Homemade Natural Glue

natural homemade glue recipe

During their childhood, kids use a large amount of glue. Most of them are chemical mixtures with no ingredients listed on the packaging. You can only imagine what’s in there.

Preschoolers love pasting and collage, as well as tasting anything that comes close to their mouths. Besides the awful taste, the shop-bought adhesive might not be the perfect substance for their tummies.

School kids have (hopefully) learned not to lick the glue, but having it on their skin and, occasionally, all over them, isn’t good either as we know that our skin absorbs anything that’s put on it. Try this old trick to prove it: rub a clove of garlic onto the soles of your feet and after a while, you’ll feel the garlicky taste in your mouth!

Many natural glue recipes are around, but this one is the simplest to make with only 4 ingredients you most likely have on hand. I’ve tried it and it works, not only for paper but also as wood glue.

How To Make Non-toxic Homemade Natural Glue

For the ingredients needed, see the photo above.

  • In a saucepan mix 1 cup of flour with 1/3 cup of sugar.
  • Add half of the water required and mix into a thick paste without clumps.
  • Pour in the rest of the water and combine till the paste is smooth.
  • Pour one teaspoon of vinegar and put on medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken.
  • Cool and transfer to a jar or an airtight plastic container.

This glue will keep for a few days. Refrigerate to prolong the shelf life (the jar of glue in my fridge is 6 months old).

Homemade Glue Tips

Vinegar in this glue recipe acts as a mild natural preservative. You might use grapefruit seed extract or tee tree oil (5-10 drops) instead of vinegar to naturally preserve the glue. Stick with vinegar though if you have small kids – not only is this glue nontoxic, but perfectly edible too!

This glue needs more time to dry, but when dried, the bond is really strong.

At Christmas time I use this homemade glue for card making and add a few drops of anise or cinnamon essential oil to give the cards a nice scent. 

If adding dark essential oils or ground cinnamon, bear in mind that the glue will have a slightly brownish color unlike the plain one that becomes almost transparent when dry.

Final Thoughts On Making Natural Glue At Home

It’s well known that natural glues made from organic sources such as starch (dextrin) are used in the industry for bonding paper-based materials. Now with this simple recipe, you can make your own natural adhesive at home.

It is simple, doesn’t cost much, uses only natural ingredients and, most importantly, it works.


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  1. This is a very resourceful recipe it’s amazingly quick, takes about 5min and you can get ridiculous amounts of glue out of this, the bond is quite strong I think it can be even a little bit stronger than normal school white glue. Use this homemade glue and let’s pollute less.

    1. i can not believe this glue held my moms’ plastic seat together
      it is amazing and it just took me 10 minutes to make mine

  2. I’m a believer. Kids at home for week and went to the cupboard to find the craft glue gone. I will not need to buy glue for four kids again! And the best part is my husband sent me your link…he remembers only making glue as a kid in South America. It reminds me of papermache.

  3. OMG this is so cool it realy work who would have ever thougth that you can mix such simple tings and get something else like glue………… awesome dude

    1. Thank you all for your feedback, glad to share this recipe and reduce chemicals in our homes.

  4. Hey. A quick question regarding the white vinegar. We have a wine vinegar, not white vinegar (in fact, I can’t even remember seeing white vinegar in the stores here in France!). Would this vinegar work as well, or does it have to be strictly white vinegar?

    1. I’m sure it will work fine with any vinegar. One teaspoon is small amount to have a big impact on the recipe.


  5. This is an awesome recipe! I made some yesterday for my daughters and it works great (even tastes pretty good too! LOL)

    Thank you so much for sharing it Vesna 🙂 I hope you don’t mind but I’ve shared it on my blog (both crediting and linking it back to you of course!)

  6. I’m very excited to try this, but I wonder if it will be strong enough for my project…
    I would like to try making fabric bowls (in the style of paper-mâché, just using fabric bits and strips instead of paper). Do you think this glue will hold something so heavy? Perhaps if I really soak my strips and leave lots of drying time?

    1. Hi Peggy,

      I think the glue it is strong enough, perhaps dry well between layers. You might do a sample first. Let us know how did you go! Good luck with your project.

    1. To be honest Bobbi, I don’t know. Is the paste thick? You might test the uncooked glue or put everything into to a pan and cook it. Please let us know if you were successful with uncooked glue.

  7. Thank you Vesna, I’ve made it and sure does work! I make crafts and other things(along with art)and i just wanna say thank you I have finally made a popsicle stick tower, I have glued it together using this recipe. 😉 (oh and im only 9 years old too so yea, it worked great). Oh and it kinda fell on the first attempt but I held it together for about 25 mins.

  8. Hi, I was wondering if this glue would be ok on skin. We are trying to figure out how to make a glue substance that would stick well enough to our skin for halloween costumes. If we watered it down a little, do you think it would work fine?

