- Arts and Design
Recipes for Making your Own Craft Glues and Fun Paints
It's Fun to Be Able to Do-it-yourself
There are different types of glue needed for varied kinds of crafting projects and materials, and perhaps a new recipe discovery will be welcomed as you find something that matches a need you have.
There are several kinds of glue for paper, for leather and heavy materials, others for gluing envelopes, water resistant glues - just keep naming needs you have thought about before when working on a specific craft project.
There are even 'glue', solutions for other uses, like transfer ink, and paint-glue. I hope you find something new available here that will be helpful and usable for your projects.
Recipe #1 and #2 for Envelope Glue
This glue is a make, dry, moisten glue for envelopes. It is totally simple to make and works wonderfully, just like the commercial lick 'em, stick 'em envelopes.
Recipe #1 Envelope Glue
Amounts of this simple glue may be adjusted for how much you need, but it is so easily made that it is best made new for each project needed. It does not taste good, but works magnificantly.
Ingredients: In a small bowl fit for stirring, place 1 tablespoon white glue (like the popular Elmer's). Slowly add 2 teaspoons vinegar stirring til well mixed.
Using a small paint brush, paint along the envelope flap edge using plenty of glue. It will dry fairly quickly and may then be remoistened with a finger or Q-tip dipped in water when you are ready to glue the envelope or label.
This second glue needs to be heated to dissolve gelatin, but works and stores well. And it does have a bit better flavor. Other flavors might be used instead of mint if you prefer. It could also be faintly colored with food colorings if you liked that result.
Recipe #2 Envelope Glue
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 (1/4 oz.each) packets unflavored gelatin
1/4 tsp. mint extract
Using a small microwave bowl, add the vinegar and gelatin stirring well, then bring to a boil. Stir until gelatin is dissolved and add extract.
Using a small paint brush (or can use your finger carefully) spread the glue on the envelope flap edge and let dry. Re-moisten to glue flap when ready. If you have enough to store, put in a baby food jar. Glue may thicken but if so, just set jar in bowl of warm water to soften again.
Tools for mixing, storage and using are common household items.
Homemade Leather Glue
This glue is a bit stronger, so useful for gluing heavy cardboard and cloth, or for leather to leather. It will keep for a few months in a jar. Though it will thicken or gel, simply warm the jar in a bowl of warm water to re-liquefy when needed.
Ingredients: In a microwave bowl, add 3 tablespoons water
1 packet unflavored gelatin
Heat to boiling. Remove and stir till gelatin is dissolved.
Add vinegar and stir well.
Add 3/4 tsp. liquid glycerin. again stirring well.
Using a small paint brush, apply a very thin layer to both items to be glued together. Either hold together for a minute or two, or weight the item for several minutes to hold. Let dry fully before using item.
A water-resistant glue.
This glue is very water resistant when dry and is great for wood, glass and some metal. It may be stored in a covered jar and warmed in a bowl of hot water when needed.
1 packet (1/4 oz size) unflavored gelatin
2 tbs. water 2 tbs. skimmed milk
In microwave bowl, add water, milk and gelatin and bring to boil. Stir till gelatin is totally dissolved. Use glue while still warm to brush a thin layer on items to be glued. Support items for several seconds while 'tacking'. Let dry thoroughly before handling. May be stored in a small covered jar, where it will thicken. This actually makes it more usable for gluing some items together. To use by brush, warm jar in a pan of hot water.
Old-fashioned paper paste
This glue is actually a time-honored make-it-do paste that was once one of the mainstays of 'kids home creations'.
Take an old cup or very small dish and put in about a tablespoon of plain white flour. Gradually add enough cool water to make a thick paste, stirring quickly and thoroughly. May add a drop of cinnamon oil if available, though this is not necessary. Or a drop of vanilla may also be used if desired. Using a smooth whittled stick or a popsicle stick, apply to paper in thin small areas. Press well and let dry.
You can make odd sized envelopes from many pretty papers for a unique envelope.
A good invisible ink for fun.
