I think almost everyone would agree that the worst part of crafting is the cleanup, particularly when crafting with kids. An enthusiastic crafter can end a session with glue, paint, and all sorts of other supplies in places they definitely don't belong. Glitter is the worst, right? You can never get it completely cleaned up; it appears for weeks in unexpected places, no matter how much you clean.
Glitter (affiliate link here and below)
Actually, no. Glitter is not the worst, by far. It is obnoxious to clean up, no doubt, but once you've spilled paint on carpet, you'll be begging for a glitter mess instead. It is a nightmare to get paint out of carpet, and you have to work really quickly because once it dries, that's it. So is acrylic paint the worst?
Nope. Gesso is much worse than acrylic paint. They're equally awful to get out of carpet, but since gesso is used as a primer for things that acrylic paint won't stick to, that means a whole other bunch of surfaces are vulnerable to gesso. For example, it's easy to get paint off a plastic ruler or a drinking glass or even the handle of the paintbrush you're using, but gesso stubbornly sticks to them all.
So gesso has to be the worst, right? Nope, I'm awarding the top title to spray adhesive. In theory, you protect your work surface, spray what needs to be covered, and move on with your life. In reality, it's really hard to prevent overspray, no matter how much area you cover. Spray adhesive sticks to absolutely everything. It's no easier to clean wet than dry. I used to use it for convenience (it's so fast to spray a large item that needs stuff stuck all over it and it really does hold strong!) but I've realized that the prep and the cleanup add so much time that it's not worth it.
There are plenty of other craft materials that are a nightmare to clean up, particularly on specific surfaces. So what do you think? Did I get it right, or is anything worse overall to clean up than spray adhesive? Let me know in the comments!