Review of The Best and Worst Glues for Making Jewelry: E6000, Amazing Goop, etc

Jewelry making has become one of my passions. I spend a lot of my evenings hunched over my work-desk twisting wires, beading, gluing, and mod-podging the night away. I am toying with the idea of putting together a self published book of thrifty jewelry how-tos. (Let me know what you think about that idea.)

For the purposes of jewelry, you need to use something that will stand up to wear and tear. When I first started making jewelry, I know nothing. I had to teach myself how to do it all, and in the process, I’ve tried a ton of different glues, always questing for that one glue that would bond anything to anything. And so, I present to you the best and the worst of my trials and errors.

 

1. “Super Glue” Fix-All Adhesive

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This was the first glue I tried after failing miserably with normal superglue. I like that it is more of a gel than normal super glue or crazy glue, but it does NOT fix “all,” as the packaging promises. It will not bond metal or plastic, glass, or stone. It may adhere at first, but within hours of wear, the stone or whatever you glued onto the metal will fall off. It only works on very porous surfaces — not good for jewelry making.  But, at $1, I got what I paid for.

2. Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Glue

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I bought this one at Michael’s. I’ll be blunt – it sucks. Just as #1, it doesn’t work on smooth, non-porous surfaces. It breaks off very cleanly. This one was a waste of money. Everything I tried to glue onto ring blanks or brooch pins eventually fell off. Not cool for paying $5.

3. Amazing GOOP Craft

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This glue isn’t the best, but it does work. You do have to rough up plastic before glue it, to ensure the optimal bond, but if used right, this glue works. It dries clear, and has a rubbery, flexible texture. However, with more vinyl like plastics, the bond stills break on occasion. However, at $3 it’s not so bad.

4. Shoe Goo

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I love this stuff. I actually bought it to repair a shoe that’s sole literally ripped off. It is intended to bond rubber, vinyl, and canvas. I don’t use it to bond those materials to metal, but when I want to bond them to each other, this is a good choice. You have to allow ample drying and curing time, but it will be worth it. It also did the trick for my shoes!

5. E6000

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This is the absolute best glue I have ever used. The label is very plain, but it is amazing. It is industrial strength, which means super smelling and not good for you, so I advise cracking a window when using it. It is a gel and dries clear. It dries relatively fast for a gel, but I recommend allowing at least a day for the glue to fully cure. It truly bonds anything to anything. I haven’t experienced any breakage to date. It works on smooth non-porous surfaces as well as porous ones like fabric and maintains just enough flexibility.

Normal super glue/crazy glue is not viable option for making jewelry. It is too runny, does not dry clear, and dries with a rough unattractive finish. Elmer’s Glue will also not work. It is not waterproof and just not meant to last. As for hot glue, I don’t really bother with it, because it doesn’t last and can be messy.

If you’re interested in what I have made, check out my etsy store, The Betwixt Boutique!

 

 

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Small End of Summer Yard Sale Haul and Yard Sale Tips

 

 

 

Went to a few yard sales today with my grandma, who has recently started her own etsy shop. I haven’t had much luck at finding good stuff at yard sales this summer, but today my luck changed.

I found an awesome old bag that I assume was for a camera. It’s real leather, but the strap is very dried out and it’s cracking, so I will probably have to replace it. The best part — it was free! Then I found a wicker handbag at a Mennonite garage sale for $0.50. Not too shabby. At one garage sale, I found a neat bag of old Halloween decorations, which had these two blinking buttons that you see pictured above. Not pictured, I found three pairs of vintage earrings that need some TLC, 90s Tupperware brooches (I know, weird), and an old advertising yard stick for my workspace/craft room. (Oh, yeah, I made myself a work space that I will have to share with you guys. It’s furnished completely with second-hand awesome-ness, including a mid-century TV stand I found on the curb and carried home.)

Yard Sale Tips

1. Here’s a good tip I learned from my grandma — a lot of yard sales start on Thursdays, so it’s the best time to get the good stuff. Antiques dealers and vintage hunters get their early for the best stuff. They’re your competition!

2. Late Saturday afternoon is the best time to get cheap prices, because sellers are ready to throw in the towel. They are probably more willing to negotiate, and start throwing items to the curb, free to anyone who wants them. Being late has its advantages!

