Best book binding glues: Easy-to-use adhesives for permanent repairs and crafting

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Overall, DIY book binding projects seem pretty straightforward, but it’s important to remember that the quality of your adhesive will ultimately determine the quality of your projects.

Whether you opt to craft with book binding glue or book binding tape, using a strong, durable adhesive is essential to keeping your books in great shape over time.

To help you achieve long-lasting, tip-top results, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best book binding glues below. If you want something more all-inclusive, check out our favorite book binding kits!

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Description:

The perfect match for book lovers searching for top-quality products curated specifically for book binding.

$8.80 ($2.20 / Ounce)
Description:

This household craft brand guarantees excellent results for lightweight projects. 

$10.99 ($2.75 / Fl Oz)
Description:

This child-safe book binding glue is thicker in consistency and best suited for larger coverage.

$30.37
09/17/2023 05:42 pm GMT

What to know about book binding glue

Before perusing our list, review the book binding repair glue essentials below to make the right pick.

Glue type

There are various types of glue used for book binding, but the ones typically used for home crafting are:

PVA Glue (Poly Vinyl Acetate): Commonly referred to as “white glue.” Safe, versatile, and inexpensive. This glue becomes clear when dry and, therefore, is frequently used for DIY paper crafting and book binding ventures. It’s also acid-free and low on toxic ingredients.

Two-Part Epoxy Glue: This product requires mixing epoxy and hardeners to create adhesive. Very strong bonding properties, but not as flexible as PVA. Using this resource requires some know-how on epoxy curing.

Acrylic-Based Glue: Has a more moist, watery consistency. Excellent performance and is just as strong as PVA glues. Ideal for tackling wrinkles and potential crumpling of paper. It may sometimes leave traces of glue vs. complete transparency.

Adhesive Strength

Whether scrapbooking or repairing an old Encyclopedia, know that every projects requires different levels of adhesive strength — especially if you’re looking for long-lasting results.

Choosing a book binding glue compatible with the weight and consistency of your paper/pages is crucial in ensuring they won’t fall apart.

If you’re a home crafter investing in papercraft projects such as bullet journaling, scrapbooking, or putting a sketchbook together, lightweight or craft-grade glue will do the trick.

On the other hand, heavier materials such as hardcovers may demand a heavy-duty or industrial-grade alternative.

Neutral pH

This is one of the most crucial factors when purchasing glue for book binding. When working with paper, you should aim for acid-free neutral pH glues. Fortunately, this is the standard for DIY and home crafting glues, but it’s not always the case.

Another advantage of this feature is that it usually means that glue is UV resistant and waterproof once dry — incredibly convenient if you’re aiming for preservation.

By overlooking this factor, essentially, you’ll be wasting your precious time. Glues with acidic pH levels will cause yellowing and browning of your paper and, possibly, the deterioration of your book’s spine.

Glue color

Many times glues may be tinted with yellow or brown undertones. Once these dry up, they will leave noticeable traces of where adhesive was applied. Therefore, we highly advise choosing a clear product when searching for book binding glues.

Know that color doesn’t interfere with performance, but it will stain and alter the overall aesthetic of your project. So stick with clear glue unless you’re intentionally aiming for an ancient book vibe for a theater prop or cosplay project.

Flexibility

It’s only natural to expect flexibility when book binding — the whole purpose is to repair or bind pages to be flipped effortlessly! Therefore, be on the lookout for glues that ensure flexibility when dry.

Not doing so will result in rigid, stiff, and wrinkly pages on the verge of tearing. And while it may seem like a convenient household alternative, here’s a friendly reminder: superglue is not your friend for book binding projects!

Non-toxic ingredients

Although most lightweight and craft/student-grade glues are developed with few or zero toxic ingredients, more heavy-duty adhesives are likely to release toxic fumes.

For small-sized projects and DIY book binding, sticking to home crafting non-toxic glues is highly recommended. Remember, this doesn’t only affect you, but the environment as well!

Best book binding glue

Best book binding glue_FEATURE IMAGE
Photo via: zhikun sun (Adobe Stock Images)

Whether you’re looking for the best glue for book binding repairs, are all about stationery creative hobbies, or are looking to make your own books, we’re confident any of these book binding glues will help get the job done well!

