Picture of Wheatpaste
Wheatpaste is a very simple glue that will cost you under a buck a gallon to make. It's just flour and water. The main advantage of wheatpaste is not only its cost, but if you need large quantities of glue, you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen. No need to run to the store and buy anything.
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Step 1: Background (skip to recipe below)

There are lots of different ratios for flour to water posted online, but people who make it in large batches, and actually know what they're doing for recommend a ratio of flour to water 1:4.
(As in one cup flour and 4 cups water.) This ratio is suitable for glue, and when dry it will appear fairly clear, so it is the ratio I will use.

Wheatpaste is known to be just as strong as diluted white glue (stronger than straight glue) when used on paper or pours materials.

White flour is recommended over whole wheat flour, although whole wheat can be used. Whole wheat contains all parts of the wheat: fiber, protein, and endosperm. White flour has been processed to contain only the endosperm which is almost entirely starch.

Step 2: Basic Recipe

Picture of Basic Recipe
Combine 1 part flour to 4 parts water in a large saucepan.
Whisk constantly to prevent chunks from forming.
Heat to just below a boil until it has reached the desired consistency.

The glue can now be used immediately. If you plan to use your glue when it has cooled, be sure to make the glue a little thinner than you want it, because it will thicken up. Also, glue feels a lot less disgusting on your hands when it's not cold.

You should use the glue soon, because un-dried glue will start to smell after a couple days if nothing is added to prolong its shelf life.
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summation5 years ago
Thanks for aggregating all the info into one place! You may want to proofread though :)
theRIAA (author)  summation5 years ago
typo.. where?
snoyes theRIAA5 years ago
It's boorish to be this pedantic, but since you asked... not only it's cost -> its cost skip to recipie below -> recipe There is a lot of different ratios -> There are the people that make it in -> the people who Basic Recipie -> Recipe to prolong it's shelf life -> its shelf life disprove the flowing, it it simply -> the following, it is
Being boorishly pedantic... I'd like to correct 2 of the corrections... In both cases, since the subject of the sentence is the wheatpaste (it), it is perfectly correct to state "it's" since the cost and the shelf life are related to "it". "It's" is not only a contraction for "it is" (which I agree is often misused) but can also be used to show possession, which the author did properly.
actually, you're incorrect here. "it's" should not be used to show possession. Here's a quick test you can use to check which one should be used: Try replacing "it's" with "it is" in the sentence. If it sounds wrong, change it to "its"

An even easier trick is to substitute the words "his" or "hers". Both of those words are possessive... and so is "its".

He's and She's are both contractions... and so is "it's".

I was a little confused on this point so to clarify. In nearly all cases the apostrophe can be used to signify possession, however in order to stop any confusion between "it" and "it is" "its" is the exception to this rule. You've gotta' love the english language, its got a rule for everything and an exception for every rule!
ahem - it's got a rule...
.... How embarrassing. Ahh well, such is life!
 ahem - it has a rule...
So totally off-topic - but how lovely to find that I'm not alone in my "grammar Nazi-ism" (nice to note that my kids noticed my attempts to correct their grammar - spelling was a waste)!

By the way, theRIAA, thanks a BUNCH for the wheatpaste recipe - and including uses for it!
Sorry, please check your grammar source. "it's" is Always IT IS. The easiest way to remember is- "The cat lost its tail." See, there's no "tail" or rather no apostrophe. The other way to remember is to try to say "it is" wherever you have placed the apostrophe. Can you say, "The cat lost it is tail"? Nope, not really. ;-) Yes, grammar IS my life. LOL Or at least a part of it!!
I find nowhere that "it's" may be used to show possession. The American Heritage Dictionary and Strunk's Elements of Style are both quite clear that "its" is the possessive, and "it's" is only a contraction for "it is" or "it has"
theRIAA (author)  snoyes5 years ago
LemonBird made it!2 months ago
Thanks for the recipes. Made some paste in the microwave: convenient and easy to clean up :) I used a glass jar with a lid, and instead of whisking, I just put the lid on and shook it up (while wearing oven mitts from IKEA).

I used whole wheat for my wheat paste so it obviously came out brown. Will this effect my image when I use the paste? Should I have added more water than usual? I added an extra cup, so the ratio was actually 1:5, but it still seems thick. I feel like the brown paste is just going to cover my image.

