Homemade Deco Podge Adhesive – Super Simple DIY

Edited: As some have missed the notation at the bottom of the post, I want to point out that at no time in this post am I stating that this alternative is equivalent to Mod Podge. Mod Podge is a great product and I highly recommend it; however, this is an excellent alternative option for craft projects. If you are working on a project that you hope to maintain over a long period of time or one that requires special care, you should absolutely be using proper archival resources. To avoid confusion for future readers, I’ve also swapped out ‘Mod Podge’ in some places in exchange for ‘Deco Podge Adhesive’ to avoid confusion with the actual product name. Thanks!


There probably isn’t a crafter/DIY’er alive that doesn’t use the famous Mod Podge for one thing or another. It ranks right up there with scissors, tape, nails, and the almighty hammer.

You also know how expensive it is. The 16 oz jar tends to run anywhere from $8-$10. Granted it lasts a while, but I can’t bring myself to spend $10 for the high end magic glue, especially when I only use it for inexpensive craft projects.

So I made my own knockoff for $2. You could probably make it even cheaper if you stock up on the essential ingredient during back to school sales.

Homemade Mod Podge

Here’s what you need…


  • White School Glue (I used the 4 oz size)
  • Jar or other container (heck, you can use that pasta sauce/salsa jar you just emptied for free)

If you want to get fancy:

  • Spray Paint
  • Colored/Scrapbooking Paper
  • Glue

Homemade Deco Podge Supplies

I don’t think I need to share with you again my hatred of brass and all things ‘gold’. So it should come as no surprise that I ORB’d that lid faster than it takes you to say “Let’s get our groove ORB on!”

So much better already.

Homemade Deco Podge Supplies

Next up, pour the glue into the jar.

Homemade Mod Podge

Get every last bit of it in there.

Homemade Mod Podge

Now fill the empty glue container with water and pour that in the jar with the glue. This will make 8 oz of adhesive.Homemade Mod Podge

Make sure you choose a jar that will fit the glue and water. To be honest, I lucked out that it fit so perfectly.

Homemade Mod Podge

Now get your groove on and Shake, Shake, Shake.

Homemade Mod Podge

You’re DONE!

You can stop now and celebrate your crafty genius…OR

Homemade Mod Podge

Get fancy and create a fun label. I used a piece of leftover scrapbooking paper and cut out the size of a small circle.

Homemade Mod Podge Label

Then I cut another little oval piece for the label.

Homemade Mod Podge

I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue to adhere the paper to the jar.

Homemade Mod Podge

Ta Da!

Homemade Mod Podge

Project Cost Breakdown:

White School Glue 4 oz.(Michael’s) = $2

Jar (already owned) = $0

Spray Paint/Paper/Tacky Glue (already owned) = $0

Total Project Cost: $2


*This recipe  is my homemade knock off version which is an excellent resource for crafters. However, for projects requiring archival preservation and sealant, be sure to properly research the best adhesive for your project as this may not be the best choice.




Linking to: Polly Want A Crafter, Keeping It Simple, Craft-O-Maniac, The Girl Creative, Making the World Cuter, The Crafty Nest, Savvy Southern Style, Today’s Creative Blog, Ginger Snap Crafts, Blue Cricket Design, We are THAT Family, Very Merry Vintage Style, Beyond The Picket Fence, Remodelaholic, Addicted 2 Decorating, The Shabby Nest, Dear Creatives, Funky Junk Interiors, The Artsy Girl Connection

73 responses

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  2. Thank you for sharing this, if you are doing a lot of projects and need lots of modge then it could be very costly…. love the savings.
    Happy Fall

  3. This is sooo good to know…Mod podge is the best and is sooo expensive, I won’t be buying it anymore…I’ll make my own!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    -Adriane@ fruitfulhomejournal.blogspot.com

  4. I was checking out the Mod Podge just a few days ago, and couldn’t believe how $$ it was…it couldn’t be that special. I thought to myself – In college (10 years ago – eek), I would use white glue and water when I’d make all those fantastic crafts for my sorority sisters- and it seemed to work pretty well. — but it couldn’t really be that easy, could it? And looky here…it IS that easy!! You’ve made my day – not since 1st grade has white glue made my day. thanks so much for the tip…I’m going to go decoupage something now! Thanks!

