I’ve been really into upcycling tiles into coasters lately. Like, really into it. I love the process — as stressful as it can be. The fun part is painting the tiles, the stressful part is applying the epoxy resin, the irritating part is gluing on the cork backing. Folks have recommended using Mod Podge to affix the cork. But, I worry that Mod Podge won’t provide the longevity I’m looking for — especially since I sell these! I don’t want folks who purchase my products to have to glue it back together. I mean, it’ll probably happen eventually, but let’s at least get a few good months out of the original thing!
Glue can get expensive. I’ve been using E6000, which is a multi-purpose industrial strength adhesive. It’s about $8 per 3.7 fl oz bottle. That gets me about 5 sets of coasters. Then I have to go buy more glue! In an attempt to find a cheaper glue solution, I tested out a couple alternatives. And now I present my results. I’d LOVE to hear what you’ve used and the results you’ve seen. Do I need to give Mod Podge a chance?
I’ve been using E6000 to adhere cork backings to my tiles since day #1. I didn’t have enough faith in Mod Podge or other craft glues. The kind I’ve been purchasing says it’s “made for creating”. I don’t know how it really differs from the other versions of E6000. Like the version that’s appropriate for plumbing, or the kind that’s marketed for jewelry and beads, or the kind that’s made for “shoe art”. It looks like the ingredients are the same in all of them! Whatever, just get the “creating” one to be safe.
This glue, along with GOOP described below, gets tough to use in it’s container. It’s easy to use at first, but gets annoying when you start to run out of glue. The packaging will start to rip at the seams and glue will begin to squeeze out everywhere. Also, it’s a pain in the ass to get off of your skin!
BUT, it works really well. That cork is not coming off of that tile, and it dries clear. It does have a smell, but it doesn’t stick around for very long. I’d recommend E6000 for this job.
Pro tip: When the glue in the tube gets low, cut the tube open and scrape out the glue with an old brush or Popsicle stick. Get your money’s worth!
You can get E6000 at Amazon here, but check your local craft store or hardware store first to support them! I found this one at Michaels.
I’ve used Gorilla Glue before for random projects here and there. To be honest, I’ve never been the biggest fan of Gorilla Glue. I feel like it does some weird stuff. But, the blogosphere told me it works well on cork backings, so I gave it a shot. I got a whole 8 fl oz for $11, which is a steal! I thought I hit the jackpot — I was wrong.
The container is great! It’s really easy to apply and requires only a fraction of the effort it takes to use glues that are in a tube. I was super excited about that, but then the weird stuff happened. It foamed and completely soaked the cork, seeping through the cork and attaching to the tablecloth underneath. It dried into this snot yellow color and looked awful. Gross. I ended up having to pry the cork off with a razor and try again with a different type of glue. Needless to say, I will not be using Gorilla Glue for this purpose again. I wouldn’t recommend it.
You can get Gorilla Glue at Amazon here.
To be completely honest, every time I’ve seen GOOP glue in the craft store I make an “ugh” face. Why? For a really stupid reason. I have a negative visceral response to the glue GOOP because it reminds me of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand (blog? what is it really anyway??) also named “goop”. Just call me Petty Crocker. I know, I know. I need to work on this.
The GOOP Household version came with an application tip. At first I thought “OoooOoooo!!” In practice, it’s not very helpful — at least not for my needs. I don’t need precision, and the tip made it more difficult to get the glue out of the tube. I ended up with glue all over my hands, and this stuff is hard to get off! I ended up having to scrub my hands with a rough pad and vegetable oil to remove as much glue as possible.
GOOP performed much like E6000, except it smelled way worse. When using any glue be sure to have good ventilation, but whoa — this stuff was on another level. After 24 hours my apartment still smelled of GOOP. If I had to choose between GOOP and E6000, I’d go with E6000 because the smell wasn’t as pungent and did not linger as long.
You can get GOOP in at Amazon here. If you live in DC, I bought this bottle at Annie’s Ace Hardware. I couldn’t find it at Home Depot, so I wouldn’t bother looking there if I were you. They had a ton of Gorilla Glue though …
I noticed Weldbond during a trip to Michaels next to the E6000 and the Gorilla Glue, and then quickly googled it. Folks raved about it on some old message board, so I bought a tube.
It looks like regular old Elmer’s glue, which was disappointing at first. I associate white glue with a weak, sad bond. I’m so used to the clear GOOP or E6000, or the yellow-y Gorilla Glue. But, I was pleasantly surprised! It achieved a tight bond even on a funky tile with very little surface area. And, it wasn’t messy like E6000 or GOOP. The odor was very minimal, it was easier to apply than E6000 or GOOP, and clean-up was a breeze. I think I’ve found a new favorite!
If I had to rank these in order of best to worst, Weldbond would be first, E6000 second, GOOP third (due to smell), and Gorilla Glue isn’t even in the running. Weldbond, E6000, and GOOP are all around the same price, but come in different sizes. What about you? What do you out there in the interwebs use?