Can Elmers Glue be Used on Fabric?

You may remember the weird feeling of spreading Elmer’s glue on your skin and peeling it off after it dried. Elmer’s Glue is popular with kids and adults alike. Kids look for this glue to make slime. Yet, it is much more than a back-to-school essential. Be it crafting, gardening, or home improvement projects, it has a wide range of applications. But, what about using it for sewing projects? Can Elmer’s glue be used on fabric?

In this article, you will get to know everything about Elmer’s glue in detail. It will help to clear your confusion about using it on fabric. We will also list the best glue you can use on fabric.

Can elmers glue be used on fabric

What is Elmer’s Glue?

Elmer’s glue is an aqueous emulsion of polyvinyl acetate, polyvinyl alcohol, and polyvinyl glycol. It comes in plastic squeeze-type bottles having twist-open dispenser lids. You can use it for homes, schools, and businesses.

Elmer’s school glue is a favorite brand among parents and teachers. As it is PVA-based, it does not contain foul fumes or odors. Kids can use this safe and non-toxic glue without any harm.

Most white glues contain several additives. They use plasticizers, tackifiers, antifreeze solvents, and biocide preservatives. So, Elmer’s glue is considered unstable for long-term use due to many additives.

Elmer’s school glue is not designed to be industrial-strength glue. People love this glue because of its safety and ease of use more than its sticking ability.

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Benefits of Elmer’s Glue

  • Elmer’s school glue does not give off strong fumes. You do not need to open windows while using it or work outdoors. It is great for indoor or workshop use.
  • If you get it on your clothes, it will come off easily in the wash. With only a little warm water, Elmer’s glue can wash off the surfaces and skin.
  • Although it is not very strong, It bonds most art and craft materials like cardboard, paper, wood, and felt.
  • Elmer’s white glue dries clear. Unlike some yellow PVA glues, it does not turn yellow over time.
  • In general, Elmer’s glue costs less than other types of adhesives on the market. It is great value for money. You can easily find this glue as well because it is very in demand.

Drawbacks of Elmer’s Glue

  • Most of Elmer’s glues are not water-resistant. It is not recommended to use it on things that are going to be in contact with water.
  • It is not extremely strong on non-porous materials. You cannot use this glue on plastics, metals, or glass.

Best Elmer’s Glue

1. Elmer’s Liquid School Glue

Elmers Liquid School Glue

This Elmer’s glue is perfect to bond together materials like wood, paper, fabric, and ceramics.

It is non-toxic and washable for easy cleanup and safe gluing.

Designed with a non-runny formula, it dries clear. It is also adjustable before setting. You can save time and reduce the mess with this glue.

The smooth, classic white glue formula is ideal for creating one-of-a-kind slime.

It is safe and easy to use for children. You can use it for both home and school projects.

2. Elmer’s Multipurpose Liquid Glue

Elmer’s Multipurpose Liquid Glue

This Elmer’s Glue-All bonds strongly to a wide range of materials including ceramics, wood, paper, leather, fabric, and more.

It features a safe, non-toxic, and quick-drying formula. You can create crafts, make household repairs, and finish school projects.

It can handle light repairs in the kitchen, workshop, den, and garage.

Using this Elmer’s glue, you can enjoy hours of family-friendly fun making homemade slime.

You just need to mix glue with baking soda, contact lens solution, and food coloring.

3. Elmer’s No-run School Glue

Elmer’s No-run School Glue

It is a white school glue that bonds wood, paper, cloth, and pottery.

This Elmer’s glue easily washes off skin or clothing. It dries clear and does not run as well.

You can safely use the glue as it features a safe and non-toxic formula. It is great value for money.

You can use it for simple crafts.

It is easy to use and a great school essential.

4. Elmer’s Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue

Elmer’s Craft Bond Fabric and Paper Glue

Elmer’s craft bond fabric and paper glue are ideal for home décor projects, holiday decorations, or handmade gifts.

It is good for all paper and fabric jobs. You can make many types of arts and crafts projects.

It dries clear and forms a permanent bond when dry.

