Minimize Glue Mess with Masking Tape
When I'm gluing up assemble-yourself furniture, I use masking tape to keep the glue off of parts that are to be stained. I cover each mortise or dowel socket with masking tape, smooth it down with my thumbs, then cut away the tape over the holes. When I assemble the joint, the glue bubbles out onto the masking tape, not the unfinished wood. After the glue dries, I pull off the tape and start staining.
—David Elmer, Battle Ground, Wash