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Thread: Glue Sticks - what's the secret?

  1. #1
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Glue Sticks - what's the secret?

    Elmer's glue sticks work well when you first open them, but after storing them for a day or so, they just seem to dry up and not be effective. Yes, I cap them firmly and put in a drawer & yes, I am using the correct ones. I use the glue itself, but when I'm doing open seams the stick is easier to "un-stick".

    I'd like to be able to use them!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
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    Every once in a while I have the same problem. When I do, I run them over a damp paper towel. It's like taking off the top crust. I also store them upside down like in a cup or jar or such.

  3. #3
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    I hate glue sticks. I bought a pack of 5 or 6 and the first one I tried was already dry.
    Didn't stick at all. I much prefer the liquid glue.
    Kitsie, they say to put it in the freezer. Mabye give it a try. Hope you didn't get the
    same dried batch I got.

  4. #4
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    I prefer Avery glue sticks. As long as you put the cover on when not in use, they don't dry out. Also the application seems to be smoother than with other sticks.

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    I've not had this problem- I have glue sticks that I may use once, put away & not get back out for a month or more- they always seem to work just fine. do you live in a really 'arid' area? you could store them in the refrigerator- that would help them stay 'hydrated' or just moisten the end with a damp paper towel when you get them back out.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  6. #6
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. Easy. I am beginning to feel like you but hear everyone else finding them very useful. I have never heat-set them, do I need to? (that's an added ?) I'll try the wet paper towel and the fridge ideas. Are the seams easier to pull apart to press open?
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

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  7. #7
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Kitsie, have you tried Roxanne glue-baste-it? I bought a small container
    (from Connecting Threads) and with the extra fine tip. A little goes a long way.
    I don't know how many project I made and I still have lots of glue left.
    You do have to set the glue with the iron. I haven't tried to pull the seams
    apart. I usually use pins for piecing because I like to press open. But
    when I'm adding borders or binding...the glue-baste-it is very helpful.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I keep the glue sticks in an air tight container. That seems to work for me. I like the Lapel Glue stick. It's the best I've used.
    Got fabric?

  9. #9
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Nope, I haven't and love using the Elmer glue, but wondered if the stick is easier 'cause you don't need to heat set it ? and can just smear it on as you piece. With the glue I have the tiny bottle that I just unscrew the top of a little bit for the finest dot or line, then refill it from the big bottles. I also use pins but thought I'd ask!

    Quote Originally Posted by EasyPeezy View Post
    Kitsie, have you tried Roxanne glue-baste-it? I bought a small container
    (from Connecting Threads) and with the extra fine tip. A little goes a long way.
    I don't know how many project I made and I still have lots of glue left.
    You do have to set the glue with the iron. I haven't tried to pull the seams
    apart. I usually use pins for piecing because I like to press open. But
    when I'm adding borders or binding...the glue-baste-it is very helpful.
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Kitsie

  10. #10
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    from an office supply store?

    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I keep the glue sticks in an air tight container. That seems to work for me. I like the Lapel Glue stick. It's the best I've used.
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Kitsie

  11. #11
    Senior Member tate_elliott's Avatar
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    Kitsie, I haven't used the Elmer's brand of glue stick. I bought a pack of cheapie sticks at Big Lots and they worked fine for a year, then dried out. I'm using some I got at Dollar Tree now, four for $1. I don't keep them in anything special. They work just fine. Maybe I'll put the ones I'm not using in a ziplock bag. I don't heat-set the glue stick when I use it, I may wait a 15 - 30 seconds, but that's about it. I love using glue sticks.

    Tate
    King of the Rocketeers!

  12. #12
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Thx Tate! Do they allow you to "undo" (pull apart) the seam you just glued?

    Quote Originally Posted by tate_elliott View Post
    Kitsie, I haven't used the Elmer's brand of glue stick. I bought a pack of cheapie sticks at Big Lots and they worked fine for a year, then dried out. I'm using some I got at Dollar Tree now, four for $1. I don't keep them in anything special. They work just fine. Maybe I'll put the ones I'm not using in a ziplock bag. I don't heat-set the glue stick when I use it, I may wait a 15 - 30 seconds, but that's about it. I love using glue sticks.

    Tate
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Kitsie

  13. #13
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I used glue sticks on my latest quilt project. I used glue sticks to hold some of my pieces together until I sewed them. Some times I used a wider bit of glue than needed. I just tend to get happy with my glue sticks sometimes. LOL! Anyway, even after ironing the seam, I was still able to gently pull apart any fabric that had been glued and heat set. From what I have read here, Elmer's glue is just a very thick starch and not really a glue. The glue sticks did leave a bit of purple on my fabric sometimes but when I washed my quilt after it was done, all the color and glue completely washed out. I seldom uses pins anymore.
    Sherri

  14. #14
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Does the amount of time they've been sitting on the shelf before purchase have an impact on this? I think they may only have around 12 months of storage life maybe??

  15. #15
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I put mine in the small snack size zip lock bags. I had the same issues you did , with them drying out. I also tried using a small piece of plastic wrap over the end before I put the cap on. That was somewhat better . Now if its going to be a really long time before I use again I do both plastic wrap and zip lock.

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    Have not tried the sticks yet. By the way my DH makes corn starch here in Indianapolis and 95 % of all glue is corn starch based. They have over 300 recipes for making the different staches.
    Indiana Diana

  17. #17
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    You an always do what my students do...they can use up a whole glue stick on one project! They never have a chance to dry out...lol

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    Do you think using the glue stick here and there between my three layers of fabric for a twin size quilt would hold it together long enough for me to do the machine quilting on it without basting or using pins, just the glue stick?

  19. #19
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    I have found by storing them in a baggie helps to keep them softer.

  20. #20
    Super Member misseva's Avatar
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    I use mine up pretty quick so they don't dry out once they're opened. I buy them on sale and put the extras in a plastic baggie and store in the fridge.
    TwandasMom

  21. #21
    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    Kitsie at a class I took recently in my local QS we used the glue sticks. Our teacher told us to be sure to store them in the refrigerator as they dry out quickly. I live in the desert Southwest and he's not kidding about the drying out part! I found those I keep in the refrigerator are fresh and moist when I want to use them. Maybe give it a try.
    Quilting Makes Me Happy...

  22. #22
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    OK. OK I'll try one more time! Thanks all! Ziplock bag and fridge!
    http://s1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh485/KitsieH/
    Never regret growing older, its a privilege denied to many.
    Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

    Kitsie

  23. #23
    Senior Member donna13350's Avatar
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    I have always stored mine in a zip lock baggie in the freezer...I stock up this time of year when they have the school sales, and they all get tossed in the same bag! I'm sure I have some that are at least a couple of years old, but have never had a problem when I go to use them.
    I am wondering if you have very low humidity in your home and maybe that's why they are drying out on you after opening them? Maybe you should store them in the freezer between uses, also, and see if that helps.

  24. #24
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I love the Roxannes glue baste it. It is awesome. Dries quickly, I don't set it with my iron. Just wait a few seconds and it is dry. It can be peeled apart if it needs to be. I seems expensive but a little bottle lasts forever, you use so little of it. I have been using the same bottle for a couple of years. It comes with a really fine tip. If you keep the cap on the needle doesn't clog at all. I forgot it once and it clogged, I just ran a pin thru the needle and it was fine.

  25. #25
    Suz
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    I put mine in a baggie and keep in the refrigerator. I use my w/machine embroider and use infrequently, but they always work.

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