I am making decorative glass bottles for home use and in that connection I need to attach labels to the glass bottles. The bottles are empty and will not come in contact with liquids at any point. However, I need the labels to stay on the bottle for the long-term. I have tried superglue, but I am worried that it will not last for a long time. Can anybody recommend a glue that binds labels to glass bottles strongly? And can keep up for years?

  • At no point have you said what your labels are made of, and that's crucial - or is the label material actually part of the question? – Chris H Jun 5 at 21:52

My method doesn’t involve glue at all. I use packing tape:

Print or hand-write your label and place it face down onto the sticky side of a pristinely clean strip of packing tape. To make accurate positioning of the label much easier, secure the packing tape sticky-side-up onto a hard surface such as a kitchen counter, by making the strip about an inch longer than needed, and turning about 1/2 inch at each end under and pressing it against the counter. Once the label is positioned, trim the tape to size, and position the label on the very well cleaned glass. Use a spoon or your thumbnail to work out any air bubbles.

Voila, much easier than glue with no cleanup, and for your needs which don’t involve contact with water, the labels will stay put for a long time, and withstand surface cleaning, even with a damp cloth.

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    Stronger clear tape (often sold as repair tape) should work even better. It's stiffer so less likely to form bubbles, and less jumpy when you're trying to line up the label. I've used it for similar tasks in the past – Chris H Jun 5 at 21:54
  • @ChrisH Can you be a bit more specific, on the type or title of said tape? Is this a book-binding repair tape? I am very intrigued! – Laurent R. Jun 12 at 3:38
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    I've used at least 2 different brands. One was "Gorilla clear repair tape" (now apparently "crystal clear"; the other I think came from the DIY section of a French supermarket (near the duct tape and electrical tape), but I don't have the packaging. I've used the latter to reinforce a printed label on a kayak paddle shaft, so to the method can take a lo of water and handling on the right surface – Chris H Jun 12 at 8:52

For your application, you could get away with a five minute epoxy, carefully mixed and applied to clean surfaces.

You'll get a good bond to the surface of the glass and some epoxy will seep into the paper of the label. Even if the label has a treated surface to resist absorption, the epoxy will bond to that smooth surface.

I prefer using 30 minute epoxy, even though the cure time is longer. According to my limited research, fast cure times generate more heat and weaken the bond, but for your application, the strength will be in the thin film between the two materials. The area covered will be high relative to the strength required.

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  • Epoxy seems like overkill. Especially when there are decent non-toxic solutions already available per Joachim's comment above. Plus there is a very good chance the epoxy will seep unevenly into the paper ruining it and since epoxy is going to be permanent, the glass artwork as well. – rebusB May 27 at 14:23

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