The Best Glue For Attaching Fabric To Cardboard

If you’re looking to attach fabric to cardboard for an arts, crafts, or DIY project, choosing the right adhesive is key. The wrong glue can result in a weak bond or damage to the fabric or cardboard. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the best glues for adhering fabric to cardboard so your project stays together.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: White glue or tacky glue are good all-purpose options for gluing fabric to cardboard. For the strongest bond, opt for epoxy glue or fabric glues like Fabri-Tac or Aleene’s Fabric Fusion.

What to Consider When Choosing a Glue

When it comes to attaching fabric to cardboard, choosing the right glue is crucial. The wrong glue can result in a weak bond that easily comes undone, leaving you frustrated and your project in shambles.

To ensure a successful and long-lasting bond, there are several factors to consider when selecting the best glue for the job.

Strength of Bond

The strength of the bond between the fabric and cardboard is of utmost importance. You want a glue that will securely hold the fabric in place, even when subjected to everyday wear and tear. Look for a glue that is specifically designed for fabric-to-cardboard bonding, as these are formulated to provide a strong and durable adhesion.

Fabric Type

The type of fabric you are working with will also play a role in choosing the right glue. Some glues work better with certain fabric types than others. For example, a fabric glue that works well with cotton may not be as effective on silk or polyester.

Take into consideration the composition and texture of your fabric to ensure compatibility with the glue you choose.

Cardboard Type

Just like fabric, different types of cardboard may require different glues. Consider the thickness and surface texture of the cardboard you are using. If you are working with a corrugated cardboard, a glue with a strong adhesive property is recommended to ensure a secure bond.

Drying Time

The drying time of the glue is another important factor to consider, especially if you are working on a time-sensitive project. Some glues dry quickly, allowing you to move on to the next step sooner. Others may require longer drying times, which can be frustrating if you need to wait before proceeding.

Choose a glue that aligns with your project timeline.

Accessibility and Cost

Accessibility and cost are also important considerations when choosing a glue. You want a glue that is readily available at your local craft or hardware store. Additionally, consider your budget and the cost of the glue.

While there are high-quality glues available at a higher price point, there are also budget-friendly options that still provide a strong bond.

By taking into account the strength of bond, fabric type, cardboard type, drying time, accessibility, and cost, you can make an informed decision when choosing the best glue for attaching fabric to cardboard. Remember, a strong and secure bond will ensure that your project stands the test of time.

Best Glues for Fabric to Cardboard

When it comes to attaching fabric to cardboard, choosing the right glue is crucial for a successful and long-lasting bond. Here are some of the best glues that are commonly used for this purpose:

All-Purpose White Glue

All-purpose white glue is a popular choice for attaching fabric to cardboard. Its strong adhesive properties make it suitable for a wide range of materials, including fabric and paper. This glue dries clear and is easy to use, making it ideal for craft projects and DIY enthusiasts.

It is important to note that while all-purpose white glue can provide a strong bond, it may not be as durable as some other options.

Tacky Glue

Tacky glue, also known as craft glue or PVA glue, is another excellent option for attaching fabric to cardboard. This type of glue is known for its quick drying time and strong bond. It is specifically designed for crafts and can adhere to various surfaces, including fabric and cardboard.

Tacky glue is also flexible and can withstand some movement, making it perfect for projects that require flexibility.

Epoxy Glue

Epoxy glue is a powerful adhesive that can create an incredibly strong bond between fabric and cardboard. This type of glue consists of two components – a resin and a hardener – that need to be mixed together before use. Epoxy glue is perfect for projects that require a permanent and durable bond.

However, it is essential to follow the instructions carefully and work in a well-ventilated area when using epoxy glue.

Fabric Glue

Fabric glue is specifically designed for bonding fabric to various surfaces, including cardboard. This type of glue is often water-resistant and can withstand washing, making it ideal for fabric projects that may require cleaning.

Fabric glue is available in different formulas, including washable and permanent options. It is important to choose the right formula based on the specific requirements of your project.

Before using any glue, it is recommended to test a small area of fabric and cardboard to ensure compatibility and to achieve the desired results.

Remember, the best glue for attaching fabric to cardboard may depend on the specific project and materials used. It is always a good idea to read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow proper application techniques for the best results.

