For my 2013 fake journal I had a lot of gluing to do—a lot of items I intended to collage down onto the pages.
I also knew that I was going to be painting on page spreads after gluing on the previous spread. I was concerned that my usual method of gluing—with the UHU Glue stick (purple)—wouldn't hold up to the ton of wet media.
Because of that I decided to glue with PVA (poly vinyl acetate). I didn't want to use gel medium because it tends to be too stiff for me, messier for me to use, and I don't like to have my hands exposed to acrylic media for extended periods of time.
Typically when I apply PVA I use a foam roller, but that means keeping a puddle of PVA out on a plate where it can skin over.
On a trip to Michael's to get some inexpensive acrylic paints to make monoprints with the Gelli-Arts Printing Plate (which I'll write about on another day), I found this wonderful little bottle and two roller tops from the Mod Podge people.
The set was under $10.
Beware of the competing product—Martha Stewart sells a set with a bottle and two rollers for a little bit more, AND her set doesn't come with the plain squeeze cap. Additionally her bottle's top is non-standard so it won't work well with a substitute cap you might have in your bottle parts drawer (if you have a bottle parts drawer that is). You will have to completely empty the entire bottle at each session as there is no way to cap off the leftover glue. (And if you leave the roller top on air will get into the bottle and dry the glue out.)
I've used this Mod Podge device almost every day since I got it. I still prefer using foam rollers because they are wider and the brand that I purchased from NASCO has a denser foam that doesn't collapse on me. So for bookbinding I'll still use the stand alone foam rollers.
But if you have a lot of collaging to do and are going to use PVA you might want to pick one of these up. Handy, well-thought-out, and thoroughly useful. (You could also fill them with liquid paints and inks.)
Note: While the PVA held up to most of the wet media used over a glued-down piece, or behind a glue-down piece on the next page (i.e., moisture seeping through the next spread to the previous spread where I'd used PVA to glue) there were some instances where things didn't stick down completely. (PVA was always given sufficient time to dry completely before any wet media was applied.) Most of the incidences of failure to completely adhere are probably because I didn't do my usual burnishing and weighting of the glued item. The book grew to enormous bulk and it wasn't possible to do that—also if weighted, moisture would seep through the thin pages and cause the gouache (which was watersoluable) to soften on the previous spread. So weighting wasn't possible. Would I do things differently? Nope. I'd still use PVA. And I'll always have one of these bottle sets around.