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  6. I am currently out of work and looking for a way to make some crafts to put in a store to sell. Out of work means no funds to buy supplies. But I do have some glue, a jar, and water!! So you opened a door for me! Thank you!

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    • Hi Amanda, Yes I have used tacky glue before and it works too. I usually have to add a little more water since the tacky glue is a bit thicker, but feel free to play around with the ratio of water to glue to make it work best for you. 🙂


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  14. Some people do seem to say the modge podge is not simply thinned white glue. You can thin white glue and it will work much the same, but it won’t age the same. The white glue will yellow and peel much more than the modge podge. The product apparently is not just overpriced thinned white glue.

    Now, I don’t yet have much experience with modge podge or using white glue as a substitute, but found your site when using some modge podge for the first time and asking myself (and google) “Is this stuff just white glue?”. I think the time and effort of most projects are worth enough that I think I’ll use the actual Modge Podge product rather than risk having a project age poorly.


    • Hi Andrew,

      I never stated that Mod Podge is overpriced White Glue, nor would I. Mod Podge is a great product. However, this is an excellent (and inexpensive) alternative for craft projects, especially for those that either can’t afford or don’t have access to Mod Podge. If you are working on a project that you hope to maintain over a long period of time, you should absolutely be using proper archival resources.


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    • Hi April!

      No arguments here, it’s in no way official Mod Podge. It’s an inexpensive knockoff that is a great alternative adhesive for craft projects as I state in the post. If you are working on a project that you hope to maintain over a long period of time, you should absolutely be using proper archival resources.


  16. I’m excited I found this recipe, I made it yesterday and my question is, is it supposed to be runny? Can it be used to adhere glitter to crafts? Thanks

  17. Thank you for your “recipe”. I most certainly wouldn’t expect a homemade glue to hold up for several years so i don’t understand why others are making a big deal out of it. It’s understood that commercial items ranging from macaroni and cheese to craft glue include preservatives to prolong shelf life and durability. This version of the craft glue is great for small projects while leaving the expensive stuff for special crafts that involve personal photos. Thank you for analternative 🙂

  18. You just saved me so much money. You see, I live at least an hour away from the nearest craft store and I forgot to get some for a Christmas present I am making for a friend that I need by Wednesday. I haven’t the time or gas money to get back over there anytime soon. Thank you so much XD

  19. I plan to create this recipe to decoupage some coasters. I’ll just be using some random paper onto some cheap 4×4 tiles. My first reaction was disappointment hearing that the glue may yellow and peel, however the instructions for my craft include sealing the final product with a clear acrylic sealer. Would it be safe to say that for my project the chances of it yellowing or peeling are slim to none simply because I will be sealing over the glue? I figure it will be fine, but this will be my first time attempting this craft. Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks, Kim

  20. You can even make it cheaper than $2…..! ! ! I go to my local $$$ store where I can get TWO 4 oz. bottles in a package for $1…..! ! ! It’s just as good as good ole ELMERS….I’ve used it on many projects with awesome results…..! ! !

  21. Thanks for taking the time to help me as a beginner with your useful tip. I would find it quite expensive to have Mod Podge delivered here to Spain. I priced it through Amazon and its an expensive item for practicing. I understand that i need to varnish anything after i have used this when it dries of course. Thanks again.

  22. I am wondering would this glue work well on glass? I am doing items on glass candle holders and vases. Just wondering if youhave any idea if it would work

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  24. You know, if it tends turn yellow with age it’s a good thing, thus giving your project an antique, aged, rustic appearance.

    Such pessimistic attitudes ready to jump down your throat.. goodness people. Read the article. Anyway, great idea, about to make a wine rack decoupaged with old maps. .. and I have LOADS of tacky glue and shall use it ! Thanks!

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  26. I have a question. I’m painting Christmas ornaments; yes, early start for my tree this holiday season and seasons to come. My granddaughters also made some this past Christmas with glitter. Can I seal these ornaments with this medium? If not, can you & will you please recommend what I should use? All help appreciated. Thanks!

  27. Great recipe! I used glue from the DollarTree…2 4oz. bottles for a dollar…to make it great I had to mix both 4oz. bottles of glue to 1, 4oz.bottle of water, but it made 12oz. of Mod Podge that works perfect for one dollar…Thanks for the recipe…

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