How to Keep Paper From Curling When Gluing

The most common problem when gluing paper to another surface is that the paper curls. This can be frustrating and cause a lot of wasted time. Glue sticks are an easy solution for this problem because they are designed not to curl the paper.

You will need a glue stick or two before you start gluing your paper down, though! Read on for tips on how to keep paper from curling when gluing them down with glue sticks! 

How to Keep Paper From Curling When Gluing

Summary: To prevent your paper from curling when gluing, take a few simple precautions. First, make sure the surface you are working on is smooth and free of any bumps or protrusions. Second, use a sufficiently strong adhesive. And finally, wait until the glue has fully dried before handling the paper.

Reasons Why Paper Curling When Gluing:

There are several reasons why your paper might decide to curl when you go to glue it down. Here we have listed some:

1. The Paper is too Dry:

If your papers are too dry, they might curl up when you put glue on them. It’s a good idea to have a damp rag nearby to wet the paper before you glue it down.

2. The Glue has set a Little:

For this one, you want to keep an eye on your glue. After you’ve applied it and started to smooth it out, wait for about 15-20 seconds before applying the paper. Also, make sure that all of the excess glue is wiped off with your wet rag, or else it will stick the paper to your table, and you’ll have a harder time getting it fully smooth.

3: The Paper is too Thin:

Thinner papers are more prone to curling than heavier ones. Heavier papers don’t lie as flat on the surface when they’re first applied because they just don’t lay down as well, but they don’t curl back up when you press them.

4: You’re Gluing it in a Humid Environment:

You will have difficulty keeping it flat if you live in a humid environment. The paper will lay down just fine at first, but when the humidity kicks in later, it’ll spring back up again.

5: It’s a Porous Surface:

Sometimes, if you’re gluing something on top of a too porous surface, your paper will have trouble staying down. (Especially with things like newsprint or cardboard.) If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to smooth it out as much as possible before the paper starts to curl back up. If not, don’t glue over that part.

Reasons Why Paper Curling When Gluing

10 Ways to Keep Paper From Curling When Gluing: 

1) Elevation: 

Make sure the top surface of the paper is more elevated than the bottom. This helps keep the paper from curling up because it has something to weigh it down on both ends. 

2) Clamp the Paper Down:

If you find your papers curling while drying, clamp them down to where they’re supposed to be glued. This way, the heat from below will help press out any air bubbles, and it will also keep the paper flat with no curling up!

3) Keep Your Paper Clean:

You should always keep your papers free from dirt, grime, and smudges. This will allow your glue to better stick to the paper, and it won’t get caught in any unwanted places! If there is something on the page that you don’t want to be glued down, then cover it with another sheet of paper, a piece of cardstock, or something!

4) Be Sure to Glue Your Down:

It’s important to be sure that you’re actually gluing the paper down. Sometimes it can look and feel like you’re actually gluing something, but the papers could have moved when you lift your page to check on it a few minutes later. It’s always best to have someone with you that can verify if you’re actually gluing things down or not. If you’re alone, then wait a few minutes and give it another look before hitting the books again!

5) Avoid Direct Sunlight:

Sometimes toner (the white powder substance that coats paper) can react with the glue, causing curling. Make sure your project is covered from direct sunlight to avoid this problem. 

6) Do Not Over-glue:

If you’re gluing a huge piece of paper to the board or surface that it’s going on, then you will want to make sure not to use too much glue. You don’t necessarily need a bunch of glue, just enough to hold the paper down until it can dry.  If all of your paper is covered in glue, then it’ll take longer to dry, which will cause more curling! 

7) Avoid Steam:

Steam is especially bad for curling papers because it will cause the glue to get washed off of them. So avoid putting your project into a steamy environment, and you’ll find that your papers won’t curl up as much. 

8) Do Not Over-heat:

Do not use heat on top of or too close to your paper while it’s drying. It will cause the glue to expand and pull away from the paper or board, which will then cause it to curl up! Instead, use a fan or an air conditioner if you have some heat source near your work area. 

10 Ways to Keep Paper From Curling When Gluing 

9) Let Adhesive Dry Before Lifting:

Let the adhesive dry before you lift and move around your project. If you’re using hot glue, then this will prevent it from sticking to your fingers! 

10) Use a Glue Stick:

The easiest way to solve the curling problem is to use a glue stick! Glue sticks are specially formulated not to curl up paper when they dry. When gluing down a piece of paper, the most important thing you should do is make sure that your surface is elevated higher than the top of the paper. Then, you should apply the glue stick and rub it down with a rolling motion to where you want the paper glued.


Using a spray or brush adhesive is the best way to keep paper from curling when gluing. Another option would be the old-fashioned tape method, which works well in most cases but will leave residue on your project afterward if you don’t clean it off properly. 

In this blog post, we talked about how to keep paper from curling when gluing. We hope you found our tips helpful and will find them useful for your next project! Let us know if these suggestions work for you in the comments below.

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth is a creative writer and digital editor based in the United States. She has a passion for the arts and crafts, which she developed from a young age. Elizabeth has always loved experimenting with new mediums and sharing her work with others. When she started blogging, she knew that DIYquickly would be the perfect platform to share her tutorials and tips. She's been writing for the blog from the beginning, and her readers love her helpful advice and easy-to-follow instructions. When she's not writing or editing, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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