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Making Homemade Mod Podge

Category Miscellaneous
This craft supply can be made inexpensively at home. This page is about making homemade mod podge.


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By 7 found this helpful
January 29, 2019

Mod Podge is used for so many creative projects, often costing a little out of your price range. There is hope! Here is a simple way to make mod podge for just a little over $1. You can be creative and thrifty!

Yield: enough for approximately 8 to 10 projects


  • Elmer's school glue (4fl. oz.)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • container with top (jar with lid)
  • glass containers
  • tissue paper or wrapping paper
  • sponge brush
  • scissors


  1. Take your glue and pour the contents in a jar.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of water.
  3. Place lid on tightly. Shake well. Ready to use!
  4. Cut tissue paper into small squares.
  5. Apply glue with a sponge brush. Layer on your papers and let dry. A final coat of the homemade mod podge can be applied after the tissue paper layer is dry.
  6. You can also use wrapping paper and apply a base paper and then a fussy cut image from a different pattern and lay it over the main background paper. Follow the same process of applying mod podge as in the tissue paper process.
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 7

June 29, 2012

Make your own Mod Podge for decoupage. I just covered the lid of a jewelry box I got for $.50. The inside was a lovely red satin and velvet, but the top was down to the cardboard.

Comment Was this helpful? 6


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
December 19, 2018

I want to decoupage a picture onto a piece of painted wood with puzzle glue or regular Elmer's glue. Can this be done?


December 19, 20180 found this helpful

It can be done. Instructions are here.

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December 19, 20180 found this helpful

You can do this (I used Elmer's), but when I did this it got all wonky after a few years (it got all bubbly and peely). It also attracted bugs (silver fish).


Sad because it looked really pretty! Wishing you much better luck with your project than I had with mine. Maybe the new puzzle glues are better than when I did this in the late 1980s.

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December 21, 20180 found this helpful

I do not believe there is a glue made that will not attract bugs (of some kind) but if you do not have a bug problem then your project will probably be safe for a long time.

I still have decoupaged pictures (paper to wood) from the 70's but we did seal ours so that probably made a difference.

I believe that Elmer's and puzzle glue are low quality glues that work but do not have the staying power that better glues have. So you should think about how long you would like to have this masterpiece around (in good condition).


Here are some links that have a lot of information on gluing paper to wood and also information on types of glue. It never hurts to research something before you gather your tools.

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December 22, 20180 found this helpful

Yes, it is possible.

Example on the Elmer's site:

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December 17, 20140 found this helpful

Can you use fabric glue for decoupage?

By Betty


June 30, 20180 found this helpful

They are different and personally I would not use a fabric glue for decoupage. I am not always one to experiment when there are tried and true products for a purpose. One of the experts here may have better advice! This is just me as I hate wasting money if things don't work out the way I want them to. This article sums it up:


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July 1, 20180 found this helpful

Modge Podge is the usual glue for this.

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January 19, 20150 found this helpful

How do I make Mod Podge with South African products?

By Anne Marie from South Africa


May 24, 20180 found this helpful

Take Ponal wood glue (NOT the water proof variety)and ad water, 3 parts Ponal to 1 part water.

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By 2 found this helpful
October 27, 2010

What is the water to glue ratio to make decoupage glue, and can I use this recipe on fabric to tin and plastic?

By Kathy Roszak from Frankfort, IL


October 28, 20100 found this helpful

I have used equal parts of water and regular white glue to decoupage paper to something else. For a recent project where I was adhering cloth letters to wood, I used the decoupage glue and did not water it down. I "painted" 2 layers to make sure they stuck!


Tin and plastic should work. I did cancelled stamps on tin plates once. I would be careful to wash the plastic in Dawn to be sure there is no grease on the surface.

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December 12, 20130 found this helpful

I want to place decals on a painted wood surface. Will the mod podge recipe work and be clear when dry so the decal will not show cloudiness?

By Tom C.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

September 12, 20100 found this helpful

I am looking for the best recipe to make Mod Podge that is clear when it hardens and is easy to rub down with a 220 grit sand paper. Thank you.


By ANT STEFFEN from South Africa


Decoupage Glue Recipe

I buy wood glue at my local hardware shop. It is white, just like Mod Podge, but comes in a large 1kilo bucket and is very cheap. It is thick so it must be thinned down and I use the 3:1 ratio as the person above suggests. I have been using this for years and it has worked out very well for me and saved me so much money! (03/14/2010)

By Lisa Austin

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October 27, 20100 found this helpful

How do I make decoupage out of white glue?

By carla from Garland, TX


Decoupage Glue Recipe

I have used the regular Elmer's Glue-All mixed with equal parts of water with great success. Just be sure to allow your work to dry thoroughly between layers and after you've completed your piece. Then you can add a coat of clear varnish (water type) or shellac to protect your finished object. Do not use the school glue for these projects as I don't think it's really thick enough to begin with.

My husband bought a gallon of Elmer's Glue-All to use in his own work, and it's the most economical way to go if you're going to be doing a lot of decoupage work.

I've covered entire bookshelves in decoupage and it worked great. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on large items that were not going to be getting damp or treated roughly.

Good luck and take a picture when you're done to share with us. We'd love to see it.

By Julia

Decoupage Glue Recipe

You can use school glue just with about half water to amount of glue. Check it out for yourself on a small piece, let completely dry and see for yourself if its going to hold well. (09/15/2010)

By christi

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March 9, 20100 found this helpful

Does anyone have a recipe for decoupage glue like mod podge? It is so expensive.

Thank you.
Dameemag from Rothbury, MI


Decoupage Glue Recipe

You can add a little bit of water to white school glue and use it the same as Mod Podge. (11/30/2006)

By Michele

Decoupage Glue Recipe

It is possible to make a type of Mod Podge by mixing equal parts of white Elmer's glue and water.
It isn't as shiny as Mod Podge, but does work. The other solution I found is a product called "Miracle Podge" at my local dollar store.

cailifouhn (11/30/2006)

By leanne chaisson

Decoupage Glue Recipe

Mixing 3 parts glue to 1 part water is closer to actual Mod Podge, both in texture and shine. (12/26/2007)

By Tami

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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