Lineco Books By Hand PH Neutral PVA Adhesive

Lineco  books by hand book binding glue

Pros

  • Glue specifically developed for book binding
  • For all skill levels
  • Excellent properties

Cons

  • Can be hard to find
  • If used with other materials can cause them to warp
  • PVA can be less durable than epoxy or hot glue

Unlike many adhesives commonly used for book binding, Lineco Books by Hand pH Neutral Adhesive is one of the few products developed explicitly for this craft.

As one of the most sought-after and user-friendly options for hobbyists, this clear PVA book binding glue ticks every box needed to achieve successful results — flexibility, strength, waterproof properties, and non-toxic ingredients.

Also, its acid-free, neutral pH formula ensures pages do not yellow or brown over time. In addition, book binding newbies can expect easy-to-control, precise pouring from the tapered tip.

Although this glue has a very thin consistency, it’s incredibly strong and a small quantity provides permanent results. As a result, you’ll have plenty of glue to go through many DIY book binding projects before you run out!

Another highlight of this product is its drying time. Once you’ve applied this glue, it will take a few hours until it fully sets, giving you enough time to rearrange or adjust your pages without feeling rushed. However, know that you’ll need to wait a couple of days until your project has completely dried.

Elmer’s E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue

Elmers paper and booking binding glues

Pros

  • Classic, reliable craft brand
  • Versatile product
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Can be hard to find
  • Not for heavy-duty projects
  • Best for hobbyists vs. professionals

Elmer’s E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue is a fantastic product to add to your craft desk if you’re a longtime hobbyist who loves the quality and reliability of classic brands.

While compatible with fabric and paper projects alike, this permanent glue works like a charm for book binding. It becomes colorless once dried due to its acid-free formula, is easy to apply, and is very flexible.

Because it’s been developed for fabric and paper and is slightly more versatile than the previous item, I highly suggest this glue for scrapbooking projects, making notebooks, or crafting an art journal from scratch — the outcomes are excellent!

One of the main highlights of this product is, undoubtedly, its price. This 4 fl oz (118ml) book binding glue bottle is available on Amazon for just ~$4. On the other hand, finding this product on other online retailers or art suppliers is difficult, which may inconvenience you depending on where you sit on the globe.

Keep in mind that this book binding glue is best suited for lightweight materials. If you’re looking for adhesives for hardcovers or glue for leather book binding projects, we recommend a more heavy-duty alternative.

Yes! Acid Free All-Purpose Stik Flat Glue

Yes acid free paste for all purposes

Pros

  • Large quantity of glue
  • Can be thinned with water for different consistencies
  • Child-friendly

Cons

  • Tub vs. precision tip
  • Very thick
  • Can get pricey

This all-purpose Yes! Glue Paste is a convenient, plentiful, and super versatile option if you’re a multi-craft hobbyist looking for a single product to accommodate different projects — including book binding!

Containing 1 pint (470ml) of acid-free, flexible, UV-resistant glue, this is an excellent product for binding school textbooks, scrapbooks, and journals. It’s also completely transparent and won’t leave traces of glue once dry.

Like the previous products, this glue is non-toxic and odor-free. However, it’s thicker and more buttery in consistency, making it user-friendly for youngsters. And if you’re hesitant about crafting with a denser glue, worry not; this product works just as well when thinned with water.

Contrary to other options listed, this glue comes in the form of a tub vs. a squeeze bottle with a nozzle and, therefore, requires a brush for application — a great solution if you’re covering more ample surfaces or working on larger papercraft projects.

This is also an easy glue to craft with because of its drying properties; you’ll have more than enough time to work through your DIY book binding projects without feeling pressured to stick pages impeccably on the first attempt.

Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue

Bearly Art precision craft glue

Pros

  • Ideal for heavy-duty projects
  • Includes different nozzle sizes for controlled pouring
  • High quality wrinkle-resistant glue

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t dry quickly
  • Not very beginner-friendly

One of the more heavy-duty (and pricier) items on our list is Bearly Art’s Precision Craft Glue, a strong, wrinkle-resistant adhesive that makes book binding a breeze.

This product comes in a 4 fl oz (118ml) size bottle and includes multiple tips to accommodate different project sizes and needs. Because of this, you’ll have greater control no matter your surface and can better avoid the possibility of wrinkly paper.

To upkeep your nozzles, you’ll also receive a cleaning pin to wipe excess glue after each crafting session to ensure they don’t get clogged. This glue is also pretty moist and not as dense as other products, so it may take a little longer to dry.

