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I am creating a purse from a plastic Halloween cauldron by creating a drawstring opening and gluing/adhering it to the inside rim.

The drawstring opening is only to prevent items from falling out of the cauldon, and will not need to hold any weight (unless the cauldron is turned upside down with things inside it, which shouldn't happen often if at all). I am planning to poke holes in the side and screw in hardware to create a handle or shoulder strap.

Plastic cauldron

The plastic of the cauldron bucket is rather thin and I do not want something that could potentially melt or warp the plastic due to thermal reaction of the adhesive. I am also not exactly sure what type of plastic it is made out of, as the description on the website where I bought it simply says "plastic".

What would be the best kind of adhesive to use for this project?

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If I were to tackle a project like this, I'd start by making a full drawstring pouch to fit inside, rather than just an opening; with the thin material of the cauldron, having a greater surface area to adhere will help prevent against the glue failing and pulling loose--which is likely to happen regardless of the type of glue used. You didn't mention where you'd add the handle for the purse, but if it's meant to be part of the drawstring construction, having a full pouch would also prevent against losing any of the contents if and when the glue does fail, as all items would remain contained in the pouch.

To join the pieces, I'd use a spray adhesive that indicates it's appropriate for plastics and coat the entire inside of the cauldron with that glue (using appropriate safety equipment as needed), then insert the pouch and press it against all sides of the cauldron to get as much of a full adhesion as possible. Again, we're maximizing the surface area that's glued down, so the pouch should be as big as the interior, if not slightly larger, so it can be adhered to all sides without pulling away on its own.

If the handle is meant to be inserted through drilled holes, that changes the design considerations a bit; in this case, I might try creating the openings after gluing the pouch, and inserting the handle through both plastic and fabric. This would add an additional reinforcement to the connection between fabric and plastic, and would effectively negate any failure that might separate the two.

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    I was planning on using an awl to poke two holes and screw some hardware to the cauldron for the handle/strap, and was not planning on using the drawstring to support the weight of the contents of the cauldron. If you like I can update my question with these details.
    – Wimateeka
    Oct 10, 2023 at 14:59
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    @Wimateeka go for it! I think I covered both in my answer, but if you'd like me to emphasize one side over the other I can adjust a bit :)
    – Allison C
    Oct 10, 2023 at 15:15
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    @Wimateeka One tip for maximizing the surface adherence: once you sprayed the cauldron with adhesive and put the lining inside, fill the lining with dried rice (or similar small objects) or stuff it with old newspapers until the adhesive dries. The filling will press the lining very evenly against the cauldron. However, if you use food items like rice, lentils or beans to glue the lining, I would throw them away afterwards because they can become contaminated with chemicals from the glue.
    – Elmy
    Oct 11, 2023 at 6:33
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Any glue that comes in a "tacky" air drying form would be a good choice.

These are the glues that are typically clear, foul smelling, and are sold in squeezable tubes that are applied directly to a surface, that forms little strands if you dab it with your finger before it's fully dry.

For example, the viscous Evostick product lines.

This glue type can penetrate fabrics and form bridges in gaps between threads and hard surfaces. So you get a much higher level of contact than with the more liquid glues (classic superglue, for example), and they remain slightly flexible so their bond doesn't break if flexed slightly.

They have the added bonus that they can be spread by a spatchuler for a much longer period than hot glues.

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