Did you break a piece of your polymer clay project off? Or are you simply looking for a solution to join polymer clay to something else, including itself?
Either way, we’ve got the solution for you. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the best glue for polymer clay, touching on the different types of glue available, as well as what to consider when buying these glues. We’ll even discuss how you can prepare your polymer clay for gluing in order to achieve the best results.
After you’ve read this article, you will have a better idea of how to join your polymer clay projects, as well as which glues to try and which to avoid. Rather than staring at products and wondering which to choose, you’ll have a go-to joining method you can depend on.
Are you ready to glue polymer clay? Let’s get started.
Got no time to read? Here are our best picks and why we picked them.
|Glue Name||Why We Picked It|
|Sculpey’s Oven Bake Clay Adhesive||Little to no pressure required to bond|
|Weldbond Universal Adhesive||Working time of one hour|
|Gorilla Super Glue Gel||Thick gel formula works well for vertical surfaces|
|Lisa Pavelka’s Poly Bonder||Specifically formulated for use with polymer clay|
|Elmer’s Super Glue||Bonds both porous and non-porous surfaces|
|Kato Liquid Polyclay||Cured liquid clay can be cut with scissors|
|Sculpey Translucent Liquid Bakeable Clay||Mixes with a variety of mediums for different results|
|E6000 Adhesive||Paintable after curing|
|Sculpey Bake & Bond||Adheres to porous materials, including polymer clay|
|Loctite Super Glue Gel||No-drip gel consistency|
What to Consider When Buying Glue for Polymer Clay
Below are the main characteristics of a polymer clay glue that you’ll want to look for as you shop.
Most of the glues we’ve included on this list don’t cost any more than a fast food meal, but if you’re someone who uses glue quite a bit, price can be a concern for you.
In this case, it’s especially important to look for glues that are going to respect your budget as much as you do. This could mean that you get more glue for your buck if you go a particular route, or that you invest in a higher quality glue from the get-go to make sure your projects stay put.
In the end, it may take spending a few extra dollars and trying out certain glues in order to find the one that works best for you. As you’ll see, certain types of polymer clays work well with specific glues, while others do not. Your results may vary depending on what you’re joining.
The difference between manageable working times and those that go by way too fast are sticky fingers that become superglued together.
As you’re looking through our list of the best polymer clay glues, pay attention to the working times listed. This feature could be the difference between you being able to set up your project how you want it and then letting it dry or, well, those sticky fingers again.
Do note that working times are approximate. They can be extended or shortened depending on how much glue you’re working with, how the glue reacts to the particular polymer clay you’re working with, and your environment, to name a few variables.
Chances are, you’ll probably have already figured out how you’re going to use your glue for your polymer clay projects. Either you’ve come to this article because you’ve broken something that needs fixed, or you want to attach pieces together that weren’t already attached.
In either case, application is extremely important. You should ask yourself: how do I want the glue to dry? Should it be clear or visible once dried? In many cases, polymer clay artists reject certain glues because they don’t dry transparent to leave no trace of the glue behind.
Beyond the glue itself, you should also consider how the piece will be used. Ask yourself how much wear and tear the piece will be subject to. Will it be sitting on a shelf for its entire life, or will you need to ensure it’s strong enough to withstand being passed around and handled?
Many artists create figurines, jewelry and other projects to share with others or even sell. In these cases, it’s imperative that you choose the right glue for your polymer clay projects so that your customers can be happy with their purchase. It’s never a good thing to have a piece fall apart after a customer has just purchased it, so choosing the right glue could be critical to future sales.
One final question you should ask yourself is how you can avoid glue altogether. There are many other ways to bond materials together without glue, especially given polymer clay must be baked in order to cure. How else can you adhere polymer clay to achieve the strongest result?
Sometimes it’s a physical or mechanical bond that’s created, rather than one with glue. For example, many jewelry pieces are fastened together with necklace chains, earring posts, or other means. You can also drill holes in pendants and polymer clay earrings in order to attach them as well.
