Readers of this blog will know that my go-to glue for collage in my journals is PURPLE UHU Gluestick. It goes on purple, dries clear. I burnish my pieces down and put them under a weight to dry for a bit (usually an hour or whenever I come back to the journal that day) and the stuff keeps things stuck to all manner of pages, even heavily sized watercolor papers. And it keeps things stuck down even when I turn the page and start painting with sloppy wet watercolor washes, the moisture of which seeps through the page.
In short I have loved this glue for longer than I can remember.
Note: You can read about how I feel about the various glues and adhesives on the market in a more indepth post here: Glue and the Xyron Machine and Other Sticky Stuff: Sticking Things into Your Journal.)
Purple UHU also doesn't smell.
Which is key to me.
Then last week I ran out so I called Wet Paint to get some. Darin (the manager) told me they just had BLUE.
BLUE! I wondered about that, stopped by and smelled it. IT SMELLED WORSE THAN THE WHITE UHU!
Dazed I left the store and returned home with other glue sticks to try, but not very hopeful.
I looked on line and found that Blick carried it on line and called the local store. They had "a lot" the kid who answered their phone said.
I went over and a lot turned out to be about 15 sticks of the largest size and some various smaller sticks. As I reached up to pull down an entire box of 12 the other glue sticks slid down into place. They were all the BLUE.
I called a friend (who might not want to be known) and he did a little checking for me. According to his sources Blue is the NEW Purple.
I have 12 large sticks of Purple UHU. I know I have told you all again and again not to get comfortable, that supplies come and go. I just never felt it would be my gluestick. Paper, paints, brushes, pencils—yes, yes, yes, yes. But my glue stick?
I could go back to Blick and buy up all the smaller sticks of Purple UHU, but I don't know how long a shelf life the unopened sticks will have. I can't even get my head around where and how I would store it.
I am not advising you to go out and stockpile. (Though many of you think 12 large sticks is stockpiling—but really I'll be out of it in no time.) I'm writing about this today to give you a heads up.
If finding a new glue (because you also use Purple UHU for the wonderful reasons I do) wasn't on your radar now it is. Get out there and experiment, find a new glue that works for what you need.
If it doesn't smell, please give me a shout. (And no I don't and won't use Yes! Paste as it is smellier than I care for, messy, and I find that it warps lightweight papers too much.)
When my Purple sticks run out I am going to use WHITE UHU until I find a substitute. WHITE UHU smells offensive to me so it isn't what I consider a long term solution. It does seem to have the same properties as the Purple, however so that's something. Sigh.
So far I have ruled out the following:
Yasamoto tube of some sort of paste—it has a floral odor and some weird instructions that I don't recall.
Scotch Wrinkle-Free Glue Stick (Clear in a small stick—point against for the small stick, makes application tedius on large pieces). It seems to be wrinkle-free and it doesn't smell badly (two points in favor). It is very tacky in it's application, making it messy, sticky, and slow. (All Deal BREAKERS.) Pretty much all the Scotch glue sticks I've tried over the years haven't worked for me for one reason or another—there was a purple one for photos that didn't hold photo paper down, and all of them have been small sticks. I like the wider stick to cover more ground quickly. Unless someone reports that they have found a large wonder glue stick from Scotch I won't even spend my money on testing other products from them.
Elmer's Photo Sticks—smelly and messy on application.
Tombow Aqua Mono Liquid Glue—with a pen tip and a broad tip. This is liquid and the pen tip is useless for me. The broad tip is interesting (a small supply hole surrounded by plastic bristles that create a spreading tip of 3/8 inch width or so). While it allows you to feed and spread the liquid along it doesn't move easily on all papers, needs a lot of movement to cover a large area, is messier than glue stick (gets on your fingers more as you pick things up), and has a tendency to SEEP out from under your item as you burnish it in place—Deal Breaker for me, as well as the narrowness of the "broad tip." The smell is very faint and almost unnoticeable for people bothered by smells who want a glue like this. I have tested a lot of different papers and the lighterweight ones are more altered by this liquid glue than I like (or than happens with glue stick). I also wouldn't use it for that reason. The items aren't through drying though, so I haven't tested how they hold up when you paint on the reverse side. Check back in a couple days for an update on that aspect. Not something I'll continue to use, even though it holds up to the smell test!—Note: After about 6 hours of drying in a closed, weighted book with waxed paper separating the pages the glue is still not dry! This never happens with PURPLE UHU. Also the pages feel damp because they have been redistributing the moisture. The thin papers have warped a bit, even under pressure. All the different paper types seem to have stuck fine, so that's good. However the glue now has a stronger smell than when it went on, perhaps because of being closed in the book. I'm not happy with that at all. Definitely not the glue for me.