Make Your Own Mod Podge for Decoupage Crafts

If you’ve done any amount of crafting, you’ve probably heard of Mod Podge, a product that’s been around since the 1960’s and calls itself an all-in-one glue, sealer, and finish.  It’s most often used for decoupage crafts which is the art of decorating surfaces with paper cutouts that are sealed, glued and finished.  But did you know you can make your own Mod Podge? I’ve been doing this for some time now and love it!

How To Make Homemade Mod Podge

Now I know there’s some debate on if homemade Mod Podge is as good as the real thing, but I’m here to tell you that I’ve been using my homemade version for several years and I have always had good results and success using it on my projects – AND – I love that it’s a great money saver too.

So yes, my feeling and experience is that you can definitely make your own decoupage glue and it’s a very easy process too. It’s simply a matter of combining white craft glue and water.

Glue To Water Ratio For Mod Podge

I always use equal parts of water and glue when I make my own Mod Podge.  A very easy way to use equal parts is to just use the empty glue bottle for measuring the water.

First, I empty my bottle of glue into a mixing bowl.  Now that the glue bottle is empty, I can then fill it with water, (which I think is the easiest way to measure out an equal amount of water), and add that water to the mixing bowl. Then I stir the glue and water together until the mixture is well combined, and that’s it!

How to make homemade Mod Podge using glue and water

I made my most recent batch of homemade Mod Podge with Elmers Glue, but I have also made my homemade Mod Podge with inexpensive glue from the Dollar Store, and it worked great. So my experience has also been that you don’t have to worry about any specific brand, and that any ordinary white craft glue should work.

And of course if you would rather make a smaller sized batch of DIY Mod Podge rather than using the full bottle of glue, that’s simple to do as well. Just remember to measure out the same amount of glue and water (for instance 2 tablespoons of each), and mix them together.

make your own Mod Podge using glue and water

Storing Your Homemade Mod Podge

Once you’re done making your own Mod Podge, you can store it in a jar with a lid. I usually just use some type of recycled jar such as a jelly jar or something. (I love to save little recycled jars that I clean with my homemade goo gone).  The jar in these photos is a recycled 8 oz Better Than Bouillon jar which was the perfect size for my most recent batch made with a 4 oz bottle of glue with the equal amount (4 oz) of water added.

How to make homemade Mod Podge

I’ve also been really pleased that I’ve been able to keep a batch of homemade Mod Podge for a long time without any problems. In fact I’ve been able to keep it for months and months (and years!) at a time and it doesn’t go bad in any way.

And if you’d like an idea to get you started using your homemade Mod Podge, I love, love, love to make these DIY tile coasters.  I look for excuses to make more tile coasters (#truth). They’re fun and easy to make and they’re practical and useful too.

homemade coasters

Here’s the complete printable instructions for DIY Mod Podge:

Homemade Mod Podge

Save money by making this easy homemade Mod Podge that's a simple mixture of equal parts glue and water.
Author: Beverly

Materials:

  • 1 Bottle White Craft Glue
  • Water (measure by refilling empty glue bottle)

Instructions:

  • Empty the bottle of glue into a small bowl.
  • Next, fill your empty glue bottle with water and add it to the glue in the bowl.
  • Stir until things are combined together well.
  • Transfer the mixture to a container with a lid for storage.
  • Use in the same way as you would use store bought Mod Podge for crafting.

Notes:

This mixture uses equal amounts of glue and water. I’ve found the easiest way to make a batch is to use the entire bottle of glue, and then measure out an equal amount of water by just refilling the empty glue bottle. 
If you wish to make homemade Mod Podge in a smaller size batch that does not require using the whole bottle of glue, just remember to use the same amount of glue and water for this recipe (for instance 2 tablespoons of glue + 2 tablespoons of water).

This post was first written February, 2013 and was updated November, 2019. Here’s the original picture you may have seen floating around Pinterest.

