Tools + Supplies Cornstarch Glue

Published on January 31st, 2011 | by Julie Finn


Five Recipes for Natural Glue

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Making Valentines with cornstarch glueI’m a glue stick addict.

It’s terrible, I know. I can’t imagine a single art supply that uses up more worthless plastic packaging and takes up more landfill space, unless perhaps it’s markers, which are also pretty terrible, but at least markers last longer. My two daughters can use up an entire glue stick during the course of one exuberant art project.

This year, one of my goals has been to regularly use homemade, natural glues in place of store-bought ones. Homemade glue has a lot going for it. You know exactly what’s in it, it’s WAY cheaper, it doesn’t require a ton of plastic packaging, it’s completely effective, and if you run out in the middle of a project, you can just whip up another batch instead of running to the store.

I’m thrilled to say that since my experiment has begun, my family hasn’t thrown a single empty glue stick into the trash, and we’ve found some great glue recipes that we all love to use. Here are five of our favorites:

homemade glue used for pasta art

1. Homemade Glue

In her round-up of homemade kids’ craft supplies, Maria Dryden links to a homemade glue recipe from Eco Child’s Play that calls for flour, sugar, water, and vinegar. I imagine that you need to use refined white sugar here, not the funky turbinado sugar that I usually bake with, but it was a good recipe to use up the last bit of white sugar that I had to buy to bake birthday cupcakes.

[The image on this page belongs to Eco Child's Play.]

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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

  • Heckety

    Thank you for all these sticky suggestions. As a substitute primary school teacher, I’m always glad to know of harmless and cheap art ingredients to keep small people busy and happy!

  • Danielle Hunter

    Thanks for the info! I always seem to forget about homemade glue and next time my kids need glue, we’ll make our own.

  • Jeremy Walton

    Great info, just what I was needing. I’m looking for a strong paper glue for glueing post cards together. I think it will be a doodle now. Thanks

  • Kirsty MacLeod

    These are great, thanks!! I make jewellery using hemp cord and I dap a bit of hypo cement on the ends of the cord so they don’t unravel. Do you have any suggestions for a natural glue that I could use for this that would dry clear?

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