Friday, February 22, 2019

Glue Sponge Tutorial

Hello and Happy Friday!

I hope that everyone's had a good week and has something fun planned for the weekend. Today I want to share a super simple tip that I hope some of you will find useful! I am often asked how I go about gluing some of the more intricate and thin layered die cuts that I use. And, while I am certainly not averse to Xyron, (always remember to Xyron your paper *before* die cutting) or the occasional use of liquid glue with a super fine-tipped metal nozzle, when you have a *lot* of items to adhere - for example, if you are batch making cards - I've found that one of the simplest and quickest ways to glue your layered dies is with the use of a good old glue sponge!

Materials Needed:

1 largish sponge
1 lidded container which will hold the sponge (Old cottage cheese tubs, margarine tubs, etc. work great for this!)
Your favorite water based glue (Tacky glue, Art Glitter Glue, etc. will all work - just remember, this only works if the glue is WATER based.)

Rinse and moisten your sponge with warm water, squeezing well to remove the excess. You don't want your sponge dripping wet - just moist. Add a very, very small amount of water to your chosen container, just enough to barely cover the bottom. Place your sponge in your container. Using a light hand, gently "dot" the top of your sponge with your water based glue of choice. Use your pointer finger to gently "tap" the glue into the sponge. You don't want to waste an entire bottle of glue here, so don't try to squish your glue all the way throughout the sponge. The sponge does *not* need to be fully saturated with glue. You just need enough glue spread on top of the sponge to create a thin, even layer.

Now it's go time! Gently place your detailed die cut on top of your sponge, top side up, and again using your fingers, gently tap your cut into the sponge a few times. Gentle is the key here, don't try to smash it all the way to the bottom. You only want to pick up a thin layer of glue, this isn't a decoupage project, after all! Position your now glue-coated die layer onto its base layer and blot away any excess glue with a kitchen towel / paper towel.

And, you're done! Instead of spending an eternity trying to peel off the backer layer from a Xyron coated cut, or turning your entire project into a gluey mess because of too much flow from a bottle application, you've created a streamlined tool that will allow you to assemble layered dies faster than Henry Ford could say "Model T."

One great thing about using this technique, in addition making your project(s) quicker, is that all you have to do is snap the lid on your container and it's ready to use again the next time you need it! When finished with your glue work for the day, simply flip your sponge over in the container to keep the top moist. Next time you need to glue teensy die layers, flip it back over again, re-moisten as necessary, add more glue as necessary, and you're good to go! 

Things to remember:

Water based glue only!
Having a damp washcloth nearby in case you need to wipe off your gluey fingers is strongly recommended!
This technique works best on standard cardstock, glitter card, and matte papers. It's very nearly impossible to keep lux mirror card and glossy papers completely glue free.

Until next time - happy crafting!

*Die featured in this tutorial: Egg 1 (DR-83) by Scrap Man.


  1. I have never seen this tip before! Thank you!

    1. You are so very welcome, Catherine! The first time I ever encountered one of these was about a hundred years ago in elementary school. Our teacher had us make decoupage mugs for Mother's Day, and she put out several of them for us kids to use. It's funny how things come back! 😍