Book binding with glue may seem pretty straightforward, and to a certain extent, it is. And yes — managing a potentially shaky hand or figuring out the best angle to glue pages together is expected and may require practice at first.
However, the type and quality of book binding glue you apply are the main factors that will ultimately define the outcome and success of your DIY book binding activities.
So, before you set up your craft station and grab some superglue (warning: this is a big no-no!), here are a few of the best book binding glues that will guarantee fabulous results!
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Best book binding glues: Quick picks
Lineco Books By Hand pH Neutral Adhesive
- Quality product made specifically for book binding repairs
- Acid, free netural pH PVA glue
- Available in packs
Elmer’s E431 Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue
- Household craft brand
- Cheap product
- Best suited for lightweight projects
Yes! Acid-Free All-Purpose Stik Flat Glue
- Versatile glue paste
- Applied with brushes vs. bottle tips
- Safe for children
What to know about book binding glue
Before perusing our list, here are some important features to know about book binding repair glues.
There are various types of glue used for book binding, but the most commonly used for home crafting are the following:
PVA Glue (Poly Vinyl Acetate): Commonly referred to as “white glue.” Safe, versatile, and inexpensive. It becomes translucid when dried and, therefore, frequently used for DIY paper crafting and book binding. Low on toxic ingredients, clear finish, and acid-free.
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 a tinted trace of glue vs. complete transparency.
Whether scrapbooking or repairing an old Encyclopedia, know that each call for 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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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 save the day!
Lineco Books By Hand PH Neutral PVA Adhesive
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.
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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, do 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
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.
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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
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 dried.
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Like the previous products, this glue is non-toxic and odor-free. However, it is thicker and more buttery in consistency, making it more user-friendly for youngsters. And if you’re hesitant about crafting with a denser glue texture, 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
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 to avoid the possibility of wrinkly paper.
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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.
Gorilla 2 Part Epoxy — 5 Minute Set
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.
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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, transparent, highly permanent glue ready to be applied fuss-free, thanks to the tube’s precision control tip. Although less in quantity than other products, this Gorilla glue is surprisingly strong and works well on both lightweight and heavy-duty surfaces.
However, having 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
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.
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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 over glue application 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 or frequent crafting 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.
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!