Once applied and dried, glue marks will be hard to detect, leaving your paper feeling smooth and organic. This is an excellent pick if you’re binding a book near and dear to you and aiming for discrete repairs and warp-free results.

Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue will work especially well for lightweight papercraft projects when applied in controlled portions and is just as efficient for leather book binding and hardcover book projects. For more heavy-duty ventures, we highly recommend getting a book binding press!

Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy — 5 Minute Set

Gorilla Epoxy glue for bookbinding

Pros

  • Very popular, reliable brand
  • Easy two-part epoxy glue
  • Strong binding properties

Cons

  • May require some practice
  • Not practical for beginners
  • Small quantity

Gorilla is one of the most well-known adhesive brands; popular for its extensive catalog of glues made to suit every type of material or craft project you can think of.

The 0.8 fl oz (25ml) two-part epoxy glue tube by Gorilla differs from the PVC or acrylic-based glues above because it requires combining epoxy and a hardener to create a sealant.

This container features two outlets. As a result, both substances pour simultaneously when the tube is squeezed, allowing you to control the amount of glue released without having to measure and mix these components individually.

Once combined, you’ll get robust, highly permanent clear glue ready to be applied fuss-free, due to the tube’s precision control tip. Although less in quantity vs. other products, Gorilla glue is surprisingly strong and works well on both lightweight and heavy-duty surfaces.

However, some experience with epoxy glue is advised before using this product. For example, this glue will require a specific time frame to set before being applicable, and adhesion properties will weaken if not used quickly after.

If you’re a beginner, this may result in a frustrating process if you’ve just started to explore these resources.

Perfect Paper Adhesive by ArtQuest

Perfect Paper for book binding

Pros

  • Budget-friendly student grade option
  • Ideal for lightweight binding projects
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • May need several coatings
  • Tends to leave tinted finishes
  • Best applied with brush for greater control

Last on our list is Paper Perfect Adhesive by ArtQuest, an acrylic-based glue ideal for lightweight book binding projects and more.

Because it’s acrylic-based, this product won’t be as thick as standard PVA book binding glues and will deliver more matte, slightly-tinted finishes. However, it is a very affordable and easy-to-apply product, making it perfect for students or book binding beginners.

For ~$11 on Amazon, this 7.9 fl oz (233 ml) size book binding glue is UV-resistant, waterproof when dry, and ensures long-lasting adhesion. Nevertheless, you may have to apply more glue for a consistent coat, considering it isn’t as dense as other brands.

I highly recommend this product if you’re on a budget and sticking to more straightforward projects. For instance, this is a great option to apply the perfect bound technique to assemble paper pads of soft cover books.

Also, because it is more watery, using a brush instead of squeezing this product directly from the bottle onto your surface will allow you to have greater control as you work through your project.

How to choose the best book binding glue for you

Purchasing a product for the first time can cause some hesitation. But, on the other hand, you’ll never know what’s right for you if you don’t test the waters!

Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when choosing the best book binding repair glues for you: 

  • Pick a product that matches your project size and the consistency of your paper. Remember to stick with lightweight glues for DIY paper crafting purposes and more heavy-duty adhesives for hardcovers, leather binding with stationery, etc. 
  • Distinguish which type of glue for book binding is best for your surfaces: PVA, acrylic-based, epoxy glue, etc. Each will respond differently to specific paper weights, book spines, and materials.
  • Choose a product that meets your needs. Are you looking for glues that can serve other crafting purposes, or are you solely focused on book binding projects?  
  • Are you looking for a more advanced product or something more straightforward? Squeeze-and-pour PVA glues are ideal for book binding beginners, while two-in-one epoxy glues commonly require some level of experience. 
  • Do you want a product that is also suitable for children? Most options are non-toxic, but drying speed and consistency are also worth considering when choosing a book binding glue for children.
  • When evaluating prices, be sure to confirm the quantity of glue in each product. You’ll be better off paying a little more for a larger portion if you’re planning on multiple projects vs. sporadic repairs. 
  • Consider glue consistency: understand the differences between thicker and thinner glues for book binding and how you can adapt these to suit your projects best. 
  • Besides book binding glue, book binding tape and book binding presses are other helpful supplies for this creative hobby.
  • If you’re not ready to start entirely from scratch, book binding kits are an excellent way to learn with a little more guidance at first.

That’s it for this list of the best book binding repair glues! Do you have any favorites or suggestions? Let everyone know in the comments below!

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