Glue certainly helps as a means of attaching things together for a project, but it’s not the only solution.
Best Glue for Polymer Clay
Here they are, the best products for gluing polymer clay.
Sculpey Oven Bake Clay Adhesive
Sculpey’s Oven Bake Clay Adhesive brings together the best of the brand’s polymer clay. It’s a great alternative for joining clay that won’t break the bank. Plus, it comes in a handy bottle that’s built for small spaces.
Speaking of the bottle, Sculpey fits it with a precise flow cap that allows you to direct all 2 ounces exactly where you need it to go. Sculpey’s Clay Adhesive can be used to adhere raw clay to itself, raw clay to cured clay, and cured clay to cured clay. However, you must bake the liquid clay in order for it to set. Simply set your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and leave it in there for 30 minutes to cure.
Sculpey’s Oven Bake Clay Adhesive cannot be used with metal or glass. However, it will bond with porous materials such as paper and wood. In fact, it requires little pressure at all to bond the pieces before baking them. Plus, it’s also made right here in the United States of America.
- Little to no pressure required to bond
- Multimedia use for porous materials
- Won’t bond with glass or metal
Weldbond Universal Adhesive
As the name suggests, Weldbond provides a strong adhesion between polymer clay pieces. Beyond crafting, it has many uses. Because of its reputation for strong bonds, we’ve included it on our list of the best glues for polymer clay.
Weldbond dries transparent and provides just under an hour’s worth of working time. When it’s fully bonded, it becomes flexible. The odorless formula will likely be appreciated by those with sensitive noses, while the non-toxic formula cleans up with water. That’s an easy choice for projects where kids are involved.
Weldbond can be used with practically any common material, such as glass, clay, paper, suede, wood, and paint. However, it won’t work well with rubber, plastic, or some cast metals.
- Working time of one hour
- Cleans up easy with water
- Not for use with rubber, cast metals, or plastic
Gorilla Super Glue Gel
Their wacky commercials aside, Gorilla Glue is a trusted name in the gluing industry. This is especially true when it comes to gluing polymer clay. That’s just one of the reasons why we’ve chosen the Gorilla Super Glue Gel for our list.
This particular product includes four tubes of 0.11 ounces’ worth of Gorilla Super Glue Gel. This gel is formulated specifically not to run, so that you can bond surfaces that remain vertical. In fact, this super glue dries within 10-45 seconds.
Gorilla Glue knew that one of the biggest complaints most people had with super glue lies in the short shelf life. After all, if you can’t put the cap back on securely, they’re really one-time use glues. However, with this particular cap design, Gorilla Glue not only keeps the glue from drying out, but it reduces clogging as well.
Gorilla Glue’s super glue formula stands up against impacts, drying tight for a strong bond that lasts. In fact, Gorilla Glue recommends using only a single drop per square inch. You can easily bond plastics, rubber, leather, paper, metal, wood, ceramic, and many other materials with Gorilla Super Glue Gel.
- Thick gel formula works well for vertical surfaces
- No bonding required
- A little goes a long way
- Working time may be too quick for some crafters
Lisa Pavelka’s Poly Bonder
It used to be that Lisa Pavelka’s Poly Bonder was a closely-held secret, but that’s all changed. This particular glue works wonders to set like super glue but with the ability of liquid polymer clay to be baked in an oven to cure.
One of the best things about this particular glue solution is that it’s specifically formulated for use with polymer clay. In many cases, some of the glues you’ll come across will react negatively to the plastics in polymer clay. However, Poly Bonder should not have that reaction.
Using the brush applicator, simply apply Poly Bonder where necessary. The glue sets up nearly instantly to hold your polymer clay pieces together fast. Then, bake them in an oven up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit to set. You can easily use Poly Bonder to join ceramics, plastics, polymer clays, paper, and more.
