Can you use clear school glue as resin?

Resin and glue are two different substances that one might confuse for the other. It’s easy to get these products mixed up, especially when talking about Elmer’s glue, school glue, and epoxy resin.

We can help you understand what the differences are between these seemingly similar products.

Glue is a generic term for a substance that holds things together. It comes in many forms—some glues are liquid, some solid; some glues require a catalyst (such as heat or air) to cure while others cure on their own without any extra assistance; some glues have natural ingredients while others are made with synthetic materials; and so on.

School glue is just one type of household adhesive product intended to keep paper together; it isn’t actually any different from Elmer’s brand of glue except for the branding itself. Both types of glue can be found in the art supplies aisle at your local big-box store.

Some types of art-grade clear school glues use polyvinyl alcohol as an ingredient, which is similar to polyester resins used for crafting projects like jewelry making and fiberglass repair—but even though these formulas look similar on paper (pun intended), they don’t work exactly alike because they’re not made of exactly the same substances (glue vs resin).

Can you use clear school glue as resin?

Yes, you can use clear school glue as resin! With the right products and a little creativity, you can make your own beautiful jewelry and crafts that look just like they were made with store-bought resin.

So how do you get started? You’ll need a few basic materials to make your faux resin:

  • Elmer’s clear school glue (white glue can be used too; your finished product will just have a milky appearance)
  • A bowl or container
  • A plastic spoon or craft stick for stirring

Then mix your ingredients together in equal parts. Add food coloring if desired—whatever color you want your final product to be. Pour into molds and let dry for about 24 hours. Once the faux resin is completely dry, pop it out of the molds and enjoy! If bubbles appear on the surface after drying, simply send them away for a smooth finish.

Of course, no good thing comes without its challenges: synthetic resins tend to get sticky over time because of their water content so it’s recommended that you only use them as jewelry pieces that won’t be worn regularly (e.g., earrings).

And because it’s not technically cured yet when you pop it out of its mold, some shrinkage may occur over time depending on what material was used (i.e., glass vs silicone molds). But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try making some yourself! It’s a fun project with great results worth putting up in any room around the house – even if they don’t last forever.

Can you use clear Elmer’s glue as resin?

Well, yes, you can. But it’s not the same thing. There are differences between the two so let’s dive in.

You see, traditional epoxy resins have all sorts of additives to them that allow them to cure with a glossy finish and prevent yellowing over time and from UV light exposure.

Epoxy resins also need some kind of hardener or catalyst that gets added at specific ratios to start the curing process. So what we think about when we talk about resin is really epoxy resin which includes these additives and catalysts.

Glue on the other hand does not have any of these things added to it already (although they do make liquid glues such as Gorilla Glue that have a chemical reaction when they come into contact with moisture).

That means that if you want your clear Elmers glue project to look like an epoxy resin project, there are some things you need to do first before using your clear glue as resin:

Does clear glue work as resin?

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question a lot, “Can I use clear glue as resin?” You’ve come to the right place because today, the answer is finally yes. No longer are you bound by the chains of not knowing how to turn your clear school glue into resin.

Maybe you’re worried about how much baking soda you need or perhaps how long your resin needs to cure.

We’ll go over both here and tell you exactly what you need and what to do.

Is glue the same as resin?

Glue is a catch-all term for different types of adhesives, but not all glues are the same. A good example is how glue differs from resin.

Glue and resin are two separate things, even though they can sometimes be used interchangeably. Resin is a hard substance that can be used to create a glossy finish on various surfaces with an adhesive quality.

Glue is quite simply a liquid substance that bonds things together firmly when it dries.

Can you use hot glue instead of resin?

You can use hot glue instead of resin to create resin art. Hot glue is a great alternative to resin because it is easy to use and you can find it at most craft stores.

Hot glue also works great if you are trying to layer your resin art. Resin typically won’t stick to another layer of cured resin, but it will stick to hot glue.

What can I use instead of resin?

If you are making a decoupage or paper mache project, use a spray sealant or even clear nail polish.

For epoxy resin, use epoxy glue.

For polyester casting resin and other 2 part resins (urethane resin, polyurethane resin), you need to purchase a two part epoxy. There are many types of two part epoxies, some of which are better for certain applications than others so make sure you understand your application before purchasing the material.

What glue can I use on resin?

While you can use any glue to cement two pieces of resin together, not all glues are created equal. Here’s a quick rundown of the best options:

  • Epoxy glue
  • Polyurethane glue
  • Hot glue (with a hot glue gun)
  • Superglue
  • Elmer’s Glue-All

It’s hard to pick a winner here, as they all work great. The only issue is that some of these choices aren’t necessarily clear resin and may leave white residue on surfaces—but if you don’t mind that, go for it! Beyond that, each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Elmer’s Glue-All Max isn’t your typical craft store brand; it works better than most adhesives on the market and does an excellent job holding resin pieces together without cracking or breaking down over time.

It cleans up easily too! If your project requires precision (for example sewing beads together), polyurethane might be a better option because it takes longer to set than superglue or hot glues – but it dries clear so there won’t be any visible seam lines where you sewed things back up again with this strong adhesive.

How long does it take for Elmer’s school glue to dry?

If you are applying a thin layer of glue, it should dry within 2-4 hours. The thin layer can be fully cured in 24 hours. If the glue is applied thickly (more than 1/8 of an inch), then the drying time will take longer and maybe up to 2 days. In order to speed up the process, you may use a blow dryer to dry your Elmer’s glue faster.

Make sure that you do not set the blow dryer to a high temperature or else you will damage your project.


You’ve learned a lot about clear school glue as resin in this article! Here is a quick summary of the key points you’ve learned:

  • Two types of glue are used to make resin, epoxy, and polyester. Clear school glue is neither of these. Clear school glue is a type of PVA adhesive.
  • There are some projects for which it’s okay to use clear school glue as an alternative to epoxy and polyester resins. These include making fake gems, sealing ceramic surfaces, and adding color pigment to liquid soap.
  • Keep in mind that there are some serious risks involved with using clear school glue for any project that involves making something waterproof or durable. The final product will not be nearly as strong or water-resistant as real resin would be if it were used instead of the clear school glue.
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Martin Flood

Martin Flood has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years as a general contractor with expertise in remodeling projects that are large or small. He has furthered his career by specializing in epoxy resin flooring, providing excellent service to both commercial and residential clients. Martin’s experience enables him to offer professional advice on how to choose the right type of project based on your needs and budget.

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