Homemade Glue

Here is another great homemade recipe using ingredients you probably already have on hand, adapted from The Preschooler’s Busy Book.

Here are the recipe ingredients:  
Makes 7 5/8 ounces
3/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cups cold water

1.  Heat 3/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of corn syrup…

…until boiling.

2.  Meanwhile, mix the other 3/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of corn starch together in a separate bowl until well-mixed.

3.  Slowly add the corn starch mixture to the corn syrup/vinegar mixture.  Stir continuously until boiling.  Once it starts boiling, stir for exactly 1 more minute.

4.  Remove from heat and cool.

Immediately after removing from the heat, it will be a pretty thin liquid…

…but after sitting for 10 minutes, it will thicken up.

5.  Use a funnel to pour into an empty container.  I used an old glue bottle that I rinsed and reused.  Let it sit overnight before using.

This is what it looks like…slightly clearer than normal Elmer’s glue.  And it seems to really work well!

The bottles of Elmer’s glue are normally pretty inexpensive towards the end of summer (in preparation for back-to-school), so it’s not a HUGE cost-savings.  However, it is kind of fun to experiment making your own products while also knowing exactly what’s in them!

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Filed Under: MAKE IT


  1. Mom and Kiddo says

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I hate all the plastic bottle waste that comes with buying more glue but couldn't think of an alternative. Now I have one!

  2. says

    I am just wondering if the second amount of water is supposed to be 1/4 cup? I tried this recipe two ways. First the with 3/4 cup water (cornsyrup and vinegar) and 3/4 cup water (and cornstarch). This was very runny even after sitting over night. it also made about 12 oz. Then I tried 3/4 cup water (cornsyrup and vinegar) and 1/4 cup water (and cornstarch). This worked out to about the right consistency and made about 8oz. maybe I am doing something else wrong, but 3/4 cup plus 3/4 cup is always going to yield about 12oz, unless you boil it a long time reducing the water.

    Your watercolor recipe worked out really well and I am thinking about experimenting with turning my thin glue into a liquid paint, like tempera, by adding food coloring. We’ll see how that works out.

    Thanks for sharing all of your teaching ideas. I appreciate the easy, frugal, and DIY nature of them.

    • says

      Hi Anna,

      The recipe I used says 3/4 cup water…I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out very well for you! I hope the liquid paint idea works out! :)

      • Cynther says

        I read your reply to the above question, however – It says 3/4 C TWICE (1st line AND last line in ingredients) which already adds up to 12 oz.! So when you got a yield of almost 8 oz., how did the water reduce so much? By the boiling???

  3. Jeff says

    It’s a long shot, but does this also work for making slime when mixed with borax? Either way, I’m going to try this out.

  4. Cynther says

    It says 3/4 C TWICE (1st line AND last line in ingredients) which already adds up to 12 oz.! So when you got a yield of almost 8 oz., how did the water reduce so much? By the boiling???

  5. Angi says

    Would this be a good recipe to add glitter to make glitter glue? or is there a better recipe for this?

  6. Enza says

    Hi I’m writing from Italy and I’ve just read this amazing recipe for my two children…but I have a question….here is really difficult to find corn syrup…Do you think I could subsitute it with….? waiting for your suggets…
    Thank you
    Enza ( Italy)

    • Michelle says

      corn syrup Notes: This is a thick, sweet syrup that’s popular in America, but hard to find in other countries. Unlike other sweeteners, corn syrup doesn’t crystallize and turn grainy when it’s cold, so it’s a good choice for frostings, fudge sauces, and candies. Baked goods made with corn syrup are moister and stay fresher longer than those made with sugar. There are two types: dark corn syrup is dark brown and has a slight molasses flavor, while light corn syrup is almost clear and has a more delicate flavor. The two can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Karo is a well-known brand. Store corn syrup at room temperature. Substitutes: golden syrup (Substitute measure for measure) OR honey (This is sweeter than corn syrup, but substitute it measure for measure.) OR molasses (Substitute measure for measure.)

      • Cathy says

        This may be a little late – liquid glucose is the best substitute for corn syrup (they are probably the same thing). Look for it among the baking things in the supermarket.

  7. Susan says

    I have the same question as Enza about Corn Syrup substitutes….I’m in France, and can’t find it here, either. Would love to know if anyone out there in cyberspace knows!

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