Glue Application Tips

Preparing the Fabric and Cardboard

Before applying glue to attach fabric to cardboard, it is important to prepare both surfaces properly. Start by cleaning the cardboard to remove any dust or dirt that may hinder the adhesion. Use a damp cloth or a gentle cleaning solution to wipe the surface clean.

Allow it to dry completely before proceeding.

When working with fabric, it is recommended to pre-wash and iron it to ensure optimal results. This helps to eliminate any chemicals or residues that might affect the glue’s bond. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases in the fabric before proceeding to apply the glue.

Glue Spreading Techniques

The way you spread the glue can greatly impact the outcome of your project. It is recommended to use a thin, even layer of glue for better adhesion. Avoid using excessive amounts of glue, as it can seep through the fabric and create unwanted stains or bumps.

One technique that works well when applying glue to fabric and cardboard is to use a small paintbrush or foam brush. This allows for better control and precision, ensuring that the glue is spread evenly across the surface.

Alternatively, you can also use a glue roller or a glue stick for quick and easy application.

When applying the glue, start from the center of the fabric and work your way outwards. This helps to minimize any air bubbles or wrinkles that may form during the bonding process. Apply gentle pressure to ensure good contact between the fabric and the cardboard.

Allow for Proper Drying Time

Once you have applied the glue and attached the fabric to the cardboard, it is crucial to allow sufficient drying time. This ensures that the bond is strong and secure. The drying time can vary depending on the type of glue used, so it is important to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

It is recommended to place a weight or heavy object on top of the fabric and cardboard to create even pressure while the glue dries. This helps to prevent any lifting or bubbling of the fabric. Avoid moving or disturbing the project until the glue has completely dried.

Remember, choosing the right glue for attaching fabric to cardboard is essential for a successful project. It is always a good idea to test the glue on a small, inconspicuous area before applying it to the entire surface.

By following these glue application tips, you can achieve a strong and durable bond between fabric and cardboard for your various crafting or DIY projects.

Glue Alternatives


When it comes to attaching fabric to cardboard, sewing can be a great alternative to using glue. Sewing provides a strong and durable bond that can withstand the test of time. It is especially useful when working with delicate fabrics or when you need to attach fabric to cardboard in a way that allows for flexibility.

Sewing can be done by hand or with a sewing machine, depending on your preference and the size of the project.

One advantage of sewing is that it allows for easy adjustments and alterations. If you make a mistake or need to change something, simply remove the stitches and start again. Sewing also gives you the option to add decorative stitching or embellishments to enhance the overall look of your project.


Another alternative to glue is using staples to attach fabric to cardboard. This method is quick, easy, and effective, especially for larger projects. All you need is a stapler and some staples. Start by positioning the fabric on the cardboard and then use the stapler to secure it in place.

Make sure to space out the staples evenly to ensure a secure hold.

Staples work well for attaching thick or heavy fabrics to cardboard, as they provide a sturdy bond. However, keep in mind that staples may leave visible marks on the fabric and cardboard, so it’s important to consider the aesthetic implications of using this method.

Iron-On Adhesive

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to attach fabric to cardboard, iron-on adhesive can be a fantastic option. This adhesive comes in the form of sheets or rolls that can be cut to the desired size.

Simply place the adhesive between the fabric and cardboard, and use an iron to activate the adhesive and create a strong bond.

Iron-on adhesive is ideal for smaller projects or when you need a temporary hold. It is also a great option when working with delicate fabrics that may be damaged by other attachment methods. However, it’s important to note that iron-on adhesive may not provide as strong of a bond as sewing or staples, so it’s not recommended for heavy fabrics or projects that require long-lasting durability.

When considering alternatives to glue for attaching fabric to cardboard, it’s important to choose a method that suits your specific project needs. Whether you opt for sewing, staples, or iron-on adhesive, each method has its own advantages and considerations.

Experiment with different techniques and find the one that works best for you and your creative endeavors!


Attaching fabric to cardboard opens up many creative possibilities for arts, crafts, and functional projects. With the right adhesive choice and proper application techniques, you can achieve a long-lasting bond between materials.

We covered the best glue options for flexibility, strength, and accessibility. White glue, tacky glue, epoxy, and fabric glues are all great choices depending on your specific project needs. Follow our tips on surface prep, glue spreading, and drying time for maximum success.

With the right glue and some practice, you’ll be able to attach fabric to cardboard with confidence for all your crafty endeavors.

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