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Beacon Adhesives

{reported by Noel Culbertson}

In the wide world of crafting, and the growing popularity of mixed media projects, we're always and forever searching for the perfect adhesives to meet our needs. I had the pleasure of visiting the Beacon Adhesives booth at CHA to chat about their ever increasing selection of adhesive goodness. Armed with Beacon's Zip Dry Paper Glue, Fast Finish Decoupage Glue and Fabri-Tac I was set for some serious sticky-fingered fun.

I decided to use a Punky Sprouts album to give me several different surfaces (chipboard, acrylic and canvas) to work with. I tested the adhesives with tissue thin sewing-pattern paper, fabric, ribbon, newsprint, patterned paper, cardstock, plastic, metal, wood and burlap. All of the adhesives performed well and worked with the materials listed on the packaging. Beacon's website is full of helpful tips for using their many glues, and searching out which adhesives will work best with your projects. Check out their Glue Guide here for more info.

TSR Review Fabri-TacTSR Review Zip Dry

When working on the cover of my project, I harkened back to my elementary school crafting days and I cut scalloped circles from an old sewing pattern and ruffled them up to make a fluffy tissue heart. I started with the Zip Dry Paper Glue, but found that in this application the Zip Dry didn't dry quite zippy enough, or at least not tacky enough, to hold the ruffled paper in place. However, I had my bottle of Fabri-Tac handy and gave that a shot. Fabri-Tac works similarly to hot glue, and quickly bonded the tissue thin paper to the cardstock background.

The Fast Finish Decoupage Glue was just as its name advertises. It dried very quickly. Within just about 10 minutes I was able to glue my tissue heart onto the decoupaged cover. I liked that the decoupage glue was completely transparent rather than opaque like other decoupage glues. It helped in keeping things lined up just where you wanted them. As a side note it is as it says, Fast Finish, so there's no going back once you start laying your goods down. You'll also want to work in small patches, as it really does dry super fast.  

The Zip Dry Paper Glue came out in a nice fine stream, didn't warp the paper, and dried plenty quick. It's a great all around adhesive for paper projects. The only application that gave me any trouble was, as I mentioned above, with the tissue heart. Zip Dry adhered to the acrylic without any trouble, too. a

I have been a big fan of Fabri-Tac for years. It's a staple glue in my adhesive arsenal for its I-work-like-hot-glue-only-I'm-not-hot quality. I've used it on ribbon, fabric, buttons, metal, flowers... and more. I also used it on this project to make some no-sew pleats with fabric. Simply run a bit of Fabri-Tac on the fabric's edge and make pleats by folding fabric as desired.

What I liked:
  • Fabri-Tac's very useful ability to adhere embellishments anywhere you want them.
  • Zip Dry's wrinkle free application on paper.
  • Fast Finish Decoupage's super fast dry time, which makes even an impatient scrapper like me want to decoupage everything in sight.

What I disliked:
  • The Zip Dry package instructs you to put the flat cap back on the bottle (taking the applicator top off) when not in use. Personally I think that's a little bit of a pain to clean and store the applicator tip after every use. 
  • On my first decoupage try, I covered the entire surface with the Fast Finish Decoupage Glue, but was only able to get the first corner done before the glue was too dry to work with. It wasn't a problem, just had to work in smaller sections.

What I made:

You Have My {Heart} album
adhesives used on this page: Fast Finish Decoupage (newsprint on chipboard background), Zip Dry (some of the tissue heart), Fabri-Tac (remainder of the heart, safety pin, & flower)

You Have My {Heart} Album

adhesives used on this page: Fast Finish Decoupage (cardstock on chipboard background), Zip Dry (photo & doily), Fabri-Tac (butterfly ribbon)

adhesives used on this page: Fabri-Tac (photo & wood heart)
adhesives used on this page: Zip Dry (cardstock), Fabri-Tac (flower)
adhesives used on this page:  Zip Dry (cardstock)
adhesives used on this page: Zip Dry (cardstock & photo), Fabri-Tac (burlap)

adhesives used on this page: Zip Dry (photo & doily)

adhesives used on this page: Fast Finish Decoupage (sewing pattern on chipboard background), Zip Dry (photo & flower), Fabri-Tac (fabric & butterfly)


adhesives used on this page: Fast Finish Decoupage (doily and fabric on chipboard background), Zip Dry (photo & tissue flower), Fabri-Tac (rhinestone button)

adhesives used on this page: Zip Dry (photo & paper), Fabri-Tac (flower & burlap)



Where and How Much:
Product Name: Zip Dry Paper Glue, Fast Finish Decoupage Glue and Fabri-Tac
Manufacturer: Beacon Adhesives
MSRP: $4.99-7.99
Available at:, A Cherry on Top, Scrapbook Pal*

Bottom Line:  
Beacon makes great adhesives... you'll love 'em.

What do you think?  
What are your favorite uses for Beacon adhesives? Are there any adhesives you'd love to see reviewed?


JJ Sobey said...

Fabri-tac is my new favorite. I used to use Zip Dry, but it's a waste of money for me - the bottom 1/4 to 1/3 of the bottle gets too thick to apply with anything other than a palette knife - even if I replace the proper cap. :(

Jill said...

Thanks for the review. I have purchased, but not used, Fabri-tac and now I wonder if it is going to be too much for the projects I intended to use it on.

Shelly said...

I love, love, love Beacon adhesives! I actually have started using Fabri-tac for all my projects, because it works on canvas and acrylic (as you mentioned) but also works great on paper/chipboard. I have not tried their Decopauge, so now it's a MUST! Thanks for letting us know!

Erica Hettwer said...

Love the album and the review, Noel!!! Okay, don't life at me but I read "Bacon Adhesives" at first! LOL!!!! I think that means it's time for breakfast!

Kristin said...

Thanks for a great review. Wow, that album is really, really awesome! Love all the details you put into it.

Shawninaz said...

Great post today and I love the mini book! I would like to see you review some of the adhesive tape rolls. There are so many of them out there lately it's har to know which ones to choose.

Theresa said...

Thanks for this awesome review of different adhesives. Sometimes it's difficult to know how to pick which adhesive, how to use it, and which is better for different applications - unless you buy all of them and try yourself. This will save me a lot of headache!

I've never tried the Fabri-Tac before, but that sounds like exactly what I've been looking for to complete my adhesive arsenal!

And your heart mini is FABULOUS! I absolutely adore that ruffled flower heart cover and all the little embellies you added - your creativity is amazing!