DIY: Decoupage Q&A

2:18 PM

***Update- Check out the Video Tutorial!


Wow, we have had people from all over the world view our DIY Decoupage post. Thank you to all and thanks for your comments. Many of you have had questions about this DIY Decoupage/DIY Mod Podge and so I have set out to find the answers and to experiment a little with this DIY Decoupage.

*Should I use regular Elmer's Glue or Elmer's Glue-All?


The difference between the two is that the Elmer's Glue All is not washable and is a more permanent glue. If you are planning on possibly getting your project a little wet, use Elmer's Glue All. For all other projects I would just stick with the basic Elmer's School glue since it is usually less expensive.

*Can I use this diy decoupage on photos?






I don't recommend it. But look, I did it anyway! Elmer's glue contains acid which can eat away the photo over time. But I have read online that some people have used watered down glue on photos and they are fine. I'm testing it just to see what happens. Maybe in a few years I will have a really cool old looking photo. Store bought Mod Podge is acid free so it is safe to use on photos.

*Is Elmers glue the same thing as PVA?

PVA stands for polyvinyl acetate and is the same thing as Elmer's Glue. If you are not from the USA, that is what you should buy to make this.

*Is it waterproof?


Testing. Testing.
Paper decoupaged onto wood with Elmer's Glue-All mix

Under water...and it held up surprisingly well
Fabric decoupaged to wood with Elmer's Glue-All mix
Held under water and the edges didn't even come up. It passed the test.

So is it really waterproof? Yes and no. No you cannot go swimming with your project in water and expect it to be just like new, but yes it can handle getting wet here and there. If your hands are wet when you grab it or if you have to wipe it clean every now and then, it should be just fine. Elmer's Glue-All should be used on projects that you foresee getting wet since it is a permanent glue rather than a washable glue. I was impressed with how well it worked. You can also spray it with polyurethane or a sealer top coat to waterproof it.

*Is it a glossy or matte finish?

Matte. You can add some varnish to the mixture for a glossy finish.

*Why is it so runny?

Just because it's watered down. Don't worry, it still works wonders. If the glue is too thick, it can get crusty and hard. It just won't turn out the same. If it really worries you, just add a little less water and let me know how it goes, but from what I can tell, the watery solution works wonderfully. :)

*Can it be used as a fabric stiffener?

I think so! Here is a piece of yarn sticking straight up in the air. It was dipped in my decoupage mix and left to dry and it really did stiffen up. This opens the door to a lot more projects! I'll be making some doily lanterns soon :)

Any more questions? Feel free to ask.


Stephanie




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60 comments

  1. No questions, but I'd love to see some projects you (and possibly) readers have done with it. I have a bottle to get through now!

    I'm sure I could just pintrest mod podge projects, but I'd like to see this particular formula in action.

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  2. Thanks Stephanie, for taking the time to do this research. I've come here after reading your other post on DIY mod-podge - especially the comments from all over the world. I'm from Australia as were several of the commenters, so really appreciate you confirming that Elmer's glue = PVA glue. All the other info is great too.

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  3. Thanks for clearing up a lot of my questions! I knew I subscribed to your blog for a reason! I love everything you do!

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  4. Fabulous alternative considering mod podge is like $7 a jar!! :)

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  5. cute tutorial!

    linconnuedeindochine.blogspot.com

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  6. many many thanks for doing this for us all, very helpfull

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  7. I knew I bought extra Elmers glue during back to school sales for a reason! Forty cents for a jar of mod podge is a good deal!!

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  8. In the past I have had issues with Mod Podge streaking or clouding over my pictures. Have you had any problems? Also, have you tried adding anything to give it more of a texture?

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  9. Thank you for posting all of the information as well as all of the tips. and to think that I just spent $7.00 on Modge Podge!

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  10. On the back of the Elmer's glue bottle it says not to use it on photos. Probably because it's not acid free... just a guess. So, for short term you can use it, but it might not hold up long term. I bet you can make the same kind of formula with a scrapbooking acid free glue though... just an idea I would like to see. :)

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  11. I'm so excited to find this "recipe"! My friend on Pinterest copied it to me. I am going to do this fall Leaf Lantern craft with it: http://gingerbreadsnowflakes.com/node/102

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  12. Can it be any other brand of glue? I have some "tacky" not any "Elmer's".

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  13. I am REALLY new at this...do you put this over or under the paper you want stuck on the jar?
    Thanks~

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  14. I put it under and over. Under to attach it and over so it lays out better. If you add some varnish is will have a shinny finish and that's why lots of people like to put it "over" projects.

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  15. How did you measure it?

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    Replies
    1. for equal portions, empty your glue bottle into a jar, then fill the glue bottle with water and empty it into the jar. Voila! No measuring necessary!

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    2. No measuring necessary. Just empty your glue into a jar. Fill your glue bottle with water and combine.

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  16. Thanks for your info! I just used this mixture to make a anniversary photo project for my parents 25th and I loved it. The fact that it is runnier makes it easier to work with than Mod Podge. I didn't consider the effects of the acid in Elmers Glue but I figure if it distorts the photo I can just make them another one. I like Christy's idea of using acid free scrapbooking glue. I also used your solution to make some yarn balls today so I am excited to see how they turn out tomorrow!!

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  17. Hi Megan and Stephanie... just came across your site. Thanks for your info. I just became an addicted hobbyist (miniatures) and an addicted "Pinner". I hate to add up how much I've spent so far on craft supplies (SHHHHH... DON'T TELL MY HUSBAND!!) Now I'm always searching for a less expensive alternative.

    CHALLENGE: If you have time (I don't) I wondered if you would be willing to experiment with using old time "flour and water" glue? Like they use for paper mache etc. I guess if it's too watered down it would lose it's stickiness though? Anyway... can you IMAGINE what a hit you'd be if you came up with that?? :-) Keep up the good work!