Homemade Mod Podge

Need a few more bright ideas?
Sign up for the weekly email newsletter to learn about my latest content and tips for frugal homemade living.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

78 Comments

  1. Hi, here is a BIG THANK YOU from an avid DIYer in South Africa. I have been checking Pinterest on how to make ModPodge that I am so grateful to have found your recipe and easy-to-follow instructions! 🙏 Take care 😷

  2. Does this work for things with pages? I need something that is not going to leave a sticky finish or stick pages together.

    1. When you say real stuff has gel what exactly do you mean by that?
      Gum powder? Isn’t gel made from a couple components?

    2. When you say real stuff has gel what exactly do you mean by that?
      Gum powder? Isn’t gel made from a couple components?

    1. I have never tried the homemade mod podge on a canvas art type of craft project, however I have had good results using the homemade version in the other craft projects I have tried.

  3. I ran across your web site,WOW! I have never tried to make Mod Podge. But now I will try it.It is very expensive in the store.Especially on a fixed income. Thank You very much! I am going to look at the other projects also.

    1. I have not tried that personally with my homemade mod podge, but so far every time I have used it as a substitute for the store bought in a craft project, it has performed just as well.

  4. Hi Bev, Just found your MakeYour Own Zone page(s) and I love it! You’ve made making a planner to easy and Mod Podge, too. I have a bunch of supplies already and now I can easily organize thanks to you.

  5. Hi, everywhere else on the internet says to use 2 parts glue to 1 part water, but I like that yours would be a thinner consistency which is what I’m needing for my projects. I’m curious how you arrived at the 1:1 ratio, and have you tried the 2:1 ratio? If so, how did they compare? Thanks!

    1. I was only familiar with the 1:1 formula and didn’t know some folks use the 2:1 formula! I’ve been happy with how mine has worked using equal parts so I think I’ll be sticking with it.

  6. Very interesting. Going to try it today, How long will it last. I havent done my first project, just gathering research as the do’s and not’s, along with other pointers.
    Thanks
    Christina
    Ontario, Canada

    1. I don’t have a recipe for glossy mod podge, but I often put a spray sealant on my projects made with my homemade mod podge and it gives them a nice shiny finish.

      1. Can you tell us how to make the spray sealant, please. I was just about to buy some Mod Podge spray. I am a beginner at crafting and I am making paper dolls. Thank you.

        1. I think spray sealant is something you still want to buy at the store rather than attempting to make your own.

    1. I have always used the white glue so I’m not sure. However it seems to me like the clear glue should work in the same way so it seems like it be worth a try.

    1. I think it would be worth trying as this mixture has been a good substitute for me with every project I have tried.

  7. This is d best ever receipe you can ever share .Thks a ton ,God u hv saved me time & money.sometime amazone takes time to deliver. God bless u a million times for sharing this little secret.

  8. I’m sorry, but made this three days ago. Very diappointed. Used equal amount of glue and water. Plate was not dried the next day. Added another bottle of glue and plate still not dried. What I’m doing wrong?

    1. I’m not sure what might be causing that problem as my plates were dried in a few hours. I did make mine during the cold months when the air is quite dry in my house. Perhaps it could be a humidity issue?

  9. Thanks! Am going to try this especially when I am home and RUN OUT now I can keep the glue on hand to make as needed.

  10. After you have been here all these crafty years, I have finally found your splendid site! I am thrilled to find you and that you are so kind to share so much for us to do and learn. Your directions are easy for( even me) to follow. May your week be beautiful, sincerely, Judy,in Tn.

  11. Love the idea of making the tile coasters. I don’t see directions for creating them though. Could you help me with the instructions?

    Thank you.
    Sherri

  12. Thanks for the DIY Mod Podge mix recipe. As an acrylic pouring paint beginning student I must find ways to be thrifty as it is an expensive art skill to learn unless sponsored or able to sell ones pieces. Sponsor anyone?
    As a side note, I look forward to trying the Goo Gone recipe. Be well!

    1. It’s probably true that this DIY mixture is not an exact replica of the store brand, but I’ve had very good success crafting with it and I love that it’s saved me a lot of money.

  13. You are so clever and also so kind to share all of your wonderful, helpful and economic ideas with everyone. Thank you so much.