- Specifically designed to be baked with polymer clays
- Also applicable for paper, plastic, ceramic, and more
- Brush applicator for easy application
- Small bottle makes this product a bit pricey
Elmer’s Super Glue
Nearly all of us have worked with Elmer’s glue in our elementary school days. But Elmer’s Super Glue isn’t your typical white school glue. Instead, it’s a potent glue that works wonders when it comes to providing a strong bond.
Using the three included 0.07 ounce tubes of Elmer’s super glue is easy. Just unscrew the cap, apply as much glue as is necessary, and hold together for a few seconds to promote bonding. There’s no clamping required and the bond is strong, fast, and versatile. Elmer’s super glue bonds metal, ceramics, plastic, and glass, as well as polymer clay.
- Bonds both porous and non-porous surfaces
- Works on multiple types of surfaces
- No clamping required
- Short working time
Kato Liquid Polyclay
Kato Liquid Polyclay may work best with Kato polymer clays, but it’s a great solution for bonding other clays as well. It’s available in a variety of colors that can be mixed to create the liquid clay type you’re looking for. For example, you can mix any transparent Kato Liquid Polyclay with opaque white Polyclay to form a colored opaque liquid clay.
Within this bottle are 2 ounces of Liquid Polyclay, which flows smoothly out the precision tip to easily level out. The replaceable cap keeps the liquid clay from drying out. This liquid clay shows exceptional strength and flexibility. Plus, it can be cured in sheets or poured into glass and/or metal molds to cure.
Once it is cured, it can be cut into whatever shape you desire with a pair of scissors. Kato Liquid Polyclay is made in the USA.
- Made in USA
- Levels out easily
- Cured liquid clay can be cut with scissors
- Clear not available in precise flow tip bottle
Sculpey Translucent Liquid Bakeable Clay
For bonds that should be hidden, use Sculpey Translucent Liquid Bakeable Clay. It’s a strong product in the Sculpey lineup that’s helped many a crafter before and continues to do so.
This three-pack of bottles includes 2 ounces of Liquid Bakeable Sculpey that must be baked in order to cure. You can easily use this product as an adhesive, but it also works in many other ways.
For example, you can use it as a transfer medium for color prints, or mix it with oil paints to create an enamel, glaze, or back-filling compound. You can also mix Sculpey’s Bakeable Clay with pigments or mica powders to be used as a stipple, metallic glaze, or grout for mosaics.
- Can be used as an adhesive
- Mixes with a variety of mediums for different results
- Works as a transfer medium
- Small bottles
E6000 isn’t just a product used in the sewing room. In fact, it’s a viable option for polymer clay pieces, especially if you’re looking for a strong bond that will last.
We chose the precision tip 1 ounce tube for the sheer bonding power contained within. This industrial strength adhesive is multi-purpose. It can be run through the dishwasher and remains temperature resistant after curing.
E6000 dries clear and can be painted after setting. Included are three attachable tips to ensure you place every drop right where it counts.
- Three attachable tips
- Dishwasher safe
- Paintable after curing
- Small amount in tube
Sculpey Bake & Bond Bakeable Adhesive Clay
Sculpey Bake & Bond is a household name when it comes to joining polymer clay. In fact, it’s one of the most common resources crafters turn to when they need to join different types of materials.
Perfect for all types of experience levels, Sculpey Bake & Bond must be baked in order to cure. The non-toxic formula is packaged into two bottles of 2 ounces each. There’s little pressure required to set the bond when it comes to Sculpey Bake & Bond.
This product will adhere unbaked clay to unbaked clay, raw clay to baked clay, and baked clay to baked clay. Plus, it also adheres other porous materials together as well.
- Adheres to porous materials, including polymer clay
- Little pressure required to set bond
- Great for all experience levels
- Requires baking to cure
Loctite Super Glue Gel
As the name suggests, this super glue holds materials together with a tight grip. There are many reasons why we’ve chosen Loctite Super Glue Gel for this list, so don’t let the placing of it fool you.