    1. Ben, if there is a glue that is OK to put on the skin – it’s this natural glue. It would be a good idea to test it before Halloween though. I haven’t tested it on myself or my kids :-).

      1. I would really like to know if this worked on skin. I’m trying to figure out some way to hold a hallow clay mask on my face for about 10 minutes lol

    2. well i will tell you, to make scars i use toilet paper, this glue, and latex around edges. Make sure you give yourself enough time to allow glue to dry throughly. then apply foundation. I use watercolors for blood. I also use purple black and blue eye shadows on skin first to add more effect. then start with glue. then add torn toilet paper. keep up this process until you get desired look. This also works great to add crystals etc to skin. If I could add a picture I could show you the after results.

  9. I made it. However this is my fist time making anything like this. Is it supose to big really tick? I was expecting it to be a little more runny but mine looks like thick mashed pototoes.

    1. Hi chasity,
      the glue is normally a bit runnier. It might be that you’ve added more flour (depending on the cup measurement). That’s easy to fix, just add some hot water bit by bit till it has thinner consistency and it’s easy to apply.

  10. Hey Vesna…I tried useing the glue on the face with some toilet paper to make something that looks like a cut on my forehead…and it worked PERFECTLY!!! Takeing a peice of toilet paper and coating it in the glue is almost like paper mache…i added a smidge of extra water just incase it was too thick and it is absolutely perfect. It isn’t falling off my forehead or anything, just make sure you wash the area very well before you apply if you or anyone is thinking about trying it. And thank you very much. Me and my wife are going to be perfect zombies this halloween. HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!!

  11. What about adding natural preservatives such as Cocamidopropyl Betain? Any idea how effective they are?

    1. Hi Austin,
      why add Cocamidopropyl Betaine to a natural product that keeps in the fridge for ages? Cocamidopropyl Betaine is surfactant known to irritate skin and can cause allergic reaction.

  12. I am working on a project for a Christmas play, and I ran out of glue. I was about to go out to the store and buy more glue, but then I remember how in El Salvador we used to make glue at home when i was little, so I decided to google up a recipe to make glue, and I came up to this one! I had all of the ingredients at home, I saved my trip to the store and some money too! It’s Great! Thanks for sharing!

  13. OK, so the first batch is cooling. A question. This is glue not paste, right. So it should be liquid not solid? I stopped the heat after not too long on medium as it was getting thick on the bottom, the batch is thicker than when it started, but it is still liquid. Is that right? and do the children get it out of the jar or are you putting in in a squeeze bottle of some sort, like a ketchup bottle with a tip? Thanks so much.

  14. Hi, just wanted to thank you for your inspiration, sometimes I loose my mojo, (I’m a full time artist) and have found myself scrolling through your pages, always finding something that triggers the spark again, but this recipe has been my saviour a few times now, just made a 3rd batch this week, miss 7 loves it, and I do too… Have a large violin sculpture in progress, the glue is so strong! After trying many bought glues and being disappointed I will never use anything but this recipe for “crafts” again!

  15. Hi, thanks! I’ve been looking for this type of recipe for a while. I like it and not necessarily because is cheap or easy to make, or because the glue at the store is too expensive. I like it most of all, because it’s simple, it’s made with natural ingredients that are easy to find and that come from vegetables. I like it because there’s no corn meal or corn starch in it that as in most brands, come from genetically enginieered corn, produced by big farming mafias. I like it because you can make your own at home without having to go to the store and by a new container that’s made with plastic, which means it’s made with petroleum by-products. I like it because there’s no gelatine in it, that most likely comes from pigs and cows that are treated like trash. I like it because it’s safe for the kids. I like it a lot! Thanks.

  16. Flour is a starch (a polymer, incidentally) and requires heat for the polymers to bond. I didn’t read the instructions at first and just mixed it all up, then put it on the stove. Heated it until it formed soft peaks, about 5 minutes. Excellent. Works better than rubber cement.

  17. What a fantastic and easy recipe!! Wow, me and the kids can never be without glue again. I’m wondering tho is there a way to make it water proof for out door displays? We do many outdoor items to decorate the yard as well as cards and indoor items. Thank You for never ending crafting supplies with this recipe!
    Buffy 🙂

  18. I used this glue to harden my pointe shoes, and they feel almost brand new! The only downside I’ve found is that I have to use it after every class because it’s waterbased. Other than that, it works really well and the bond is quite strong.

  19. thanks a lot this really helped and it has a really strong hold on things !


  20. Thanks so much! Added glitter and food coloring, and the kids loved it! We spent a rainy day making balloon baskets with yarn, using our funky-cool glue!

  21. Hey Vesna!I wanted to ask u abt the flour.Is it All purpose flour that we use in cakes or the ordinary wheat flour. pls reply quickly.

  22. its not working for me, i followed all the steps, but it doesnt work for me with paper. The glue is too lumpy and it ruins the paper, as if the paper had been in water. Ive tried spreading out the glue, and using less, but that doesnt work.

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