Product Test Drive: DIY Thumbtacks with Nontoxic Glue

Product Test Drive: DIY Thumbtacks with Nontoxic Glue

Welcome back to another round of Product Test Drive, where I use a craft/DIY product for the first time and give you my honest opinion. I’m not compensated by the manufacturer and I purchased the product with my own money at a craft store in town (Joann Fabric, to be precise).

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 my DIY thumbtacks featuring chic, metallic flowers.

DIY thumbtacks from resin cabochon flowers and vintage thumbtacks by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

These caught peoples’ attention!

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Now, in my haste to complete my cork board project, I used hot glue to make those thumbtacks…but when I went to pull them from the cork, they came apart! So, I knew I needed a stronger, better glue moving forward- but the world of craft glue is pretty overwhelming! I mean, have you ever looked at a display in Michaels or Joann Fabric? There are a HECK of a lot of options.

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. And yes, I know what you’re thinking- you probably need prolonged exposure in unventilated areas for this to be a concern.

But, why risk it? I just need to make thumbtacks- and I’d rather risk a failed craft project than failed health.

And so, I started to wonder if there were any safe, nontoxic super-glue-type 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). But I ventured down the rabbit hole of craft glues (hence my mention that this project test drive was complicated and convoluted) and FINALLY came out with a contender: Nontoxic Tiger Bond Glue.

Product Test Drive using Non Toxic Tiger Bond glue for DIY thumbtacks craft project by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Nontoxic strong glue? Let’s do this…

Now that I had a nontoxic glue to try, I could get started on my DIY thumbtacks and put the glue to the test. To make my thumbtacks, I used resin flower cabochons (from a craft store or on Etsy, where I got these), and vintage thumbtacks (I mean, I *had* to upcycle SOMETHING that was secondhand, otherwise it wouldn’t be very Sadie-esque).

Flower Cabochons to be repurposed into DIY thumbtacks using nontoxic glue by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

DIY Thumbtacks Part 1: Resin or Acrylic Flower Cabochons

Vintage thumbtacks to be upcycled into metallic flower DIY thumbtacks using nontoxic glue by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

DIY Thumbtacks Part 2: Vintage thumbtacks!

I was ready to get started with this never-tried-it-before glue and read the directions, which were pretty standard. Per the information on the back, I applied a touch of glue to both surfaces (the cabochon and the thumbtack head).

Creating DIY thumbtacks using nontoxic Tiger Bond glue by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

My DIY Thumbtacks assembly area…

Creating DIY thumbtacks using nontoxic Tiger Bond glue by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Alright…let’s see how this works!

My initial thoughts on Tiger Bond?

  • 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 painting them.

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

  • Use a small, flattened cardboard box.
  • Attach packing peanuts to loops of painter’s tape on the box.
  • Stick thumbtacks in the Styrofoam.
  • Hold box like a paint palette with your thumb inside the box! This will protect your hand from spray paint but allow you to hold the box at every angle to ensure full spray paint coverage.
How to spray paint DIY thumbtacks or other small objects that roll away by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Silly set-up but VERY effective.

And the paint I used? I’m OBSESSED with the color and metallic shine from it.

Spray painting DIY thumbtacks with Krylon Foil Copper spray paint by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

A perfect paint job, every time!

Spray painting DIY thumbtacks with Krylon Foil Copper spray paint by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

SO PRETTY!

My 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). 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.

How to make chic, metallic flower DIY thumbtacks using cabochons, vintage thumbtacks, and non-toxic glue by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Good glue or bad, at least my DIY thumbtacks look good…

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!

Craft on!

S

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PIN ME!How to make chic, metallic flower DIY thumbtacks using cabochons, vintage thumbtacks, and non-toxic glue by Sadie Seasongoods / www.sadieseasongoods.com

Comments

  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:

    AWESOME

  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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