This Loctite product comes in two tubes of 0.7 ounces. The self-piercing tubes are topped by clog-free caps that ensure your super glue remains gel-like for your next use. The glue itself is moisture resistant and dries transparent in seconds. The gel consistency means you won’t have to worry about it dripping as you apply it.
You can easily use Loctite Super Glue Gel to bond metal and clay, as well as leather, rubber, wood, and most plastics. The high-strength formula works best on surfaces that have been lightly sanded first.
- Self-piercing tubes
- Moisture resistant
- No-drip gel consistency
- No included precision tip applicator
Types of Glue for Polymer Clay
Below is a list of the most common types, and what you can expect from them when it comes to working with polymer clay.
CA Glue (Super Glue)
We know these glues by their common name, which is super glue. However, CA, or cyanoacrylate adhesives glues are not all made the same. In many cases, they each contain specific properties that make them a good alternative for certain uses.
For instance, CA glues in general cure to a crystal clear state. They don’t flex well and typically cannot be baked. These glues are also known for curing quickly. This gives them a short shelf life and also lends itself to the strong odor many associate with super glues.
Some of the most common super glues out there are Loctite Gel Control, Gorilla Glue GEL Superglue, Zap-a-Gap, and Poly Bonder from Lisa Pavelka. Poly Bonder, unlike the other super glues on this list, actually can be baked.
Note that not all Gorilla Glue adhesives are super glues. In fact, original Gorilla Glue is a polyurethane formula. While original Gorilla Glue might not be the best choice for your polymer clay application, there are certainly other types of Gorilla Glue out there.
Super glues are a common method of joining polymer clay, among many other things. It’s typically one of the first joining methods people think of when they need to join pieces together in a solid bond. However, super glues are just one of the many glues out there, as you’ll see from the other options we’ve included in this list.
Here’s another acronym for you. PVA glue, or polyvinyl acetate glue, isn’t necessarily as well-known as CA glue, but it’s a lot more common than you might think. White glue, such as Elmer’s glue, along with carpenter’s and wood glue, are all PVA glue types.
PVA glues are most often used for porous materials. They have a thin consistency that allows for a longer working time than super glue for sure. While PVA glue won’t seal polymer clay, it can be used prior to baking raw polymer clay.
Common types of PVA glue include Weldbond, Sobo Glue, and Aleene’s Tacky Glue, as well as Elmer’s white glue, of course.
Just like super glue, adhesive is another type of joining method many people use. Individual adhesives will contain their own set of working times, consistency, and drying processes, but they all work to cement together two or more different pieces.
E6000 glue is a common gluing product you’ll find at your local craft store. While it works wonders for fabric, results with clay have been mixed. This clear, gel-like glue works well for jewelry making, though it does require a long time to completely dry. In many ways, it’s similar to super glue in that it doesn’t have a long shelf life and puts off a strong odor.
G-S Hypo cement is another adhesive you might try for your polymer clay creations. It’s a solvent-based glue that can be applied with a pinpoint needle tip. However, you may experience some of the same effects as the E6000, depending on your application.
One final adhesive product you might try is Liquid Fusion. It won’t foam up like some adhesives do and dries clear and glossy in anywhere from 2-4 hours. Non-toxic in formula, it resembles honey in terms of consistency. Many crafters have used it as a resin substitute, as it takes a full day to permanently cure.
What’s better to bond clay to clay than liquid clay itself? Many polymer clay brands offer their own version of liquid clay, which is simply a runnier version of the clay that doesn’t contain all the fillers. It’s a bit different from slip but mimics some of the same properties.
Kato Poly Paste, Sculpey Bake and Bond, Translucent Liquid Sculpey, Kato Liquid Polyclay, FIMO Liquid, and PVClay Gel are common liquid clay products you’ll likely come across in your shopping. Many of these liquid clays bake clear so you won’t have to worry about hiding seams once they’re joined.
