How to Refill Quilling Glue Bottles - Quick, Easy and No Spilling!

How to Refill Quilling Glue Bottles - Quick, Easy and No Spilling!

How do you refill glue without spilling? A common problem paper crafters face especially from a large bottle to a fine tip bottle, is the dreaded air bubble.

Even though my quilling glue bottle is empty, the air is trapped because the glue covers the opening, so you need to "burp" the air out before more glue can be refilled. If you don't expect it to happen, the glue can overflow onto your desk, making a huge mess.

Quilling glue bottle overflows

Here is my simple technique to fixing this problem:

  • Step 1: Get a plastic container (ex. sour cream) and place it under the bottle to be refilled. If you spill, there's less to clean up.

  • Step 2: Squeeze the empty bottle to push the air out. The amount you squeeze tells you how much room you have for refilling.

  • Step 3: As you pour glue from the large bottle, trapping the air, release your fingers and suck the glue into the fine tip quilling bottle. You can safely refill with no spill!

Quilling glue bottle - how to prevent glue spilling

Refilling Glue from Large to Medium Bottles

When refilling from a large (16 oz) to medium bottle (4 oz), the natural tendency is to hold the bottle openings close to each other, to prevent any overspill.

However, if you look at the stream of glue, you'll see it's wide near the opening, and tapers as it pours.

  • Tip 1: My method is to hold the openings about 2 inches apart. I can even squeeze the larger bottle and force more glue out, without worrying about the glue spilling because of the way it narrows as it falls.

  • Tip 2: If you have challenges holding your bottle steady as you pour, try stacking some books as high as you need, then resting your bottle on top of the books to help keep the stream steady.

  • Tip 3: When you are finished refilling, brush the two openings against each other to stop the stream, as you tilt the large bottle up.

Quilling glue bottle - how to pour

Customize Your Aleene’s Glue Nozzle from a Pinhole up to 3/16 inches

Did you know you can customize your Aleene’s glue nozzle? You can choose how fast you want that stream of glue to flow, like I did with my 16 oz bottle. A new nozzle has a small protrusion at the tip and you can’t squeeze any glue out just yet. Here are the steps to customize it:


  • Trim off the protrusion using an x-acto knife. Use a thumbtack to pierce the middle of the nozzle, making a perfect pinhole. The thumbtack has the perfect flat surface for you to push against.

  • Pros: This pinhole nozzle can be used to smear the glue stream, because the nozzle tip is relatively large and flat.

  • Cons: This pinhole nozzle can't make as fine a stream of glue as my fine tip quilling bottle

Enlarge your Nozzle

Refill your glue faster by cutting the nozzle exactly the size you want.

  • 1/16 inch

  • 1/8 inch

  • 3/16 inch (Note: only cut this far if you are finished using all the glue, or else the cover can't be capped back on)

Quilling glue bottle - how to customize nozzle size


Watch tutorial


Aleene's Always Ready Tacky Glue

I love this bottle! I remember doing a little dance of joy in the aisles at Michael's when I found Aleene's Always Ready Tacky Glue bottle! Here's why:

  • The nozzle is at the bottom, so the glue is "always ready" to be used.

  • The 1/16 inch nozzle is tapered, so it's very easy to control to make a fine stream of glue.

  • The cap has a protrusion to prevent clogging and it works well!

    Aleene's Always Ready Glue Bottle

      I use this bottle when I want to smear my glue puddles for quilling. Why would I smear my glue puddles? Watch this video:

      Elmer's Glue Nozzles

      Some quillers enjoy using Elmer's glue, which already has tapered nozzle. Your hand can go numb trying to squeeze the glue through that small hole when refilling.

      Try this instead:

      • Place tweezer prongs on either side of the nozzle cap (Elmer's School Glue 7.63 oz shown in video)

      • Pry the nozzle cap up to expose an inner nozzle of a 1/4 inch diameter

      • The glue will pour out on either side of the triangular piece used preventing clogging

      • When you're done, simply place the cap back on and push down firmly to snap it back in place

      • If you want to put the large nozzle from Aleene's onto an Elmer's bottle, simply swap them! Most nozzles between Aleene's and Elmer's are interchangeable (the Elmer's 1.25 fl oz glue bottle is smaller and won't fit the Aleene's bottles).

      Elmer's Glue Bottle - How to pour and refill glue

      Easy Fill Glue Bottle Nozzles

      If you don’t want to trim your nozzle, you can buy a 3D printed nozzle from Ana of Her Paper Paradise, from her Etsy shop. The Easy Fill Glue Bottle Nozzle is 1/4 inch (7 mm) wide and allows you to refill from both Aleene's and Elmer's bottles.

      Easy Fill Glue Bottle Nozzle

      Back to blog