This ink has several ingredients to mix, but still a simple accomplishment. When the ink is painted on paper or cardboard and allowed to dry it will be basically invisible. To make the picture or writing appear, cover the paper with an additional sheet of paper and lightly iron with a warm iron for several seconds. The message will then be visible.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup milk
Fresh juice from 1 lemon
1 tbs. powdered sugar mixed in 1/4 cup water
1 tbs. baking powder mixed in 1/4 cup water
1 tbs. alum mixed in 1/4 cup water
Place all these ingredients in a small jar and shake together very well.
Use a cotton swab or tiny paintbrush, write desired message on white paper. Dry. Some papers do work differently or better than others. Try several types to see which you like.
Using a paintbrush, paint your desired picture on white paper and let dry. The message or picture disappears as the ink dries. Send to your friend with instructions on how to discover what the message or picture is, but make sure an adult helps with the ironing if necessary.
Veggies stamp ink
This ink should have adult supervision if a child is making it because of the varnish and alcohol.
Stamp Printing Ink
A small bowl and a flat glass plate
1 tbs. varnish
1/4 tsp. alcohol.
about 3 tbs. powdered pigment (like Tempera)
Mix the two liquid ingredients with a craft stick or other tool. Add in any color pigment you want to use and mix well.
On an old flat glass plate smooth out some of the ink thinly with a brush or flat side of craft stick. Use rubber stamps or a cut potato or carrot or celery to stamp into the ink, then on your paper. Will need to renew the ink plate frequently to keep coverage.
An easy transfer ink for fun
This ink works well with comic strip or other colored pictures from magazines.
Ingredients: 1/4 cup hot water
2 tbs. powder soap, such as Ivory Snow
1 tbs. turpentine
Dissolve the soap in hot water, then add the turpentine. Shake well in a small lidded jar.
To use, brush the ink over the picture to be copied - 'transferred'. Wait 10 to 15 seconds. Put another clean piece of paper over the inked picture and rub it lightly with the back of a large spoon. You will see the picture transferring to the new paper. Pull off gently and let dry.
Waterproof fabric ink
This ink is made with powdered cloth dye - any color - OR the permanent liquid dyes available for cloth.
If you use the powdered dye, add 1 tbs. to 1/4 cup water and mix well. Then add 1 teaspoon glycerin and 2 teaspoons alcohol. Store in small jar.
If using the liquid dye, take 1/4 cup and add 1 tsp. glycerin and the 2 teaspoons alcohol, mixing well. May be used with dip ink point or ink pen, small paintbrush or even a Q-tip for painting on fabric. Paint with several layers of newspaper underneath cloth to grap any excess. Dry thoroughly. First washing will remove a slight amount of color.
This is excellent for fake tie-dying cloth by just dripping or painting on different colors. Handle all with care while crafting because it is permanent color!
Easy Finger Paint
This is an easy fingerpaint to make and use and it may be stored in small jars.
Ingredients: 2 tbs sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups water
Liquid dish soap, clear type
1/2 tsp. white glue
In a saucepan mix sugar and cornstarch together.
Gradually mix in water and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly and bring to a boil.
Turn heat down to make a simmer, and keep stirring til mixture thickens to a heavy paint texture. While cooling, stir occasionally.
Pour some of the mixture into a couple of muffin pans and add to each portion, one drop each of clear dish soap and a desired food coloring. Mix well for each color.
Extra uncolored paint may be stored in a covered jar. This paint washes off well but some clothes may stain if not rinsed before it dries completely.
From the old to the new, and the finding out about those things that work for your projects.
In the 'olden' days as young children may say, people did not have the same things we have now: Plastics galore, foils, beautiful paint colors and pens, gel pens, permanent inks, etc. And while that is indeed true, the children then were only aware of enjoying what they created, technology or not. They invented their own projects, just as children of today, and enjoyed the satisfaction in the same innocent way that we all do when we have 'made it myself'.
And that is one of the major joys of making 'your own', just the satisfaction of doing it yourself, showing off your creative ideas and methods. And too, the blessing of those who care, spoken in encouragement of those momentarily important projects. Our projects may not last forever, but the loving, cheering support will! I hope you find and enjoy your own too, always!
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