Since liquid clay can be runny and requires baking to set, it’s not the best for joining baked clay to baked clay. That said, it is possible to apply liquid clay to baked pieces and then bake them again to set up. If you’re using this particular method, you will need something to hold the pieces in place as they bake to promote the bond.
Much like adhesives and super glues, epoxy is another method of joining components. Epoxies tend to work well with all types of clay, but sometimes can become brittle with age. The same could be said for adhesives and super glues, so it’s a toss up between the three.
At the same time, there are plastic-specific epoxies that may work better with your polymer clay creations. Common brands and products include Devcon and Epoxy 330. To create the best bond possible, it’s imperative to allow the epoxy to completely dry before using it.
How to Get the Most Out of Gluing Polymer Clay
Depending on what type of bond you’re looking for, there are a few things you can do to promote a strong bond when it comes to gluing together polymer clay. Here are a few tips:
- Clean both surfaces to remove excess oil. You can do this with a clean microfiber cloth. If you’re concerned about any oil that might be within a porous material, put a bit of isopropyl alcohol on the cloth and wipe.
- A light texture will help the glue to have something to stick to during the curing process. If you’re able to, lightly sand or score the surfaces where they’ll be joined.
- Apply a thin layer of glue to start out. Many of the products we’ve included, such as Gorilla Glue, only require a thin layer in order to bond. It is possible to achieve a very strong bond with just a thin layer of glue.
- You can easily use a Q-tip to apply glue if you need to. A Q-tip will sometimes provide better precision than the tip of the bottle.
- Experiment with similar pieces of clay to test for adverse reactions. This is also a good way to try out a few different types of glue in order to figure out which will give you the best results. After all, the perfect glue for one crafter might not be the same for another.
If you are working with polymer clay that has been surface treated, such as with paint or mica powder, the glue may or may not stick. It’s best to join the bare polymer clay itself, so that you won’t risk the glue coming unstuck from whatever surface treatments may crack or chip off.
Alternatives to Glue for Polymer Clay
As we mentioned before, there are alternatives to gluing polymer clay. For instance, you can use a mechanical bond to ensure pieces stick together. However, you can also use a hot glue gun, vinegar, and resin as alternative joining methods.
Hot Glue Gun
In some cases, it’s possible to use hot glue to bond your projects. Hot glue melts to conform to your pieces, especially when you apply pressure. Working with hot glue can be inexpensive compared to buying up lots of super glue as well, and it doesn’t require as quick of a hand since hot glue has about 20-30 seconds of working time.
However, certain types of hot glue can create issues with surface treatments such as paint in some cases. Plus, there’s also the heat to consider. Hot glue is very damaging to skin. Most hot glues will not dry completely clear, so that can be a consideration if you want to hide the joint.
Many people use hot glue to attach polymer clay beads to metal posts for earrings. While the metal piece may stick to the bead for a while, it’s not always the best long-term solution.
While epoxy resin certainly has its place in the crafting world for some amazing projects, there’s a trade-off if you’re going to use it as a bonding material. Most epoxy resins dry clear and provide a strong bond surface, but that only applies to the surfaces where the epoxy resin was placed. If you’re looking for a solid overall bond, you’ll likely need to resin the entire project.
At the same time, epoxy resin is not a material to take lightly. It’s a substance that can be incredibly messy and does require curing time in order to set fully. Keep this in mind if you plan on using epoxy resin for your polymer clay projects.
Many people have used vinegar in order to set the bond between polymer clay pieces. It’s applied before baking and works in the heat to create a strong bond that withstands high temperatures.
We hope you’ve found this article on the best glues for polymer clay useful in your search for a strong joining method. As you can see, there are many ways to join polymer clay, including various glue products that you can easily find in your local craft store or online. But there are plenty of other ways to join pieces as well. If you ever find yourself in a pickle when it comes to fixing polymer clay, now you have a go-to method.