Product Review: Helmar Acid Free Glue


I was super excited when Jenny took me to the Helmar booth at Summer CHA in July.  I had followed their design team‘s amazing creativity and inspiration over the years and was ecstatic to test some of their many, many adhesive products!  Today I’m trying out Helmar Acid Free Glue.


Helmar describes this as,

“Helmar Acid Free glue has been specifically formulated for memory albums, book binding, mounting photographs, preserving old or precious books, documents, scrap books, most craft projects, etc. Excellent adhesion to dense papers, high flexibility, long term life of the bond. Sets clear, dries quickly and will not yellow with age.”

I describe this glue as, “Incredibly Awesome!”  I know, it’s difficult to imagine a liquid adhesive as awesome, but Helmar’s Acid Free Glue is just that.  It is also amazingly versatile and sturdy in its application.  Let’s take a closer look…

The very first thing I noticed about this bottle of glue is that it has a screw top.  Do you know what this means!?!  NO CLOGS.  No fishing around with a needle trying to find that elusive little dried out clot of glue hindering you from continuing your creative process.  I can honestly say that I did not once have an issue getting the glue out of the bottle with all of testing and samples I made using this.

How many adhesives claim to be, “clear?”  Countless.  How many actually are?  Not many.  Here you can see that Helmar Acid Free glue is REALLY clear!  On sample, “A,” I used a thick line application and with sample, “B,” I spread it out with a paint brush.  In both cases, it dries translucent with a slight glossy finish.

Another aspect that paper crafters worry about with liquid adhesives is that it will warp or bubble their paper after adhering it.  In the sample above I used a cheap and flimsy piece of copy paper adhered to a heavy piece of cardstock.  I used a brayer to even out the adhesive under the paper and push out any air bubbles.  I was happy to see that the liquid adhesive didn’t malform the extremely thin paper at all.

Instead of doing the traditional test swatches, I decided to put this product to the test in my samples.  And can I tell you, I was not disappointed in the least!

Here I took a basic chipboard cover and used the Acid Free glue to adhere a chipboard butterfly and postage stamp frame to it.  After that, I wanted to create a little texture to the project, so I again used to the glue to decoupage some tissue paper over the chipboard shapes and once that was dry I painted the entire cover white.  I then took the Acid Free glue and randomly with a dry paint brush, swiped over the cover and sprinkled some glitter on it.  I love it!  The glue completely dried clear like it did in the samples.  On to the next test, I tried the Acid Free glue on buttons.  I was actually surprised to see that the Helmar adhesive strongly bonded to layered plastic buttons together and then those to the chipboard cover. I continued to use the glue on the rest of the tiny embellishments on the cover and was completely satisfied.

On this fun card I continued to test out paper application.  This card is sturdy!  After layering four different pieces of paper on top of another, after shaking it around and then attempting to peal up some of the corners, this card isn’t coming apart unless there is a nuclear fallout.  I was also happy to see that it bonded the fabric ribbon trim at the bottom to the paper as well as held in place the little green wire spirals.

For this project I used an old Helmar design team technique called, “Schouzing.”  (See below for photos.) You basically completely ball up a piece of paper so it gets nice and wrinkled.  Cover a base surface, (I used a flat-back canvas) in Acid Free glue in a zig-zag pattern and place your paper on top of that.  Work the paper into the glue and canvas to create crevices and texture by pinching and flattening the paper in different directions as you go.  After drying, you can then ink or with a dry brush paint the paper to give it added depth.  One problem that I’ve found difficult to tackle is adding embossed paper to projects.  Not so with Acid Free glue!  It worked wonderfully with all of the embossed cardstock pieces on this project.  From the button tree to the metal bird that sits on top of it, this glue worked like a dream.

As you can probably tell from my review, I love the Helmar Acid Free glue.  I’m even more excited that this Australian based company now has its fabulous products available in the United States at select Hobby Lobby stores as well as Helmar’s own website and a handful of other online retailers.  Acid Free Glue is available in two sizes, 1.75 oz and 8.45 oz and approximately $3.40 and $7.25, repsectively.

I think this is a fabulous deal after seeing how versatile and how many applications there are.  I highly recommend this adhesive.  As always crafters, let me know what you think in the comments and any questions you may have.

Make sure to stay tuned to Craft Test Dummies for reviews on their 450 quick-dry adhesive, zapdots and liquid scrap dots! You can read about Helmar Remove Adhesive Cleaner here.

(Disclosure: Sample provided for review)

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  1. Lisa J says

    Thanks for sharing! I’m always on the lookout for the “perfect” glue. I have tried their liquid srap dots and oh my heck – I love them!! They are great for mixed media. I’ve seen the quickdry used but it looks stringy/ messy to me so I can’t wait to see your reviews on other Helmar adhesives!

  2. says

    Thank you so much for taking the time to review Helmar Acid Free Glue. I love how you showed the versatility of it too. We look forward to your other reviews for Helmar adhesives.

  3. Caryn S says

    Nice review. I’m looking for a glue that is clear with a strong hold and NOT water-based, since I make cards for OWH and they require the glue to hold in a dry environment like a desert. Do you know if this glue will fit the bill?

  4. Alice C. says

    Want it. Want it now. My quest for the perfect glue has proven long and wearisome, but this may just be The One. I’ll certainly be trying this Helmar product!

  5. says


    Do you know if I can permanently adhere paper to metal with this glue. I am doing a mixed media piece and need to glue some light metal stars to watercolor paper. I need them to be permanent as this piece will go into a gallery and hopefully bought by a collector. If the glue is not strong enough, can you suggest a alternative glue for metal to paper that is acid free?


  6. says

    Jackson- since I cannot say for sure- considering the weight of the paper, what will be supporting the paper, and how heavy the stars are- I’d suggest being a CraftTestDummy and doing some swatch tests. I’ve used Glossy Accents by Ranger to adhere metal, as well as E-6000- but you’ll need to experiment with different adhesives to know which is right for your project. Good luck! -Jenny

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