How To Stick Photos Into Albums?
Got a dry mount photo album? Working on a school project? Or presenting a poster? What's the best way to stick photos down? The answer depends on your priorities.
Some sort of photo mounting product will be required. These are sticky things which stick photos onto card. Thankfully we have a bunch of these to choose from on our mounting products page.
There are pros and cons to each option, so please read on to learn more.
PERMANENT OR REMOVABLE PHOTO MOUNTING?
An important consideration is whether photos can stay mounted where you stick them, or whether they are likely to need to be removed in the future.
For photo albums, permanent mounting is ideal in most cases, as the photos will stay securely in place. If the digital files or negatives are available, extra photos can always be made from these if required. Modern QUALITY adhesives will last indefinitely, unlike many older or cheaper adhesives. You only want to mount your photos once, so we suggest doing it right the first time.
However, If there's a foreseeable need to remove the photos in the future, removable mounting is the way to go. Maybe the photos are going in a temporary display, for instance a school project or work presentation; or maybe there's information on the back of the photos that needs to be referred to.
PERMANENT PHOTO MOUNTING METHODS
Permanent methods are very secure, and generally quick and easy to use, but will make the photos difficult to remove in the future - that is difficult, not impossible, so don't panic about that yet.
Permanent methods include double sided tabs and tab rollers, double sided tape, adhesive dots, and glue and glue sticks. These go on the back of the photo, and then stick the photo onto the photo album page.
DOUBLE SIDED TABS
Double sided tabs are the most popular permanent photo mounting method, and for good reason. They are QUICK, CONVENIENT, ECONOMICAL AND SECURE.
Double sided photo tabs are small pre-cut pieces of double-sided adhesive, usually on a handy dispenser roll. Simply take tabs off the roll and stick one in each corner of the back of a photo. Then peel off the backing paper from the tabs to reveal the adhesive, turn the photo over and stick it into the album.
If the photo isn't in the right position, it may be possible to lift it up again immediately and re-position it. However, once the adhesive cures, the photo will be firmly attached to the page. We suggest marking where you want the photo to go in advance, so you can mount it correctly the first time.
Double-sided tabs can be FIDDLY, especially removing the backing paper, and potentially difficult for people with hand mobility issues, arthritis, etc. Using the tip of an art knife to lift the backing paper might help. Otherwise, an easier option such as a double sided tab roller may be preferable. Read on...
DOUBLE SIDED TAB ROLLERS
Double sided tab rollers are hand-held units which are EASY TO USE to apply tabs to the back of photos, and are therefore ideal for people with hand mobility issues, arthritis, etc.
Simply roll the hand-held unit on the back of the photo to dispense a tab. Repeat in each corner, then turn the photo over and stick it into the album.
This eliminates the fiddly work of peeling tabs off a roll and then peeling off the backing paper.
These units usually work out to be more expensive than double sided tabs. We've seen refillable units, but this is just adding more fiddly work, which is what we're trying to avoid. If you can refill this unit, then you can also use double sided tabs, which are more economical and less wasteful. So use them instead.
DOUBLE SIDED TAPE
Double sided tape is an ULTRA-SECURE permanent mounting method. Narrower widths are fine for use in photo albums, and wider tapes are particularly useful in situations where photos should NOT be removed, such as in public displays and exhibitions where supervision may not always be available, or presenting an album of proofs to wedding or corporate clients.
It is also very useful for mounting HEAVIER ITEMS such as laminated or mounted prints, as well as posters, signs, plaques, etc.
Apply a length of double-sided tape to the back of the photo, peel off the backing paper if necessary, turn the photo over and stick it into the album. It is very difficult to remove items mounted with double-sided tape, so take great care to mount the photos correctly the first time.
Double-sided tapes usually come in long rolls, and used sparingly they can be extremely economical. The Photo Album Shop carries hand-tearable rolls of double-sided tape, as well as professional quality hand-held double-sided tape guns and rolls of adhesive transfer tape which are absolutely vital for very large jobs or professional use.
