Cardboard is one of those materials that everyone has in their homes. It’s mainly used for packaging and transportation purposes, but its lightweight and sturdy properties make it a great material for various crafts and modeling projects.
If you are planning a project involving cardboard, you will have to use an adhesive to bond it properly. But what kind of glue is the best for cardboard?
We have compiled a list of the top 9 best glue for cardboard that works excellently with this material. Along with the list, we made a guide where you can learn more about cardboard and adhesives.
Last update on 2024-02-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
- Best Glue For Cardboard – Reviews
- Books By Hand pH Neutral PVA Adhesive
- Elmer’s E7010 Carpenter’s Wood Glue
- 3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive
- Mod Podge CS11302 Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish
- Elmer’s E461 Craftbond Tacky Glue
- Gorilla Clear Glue
- Loctite 2235316 General Performance 100 Spray Adhesive
- Franklin International 6123 Titebond Trans Glue
- Elmer’s Glue-All Multi-Purpose Liquid Glue
- Glue For Cardboard – Guide
In this section of the article, we will present to you our list of the best adhesives for cardboard.
The list includes 9 models that are proven to bond cardboard efficiently. There are models for both lightweight and heavy-duty projects, as well as models for projects that require great moisture resistance.
Best Glue For Cardboard – Reviews
Books By Hand pH Neutral PVA Adhesive
For most people and most cardboard projects, this is the best cardboard glue you can find. It bonds cardboard inseparable and is ideal for gluing paper materials like cardboard.
This PVA or polyvinyl acetate glue is water-based and has a great high viscosity. It has a thick consistency that makes it super easy to apply to cardboard without running and spilling. It’s perfect for mess-free applications and provides you with a tidy-looking result.
The Books By Hand glue dries very fast for a PVA adhesive. It will set in under 20 minutes on cardboard, leaving you with enough time for positioning while not wasting too much of your time waiting for the glue to dry.
If you wish to prolong the drying time and need more time for repositioning, you can mix and thin the glue with some water to make it dry slower. A very handy feature that allows you to easily reposition parts when needed! This glue also can be removed simply with water, even when the glue dries.
Another feature of this PVA glue that ensures mess-free results is clear drying. This glue won’t leave a discolored residue that can make the bonds look ugly and ruin your work. The adhesive dries crystal clear and makes your cardboard project look professional!
The strength of this glue is incredible for cardboard application. The bond will be stronger than the cardboard itself and will make your construction even sturdier than it would normally be without the adhesive!
While incredibly strong, this glue is not toxic and is low VOC which means that it doesn’t produce harmful fumes. It is water-based, safe to inhale, and won’t give you a headache or make you nauseated!
You can safely use this glue for any type of cardboard project where you need the strength, quick drying time, and easy and clean application. It doesn’t disappoint!
Elmer's E7010 Carpenter's Wood Glue
It isn’t surprising that wood glue works wonderfully on cardboard since cardboard is made from paper and paper from wood. We found that this Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue is the best of them all. It’s perfect for bonding cardboard boxes and cardboard to cardboard!
The strength of this glue is unmatched. It’s intended for woodworking and makes bonds stronger than the wood itself. The likelihood of the wood breaking under pressure is more than the bond. You can be sure that this glue will glue cardboard parts inseparable and that the bond will last a long time!
The application is very easy for the thick viscosity of this glue. No spilling, no mess, no stress when applying this glue will occur.
This glue dries relatively quickly in about 20 to 30 minutes, giving you enough time to reposition glued cardboard parts if needed. The drying color is clear, which is what we want for clean and tidy bonds.
This glue would be a perfect choice for cardboard kitchen projects, where the cardboard might come into contact with food. The glue doesn’t produce fumes that might make you sick and cleans up easily with water. If you accidentally glue your skin or clothes while working with it, it’s much easier to remove than other adhesives.
All in all, this is an excellent glue for heavy-duty cardboard projects where you require maximum strength. This adhesive will give you peace of mind that your project will be durable and rock solid.
3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive
We were surprised by how well this spray adhesive works for bonding cardboard. It’s definitely an adhesive to consider since it has unique properties and advantages that other types of glue don’t have.
