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Gluing paper to metal

how do YOU glue paper to metal for piercing out images? I am
trying to get away from the rubber cement family of products
because of the nasty chemicals… I have tried white glue but it
seems to peel off fairly quickly. any suggestions?



Well, I’ve used glue stick and it seems to work okay. I’d like
to hear what others do… Susan E.

Try using Postum glue. It comes in a stick and I have used it.
worked pretty good. Can find it at Staples or any Stationary
supply store.

Carole Wilkinson email: @caroleew

Try “YES” glue (available at art supply stores, Daniel Smith
catalogue). It’s a vegetable paste, completely non-toxic. Really
sticks, but soaks off in water. It’s supposed to work with most
materials, including metal, but I’ve never tried it for this

I used to use rubber cement, but I try to stay away from as many
nasty chemicals as i can. Now i use Elmers glue stick. Sometimes
I have to do a glue chack and reglue parts during cutting, but
it generally sticks pretty well, it’s easy to remove soaking in


Janet Kofoed
fine handcrafted jewelry

How are you developing the image that you are cutting. I do a
lot of sawing and have started to use the computer to develop
images and designs.( Adobe illustrator works well for me). I can
then enlarge or shrink the image and even arrange a number of
them on a 6" x 12" layout which how my sheet silver comes. I
still us rubber cement for some but recently I have been
printing my computer generated designs on to full sheet label
paper. This paper has a peel off backing and does not raise up
during cutting. You could even draw your designs on this stuff if
you wanted to. Available at most well equiped office supply
stores. good luck…, Al.

G’day; When I buy sheet sterling in whatever thickness. as soon
as it arrives (and when and if I remember) I cover the surfaces
completely with self adhesive paper from Avery which protects it
completely from abrasion in the drawer and when I cut it. When
I need a design on the silver, which doesn’t have the paper
cover, I either draw it on a self adhesive label or
computer-print it on a label. These labels stick very firmly,
so to remove them I use a petroleum mix sold in this country as
ADOS SOLVENT N. Failing that I use a thin cover of paint
stripper, removing the last traces of stickum with petroleum
spirit. Another thing I do is to cover the metal surface with
black marker pen completely, then draw in the shape with a stout
needle mounted in a bit of dowel. Cheers,

       / \
     /  /
   /  /                                
 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2

At sunny Nelson NZ

Gail, rubber cement is the best thing I’ve found that holds long
enough to saw out the piece. I don’t worry about the chemicals,
because I don’t expose myself to it. If the fumes bother you,
try good ventilation and a separator mask. Curtis

Try the 3M series adhesives that comes in a spray can and can be
bought from a building supplies or arts supplies store. I use
the Super 77 grade to glue paper to styrofoam because this
formulation doesn’t dissolve the styrofoam. The applications
include instructions for adhesion to metal.

The 3M glues come in several formulations and it is best to ask
the sales clerk about them.

Kelvin Mok (

Home: (403) 463-4099 | Home FAX: (403) 430-7120

Hi Gail, I use blank label sheets designed for printers or
photocopiers. There is a whole range of sizes made by Avery (and
others) You just draw or print your design on the lable, peel it
off and stick it to the metal… It works well for me…


Kerry (Who used “Copydex” adhesive for years)

Kerry McCandlish Jewellery - Celtic and Scottish styles
Commission/Custom Work undertaken…
Katunayake, Creagorry, Isle of Benbecula, HS7 5PG SCOTLAND
Tel: +44 1870-602-677 Fax: +44 1870-602-956 Mobile: +44 850-059-162

Try double sided tape, I use it all the time without failure. it
is also good for taping two pieces of metal together. Cheers
from sunny Christchurch N.Z.

Gluing paper to metal, I use doubled sided scotch-tape , which
can be found in art stores. I apply the tape to the backside of
the paper design and then place it on the metal. It works well
for me and it’s not messy as glue can be. Hope this helps.

At your local art store there is an adhesive backed tissue that
architects use… You can trace your pattern and then stick it
to your metal… Or another idea… use clear contact paper… or
rub pencil on the back of your drawing and then put it on the
metal and push the graphite onto the metal… Just be careful not
to smudge.


I use Laser Printer labels available at office supply houses.
They come in various sizes and adhere very well. The only problem
I have had is when I use them on plastic, they don’t come off.
Acetone will remove any glue left on most surfaces but anything
that will dissolve the glue seems to also dissolve the plastic.
If anyone has solved this problem I would like to hear about it.

Dick Friesen @friesenr

I tried Wendy Newman’s suggestion to use transparent tape to
transfer the image. Except with extremely small fine pieces,
this method has worked wonderfully well. I even used the more
resilient clear packing tape for sawing out larger pieces. You
can really cruise when you saw without designs smudging, corners
lifting up or pieces popping off which is what sometimes happens
when I use a glue stick. Thanks Wendy. Linda>

When I have a small but detailed design I want to pierce out
carefully, I draw it on a piece of manila in pencil, making sure
to heavily darken the design with the lead. Then, I press a
piece of masking tape on the design and burnish it, lifting up
the lead on the sticky side of the tape. Once I tape it to the
metal and burnish it down firmly, I can usually see the design
very clearly through the tape. The added benefit of this is that
as you saw and filings build up, you can brush them away without
smudging the design.


I have tried the “glue paper to metal” method, but find that the
paper usually lifts up while I am sawing out the pattern. I have
had much better success using either masking tape or Scotch tape
(the one you can write on) I can draw my design, cut it out and
remove the excess sticky stuff with “gum out.”

Hi, I use the “DryLine” either permanent adhesive or temporary
adhesive. It comes in a dispenser with rechargeable tapes and is
distributed by “The Gilette Company, Stationary Products
Division”, P.O. Box 61, Boston, MA 02199. Their 800 number is

You just roll the dispenser on the back of your paper and it
leaves an adhesive film on it. Very clean and precise.

In Canada you find it in office supply stores and I assume same
should apply in the U.S.

Michel Larbrisseau
Trifac inc.
Montreal (Qc).

I use plain old white glue. Yes it comes off, but… I used to
used spray glue (artist’s spray adhesive) but that’s a pain and a
half to get off. Someone I used to work for did that and just
burned off the paper and the adhesive. Not very safe. If
necessary, I add Scotch ™ tape over the top of the design if
the white glue is coming off. Works well enough.


Switch from masking tape to something like scotch magic tape.
If you’ve drawn your design not on a loose paper like manila, but
on a proper drafting film (these are mylar or acetate) the tape
will lift even delicate pencil lines, and being transparent, when
you burnish that tape down on the metal, you don’t have an
"almost see" situation. The pencil marks are plain as day.

Peter Rowe