When at primary school I remember there being a number of different types of glue available when it came to activities such as junk modelling (making things out of old cereal packets and yoghurt pots) and paper craft (e.g. making a Mother’s Day card). The teachers would generally ration glue out in little tubs for you to use, and provide you with a little plastic glue spatula, in an effort to stop all the schools paintbrushes from getting gummed up.
In honour of primary school glue, we present here our top 5 “Glues You Might Have Come Across At Primary School”. So, in reverse order we have…
5. That White Pasty Glue That Smelled Like Marzipan
I can’t remember what it was actually called, but it looked like mashed up dessicated coconut but smelt like marzipan. Not liking marzipan, this lessened it’s appeal to me, though some kids did try to eat it. It came in little blue pots with a spatula in the lid, which was supposed to allow you to apply it. In theory this was OK, but normally the paste had hardened on the top so it would actually spread very well. It could just about stick paper to some more paper.
Gloy was a kind of gloopy paste that was translucent but slightly brownish in colour. It came in bottles with a rubber tip that had a slit across it. The idea was you could tip the entire bottle upside down and use the rubbery bit as a kind of brush whilst gently squeezing the bottle to release the glue. Of course, most kids were too heavy handed and dollops of glue would squeeze out, making whatever you were attempting to glue soggy and limp. The remaining glue would then dry and block the slot. It too smelled like marzipan for some reason.
Rating: Good for sticking paper and cardboard, and putting glitter on your Christmas Card.
3. Pritt Stick
Ah, good old Pritt Stick. What with it’s amusing name and lack of mess thanks to being able to roll the stick of glue in and out of it’s casing, this was a popular form of glue for all paper craft. For paper it was great, but for anything else it didn’t generally stick very well. Whilst Gloy may have been able to glue more things more strongly, Pritt Stick would go in your pencil case and didn’t make the paper go wrinkly, so it just squeezes in at number 3.
Rating: Great for gluing card and paper, and you didn’t have to wear one of your Dad’s old shirts backwards as an apron to use it.
2. White PVA Glue
The king of all glues at primary school was white PVA glue, or simply white glue to the horde of 5 year olds wanting to make a cardboard tank or dolls house. This was the only glue that actually seemed to have any long term success at holding together the two items that you wanted to stick together, and if you were given any other type of glue to use you would consider trying to sneak into the art supply cupboard to steal yourself some of the good stuff.
Rating: Glue most likely to get your craft item home from school without breaking.
This was always stored on the top shelf of the teachers supply cupboard, as it was for general pupil use. That didn’t stop you standing on a stool to get to it though. Copydex was great because it had a proper brush for applying it, and was pretty much guaranteed to stick most things together. Not as good as Superglue obviously, but you’d never find that at school anyway. It’s best feature, and why most kids would want to get their hands on it, was that the dried glue could be rubbed and rolled up into a little ball. Totally useless, but great fun to do!
Rating: For making little rubber balls that look a bit like bogies, it was second to none.