How To Make Decoupage Glue: This Will Tide You Over When Time is Tight!

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Learn how to make decoupage glue when money or time is tight! Although Mod Podge is the sine qua non of crafters everywhere, we at Create With Jennifer understand things happen. A project that is due and it’s the eleventh hour, or perhaps you’ve unexpectedly run out of the classic brand of glue/varnish/sealer and you need such and such amount in a pinch.

Or perhaps you’re looking for a low-cost painting medium for specialized techniques like painting pours and you’ve heard that this is a good way to craft your own.Β  Since there is a limit to how much you can dilute paint with water before the pigmentation loss begins to happen, you do need an ace up your sleeve. No problem, I’ve got you covered!

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making decoupage glue

If you have some crafting glue on hand you’re already ahead of the game. All you need to do now pretty much is follow along with me as I should you the method to make your own decoupage glue, as well as some important tips, do’s and don’ts.

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Homemade Decoupage Glue Recipe

Without further ado, these are the things you will need to create the secret sauce. The following procedure will work great as a painting medium substitute to add to your paint to improve the viscosity for techniques like fluid painting.

Craft glue (Be sure it is PVA-based – explanation below)

Water

Measuring cup

Extras like water based varnish, food coloring, glitter or confetti -if you’d like to add some creative embellishments just for grins 😁

My advice is choose a good quality craft glue made for porous materials – you can certainly use the all-too familiar Elmer’s Glue-All. It’s been many moons since I used that stuff but it will do the trick. I personally prefer brands like Aleene’s or Sobo above because I’ve been using them for years and find them quite reliable.

Steps To Make Your Own Decoupage Glue

1.When combining glue and water, the best ratio is 1 cup glue to 1/3 cup water. Now I’m not math savvy but if I’m not mistaken 1/3 translates as 75 percent. If your glue bottle indicates oz size (most likely it should) it will be easier to calculate and re-adjust batch size as needed.

2.Combine pre-measured water and craft glue together in a container. You can use a canning jar or one of those plastic containers with the snap-on lid. All that matters most is being able to close the container securely.

3.Stir together or shake it up altogether – using an implement like a plastic spoon or spatula, test the consistency – it should be neither too runny nor too thick and goopy – almost like that of pancake batter.

πŸ‘‰ Under application on a surface it will end up with a matte finish. If you’re going for more gloss, consider adding a spoonful of water based varnish.

Adding Extras To Your Homemade Decoupage Glue Mixture

Depending on what kind of project you’ve got on the radar, you may want to consider the addition of some “extra” ingredients so here is where the fun really begins.

Glitter – Add a little loose glitter to your glue mixture for some extra glitz!

Sparkles or Confetti: If you can get your hands on some finely cut metallic sparkles or party confetti, stir it in with your glue for even more project awesomeness.

Food Coloring – Food coloring tints can take a decoupage project to a whole other level! I know it’s a low-cost, kitchen and culinary type of product, but you’d be surprised what you can do with a few teeny bottles of it.

It is one of the best ways to embellish a mason jar, bottle, or vase . Be sure to use only a few drops since a little goes a long way.

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Can You Make Decoupage Glue With Flour?

Yes, I have heard of people using flour and sugar in an alternative recipe, but with culinary ingredients keep in mind your resulting product will be perishable and need to be used within a few weeks. If you’d rather make a batch of homemade glue with flour, here is the best approach:

Homemade Glue with Flour Recipe

1 1/2 cup of flour

1 cup water

1/4 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 tsp of vinegar (this will prevent mold)

Ok, first things first, we’re going to mix the dry ingredients together. Stir together the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl.Β  Now transfer the mixture to a saucepan (we’re gonna get cooking, as you’ll see)

Add the water slowly and stir ingredients over low heat.. It will start off being kind of thick, keep adding the rest of the water – let it heat but do NOT let it get to the boiling point. It should end up with a moderate consistency.

Image credit: Belsey from Instructables

Remove from heat and let cool…when it does pour the mixture into a jar or storage container you’ve chosen for safekeeping . You definitely want to label it with “homemade glue” or something so it isn’t mistaken for food!

If you’ve followed my directions you now have a viable batch of decoupage glue that will come in handy for your next project.

Jennifer’s Disclaimer:
Although this is a great approach, it is NOT what I’d call anΒ  “archival” ( resistant to fading, UV light exposure, etc.) formula for more ambitious art projects. For work that requires permanency, please refer to this post on the topic of varnishing (as the two are NOT the same ) πŸ™‚

 

Some Tips For Success

Very important stuff to remember to get the most out of your mixture:)

1) Always use a PVA-based glue in the mixture-its long-term flexibility and durability will be better.

2) For best results use a soft bristle brush or sponge applicator when you are decoupaging your work. Either way you’ll minimize those annoying brush hair straggles.

3) Be sure to apply a finishing sealer to your project after a day of “curing up” with the glue mixture. Some people have been befuddled about whether or not their end results will be water proofed.

However, the only way to be sure is to use this to finish it off and protect it for good.

Now you know the nitty gritty of how to make homemade decoupage glue on your own and the right ways to do so! These mixtures will work great for paper sculpture projectsΒ  –Β  e.g paper-mache , mixed media pieces.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section! I hope this how-to will be helpful for you.

Updated: 03/17/2023 — 1:02 PM

8 Comments

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  1. What happens if you use CLEAR glue to make mod podge?

    1. Hi Rebecca, I’ve never tried clear glue with this – I’m not sure how well it would work; it might work, but it might also end up a thinner mixture.

  2. Okeydoctors.Com

    Continue to add coats of the medium until you get the desired results. You will want to keep adding layers until the edges of the pictures are all smooth.

  3. Umm… 1/3 is 33%. To get 75% you need 3/4 πŸ™‚ Although another way of saying 1 (cup) plus 1/3 (cup) would be to say three parts plus one part, making it 75% glue and 25%water. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

    1. Point taken πŸ™‚ I know I need to learn how to write/type out subscripts better when it comes to measurements.

  4. Hi
    I am a newbie who just discovered your site.
    I love your ideas and I love how you present your craftsmanship.
    I read that your taking a hiatus. Take Time to Recharge and get Excited about the future . Come back to us crafters we need you!!
    I am a beginner in many different crafts now that I am retired.
    And I am so pleased to be able to make my own decoupage glue and Primer using your recipes. Score!!!
    Take Care and Happy Holidays!!!

  5. Can this homemade decoupage glu be easily removed from glass? I want to decoupage vases for centerpieces but don’t want them to be permanent.

    1. I think it would. Glass isn’t porous, which means anything made with glue could peel off easily if you needed it to.

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