PaulT66 months ago

A fantastic tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to create it. I’ve added your site onto our page ‘Book Binding Tutorial: Glues – Tips, Techniques, Types & Recipes’ –

Keep up the good work and again, many thanks for taking the time to write this!

Have a good rest of the day,

Once it is used, for example, to make cardboard lumber, does it ever go bad? Or is it sort of once it dried it is good?
ripfx2 years ago
I use this paste (or have used a commercial version in stage craft for years. Making a batch with this recipe to see if it will replace the commercial stuff which is no longer available. The two differences that I can see now are; 1) commercial paste does not have to be heated and 2) I will have to see how this mix works when saturating fabric to glue to wooden pieces. I will post the results of tests. Thanks for posting the recipe and thanks to whoever posted the additives too!
Big jermini4 years ago
nice 'ible. One question though. Are there any other ingredients that can be added to this to make it stronger? I mean something that everybody, or at least most people would have in the house.

To all grammar Nazis: Most of us dont really care. i speak it. u understand it. thats all that really matters.

Huked on fonicks werked fer mee!
I know this is an old comment but ill post this for the sake of everyone. It's from BombingScience. These additives are mostly for street art poster...

Here are some good things to add to your paste to increase its performance....ADD THESE WHEN PASTE HAS COOLED DOWN TO ROOM TEMPERATURE AND NOT WHILST IT IS STILL HOT!!!

White Sugar or Corn Starch: Add about a handful of either to your paste when cooled for added stickiness/strength!

Wood Glue: Add LAST MINUTE (in other words, add it in the paste right before you leave to go paste....i'd say add 1 parts Wood Glue for every 5 parts helps increase its strength, and makes it more waterproof....

Minwax Polyacrylic: An idea of my Polyurethane, it creates a stong clear finish....Make it waterproof, and a lot stronger....ADD THIS LAST MINUTE ALSO!!!!

Clove Oil or Witch Hazel: I'd say 10 Drops per 3 cups will keep your paste from molding for longer....i'd say it would extend the shelf life with refrigeration to about 2 weeks tops....good stuff!
I'm glad someone finally made one! Never knew you could make it in a microwave... (What's alum?)
Alum is aluminum sulfate. In Spanish it is alumbre.
"Alum" by itself usually means Potassium Alum or "Potassium Aluminum Sulfate"; I'm not sure if plain Aluminum sulfate counts, but there is also Ammonium Alum and Chrome Alum. Alum used to be a pretty common household chemical, but now it's pretty hard to find, and most likely to show up (overpriced) in a kid's crystal growing set, or as a "natural deodorant crystal"
You can buy Alum at most large grocery stores in the spice section. It also works in homemade play dough to help it last longer before spoiling. If you want a lot of it, places that sell fabric dyes will also have it in larger containers, as it is used in some dying processes.
lol... very descriptive. yo tengo muy durme. i think i said that right. and yes im tired
batonas3 years ago
any kind of flour or starch can be used for this glue, starch is released from the flour when heated in water, I have used this glue with paper and its actualy better than white glue and mutch more cheaper.
JohnJY4 years ago
Is wheat-paste graffiti permanent?
it sticks to walls and such pretty bloody good but if you were to come along with a sand blaster you're pretty screwed :)
adsandy4 years ago
Could I link to this page in one of my upcomming instructables?
kzaaaaa5 years ago
Another use for this, and my personal favorite, is to tar and feather someone. Since this doesn't stain and tar does (plus, let's be honest, who has tar anymore!?), it's a much less evil way of doing it, though still equally embarrassing!
GEEK15 years ago
Will it stick fabric together?
a4great5 years ago
could you not just add something gritty like iron filings or sand and make sandpaper?
theRIAA (author)  a4great5 years ago
maybe to epoxy, but this wont hold.
a4great theRIAA5 years ago
oh.....(sad face)
nrrrdmom5 years ago
what about using wheat starch instead of flour? Do you think it would make a difference?
theRIAA (author)  nrrrdmom5 years ago
I don't know. Assume it would act the same.
Great instructable :) I hope you don't mind me linking to it for an instructable of my own where I will be using wheat paste?
theRIAA (author)  keikothemeowmeow5 years ago
no problemo.
SdaMaster5 years ago
I used this glue to glue 4 layers of cardboard ogether to make people on a homecoming float worked great
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