First off, it’s very simple to apply. All you need to do is spray this stuff on one part and then spray the other. Join them for a short time, and that’s it. The application of this adhesive really is child’s play!
The next advantage of this cardboard adhesive is its quick drying time. It is almost on par with super glue, drying in only 30 seconds! There is no faster-drying adhesive for the cardboard you can find! No more waiting for hours for the bond to set, you will finish your project in no time with this spray adhesive!
This 3M spray adhesive is an excellent choice if you want to waterproof your cardboard project. This adhesive will holds its bond superbly in a moist environment and is a great alternative for non-water-resistant PVA adhesives.
Using this adhesive to bond cardboard to other materials works great. It’s a very versatile adhesive that can bond many different materials such as plastic, wood, and fabric.
While it doesn’t degrade paper, this spray adhesive is not recommended for kitchen use since it’s toxic and hard to remove when you get it on your hands. This isn’t that big of an issue if you work with old or protective clothing and in a well-ventilated area.
Mod Podge CS11302 Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish
The Mod Podge Glue is one of the all-time most popular crafting adhesives. It’s one of the best glue for puzzles, cardboard, paper, and more.
It’s very versatile as it can serve as glue, sealant, or a finish. It does a great job at gluing cardboard and makes a strong, durable bond. Its strength will give your cardboard project extra sturdiness and hold it securely!
One of the advantages of using Mod Podge glue is its quick drying time. You can expect it to dry in 10 to 15 minutes which is faster than most PVA adhesives.
When dry, this glue leaves a clear crystal glossy finish that looks beautiful. It can actually enhance the looks of your projects, and we recommend applying it to the colored parts of your crafts to enhance colors and give it a shiny look.
This adhesive is thick and is easy to apply. It goes and stays right where you want it to and won’t run or spill, ruining your project. We recommend applying it with a foam brush that you can get on Amazon here. It works really well with this glue and makes application a breeze!
The Mod Podge isn’t toxic and is very suitable for indoor and kid’s use. It doesn’t have a strong odor or fumes that can make you sick. It makes a great glue for kitchen cardboard projects. This glue cleans with water and soap even after dried. It won’t ruin your clothes or make your skin irritated as it can be easily dissolved!
Elmer's E461 Craftbond Tacky Glue
This is the second Elmer’s glue on our list, which shows how good their PVA adhesives are. Almost all of their products bond cardboard excellently, but this Craftbond tacky glue makes it a breeze.
The Elmer’s Craftbond Tacky glue is very versatile and works on all porous and semi-porous surfaces. It’s great for rock, paper, wood, and fabric surfaces.
This glue differs from the original Elmer’s glue in strength and quick drying time. It’s very well suited for bigger projects that require more structural strength. It will hold the cardboard parts securely and will make your construction stand strong for a long, long time.
The quick-drying time we mentioned is what makes this glue shine. It can set in as little as 10 minutes, making the results faster. It also dries clear, which makes the bonds look cleaner and tidier.
This adhesive is super easy to clean. You can use water to remove it completely if you stain your skin or clothes. The glue isn’t toxic and produces no fumes that might irritate your lungs or make you nauseated. It’s very well suited for children’s use.
Overall, it’s a solid choice for gluing cardboard. It’s one of the best glue for cardboard to cardboard out there!
Gorilla Clear Glue
Oh yes, the original Gorilla glue! We couldn’t make a list of adhesives without including this legendary glue. It will stick to just about anything, so we tried it on cardboard, and it worked marvelously!
This glue is an excellent choice if you have a heavy-duty cardboard project that involves different materials and needs serious resistance.
Like all urethane adhesives, it has magnificent water and temperature resistance, making it ideal for any climate. You can effectively waterproof your cardboard crafts with this resistant glue.
The strength of this adhesive is massive. Some might say it is an overkill for bonding cardboard, but if you’re building huge models or combining cardboard with heavy-duty materials, this glue is the one you can rely on.
One of the problems with urethane adhesives is that they tend to foam up and dry an ugly color that ruins your work. This isn’t the case with this Gorilla glue since it dries clear and doesn’t expand at all! You get all the strength and resistance of urethane glues except with no foaming or discoloration at all!
