Jan 152015

4/25/15. Visit Clogged glue bottle tips, revisited, for a revised assessment.

I watched a video recently, No Plug Glue Toppers for Paper Crafting, from Laura Denison of Following the Paper Trail, that inspired me to try her solution for clogged glue bottle tips. If you’re like me, then you have tossed more than one bottle of otherwise perfectly serviceable glue, simply because the bottle tip was clogged beyond your ability (or willingness) to clean it out. For me, chief offenders are Beacon’s Fabri-Tac, Ranger’s Glossy Accents, Judi-Kins Diamond Glaze and Scotch’s Quick-Drying Tacky Glue (previously known as Quick-Dry Adhesive). I find myself taping a pin to the side of the bottle to poke out the glue that has clogged in the tip, but eventually that solution fails and I discard the bottle.


My favorite liquid adhesive for scrapbooking, when I need something that dries quickly and allows you to adhere paper to paper, metal, plastic, leather, foam core and other materials, is Scotch Quick-Drying Tacky Glue. At the online Joann.com site, the blurb beneath the photo of the adhesive reads:

This quick-drying; permanent tacky adhesive securely attaches three-dimensional objects made of metal and plastic as well as papers. The fine tip allows for precision application. It is ideal for paper; plastic and metal; and bonds to most paper to paper in less than a minute. Other features: won’t bleed through most papers; has a low wrinkle formulation; sets quickly; is photo safe and dries clear.

This great glue, however, has one of the worst clogged tip issues I have encountered. When it was originally released, it had a precision tip that released a fine stream of glue, as well as a flat top screw lid that allowed you to store the bottle upside down, helping to prevent clogging.

Old style glue bottle

What a great idea! But someone at 3M decided to “improve” the bottle and replace it with a standard glue bottle tip that clogs quickly, especially because it’s the nature of this adhesive to dry fast.

New style bottle

Laura Denison began experimenting with a solution that works, I think, if you apply it correctly. She realized that most adhesives do not bond to silicone, so she began several weeks of experimentation that involved replacing her glue bottle tips with “classic” baby bottle nipples made from silicone. The advantages of this method are:

  • The new bottle tip never clogs.
  • You can seal the bottle hole overnight by squeezing out a bead of glue that dries on the outside of the nipple but flicks off with a fingernail in the morning when you need the glue again.
  • You can produce a fine, consistent stream of glue that allows you to insert adhesive into small areas.
  • The nipple can be transferred to a new bottle of glue, or it can be re-used by pouring the new glue into the old bottle, making the nipple an economical investment.

So, how does this work? Laura advises you to use classic baby bottle nipples with a bottom diameter of about three quarters of an inch. If you look at two types of nipples, side by side, you’ll understand immediately what type of nipple you need to purchase. The one on the left is a classic nipple, while the one on the right is too large.

Classic vs. other nipple

In addition, you’ll want to select nipples designed for newborns up to 3 months old. If you want a larger-sized glue hole, then go ahead and purchase a nipple for babies that are 3 to 6 months old. Make sure, however, that the nipples are made of silicone. Rubber nipples won’t work because glue will adhere to them and clog the same way the plastic glue bottle tips do.

What you’ll need to convert your old bottle tips to new ones is simple: a pair of scissors, double-mount foam tape, and a silicone baby bottle nipple.

Remove the old bottle tip and lid, and toss it. I decided I wanted to have a fine-tipped 2-ounce bottle for my Mod Podge that I normally buy in 32-ounce jars. I washed out an old Scotch Quick-Drying Tacky Glue bottle with soap and water, removed the old tip and the brand label, and filled the bottle with Mod Podge. A word to the wise: don’t overfill your bottle. I did, and it wasn’t pretty!


Next, you’ll need to prepare the double-mount foam tape. Cut it to such a length that it will wrap twice around the glue bottle’s screw threads. The foam tape should be trimmed, if necessary, to be as wide as the height of those screw threads. Leave the backing paper on as you begin to wrap the tape, and remove it just before the tape overlaps the first round. Then, press it firmly into place. The purpose of the mounting tape is to provide a more secure seal for the nipple.


Carefully stretch the baby bottle nipple over the top of the bottle, making sure that you completely cover the foam tape. If you don’t, you won’t have a secure seal, and glue will leak out. How do I know? I made that mistake. That’s it! Your bottle is recapped with a much more functional tip that won’t clog.


You’ll notice that for both types of glue, Mod Podge on the left and Scotch Quick-Drying Tacky Glue on the right, the glue stream is pretty fine.

New glue streams

I replaced two glue bottle tops today with nipples. Yeah, they look pretty funny, but this solution works. Thank you, Laura!


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