick in the gun and switch it on, the glue stick will heat up and the semi liquid glue then comes out of nozzle which can be applied on the desired areas.

Now lets get into the detail. This glue is awesome if you want to do 3D paper quilling, trousseau packing and I  love it absolutely for sticking voluminous flowers and leaves onto my projects as they are bulky but not heavy and glue works perfectly fine to stick them. However very heavy metals, or heavy embellishment cannot be stuck with it as it doesn’t hold them for long. To stick such elements you need something stronger.


With this blog post today, I have tried to cover as many glues as possible and written about them according to my experience. I hope you all find this post helpful and hope it solves your queries and answer lots of questions you have in mind.  Do not forget to share it with your crafty friends as it might help someone use the right product in the right way.

Thanks a million for sticking with me through a long blog post.  please feel free to ping me for any further doubt or query. I would be happy to help.

Love & Hugs










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