What Glue Should I Use? …When Making Jewelry

Warren Feld
14 min readApr 14, 2020

WHAT GLUE SHOULD I USE?

I often get many questions about what glue to use with rhinestones and other beading and jewelry-making projects. I design jewelry. I do some silversmithing, wire working, bead stringing, bead weaving, kumihimo, and other techniques in my designs. I have been beading and making jewelry for over 30 years, and own a bead shop in Nashville, Tennessee.

When you make jewelry and need an adhesive to attach one component to another, to embellish a piece with stones, to secure a clasp, or to finish off or begin a new stringing material, you have certain issues you need to contend with.

First, all jewelry moves when worn. This results in a tremendous amount of force placed on the jewelry, increasing stresses and strains. You want the glue-bond to be able to resist, or better accommodate, these forces.

Second, you do not want your glue-bond to expand when dry.

Third, you want your glue-bond to dry clear.

Fourth, you want your glue-bond to withstand the very cold and very hot extremes of temperature where you live.

You want your glue to be able to bond to the materials you are working with.

You want to easily wipe off and remove the excess glue from your piece.

Nothing is perfect, but based on our experiences, here are some good tips:

(1) Always experiment with your adhesives first, before you use an adhesive on your final project. No one glue works with every project.

(2) Glues vary widely in terms of which materials they stick to, how well they form a bond between two smooth surfaces, and how the glue bond ages, both in terms of durability and color, and whether the glue expands in volume after it dries, or not.

(3) Clean the excess glue off your piece before you display or sell it.

(4) You will probably have to rely on more than one type of glue to accommodate all your types of projects.

Jeweler’s glues are the perfect choice in most situations. Jeweler’s glues dry like rubber, so the bond acts as a shock absorber. They also dry clear and without expansion. Jeweler’s glues take 24 hours to dry hard. They…

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Warren Feld

Beading and jewelry making have been wonderful adventures, from custom work, production work, and teaching. *Design is about the ability to make smart choices.