As we previously mentioned, we really love how versatile this adhesive is. It can be used on metal, wood, stone, ceramics, plexiglass, and more!
The only downside of this glue would be the slow drying time and the required clamping. It’s recommended to clamp the parts for 2 hours for the glue to properly set.
Loctite 2235316 General Performance 100 Spray Adhesive
If you appreciate the quick application and drying time, then this is the adhesive for you. It will help you bond cardboard in no time while forming a strong and durable bond.
This spray adhesive from Loctite is one of the most versatile spray adhesives on the market. It can bond foam, fabric, foil, wood, paper, and more! You can bond different materials with this cardboard using this adhesive.
Spray adhesives have become popular because of their simple and mess-free application and this is exactly what this adhesive provides. Even a child can use it and won’t make a mess! There is no worrying about dripping or spilling the glue when using this adhesive.
The strength of the Loctite spray adhesive is sufficient for cardboard bonding. It will hold its bond really well, and you can be sure that your cardboard project will last a long time with this adhesive. It’s Loctite, after all, and they never make weak adhesives!
The quick-drying time is another benefit of this spray. You can expect the bonds to be dry as a desert in only 60 seconds! There aren’t many adhesives that can provide both great bonding strength and extra quick dying time on cardboard like this one.
The downside of this spray is its toxicity. Wearing protective equipment is necessary, and it is highly recommended to use this spray in a highly ventilated area. It is not suited for kitchen use as it’s toxic. Make sure to protect yourself well, and you are golden!
Franklin International 6123 Titebond Trans Glue
Here is another wood glue on our list, this time a Titebond. They are one of the leading wood adhesive companies that are known for their high-grade glue that bonds super strong. This glue is no different and makes a superb choice for gluing cardboard.
You won’t have to worry about the strength of the bond when using this adhesive. It has the standard Titebond glue strength that makes bonds stronger than the wood. And that’s not just a marketing phrase, it’s an actual fact!
It will glue cardboard as easy as pie and is sufficient for cardboard projects that require extra strength and resistance of the bonds.
This glue has an excellent heat resistance and is suitable for hot climates. It also won’t dry too fast on you, giving you enough time to assemble the parts. You can expect it to set in around 30 minutes.
The Titebond 6123 is a great choice for kitchen cardboard projects since it’s low VOC and food safe. You don’t need protective equipment when using it, and the adhesive can be safely used indoors, even in a room that’s not well ventilated.
This adhesive dries clear and has a high viscosity that allows you to apply it without spillage. It goes where you want it to and stays where you want it to. The bonds are nice and clear when dry, giving you a crystal and clean finish.
Elmer's Glue-All Multi-Purpose Liquid Glue
This is the last adhesive and the third Elmer’s glue on our list. This company undoubtedly makes phenomenal PVA adhesives that work wonders on cardboard. This one is their multi-purpose liquid glue that is a great budget cardboard glue option if you ned to glue a lot of it.
The drying time is surprisingly fast. We are used to drying times of over an hour with most PVA adhesives, but this Elmer’s multi-purpose glue can set in just 15 minutes. It will speed your work up and make the overall time spent on the project much lesser.
The strength of this glue is the usual Elmer’s adhesive strength. It’s not recommended for heavy-duty projects but will do just fine for the majority of cardboard crafts.
Like most Emler’s adhesives, it’s not toxic and is safe for kid’s use. It dissolves with water effortlessly and won’t irritate your skin if you end up glued with it.
The main advantage of Elmer’s all-purpose PVA adhesive is affordability. The 32-ounce economy pack is very modestly priced and is perfect if you want to glue a lot of cardboard and different paper or wood materials.
While not being the strongest, it has all the properties you will want cardboard glue to have. It’s quick-drying, easy-to-apply, and non-toxic.
Glue For Cardboard – Guide
In this section of the article, we will look at the features and properties you should look at when choosing glue for cardboard.
Type Of Glue
Since cardboard is Kraft paper, adhesives that have good cross-linking bonding properties with wood are good choices.