Washing the item does not affect the adhesion.

You can clean the moist glue with soap and water.

Can Elmer’s Glue be Used on Fabric?

Yes, you can use Elmer’s glue on the fabric. But it is not mainly designed to use on fabrics. Elmer’s glue has a better hold on wood and paper than it can hold on fabric. It is not good to repair or customize clothes.

When you cannot use pins or you are doing basting, It may work as a temporary glue. Washable Elmer’s glue should be excellent as temporary glue. But you want a good hold through the tasks. You need to make sure the glue passes through the material and grips onto the fibers. If you need a permanent hold, Elmer’s glue is not a good choice.

How Long Does it Take for Elmer’s Glue to Dry?

There is no accurate drying time in the case of all glues. It depends on the amount of glue you use and the conditions you are working in. Depending upon the ambient temperature and humidity levels, a thin layer of Elmer’s glue takes about 30 minutes to set and an hour to dry. For a complete cure, it will take anywhere up to 24 hours.

How to Make Elmer’s Glue Dry Faster?

To finish your craft project, one of the most frustrating parts is waiting for the glue to dry. White Elmer’s glue overstates a fast drying time on the product label. Sometimes, it is not that fast. Luckily, you can speed up the drying time. But make sure the environment is favorable to fast drying. By changing the environment slightly, you can reduce that 30 minutes the product specifications state.

Items Required

  • Small clamps or clothespins
  • Small portable fans
  • Hairdryer

Here are the steps to follow to make Elmer’s glue dry faster:

  • Attach the two surfaces. Apply Elmer’s glue thinly on one surface and lay the other surface over the first surface to bond them together.
  • Use clamp or clothespins to hold the surfaces you are gluing together, for a tighter bond. Hold them for at least the first 1 to 2 hours.
  • Place the glued pieces in a warm location (at least 700F). The location should be dry and have plenty of air circulation.
  • Set up one or more portable fans towards your glued items as they dry. Complete curing happens overnight. In this way, you can handle the glued items after a couple of hours.
  • Point a warm hairdryer towards your work’s seams for even faster drying. As the item dries, move the hairdryer around to prevent overheating one area. Observe the indicative drying sign of the glue turning clear. If the glue turns hard and clear, it means the glue is dry.

How to Remove Elmer’s Glue from Fabric?

If the glue is wet, Elmer’s glue cleans up with just water. But sometimes the glue is not noticed until it has dried and hardened. You can also remove the dry glue easily depending upon where the mess is. If you spill Elmer’s glue on fabric, scrape as much dried glue off your clothes as possible. To scrape it off, use the edge of the spoon or rub the fabric against itself. Soak the affected piece in cool water overnight.

For machine-washable fabric, use cool water to wash and add your usual laundry detergent. Before you dry the piece, check the spot. If glue remains, wash it again. For hand washing fabric, wash it gently in the sink using cool water. Rub a small amount of delicate laundry soap into the spot. Hang the item to dry.

To deal with fabric or leather furniture, use a plastic knife or spoon to scrape as much glue off the fabric as possible. Then dab cool water over the spot and wipe gently. Continue to scrap. If the spot remains, apply a little drop of liquid dish soap and rub gently. Again dab cool water and wipe away any remaining glue.

List of Best Glue for Fabric

Here are the top 5 best fabric glues to work on your no-sew projects:

  • Gorilla Waterproof Fabric Glue
  • Beacon Permanent Fabric Adhesive
  • Dritz Stitchless Sewing Liquid Adhesive
  • Aleene’s Permanent Fabric Glue
  • Tear Mender Fabric and Leather Adhesive


As we have discussed Elmer’s glue in detail with its benefits, drawbacks, and uses. We hope your question, “can Elmer’s glue be used on fabric” is cleared by now. Elmer’s glue can stick to most fabrics and leather without any issue. But you need to remember that it is not waterproof. So, it is not perfect for clothing repairs or no-sew projects. You need strong, flexible, and waterproof glue. It should work on fabric and can be put in the washer and dryer. So, fabric glue is a lifesaver to fulfill such projects.

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