I’m looking to cut out some pictures that are on photo paper, and stick them to a vodka bottle (on the outside) for my friends bday. Will this work? If so what kind of glue should I use? Will superglue work or do I need to buy I special kind?

  • did you try practicing with a picture that isn't important to you on a similar bottle? Do you want the picture to stay attached forever, or is it for a temporary decoration? – Kate Gregory Aug 10 at 14:16
  • How long does it need to stick? And is the photo paper critical? Prints on standard paper can adhere with PVA and stay on for short term usage, but will eventually tear, fall, or be knocked loose. – Allison C Aug 10 at 16:37

Double-sided foam tape is inexpensive, easy to work with, and sticks to glass and photographs. It will work if the bottle surface is smooth or textured, which proves a challenge with many glues. The foam tape is white, which matches the color of photographic paper (in most cases).

The best glue for this would be hide glue, but using it is rather a process (dissolve in hot water and keep hot until the applique is finished -- dedicated container and brushes, etc.).

Second best, and easier to use, would probably be clear RTV silicone.

The issue here is that most photo paper is coated on the back side with plastic to prevent distortion, so you need a glue that will stick to the plastic as well as to the glass of the bottle. If the paper is uncoated, you need a glue that isn't water based, so it won't distort the paper (water based glue likely wouldn't stick to the glass anyway).

Art supply stores carry paper cement (sometimes referred to as "Rubber" cement) made from natural rubber from rubber tree sap. The brand I use is "Best Test." There are other brands such as "Elmer."

The stuff is a thick, gooey, translucent non-water based adhesive about the consistency of thick cream. It is used to cement practically anything flexible to anything. Many of the components in a pair of shoes are bonded together with the same stuff. It is not water soluble. It comes in one-coat (marked "One Coat") and two coat (unmarked) variety. The One Coat is more difficult to use to get great results. Avoid the "One Coat."

Tip: If the rubber cement gets too thick to pour, you'll get better results if you dilute it with rubber cement thinner to the proper consistency to apply with a bristle brush that comes attached to inside of the screw top cap.

Warning: Rubber cement is NOT Contact cement
And
Warning: Rubber cement contains hydrocarbon distillates and should be used in a well ventilated area. When you're finished there will be no objectionable odour.

There are two different "techniques" to use with rubber cement, a "wet" and a "dry" technique. I recommend the dry technique which requires two thin coats, one on the back of the picture and one on the glass surface.
Here's how to do it with your vodka bottle:

  1. Find a well-lit, clean and dry work area.
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Cut the shapes you wish to mount and place them face-down on the clean work surface.
  4. Apply a continuous, thin, even coat of rubber cement with the brush applicator to the back of the picture
    Do the same on the vodka bottle where you want to put the picture. Cover a bit more of the bottle than the picture requires.
    If some gets on the front of the picture, it can be removed when you've finished. It's VERY forgiving of mistakes. You may wish to experiment with less valuable pieces to increase your self-confidence.
  5. Let the cement dry completely so there is no shiny wet areas on either piece
  6. Position the picture and press it onto the vodka bottle and it will stick immediately in place. Press the picture until it is well fastened along the edges.
  7. Repeat the process for each picture.

Clean-up is easy by rubbing a bit of the excess which will stick to itself and "ball-up" as you rub. Work the tiny pieces into a bigger ball which you can use to pick-up more of the residue. If you make a mistake, remove the dry cement and start over. An accessory "Pick-Up" square block makes the whole process much easier.

There are demonstrations on the internet to make my instructions clearer. This one shows how to mount paper on paper. Another trick this video shows is using a credit card as a squeegee applicator. I recommend a bristle brush

Have fun, good luck.

Various manufacturers make an aerosol spray glue/cement that you can use to spray the back of the photo to stick it to the glass bottle. It's not cheap and can be anywhere from 10 to 30 dollars a can.

Art stores carry suitable spray glues for what you want to mount onto glass containers. Building supply outlets and hardware stores have lines of more aggressive adhesives that would be overkill for your craft project.

The brands are many from 3M, Uline, Gorilla, Elmer's, and LePage. The dealer will be good to consult for your purposes as there are so many to choose from. The over-spray needs a solvent to remove cleanly and neatly.

Just cut out the artwork and spray the back. Let it set. Press it onto the mount and smooth it into position. It gives great results

The down-side is that the adhesive spray can get everywhere and be difficult to remove.

As always, have fun and good luck.

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