3. Check the free boxes! That is where I find the weirdest, coolest stuff. I found that cowhide bag in a free box. Once, I found an 1800s Bible that sold on eBay for $60. So, you just never know! Just be shameless and raid those boxes! Remember, they want that stuff gone.

4. An effective  haggling maneuver at yard sales is bundling. If a seller has items marked higher than what you’d feel comfortable paying, suggest a single price for multiple items. Take them to the seller and ask, “Would you take $5 for all of this?” and insert your offer as you see fit. The seller feels like they are getting more money and you get more for your buck.

5. Try to see the potential in an item, while still being realistic. For example, today I saw an awesome black wool coat that looked like it was from the 40s at a garage sale. It was marked $5. I thought about haggling, but I smelled it, and it smelled like mildew. Mildew is a difficult thing to get rid of, and in the end it was going to cost me too much, so I decided to pass.

6.To build on the last point,  use all of your senses to help you make the right choice. Be realistic about whether you will give an item the TLC it needs. I have a lot of stuff sitting around that I said I’d fix up, but haven’t. Don’t be like me!

Good luck with your yard sales while the weather permits!

 

3 Tips for Building Your Thrifty Wardrobe

I’m having some issues with my computer’s SD card port, so I can’t upload photos of recent finds! It seems the universe doesn’t want me to share such thriftiness.

So, to make up for it, I’m starting a new series of posts to offer you ways to be stylish but cheap… err, not cheap, thrifty! More money saved equals more money for cool stuff!

Tip #1: Knee high stockings/hosiery.


Knee-high and over-the-knee stockings and socks seem to be pretty “in” right now, based off of my constant Lookbook trolling.  (It’s a problem, I admit, but it gives me lots of ideas for my own outfits. I don’t need rehab!)

A lot of young people (like me) seem to have forgotten or perhaps never knew of cheap pantyhose. I’m talking about the kind that comes in the plastic bubble gum machine eggs.

That photo above is basically what they look like. They cram the stockings into those little bubbles. I imagine these don’t sell as fast as they used to back in 40s, 50s, and 60s when women wore hosiery almost all the time. These would have been cheap enough that a woman could buy a new pair each week.

You can find this hosiery-filled bubbles in the underwear or intimates section of department stores like Target, Wal-mart, K-Mart, and so on. These things are CHEAP! I got a pair for $0.34!  And, believe it or not, they’re decent. If they rip, just buy more. They come in tan, black, and navy. You don’t have to splurge on price-inflated stockings from places like American Apparel if you don’t want to. One warning — the pair I bought is slightly sheer. So if you want that opaque look then socks are your best bet.

Tip # 2: Vintage slips.

There’s always a rack of slips and silky nightgowns in every thrift store. They are never all that expensive. If your not creeped out by the thought of wearing someone else’s slips, these can be pretty neat. I mean, they’re not panties or anything. I got mine for around $1.50!

I have three slips. Two are the gown kind that you wear beneath a dress and the other is just a skirt slip. These are good for dresses and skirts that are a little see through, but they also serve as a cheap alternative to a petticoat. While they won’t help with that full, poofy skirt effect, they will add a more feminine touch if the bottom peeks out a bit, showing off the lace. If you have a skirt that’s just a smidge too short for you to wear out anD about, wear a slip underneath it!

Tip # 3:  Thigh high hosiery.


This tip is less about saving money but more about appearance. If you’re like me, you might have a little bit of pudge around your tummy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love pantyhose, but I hate that no matter what size you buy the top of it always cuts you off strangely. Even if you have very little pudge, it will still create a muffin top effect. So, your left to either just deal with it and have a lumpy looking stomach under your dress or scrunch it down around your pelvis, and then that looks bulky. You really can’t win. I see women who seem to have mastered wearing pantyhose without these afflictions, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

For years I avoided wearing pantyhose with dresses and only ventured to wear them with high waisted skirts because I didn’t like how the pantyhose maid my stomach look. Then, while in Las Vegas this past summer, I found a part of vertical striped black thigh-high nylons. I wanted them so badly, so I got them. I realized that these solved my problem completely!  So, if you have the same problem, why not give thigh-highs a try?

Okay, that’s all for now! Happy thrifting!