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  18. While googling for the Dutch equivalent of Elmers glue I read this about bookbinders glue. it's acid free and doesn't yellow over time, and it can be mixed with water. Wouldn't that be a good alternative to mod podge? It's 20% cheaper and appartly you can mix it with water too...

    The Dutch apge: http://www.kleurpalet.nl/index.php?action=article&group_id=120&aid=3314&lang=NL

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  19. Awesome! What a find. I'll have to try that some time.

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  20. What did I do wrong? I am trying to attach a paper batman symbol to a plastic bucket, as a favor for my son's birthday party. I tried 2 buckets, left them overnight to dry, came down the next morning, and the symbols had come off! Suggestions?!?!?

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  21. Was it still wet in the morning? Maybe you put too much on it? If it was dry then maybe you didn't add enough to your project or your solution could have been too watery. Hope that helps!!

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    Replies
    1. the surface needs to be permeable for grip. Plastic isn't permeable.

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    2. the plastic bucket isn't permeable so the water based glue will only set on the top.

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  22. I've seen gold and silver Modge Podge. Have you tried anything like adding superfine glitter or even dyes to this mixture?

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  23. i have never used this and am curious as how to start. i want to use scrapbook paper to line the inside of an old wooden trunk. do i put down the modge podge (home made of course!) 1st and then the paper and then more?

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  24. Amber- that's exactly right. You put it under your paper so it sticks and on top for a good finished look. Good luck with your project!

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  25. Any idea how long this mixture will last...not that I plan on not using it all.

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  26. First of all, this stuff is amazing! Thanks so much for putting it up! :D
    I did want to ask though, how long does it take to dry? And what kind of fabric projects should it be used for?
    Thanks, and happy new year! :)

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  27. So happy I came across this, I was going to get modge podge in the morning now I can just get elmers glue all...yay! I can put my savings in more diy!
    Teresa

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  28. Thank you so much for the money saving tip. I am off to podge my fingers off!

    Vicky

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  29. Am wanting to mod podge kiddo's art project to canvas for a gift...does this work on painted construction paper? I'm nervous about destroying the masterpiece. Eek!

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  30. do you know if there is away to make it like the mod podge dimensional magic.

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  31. I have a quick question. I've used elmers glue on scrapbook paper before and its caused it to crease or wrinkle up. I probably used to much but was wondering if you've had any issues with that happening with this glue? and if you have any tips to prevent creasing?

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  32. I am so new to Mod Podge and so excited. I will be making my first batch today and your "research" has been a tremendous help. I can't wait to get started!

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  33. i am going to use this modge podge to help me make glitter flats for me and my 4 yo daughter! cant wait!

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  34. so is Mod Podge the same as Decopodge? if so why the diff names?

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  35. I just saw the large (16 oz) Mod Podge at Walmart for $6.97. Also, I print coupons online for 50% off one regular priced item (Michaels, AC Moore or Joann Fabrics) and get the large size for $5.00. You can use competitor coupons at any of these stores. I just love to share a bargain tip!!

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  36. Megan and Stefanie, How long does this mixture last? Does it need special storage?

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  37. I was wondering how long this will last after you make it?? Should you use it right away or can it be stored for awhile?

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  38. I amde this mixture a while ago, and it has now separated into the glue and water, and I haven't figured out how to get it to mix again. Do you have any recommendations? I would love yo be able to use it agian!

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  39. Does it have to be Elmer's glue or can I use other types of glue?

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  40. Odd question:
    Does mod podge work on wood/paper veneer?
    No one seems to have definite answer

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  41. I have a poster and can't afford a frame so I took the cardboard that came with the frame and spray painted it. I have been looking at mod podge recipes and read no flour because it cracks and turns yellow. I want to whatever you call this to the whole poster, any suggestions????

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  42. This mix works really good on crochet items such as snowflakes, bells and ornaments. Also works on ribbon and lace. Liquid starch can also be pricey. secure saran wrap over an old flat piece of styrofoam, dip your item, squeeze out excess,pin in place and let dry. You can make most any shape stiff this way. As long as you cover it in saran wrap first and make sure you leave one side open to remove your form. Larger items or heavier fabric may need a second application with an old paint brush after first application dries.

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  43. Do you have to use it all immediately or can it store? If it can store then for how long?

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  44. One anonymous commenter wrote that she couldn't get the Batman papers to stick to her plastic buckets with this glue solution. It is going to have a tough time sticking to any really glossy slick plastic surface. You may have to use some fine sand paper to rough up the surface a bit under where you are trying to stick the paper before you adhere it. Then the glue will have a surface to get a grip on.

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  45. Sites like yours are the BEST! I do quite a bit of crafting and would rather do it with less money. This is perfect. Thanks a lot.

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  46. Should I add oil-based or water-based varnish to get a glossy finish?

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  47. can I use this to make my jewelry ,i have to Mod Podge the images and when dry pour resin epoxy over them , the mod podge is getting a little expensive
    Tammy

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  48. Would you know what to do or mix in to get a 'brush stroke' look? I paint on glass and am interested in mod podging after but would like to get that 'mottled' effect for the glass. I know they sell 'BRUSHSTROKE MOD PODGE' but would rather not pay the price if possible!
    Thanks :-)))

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  49. How would you go about making exterior safe decoupage?

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  50. Looking to do a newspaper article on a board and then put a vanish over it, will this work for that project?

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  51. I'm making something for my boyfriend on poster board but, on a budget, can I used plain old Elmer's school glue on poster board like modge podge and it still look good

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  52. Can this work on shoes?? And do i hav to use primer prior to decopauge it? How to seal the look?

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