Decorative Thumb Tacks with Flower Cabochons and Non Toxic Glue

Decorative Thumb Tacks with Flower Cabochons and Non Toxic Glue

I’ll spare you from the endless details, but this Product Test Drive post was complicated and convoluted from start to finish. It all started out with my DIY cork board project; people were interested in the decorative thumb tacks that I paired it with.

Framed cork board from a picture frame

Now, in my haste to complete my cork board project, I used hot glue to make those thumb tacks. But when I went to pull them from the cork, they came apart! So, I knew I needed a stronger, better glue moving forward.

Initially, I gravitated towards the famous E6000 glue. Most of my jewelry-making friends rely on it, and I know it works like a charm. But I am all-too-familiar with the odor (which I HATE), and when I studied the actual packaging, there was a big, honkin’ cancer warning on the back. 

So, why risk it? I just need to make thumb tacks and I’d rather risk a failed craft project than failed health.

And so, I started to wonder if there were any strong and safe non toxic adhesives on the market. I mean, even my go-to super glue has its own warnings (not cancerous, but typical “don’t ingest or get in eyes or on skin” type warnings).

Finally came out with a contender:

Eco friendly glue or non toxic glue for craft projects

Now that I had a nontoxic glue to try, I could get started on my decorative thumb tacks and put the glue to the test. Or rather, Product Test Drive.

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Using an Eco Friendly Glue to Make Decorative Thumb Tacks

To make my decorative thumb tacks, I used flower cabochons (from a craft store or on Etsy, where I got these).

Resin cabochons for decorative thumb tacks

I also found some vintage thumb tacks (also from Etsy) as my base.

I mean, I *had* to upcycle SOMETHING that was secondhand, otherwise it wouldn’t be very Sadie-esque, no would it?

Plain thumb tacks to decorate with non toxic glue

Gotta love that retro packing, eh?

I was ready to get started with this non toxic glue and read the directions, which were pretty standard. 

Making the decorative thumb tacks with resin flowers and non toxic glue

Per the information on the back, I applied a touch of glue to both surfaces (the cabochon and the thumb tack head).

Eco friendly glue to make the cute push pins

My initial thoughts on Tiger Bond?

  • The smell wasn’t bad; it reminded me of plain Elmer’s white glue;
  • Tiger Bond is runny! It comes out of the tube fast, so I was glad to be using a drop cloth over my work surface.

Now, the packaging said it would cure in 24-48 hours, but even after 48, I felt like I could still pry the thumbtacks from the flower cabochons. So, I let them cure 3-4 full days before doing anything else.

Glamorous and Chic Office Supplies with Non Toxic Glue

After those 3-4 days (which was, admittedly, a long time to wait), I set up my thumb tacks for spray painting. Which is no easy feat for little bitty objects that like to roll around! So, here’s my fail-safe method:

  • I used a small, flattened cardboard box.
  • Then, I attached packing peanuts to loops of painter’s tape on the box.
  • I stuck the thumbtacks in the Styrofoam.

Decorative thumb tacks in styrofoam for spray painting

This way, I could hold the box like a paint palette with my thumb inside the box! 

Styrofoam to hold the cute push pins in place while painting

This protected my hand from spray paint but allowed me to hold the box at every angle to ensure full spray paint coverage.

Speaking of spray paint, though…

I am OBSESSED with the color and metallic shine from it.

Metallic flowers on cute push pins with spray paint

I mean, isn’t that absolutely gorgeous?

Flower cabochons as decorative thumb tacks

Either way, the Styrofoam peanuts held beautifully and worked like a charm. Now I just needed the decorative thumb tacks to dry!

Decorative Thumb Tacks with Flower Cabochons and Non Toxic Glue

They really are gorgeous and add such a glamorous touch to my home office!

How to decorate plain thumb tacks with resin flowers

My Product Test Drive conclusion?

Ultimately, I liked Tiger Bond, but would probably give it a B or B- as a grade. I know it’s not as strong as E6000 or my favorite, go-to super glue, but the non-toxicity really stacks up in its favor (for me).

Using an eco friendly glue to make the decorative thumb tacks

So, I think that it would be great for craft projects, but probably not an alternative for jewelry-makers looking to get away from E6000.

Are there products on the market that you’d like to see me test out on a project? I’m always looking for new Product Test Drive suggestions, so please let me know!

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for decorative thumb tacks for your home office, then you’ll love this upcycling idea for a password book!

Password book

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Wow, that looks GREAT!! Thanks for the brilliant idea!

  2. Nancy M. says

    I loved the way the styro chunks behind your thumbtacks looked with the metallic paint- did they look that cool in person?

  3. Thank you for this post!! I have been hunting for non-toxic adhesives. I would love for you to do more posts about them, possibly finding a non-toxic glue that seals faster and even better. I, too, like to be careful about the health effects of substances I use. I would also love it if you could research respirators for spray paint. I know I use spray paint too often. Even outside I inhale quite a bit.

  4. These turned out great. If you hadn’t painted them, they would also have been pretty, but Iike the richness the gold provides

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Very true, Jane- they would have been colorful and pretty, but I love the metallic-ness of the copper.

  5. Daisy Dianne Bromlow says


  6. Joan D. Davis says

    Have you tried Sugru…check out the website, if you haven’t.

  7. adorable idea!!!

  8. acraftymix says

    OooooEeeee they’re so pretty Sarah. Love the metallic color you sprayed them with. Thank goodness you’re out there giving us the low down on all the different glues. I normally grab what ever we have and hope for the best 😀

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