Friday, September 5, 2008

Harry Potter and the E6000 Glue Experiment

Becky from Sammy Skate Wear suggested on one of my posts that I try E6000 glue to affix crystals to figure skating dresses.

It's something I've wanted to do because my beloved hotfix crystals don't come in the very, very large sizes.

As Becky suggested, I found some syringes to squirt the glue. These are a must because the glue comes out of the tube in one big burp. I bought the entire box of 50 disposable, needleless, dental impression syringes online for $9.99.

I also bought some tacky wax that I found at a modeling store. It's cheap; a whole hockey puck of it set me back $5 and I can't imagine going through very much of it. I wrapped it around the end of a wooden skewer (that's the magic wand thing you see in the photo).

For my experiment I used an old Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets pillowcase. I figured Harry and Ron wouldn't mind some sparkle and glamour.

The experiment went well. I laid out about 10 beads of glue initially and picked up the beads using the tacky wax. The bead released when it hit the glue. The second try with the glue had the glue freezing up a bit and leaving strings. The strings didn't stick to the fabric, so when the beads dried, I brushed them off using a clothes brush. To prevent the glue drying up in the syringe, I dipped the whole syringe in a shot glass full of water. E6000 is magical stuff - it can dry underwater, too. It just does it slowly. I decided to force out a bead on some paper before returning to my beading line.

These beads take about 10 - 20 minutes to fully dry, during which time I could reposition them slightly to make them form a better line. That's something you can't do with hotfix.

I also found that putting the glue on the fabric is a bit like making a soft-serve cone: squeeze a little glue onto the fabric and push down with the syringe instead of lifting up right away. You'll get the same curl-top that you do when you make a soft-serve cone. (I knew that stint in a frozen yogurt shop would pay off some day.)

Bottom line: After the test, I'm willing to risk it on the figure skating dress I just made. Initial costs are kind of high: E6000 glue = $6 at my local, pricey hardware store. Wax = $5. Syringes (50) = $9 plus $4 shipping. Beads = always pricey. If I use the E6000 often, the price will go down, of course, because that tube o' glue will last years and so will the wax. I have 49 syringes, so I'm set for a while, too. It's those beads that kill me. I just bought 3 gross for $66.


Skittl1321 said...

I love E6000- it holds on the costumes (never had one go missing) and it holds through the wash (delicate cycle).

The syringe idea is a great one. I squirt a glob on cardboard then use a toothpick to pick it up from there.

Becky said...

Way to go Ice Mom!!!!! I am so proud. Be sure to post pictures of the new dress when it's finished. If you have a local Jo Ann fabrics you might want to check there for the e-6000. Around here it usually sells for about $3.49, and there are always those handy 40% off coupons. Also russianiceskate(e-bay ID) has great prices on swarovski's.
keep on stoning!!

Ice Mom said...

Thanks for the help, Becky! You gave me the courage to grapple with the E-6000 glue!

You know, skittl, my friend Rene at the Pettit's Rainbo sports sat me down for a great conversation over the weekend. She recommended using the toothpick method, too. I'm going to try the experiment again tonight to see which gives better results - syringe or toothpick.

Anonymous said...

I love E6000 for putting beads on my daughters dresses. The only thing I don't like is the smell. Make sure you bead the dress in a well ventilated room and leave the dress in a well ventilated area to dry over night. Do not put the dress in a closet for a few days because you daughters whole closet will smell like E6000 glue, including her clothes. You can buy at Micheal's or JoAnn fabrics a special kit that has wands already made like the one you made and a special wand to help set the bead and there not very expensive. It comes with three wands total. I also like to use tooth picks to help adjust the beads and set them on the beads of glue. Hope these suggestions are helpful!

Ice Mom said...

Thanks for the tip about ventillation, anony. I'm going to have to check out Michael's and JoAnn's. I think I have a coupon somewhere...

Renee said...

For all of you out there looking for the best price on E-6000 (as the tube usually dries out before you use it up), I've found that Menard's sells the 2 oz. tube for around $2.50, give or take a few pennies. I usually purchase several tubes at a time, so if one tube gets too gunky I don't have to run out in the middle of a project for a new one. Wal- Mart also sells E-6000 for around the same price, but it seems to not always be in stock there, whereas Menard's seems to have an everlasting supply! Hope this helps!

Ice Mom said...

Renee also does something very smart: she keeps her opened E6000 glue in ziplock bags to make sure that stuff doesn't dry out.

Thanks for the help, Renee! I'm going to try the toothpick method tonight!

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Ice Mom! After reading the health warnings on the E6000 label, I was hesitant to use it on my daughter's skating dress. I attempted to use Aleene's flexible fabric glue as many other folks have recommended, but I found it did not work out well in areas of the dress where I could not easily put hours of pressure (under books) on the stones...such as on the bottom of the skirt. So, have used E6000 there and on areas where I thought I needed E6000's quick drying time or superior strength, but the vapors do make you feel odd after 15 minutes or so, even with windows open and fan on. Yuck, not the best solution for long-term beading. The nice thing about E6000 is it's quick drying time. I will definitely travel to any events with it for little bead emergencies.
For general beading on the chest and back of a dress, I still use Aleene's and slide a plastic cutting board down the neck of the dress to preven front and back fabric from gluing together. Place another cutting board over the glued beads, and some heavy books over that. Leave it at least two hours to prevent any slipping beads, longer for really heavy designs, then hang the dress to continue drying.

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Anony. Yeah, the fumes from E6000 are powerful. I understand you can't buy it in some states!

I haven't used Aleene's on dresses, but a gal at a competition mentioned Jeweler's Fix. It comes in a green tube - I bought mine at JoAnn's. However, I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Anonymous said...

Well they sell E6000 here in overly-cautious California, so I guess it won't send me to the hospital if I use it infrequently. Thanks for the tip on Jeweler's Fix, I'll try that next. Best of luck to your daughter on her events this year! Mine is 7 yrs old, I love watching her enjoy learning the sport.