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How to Make Glue DIY: 12 Easy Homemade Glue Recipes

Have you ever wondered how to make glue? You can make your own homemade glue – even specialty crafting glues. Why would you want to do that? It’s not as if it’s always much of a money-saver. But it’s fun, interesting and educational.

Closeup of homemade glue in clear bowl with paintbrush

Many of these glues are safe for kids to help with. And you can make exactly the glue you like in exactly the amounts you need.

Making Glue is a Craft Project In Itself

You may be wondering why you’d want to do this. It’s true that store-bought glue is mostly cheap and effective, though some specialty glues are expensive and hard to find.

One reason is that it’s fun. Making glue is a craft in and of itself. It’s fun, interesting and educational, especially if you can involve kids.

Another reason is that you can in some cases make a better glue for your purposes. This is especially true if you’re doing an arts or crafts project with particular needs.

And you won’t have to worry about store-bought glue drying out before you can use it up, so you end up buying more. When you make it yourself, you’ll rarely have any glue going to waste.

Glue bottle dispensing homemade glue on wood

What Projects Can Use Homemade Glue?

You can use homemade glue in paper crafting, constructing model airplanes, collages, scrapbooking, making homemade envelopes and paper mache. You can also use these around the house for repairing broken crockery and even making minor repairs to furniture.

Ingredients to Make Homemade Glue

You’ll need some ingredients. Many are are household ingredients which you probably already have on hand. Here’s how they all work.

IngredientPurposeScience Explanation
Corn StarchThickening AgentCorn starch helps to thicken the glue mixture, giving it a gel-like consistency. This thickness helps the glue adhere to surfaces and stay in place.
Corn SyrupViscosity and StickinessCorn syrup adds stickiness to the glue, making it more adhesive. It also contributes to the glue’s viscosity, which helps it spread evenly on surfaces.
FlourBinding AgentFlour acts as a binding agent, holding the other ingredients together and providing structure to the glue.
VinegarMold and Spoilage PreventionVinegar acts as a natural preservative in glue recipes. It helps prevent mold and spoilage, keeping the glue usable for a longer period.
GelatinAdhesive StrengthGelatin provides additional adhesive strength to the glue. It helps the glue stick better to surfaces and improves its overall bonding capabilities.
GlycerineFlexibility and Moisture ResistanceGlycerine enhances the flexibility of glue, making it less brittle and more resistant to cracking. It also helps the glue resist moisture absorption.
Gum ArabicViscosity and AdhesionGum Arabic, a natural gum, increases the viscosity of glue, allowing it to spread smoothly. It also improves adhesion, helping the glue bond to surfaces.

Supplies to Store Homemade Glue

Some of the supplies you need are items you may already have around the house. Others, you may need to buy. To store homemade glue so it stays usable for as long as possible, follow these guidelines:

1. Clean container: Use a clean, airtight container to store your homemade glue. It needs to be clean so it can’t contaminate the glue and affect its quality.

2. Labeling: Clearly label the container with the date you made it and the type of glue it contains. This will help you keep track of its freshness and avoid confusion if you have multiple types of homemade glue.

3. Refrigeration (if necessary): Some homemade glue recipes may need refrigeration to prevent spoilage or mold growth. Check the specific recipe you used to see if refrigeration is recommended. If so, store the glue in the refrigerator and make sure it is tightly sealed.

4. Cool, dry location: If refrigeration is not required, store the homemade glue in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperature fluctuations. Excessive heat or moisture can degrade the glue and reduce its effectiveness.

5. Stir before use: Before using the homemade glue, give it a gentle stir or shake to ensure that the ingredients are well-mixed. This helps maintain a consistent adhesive quality.

6. Check for spoilage: Regularly inspect the stored homemade glue for any signs of mold, unusual odor, or changes in texture. If you notice any of these signs, discard the glue and make a fresh batch.

Buying Suggestion

I like these  reusable glue bottles. They have a good size opening for refilling, and I haven’t had any trouble with leaking. They’re air tight, which keeps the glue from drying out or molding.

Other than that, all you need to make these easy recipes is a bowl and spoon or whisk, and a saucepan to make any of the cooked recipes. You’re just going to be putting ingredients together in a bowl to stir them. 

How to Make Glue Stronger

These are general tips that apply to any glue in this list.

  • Increase the quantity of binding ingredients: The binding ingredients like flour in a homemade glue recipe are responsible for its stickiness.
  • Add Vinegar: Add a small amount of vinegar to the mixture. The acetic acid in vinegar can help to strengthen the bond of the glue.
  • Add Salt: Salt can act as a desiccant and help to remove moisture, improving the adhesive properties of homemade glue.
  • Boil longer: The longer you boil your homemade glue, the thicker and stronger it will get.
  • Use Corn Syrup or Sugar: Adding corn syrup or sugar to your homemade glue can increase its stickiness and make it stronger.

Troubleshooting Tips

Making glue at home is easy, but sometimes things go wrong. Here are some tips to help you fix those little problems.

IssueTroubleshooting Tips
Consistency adjustmentIf too thick, gradually add small amounts of water until desired consistency is achieved.

If too thin, add more flour or another thickening agent.

Adhesive strengthIncrease the amount of glue ingredients (e.g., flour, cornstarch, or gelatin).

Allow the glue to dry for a longer period.

Quick-dryingIncrease air circulation or use a fan to speed up the drying process.

Add small amounts of salt or baking soda to accelerate drying time.

Mold or spoilage preventionAdd a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice as natural preservatives.

Store the glue in a clean, airtight container when not in use.

Surface compatibilityRoughen the surface slightly before applying the glue.

Test the glue on a small, inconspicuous area before using it on the entire project.


Learn How to Make Glue At Home

It’s so simple to make homemade instead of going for store bought glue. Some of these recipes involve no cooking and can be made safely by younger kids. Supervision is always a good idea.

Most of these involve a little bit of cooking – mainly just boiling water, adding ingredients and stirring. They’re as easy to make as a simple pasta sauce, and older kids can safely make them as long as they know how to use stoves and saucepans safely.

Please note: I keep getting asked what glue would be safe to put on skin. I’m not a scientist, so all I can say is that all of these ingredients are edible, according to the internet, so they should be safe. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have a reaction of some sort – people can be allergic or sensitive to almost anything.

11 Homemade Craft Glue Recipes