The adhesives we recommend for gluing cardboard are:
- PVA adhesives
- PVA wood adhesives
- Urethane adhesives
- Spray Adhesives
- Hot Glue
We don’t recommend super glue as it doesn’t perform that well on wood. Other adhesives are more specialized and have better properties to adhere to wood more effieicntly.
PVA or polyvinyl acetate glue is the number 1 glue for paper. It should therefore be your first choice when looking for an adhesive for cardboard.
The bonds PVA adhesives make with cardboard are extra strong and highly durable. This type of glue is usually inexpensive, and since it bonds cardboard as good or even better than some adhesives out there, it’s an obvious choice.
PVA glue dries clear in most cases, making it great for clean and tidy-looking bonds on cardboard. Numerous models have high viscosity that allows you to apply the adhesive easier with no spillage or running.
These adhesives are non-toxic, and are used in schools, and are suited for children. You can safely apply PVA glue without protective equipment as it doesn’t produce dangerous fumes.
The drying time for PVA adhesives is around 30 minutes to 1 hour. Wood PVA adhesives sometimes require clamping, but most of the other PVA glue models don’t.
All in all, PVA glue is ideal for bonding cardboard and is the best glue for cardboard boxes you can buy.
Spray adhesives like the Loctite and the 3M models we reviewed work excellently with cardboard.
They have a few properties that make them better in some aspects than PVA adhesives.
The main benefit of the spray adhesive is quick-drying time and simple application. Anyone can successfully apply the spray adhesive and the drying time is usually under 1 minute.
If you need an extra fast drying time on cardboard, spray adhesive is your best bet.
The bonding strength on cardboard is solid. It’s not as strong as the one of PVA adhesive but is sufficient for most crafting cardboard projects.
The drying color of this adhesive is almost always clear which is what we want for cardboard application. The joints are nice and clean with this adhesive. It’s great for no-mess applications and results.
Unlike PVA glue, this adhesive is toxic and requires protective equipment and application in a well-ventilated area.
Urethane glue, like the one from Gorilla we reviewed, is the best glue for heavy-duty cardboard projects that involve other materials and need extra resistance.
The main advantage of this adhesive is its strength and environmental resistance.
Its strength is almost on par with epoxy adhesives that are known to be the strongest commercially available glue. They resist moisture, hot and cold temperatures with ease.
Their ability to join different materials is beneficial when you have projects that use different materials along with cardboard.
The drawback of this glue is the long drying time. The bonded parts usually have to be clamped for at least 2 to 3 hours for the glue to set.
This glue is perhaps the most popular adhesive for crafts. It’s so versatile and affordable! It performs well on cardboard and is a solid choice as well. It’s also very easy to apply with a cordless glue gun.
The bonding strength isn’t quite as strong as the other adhesives, and the slow drying time doesn’t make it a primary choice for gluing cardboard.
For its low cost, many people like using this glue on cardboard. It is a solid choice for small cardboard projects that don’t require high structural strength.
The viscosity is the liquid’s resistance to flow. A high viscosity glue will have a gel-like consistency, and the low viscosity one will resemble water.
For cardboard, we recommend high viscosity gel glue for its easy application. Thin, low viscosity adhesives tend to run and spill when you apply them to the cardboard.
On the other hand, more viscous glue will stay where you put it and will be much easier to control.
If you prefer gluing indoors or with your kids, going for non-toxic glue is a must. PVA adhesives are the adhesive to go in terms of non-toxic makeup.
These adhesives are water-based and don’t produce dangerous fumes that can irritate your lungs or make you feel nausiated.
PVA glues also don’t irritate the skin when you accidentally glue yourself. They are easy to remove from both clothing and skin by using water.
We always recommend going for clear drying glue when bonding cardboard. The result looks cleaner and expert-like.
The drying time varies a lot between different adhesives. If you want to finish your project as soon as possible, going for a spray adhesive is your best bet. They can set in only 30 seconds!
If you, however, need more time for the assembly of the parts, consider going for a PVA or urethane glue.
Gluing cardboard is a child’s play when you use the right adhesive.
Make sure to go for the one that has high bonding strength, high viscosity, and dries clear.
Any of the models we reviewed are excellent choices. You can’t go wrong with any of them!