Why not start with the goodies I recently received? All about adhesives!
My new ATG gun. Yes, this is the newer, cheaper one that is especially designed for crafters. The older version is the same size but red and heavier and, at one point, about fifty bucks more. Heck yes, I decided to grab one now! Plus, it's pink because I get to help out with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. And... I may have been watching how-to videos on how to spray paint it, but we already knew that. :P Mine actually came with two rolls of super sticky and permanent tape (the original doesn't typically come with anything regardless of where you get it from). I love it so far. The one of the most secure adhesive that I've used yet, so I see why crafters have invested in it despite playing with many different kinds. It's taken a little getting used to with aim and the trigger timing, but I'm definitely falling for it.
Next up, is the red tape. I just call it by what it looks like because various craft copies make it and call it different things. In the end, it's a double sided super tacky permanent tape. It's actually clear and you peel off the reddish film once you've placed it. It can be used to adhere papers together or, and I have yet to try this myself, to put down powder embellishments like glitter. It typically comes in three different widths, the biggest is 1 inch I believe. I've found that getting the wider was a better bang for my buck since I don't mind a bit more elbow grease and chopping it up into the little pieces I need. It's the other most secure adhesive I've used so far.
The last are Zig 2-way pens. The ones I have are the fine tips. They come in various sizes and shapes, just like pens. The two refers to how the glue comes out at first, with a blue tint. If you adhere your pieces then, it should be a permanent bond. I've had a little issue with this but I think it's mostly because I can't place them together before the ceiling fans or dry air dry it out faster than I can move. Once it dries, it's clear and a temporary tacky. Still holds pretty well, but not under abuse. I also invested in the huge chisel tip to re-sticky my Cricut mats because it's a million times easier and quicker than the sprays that I may have gotten on an impulse before the technique was huge. Okay, huge is an exaggeration, but popular fits. The best thing about that is that it seems to be the same amount of tackiness! That was really surprising to me. Great to use these on the finer pieces or sections of your projects.
I bought my ATG as an alternative to the Mono-adhesive tape runner. The main name I've seen here is from Tombo. Same idea and works out to roughly the same price in refills from what I've seen, but on a much smaller and more manageable scale when you're starting out. Actually, I won't be shunning mine (lol, I just ran out actually), it's just not the right size to go to for bigger projects- which is what I'm getting (back) into now. There's permanent and temporary rolls of adhesive but I've found the permanent to be sorely lacking. I can usually peel up my pieces and rearrange them no problem. Nice for when you screw up, but if I was planning to do that, I would have just gone with the temporary kind.
I still use the good old glue gun with glue sticks from time to time too. There is just something about melting sticks to super permanent weld things together that you probably shouldn't be. Ooo, but those crazy little string webbies that get every where drive me bonkers. If you've used one, you know what I'm talking about, lol. I think there are so much more choices now with adhesives because we're learning more about how things last as time goes on.
Speaking of that, in the paper crafting world, you're going to hear a lot about products (usually adhesives and paper) being acid-free, lignin-free, or even sulfur-free. Although I haven't looked into the mechanics of it yet, it is supposed to help preserve your projects without them breaking down from... well, existing, for a longer period of time. Great thing to think about when you're making scrapbooks. I'm not too worried about my mini albums because they're going to be exposed and touched a lot and I've made sure not to use original pictures. I didn't now about this at first and just used any Elmer's glue bottle or glue stick that was around for my first scrapbook. Unfortunately for me, it's a huge 12x12 behemoth. Thank goodness I've taken detailed photographs of the album too.
There are a ton more choices out there that I have yet to try. I'm tentative about the bottled adhesives just because I have personal issues with storing them. From what I've seen, however, they are some of the strongest adhesives you can get for crafting. Anything you want to adhere together something different like lace, fabric, beads, woven/ knit pieces, or odd-shaped memorabilia, these seem to be the way to go. They dry clear and a little bit goes a long way.
Another really big thing in crafting adhesives now are glue dots. They are usually called that but some companies may try to call them something different. They come in various sizes, but the easiest way to find them is in a single file row on a roll inside of a dispensing box. I've used some and they seem to work really well. Mostly for attaching weirder things like I mentioned above but the lighter of the materials. They're quick and easy and stick very well. Great for attaching flower embellishments. I've seen them on sale often too. :D
Those are closely related to foam-tape/ dimensional stickers/ pop-dots. It depends on who makes them. The looks and shapes even differ between the companies but in essence, they're just a way to pop up certain pieces of your project. Some adhere much better than others, but sometimes cost is a bigger factor than how long a project lasts. Comes in either rolls or sheets that are usually pre-cut for easy peel and stick and peel (the backing) again.
- - - - -
Now, for my recommendations:
1. Mono-adhesive runnner. If I had to choose just one for starting out in paper-crafting, I'd choose this. Fairly tacky, pretty cheap, and pretty versatile if you don't mind a little wrestling with your projects. :P
2. Glue pen or a bottled adhesive. I'd follow that so closely with one of these for the finer areas or a better stick.
3. Glue dots or foam dimensionals. Once you're comfortable and want to dress up your projects more, they are great and fairly painless ways of getting embellishments to stick out on your projects.
There are tons of different kinds to try, but these are the ones that I've been able to think of off the top of my head. Give a bunch a try when you get the chance! I truly believe that behind card stock and patterned paper, that adhesives are the next easiest thing to get addicted to in paper crafting. The scariest part is, you just think of it at a tool so it's likely to go unnoticed as such!