Adhesive Dots, also commonly referred to as as Magic Dots after the original proprietary name, are a very convenient double-sided mounting adhesive with an ULTRA-THIN profile especially designed for photo albums and stationery uses. These super-thin double sided dots are just a spot of adhesive screen-printed on a sheet of carrier paper; simply press the corner of a photo onto a dot to pick the dot up, repeat with all corners of the photo, then turn the photo over and stick it into the album.
Easy to use, repositionable in the short term, and very thin, these versatile adhesive dots can be used for photo albums, school projects and assignments, graphic arts, shop signage and displays; the applications are boundless.
Don't confuse these dots with other adhesive dots on the market - there are similar products but with a much thicker profile (and usually much fewer dots in a pack), which makes those dots unsuitable for use in photo albums.
GLUE AND GLUE STICKS
Glue and glue sticks are a quick and convenient permanent photo mounting method - however, many glues are not ideal for use with photos or in photo albums, so care must be taken in selecting a suitable glue.
Make sure to use a WATER-FREE glue so the photo album page won't end up damaged or warped, and ideally a solvent-free and acid-free adhesive to reduce the risk of long-term damage to photos.
We've got permanent glue sticks in stock that meet these criteria, and are safe to use.
If you're bringing your own glue to the party, we urge you to TEST IT FIRST using photos and card which aren't important. Don't try it out on the first page of your album with your best photos! And be patient - let the glue dry thoroughly to see if it warps or wrinkles the page, or if it draws moisture through, or releases solvents and causes stains on the photo or page.
REMOVABLE PHOTO MOUNTING METHODS
Removable methods tend to be a little more time-consuming and involved than the permanent methods outlined above, but they offer the ability to remove photos more easily in the future if required.
Maybe the photos are going in a temporary display, for instance a school project or work presentation; or maybe there's information on the back of the photos that needs to be referred to.
Removable methods include photo corners and removable photo glue, and considerations for each are explored below.
Photo corners are a traditional and still-popular photo mounting method. Photo corners slip over the corners of photos, and then stick into the album, holding the photos snugly in place.
The advantage with corners is that no adhesive comes in direct contact with the photo, which is great from an archival viewpoint. Using archival quality photo corners is an easy way to mount photos safely for the long term.
Photos can be removed from photo corners by bending them gently in the middle so they pull out of the corners. It's also possible to return the photos to the corners when they're no longer required.
Modern photo corners are usually clear, and ideally made from an archival quality polypropylene plastic or similar, so they don't obscure the photos. Regular corners work well for 10x15cm photos, and larger corners can be used for extra security or larger photos.
Traditional photo corners are also available. These are made from embossed paper, and are very similar to photo corners from a hundred years ago, but on a self-adhesive sheet so no licking is required. Traditional photo corners bring a decorative element and a nostalgic charm to photo albums.
REMOVABLE PHOTO GLUE
Removable photo glue is a water-free gum, like the glue used to stick freebies to magazine covers. It's a good solution offering both permanence and removability.
The ideal way to use removable photo glue is to apply a small dab of glue in each corner of the back of a photo, not too near the edge. Press the photo lightly in place in the album for a moment, then lift up again.
This creates a mirror image of the glue spots, spreading the glue on both surfaces. Wait a few seconds for the glue to become tacky, then mount the photo in place again, and press down firmly.
Not only will the glue dry quicker this way, but a glue-to-glue bond is created which is easier to remove in the future. The photo will stay in place securely unless it's deliberately removed, which can be done simply by gently peeling the photo out of the album. The remnants of the glue can then be rubbed off the photo and the photo album page, allowing both to be used again.
It's also possible to simply dab the glue on and press the photo into place, but in our experience this creates a bond which is less easy to remove in the future.
Use sparingly! One tube should be sufficient to mount up to several hundred photos.
Removable glue is water-free so it won't warp the photos or the page, but it is possible that it might cause marks on particularly fibrous prints or photo album pages, so we advise extreme caution using it with old or fibre-based prints and papers. In this case, we suggest using photo corners instead.
How To Remove Photos From Albums? ►
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