Does clear glue work the same as resin?

If you’re new to the world of resin crafting, you may be wondering: what exactly is resin? Resin is a substance that begins as a liquid and hardens once it’s exposed to air.

It can be molded into a variety of shapes when it’s in its liquid state, and most types will become crystal clear after they’ve hardened.

Resin can serve a multitude of purposes and has applications in the fields of architecture, medicine, dentistry, and arts & crafts.

Does clear glue work the same as resin?

Resin and clear glue share similarities, but it’s important to remember that they’re different things. Though both can make your crafts look lovely and shiny, there are some key differences.

Resin is a hardening liquid that’s good for adding color or sparkle to your projects. It can be mixed with glitter, mica powder, and alcohol ink. Resin is hard when dry, so it’s great for making jewelry like rings or earrings.

But if you want a softer result, try using clear glue instead.

Clear-drying adhesive is useful for just about any crafting project you can dream up—think of all the possibilities! You can get super creative with it and make your own snow globes, faux stained glass windows, paperweights, and more!

Can you use clear glue as resin?

So, can you use clear glue as a substitute for resin? The answer is yes, provided you just want the look of resin and not the strength. Resin substitutes work well for making things like jewelry, paperweights, and decorative figurines. They are generally a lot cheaper than using proper casting resin.

All clear glues can be used to make resin art – it’s just that some of them aren’t particularly good at it! Some glues will yellow over time or turn dark brown if they come into contact with sunlight.

This won’t matter so much if your piece is going to be kept inside the house but if you intend to display it in a window or even outside then think twice before using certain glues as alternatives to resin.

Can you use clear Elmer’s glue as resin?


Clear Elmer’s glue is made of polyvinyl acetate, while resin is made of polyester, epoxy, or acrylic. Both polyvinyl acetate and acrylic are considered part of the vinyl group. This means they can be used to create a resin-like substance.

The downside to using Elmer’s clear glue as your resin substitute is that it’s not as strong as epoxy resin, and it takes longer to cure than the latter option.

However, if you’re just doing a quick project and don’t mind waiting for the glue to dry completely even up to 24 hours you’ll get a similar look without having to break open the piggy bank.

Is glue the same as resin?

Glue and resin are not the same things, but they’re similar. Glue is an adhesive—it bonds things together. Resin is a type of polymer chain of carbon atoms. Polymers are usually liquid or pliable, like rubber and plastic.

Clear glue is made from polymers, but resin is a polymer. Epoxy resin is a liquid that hardens into a solid material after it cures.

It’s often used to coat tables or decorate objects like jewelry and crafts. Epoxy resin takes longer to cure than glue does, but it allows you to create smooth finishes on your projects without the risk of your clear coat bubbling or cracking over time as super glue might do.

Can you use a glue gun instead of resin?

In a word: no.

A glue gun will not work the same as resin for any project that requires more than just gluing things together. Glue guns are not transparent, waterproof, UV resistant, food-safe, heat resistant, or chemical resistant.

There are several other drawbacks to using a glue gun such as it is less durable and flexible than resin and it has an inferior bonding strength between materials.

What can I use instead of resin?

If you’ve done a lot of research on resin, you may have seen the word, “epoxy,” used in various contexts. Epoxy and resin are often used interchangeably and frequently can refer to the same thing. For example, one might ask, “What is epoxy resin?” or, “What is clear epoxy?” The term epoxy has become a catch-all phrase for any adhesive or filler that works like clear glue.

However, it’s important to understand that there are many types of epoxies with different properties and purposes.

For instance:

Polyester Resin: Used in fiberglass projects as well as as an art medium; hardens permanently; usually clear or slightly tinted; good for casting

Epoxy Resin: Also used in fiberglass projects as well as other applications such as boat building; cures very hard but may not be waterproof (verify); creates a ‘crystal’ effect when cured; good for painting surfaces

Fiberglass Resin: Polyester resins specially formulated for fiberglass applications; contain large amounts of styrene monomer which requires adequate ventilation when working with it.

Polyurethane Resin: Used in instances where permanent hardness is desired such as floor coatings and marine applications (boat building).

Can you use hot glue as a resin mold?

While it is a tempting idea to use hot glue as a resin mold, hot glue is not waterproof and cannot be polished, and would therefore affect the appearance of your finished piece.

If you do want to use hot glue for your resin project, please keep in mind that it will not give you the same finish as a real silicone or plastic mold.

What glue will stick resin?

  • Hot glue
  • Epoxy glue
  • Super Glue
  • E-6000 glue
  • Silicone Glue
  • Rubber cement
  • Dental cement
  • PVA Glue (white glue)
  • Wood Glue (yellow carpenter’s glue)
  • Fabric Glue (organic glues made from animal parts, used in bookbinding)
  • Silicone Sealant (for caulking sinks or bathtubs, for example)


Now that we’ve answered the question “Does clear glue work the same as resin?”, let’s review the key points:

  • Elmer’s glue and other PVA glues have got you covered for most of your gluing needs, but for something really special, give epoxy resin a try
  • Both are strong adhesives, but epoxy resin is very durable and water-resistant
  • PVA glue is cheaper and easier to use
  • Resin can be used in combination with materials like glitter or paint to create fun effects
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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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