Product Type: ELC Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... other brands, but you know that it's safe. As to an age range, well I really don't think there is one, the ELC recommends over the age o... more
A Sticky End?
Bits & Basics Washable Glue
Member Name: sandemp
Bits & Basics Washable Glue
Advantages: Washable, non-toxic, sticks
Disadvantages: Struggles with pompoms
Seventeen month old Freddy and I love our messy play, where we work together to produce many wonderful art projects. One of our absolute craft staples is glue, we seem to go through a ridiculous amount, what with collages, models and papier mache. When I first started building up our craft box there were a few basic criteria that the glue needed to meet. Firstly and most importantly it had to be non-toxic, one thing you soon learn with a toddler is that everything gets tasted and while there are many different manufacturers of glue out there, some of them add anti-fungal ingredients. The other criteria was that it was water soluble or washable, as another lesson you soon learn is that a toddler plus glue equals mess as they manage to get it all over themselves, their clothes and their surroundings. The one glue that definitely meets these criteria is ELC PVA washable glue, which is available in a range of different sizes. To be absolutely honest, I didn't even entertain the notion of buying glue from anywhere else, as I have great confidence in the ELC's art supplies and have done for over twenty years.
As I said the ELC glue comes in a range of different sizes, however, I've only ever bought (and used) two of these. My smaller bottle contains 284mls and looks very like a bottle of washing up liquid, except that it's opaque and white. The flip-top lid is easy to open and I have no trouble controlling how much of the glue I dispense at a time. I generally squeeze the glue out of this bottle into a shallow tray ready for glueing. I have seen a smaller bottle in-store that has a nozzle, which would be handy for more precise glueing. My larger bottle contains a litre of glue, which makes it much more economical, but the design of this bottle makes precise pouring very difficult, with it's screw top lid and relatively wide opening. Personally I find the smaller bottle easier to use and the larger bottle more economical and so I get the best of both worlds by using the large bottle to refill the smaller.
The glue itself is a fairly thick consistency, being white while wet and drying clear. It's worth noting that you will need something to spread the glue with, whether that be a spreader or as we do a brush. I find that when used for collages the glue is easy to spread with a brush and quite a thin layer is all that needed for lighter materials. Paper, card and sequins all stick to this thin layer and it dries reasonably quickly. A thin layer of glue will easily dry with half an hour. The glue can also be used to stick heavier materials, we've made calendars by sticking pasta to a paper plate (then spray painting when dry) and the glue has help the pasta firm, although it did need a little more glue, which took longer to dry.
I've lost count of all the different projects that we've done using this glue, it really is an important part of our creative play. Today we used it to make a glitter spider web, I painted the glue onto some black card and then Freddy added the glitter, which stuck instantly. We also made a spider out of a pompom and pipe cleaners and this is where the glue does struggle. With pompoms the glue seems to soak in meaning that we use a lot more and it takes a long time to dry. I also find that they don't stick quite as securely. We've also used this glue to make a papier mache hot air balloon by mixing it with an equal amount of water. We had great fun getting sticky that day and it worked perfectly. This glue is also brilliant for junk modelling, you do need to use quite a bit, but once dry it manages to hold cereal boxes, toilet tubes and yoghurt pots together.
Once we've finished glueing it's easy to clean this off our hands (and everything else), a bit of soap and warm water does the job perfectly. I've had no trouble getting this off of hands, faces, wooden tables and even the carpet. It also washes out of clothes in a standard wash and is even easy to get out of hair (don't ask). The glue also washes easily out of brushes with the addition of hot water and a little washing up liquid.
Basically, this glue is indispensable in this house and without it we would not be able to create half the masterpieces that we do. I love the fact that it's non-toxic, meaning I'm happy for Freddy to have a go at applying it himself (or simply putting his hand in it to feel the sticky texture). I also love the fact that spills and splats are easily cleaned up, never mind the fact that as it's white when wet I can see where we've applied it and yet it dries clear and so doesn't intrude on our final design. Finally I love the way it's so versatile, has no problem sticking most materials together and has allowed us to create so many different pieces of artwork.
In case you haven't guessed, I'm whole-heartedly recommending this glue to anyone who wants to do sticking. It maybe messier than a solid glue stick, but it will stick many more things together, it might be slightly dearer than some other brands, but you know that it's safe. As to an age range, well I really don't think there is one, the ELC recommends over the age of three, but Freddy is half that age and uses it, just with very strict supervision and help. There is no upper limit and for good reason, heck I'm nearly forty and I love joining in with the gluing. So I'm giving the ELC Bits And Basics Washable Glue an almighty five stars out of five and recommending that you buy two bottles. The smaller one for convenience and then the larger to refill it at a far cheaper price.
Summary: A craft box essential
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