  14. Hi, my background is in construction, woodworking and virtually all of the other disciplines there in. I have a question regarding making “Mod Podge”, I should inject here I had never heard of or at least I had not committed to memory the existence of it, I read a post this week that mentioned it. We always used Elmers Glue for the projects that apparently MP (Mod Podge) is used for. Mid fifties our Cub Scouts made items using the glue version. Long story for a simple request,.. have/can you tell me, is Elmers WoodGlue MAX still waterproof if diluted by equal parts recipe alluded to above? I have a project I’m working on, hoping you might have already tried it? Thank you for your answer in advance. P.S. love the concept of your page. Makeyourownzone cool!

    1. To make extra sure the mod podge crafts are waterproof, I like to use n spray acrylic sealer as a final coat for my projects.

  15. Thank you for this info. I have a couple of acrylic paintings I’ve completed and have already put a couple of layers of spray varnish on them. I want them to be shinier than they turned out. Does anyone know what reaction I would get using this recipe over that varnish spray?

  16. Can I use this homemaded Mod Podge for making a cookie dish with cloth material
    It will not cone off the plate when watching it or if I make this dish to someone as a present

    1. Because the cloth is on the underside of the plate it is safe to put food on it. However the plate should just be given a quick washing by hand as it is not dishwasher safe.

  17. Hi everyone, I had a recipe years back, when I used to make decoupage the recipe called for vinegar ( I suppose it was a few drops? cannot remember) to be added to the mix of carpenter glue (that’s a bit thicker than Elmer’s) and water. The projects done back then (1999 to 2001 are still alive and kicking. And the coat of watered down carpenter glue (white thick like Elmer’s) which I gave the projects once dried as a finish, gave it a shiny gloss that still lasts today. Hope this helps!

  18. Decoupage glues are more than just watered-down cheap white glue. If they weren’t, they’d cost a lot less than cheap white glue because there’d be less actual glue in it. They contain sealers and varnishes and have better adhering qualities than school glue, which is why they are so expensive. If you want something similar, you might want to experiment with white glue to which you’ve added a water-based varnish/sealer and NO water. That would be far closer to decoupage glue than a mix of water and Elmer’s, and might last longer. I plan to try it with the artists’ varnishes that I already have, that are designed for use on acrylic paints.

    1. I would say that’s true that the store bought formulas have more in them, and yet I’ve had good results with using watered down glue so I believe it’s still a worthwhile alternative that can work for many types of projects.

      1. I think that it all depends on what you’re using to decoupage with. For example regular paper and tissue paper glue and water can work just fine but thicker things like leaves may require the extra ingredients

    2. Thank you for writing this…..I’ve grown really tired of finding COUNTLESS ‘recipes’ for homemade mod podge online that amount to watered down glue. And the idea people need recipe for how to water down glue to make it less effective as an adhesive, and then recommend adding a sealant on top of that? Does anyone listen to themselves? So rather than using one product that works, people would prefer on product that works less well and a second product to cover up the deficiencies? Why would anyone do that? EXCEPT a million people do with their ‘homemade’ mod podge….. I’d be really interested poster to hear how your glue/varnish experiment worked. I plan to try the same, and this will hopefully yield far more comprehensive results that watered down glue………….sheesh…

      1. When I was very young, in the 60’s, we used the glue+water combination for decoupage. NOT only did it ahear well but a coat of the water glue painted on with a brush gave our projects a shiny finish.
        Note that the projects were not “waterproof”; but the vases we made for Mom using syrup or dressing bottles and colorful tissue paper lasted years and years.

        1. Yes, the oldies (but goodies) often work great! This is also why I put the spray coating of acrylic sealer on my coasters, because it helps to waterproof.

      2. To answer your question, we use it because A) 4 oz of glue is $0.50, while 4 oz of Mod Podge is over $2.50. That doesn’t matter much personally or for a project or two, but when you have a class of 20 with a $500 budget for the year, it matters a great deal. B) Not everyone lives close enough to just run to the store to get some. Regular white glue is found everywhere, even in towns of less than 500 people and we don’t have to wait two (or more) days for things to get here by mail.

        Thank you for posting this. My class will now be able to do several projects I thought would be too expensive.