Polymer Clay Needs Flexible Glue

Bonding two rigid materials together is easy for glue.

Popular glues like E6000 and super glue (cyanoacrylate) are fantastic for attaching a metal bail to the back of a fused glass pendant or a stone. If you break the handle off a ceramic mug, these glues will be your salvation.

These glues are the superstars of the crafting and repair world, and you will see them continuously recommended, and for good reason.

But it’s not so simple with polymer clay.

The above glues are often recommended for gluing polymer, and they do work beautifully, at first. But over time, these glues tend to become rigid and brittle. Rigid glues work just fine between rigid materials. But not so well for polymer clay, which is flexible.

Things get tricky when you glue a flexible material (such as polymer clay) to a rigid material (like metal or glass).

If you use a rigid glue in this case, the bond will feel solid, and you might use the item for years without the bond failing. But if you flex it or drop it, you might find that the bond fails. Sudden shock will cause the polymer to flex slightly, away from the metal. Rigid glues will not flex with the polymer. So the bond breaks.

Always use a flexible glue with polymer clay. There are flexible super glues (Loctite Gel Control is one, Gorilla Glue Gel is another). Many 2-part epoxy glues work well, also.

Avoid cheap superglue in the little tube (it’s crispy and brittle). But the BEST way to glue anything rigid to polymer clay is to use a baked polymer bond.

Sculpey Bake and Bond, Kato Poly Paste, and Genesis Thick Medium are all tried ‘n’ true bonding products. They’re made of the same stuff as polymer clay (vinyl) and therefore will flex right along with it.

Even better, don’t rely on glue.

Try to design your piece so that any metal is embedded into the clay itself and becomes part of the piece. Not only is this a stronger solution, but it often looks much better, too.

(And if you’re gluing paper, cloth, feathers, or other porous things to polymer clay, use white glue like Weldbond, PVA, Sobo, etc. Or a wood glue. These glues seep into the fibers and also bond nicely to polymer clay. Avoid super glue for this type of bond, the fibers just absorbs the glue and leaves nothing to create a bond.)

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4 thoughts on “Polymer Clay Needs Flexible Glue”

  1. Rebecca Andrew

    After reading your article, an I right in
    thinking my best bet to glue baked PREMO tiles to a slab of Corian is to use Gorilla Glue gel?

    1. Gorilla Glue Gel is superglue and therefore doesn’t have much body to it. It only works when there isn’t much gap between the pieces being adhered. You might have better luck with original Gorilla Glue. But I would actually choose a 2-part epoxy. In addition, Corian can be a bit slippery, so it might not be a good surface to hold a bond. Experiments will be valuable here.

  2. Trying to attach faux fur strips with a woven backing to completely baked polymer clay. Have tried gorilla glue and elmer’s – so far, neither has worked. Hot glue has been recommended but on another site it says point blank not to use it because it will not be a permanent bond.
    What will work?

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