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Friday, January 31, 2014

Homemade glue!



Homemade glue. flour, sugar, vinegar, water, food coloring and a tsp of love.

The simplest glue is that made from a paste of flour and water. You may remember making this in kindergarten. It is easy, non-toxic and great for working with paper that needs gluing, including paper-mâché projects.

There are literally hundreds of recipes out there for making your own glues, many left over from the days, not so long ago, when people had no choice but to make their own. Some recipes can be for very specific uses, such as collagen glue for marquetterie (*), or a special formula designed for attaching paper labels to skeletons. Some glues are made with flour, some are milk based, others work thanks to natural or synthetic gums. I've seen one recipe which called for mistletoe, another for fresh blood, but you'll have to read to the end of this instructable to discover my favorite secret ingredient....

I have included here a small sample of these recipes -- but I'd like to reassure the folks at Gorilla glue: although really fun to make, these glues won't cut into your market share. Commercial glue still beats the homemade variety for convenience, strength and even cost -- with the possible exception of step #1, paper paste for large scale collage projects.

(*) boil deer hooves and antlers with some lime in rain water for a couple days, apply hot.

If you've got a big paper pasting project going on (large group collage project, science fair display poster, etc) it is much easier and cheaper to cook this up rather than use white glue or rubber cement.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp alum powder (optional preservative -- not necessary if the glue is for immediate use)

Mix flour and sugar. Gradually add water while stirring vigorously to prevent lumps.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, till the paste is clear. Remove from heat and stir in the optional alum.

Spread over paper or cardboard with a paintbrush. Press and smooth paper to be glued before the paste dries.

Store in a covered glass jar. This will keep for several weeks without refrigeration.
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