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Best Adhesive Applicators for Art Projects

Nov 17, 2023Nov 17, 2023

When it comes to crafting, adhesive applicators are a must. Why deal with tacky strips of double-stick tape, messy glue that takes forever to dry, or sticker dots that never seem to get the job done quite right? An easy-to-use, one-handed adhesive applicator ensures that your tape will glide on without fuss and keep those photos, papers, or whatever else you’re working with stuck reliably in place. Whether you’re looking for a lightweight option or a larger gun-style model, consider the following five adhesive applicators.

This photo-safe tape comes in a 6-inch dispenser that fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. It glides effortlessly and is reliably free from jamming. Scotch is known for its tape, so it is no surprise that this compact dispenser is easy for children and adults to use. And while you can’t refill it, you’ll get 11 yards of tape, making this an affordable pick for any crafting project you have in mind.

This medium-size adhesive applicator is a close second to Scotch’s product. Like our top pick, it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, but it’s not too small to do the job right. What makes it stand out is that it is refillable—and easy to reload, at that—so you don’t have to throw it out and start anew when the tape has run out. The plastic casing is slightly flimsier than Scotch’s, which means there’s a slight learning curve to figure out the right pressure. The adhesive is reliably sticky and acid-free, so it won’t ruin photos or other materials. You can buy refills in economical three-packs!

If you want to pull out a big gun for your adhesive applications, consider this hand-held device from Scotch. It’s much larger than its counterparts, accommodating both ¾-inch and ½-inch transfer tape. To use it, you grasp the substantial handle and simply press a trigger to dispense the desired amount of tape on your surface. Despite its size, it applies smoothly and is easy to guide while dispensing a straight line of tape. The backing tape peels off easily and gets reeled into the device without jamming. Simply open and empty when the roll is empty.

One of the crafty items in the AmazonBasics brand line is this adhesive applicator, a no-frills version that reliably gets the job done—without breaking the bank. The clear applicator dispenses double-sided ¼-inch tape that comes in a 32-foot roll and is nicely tucked into a device that’s barely 3 inches long.

This tape applicator, sold in three packs of four, is a solid, affordable option, making it a strong contender for artists and educators alike. It reliably and easily dispenses and slices satisfyingly tacky double-sided tape. Like many options on our list, this applicator is disposable rather than refillable. Each comes preloaded with about 26 feet of slim tape. While strong, the tape is forgiving, allowing you to peel off strips and reset them if you need to make subtle adjustments.