There are a lot of recipes on the internet for how to make Mod Podge – here are all of the good reasons NOT to do it yourself.
I get a lot of questions about how to make Mod Podge, and I’ve seen a lot of it on Pinterest recently, so I wanted to address with a blog post. Interestingly enough, I have been asked these questions for years.
Homemade Mod Podge
I should start by saying this is not a paid endorsement – no person or company asked me to post this, or even knows I’m doing it. I don’t make money off the sale of Mod Podge. And while my blog might be all about Mod Podge, I get visitors using all types of decoupage mediums.
I just don’t want you to be disappointed. Because in my experience, you should NOT make your own Mod Podge.
The truth is, I’ve gotten MANY e-mails from people (with pictures) who tried to make Mod Podge. These emails ask me why their photo/furniture/gift project is yellowing/flaking/peeling and what they can do.
With further prompting, I find out that they made a glue concoction on their own by adding water to flour, or something along those lines.
Mod Podge is a step above craft glue in terms of the sealing properties. Mod Podge is glue, but it’s also a sealer – and there are varnishes, etc. in the formula that don’t exist in craft glues. The bonding properties of Mod Podge are way stronger than that of (most) craft or school glues.
Can you use Elmer’s glue instead of Mod Podge?
I get asked this question a lot too. Long story short, the ingredients in Mod Podge are not the same as craft glue, and in 99% of cases are superior. That is why Mod Podge costs more than craft glue.
And that is why it lasts longer and is more durable on projects.
A lot of the homemade recipes take craft glue and dilute it with water, which is just about the worst thing you can do to make a decoupage medium of any sort. You’re taking a glue that is inferior to decoupage medium and made it even thinner by adding water.
This is why I receive pictures all the time of ruined furniture or home decor items that didn’t last more than a few years before the paper started peeling off or yellowing BADLY. In the short term, the projects might seem okay, but over the years, the projects go down the toilet. And then I get very sad e-mails.
Decoupage medium is more expensive than glue, but you’ll notice on the glue aisle of any craft store that there is a wide range of pricing depending on what the specific glue does. The more specialty the application, the more it’s going to cost.
Mod Podge might be more expensive than glue and water, but the 8 oz. bottle lasts a long time, and you can always use a 40% coupon (do an online search to find them).
What can be used instead of Mod Podge?
If you just can’t find Mod Podge where you live, look for PVA glue. It’s about the closest you can get. Frequently craft and art stores have PVA glue, but you may have to call around.
I hope my information here helps. And I hope that if you want the project to last, you won’t take the risk and make Mod Podge – that you’ll use the real thing!