Water & Glue... Who Knew?




Introduction: Water & Glue... Who Knew?

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. We make an Instructable to shar...

Cool and Unusual Uses for Two very Ordinary Things.
This Instructable will save you money AND change the way you look at ordinary things around your house.

Step 1: Two Ordinary Items

Mixing just two everyday ingredients, glue and water, you can make unlimited projects.
Start with equal parts glue to water...
*You can add a little more water if you need a thiner consistency for some projects

Step 2: The Mix

Combine the glue and water in a container.
I used an old, clean peanut butter jar.
*Try and find a container that closes tightly and has a wide enough mouth to dip your sponge brush in .
Then shake, shake, shake, until the two ingredients are combined well.

Step 3: What Will You Transform?

I chose this table I got for free and painted.
It looked a little plain plus I plan on using it as a computer desk so wanted additional durability.
You can use "The Mix" on so many projects -
Tables, lampshades, dressers, boxes, cans, frames, etc....

Step 4: Cut...

I am using gold wrapping paper but you can use paper, fabric, wallpaper, napkins, tissue paper....

Cut or rip to size.
Don't be afraid to leave a little overhang on tables, I will show you the BEST trick to take care of that later.

Step 5: Apply "The Mix"

Apply "The Mix" to the object THEN to the BACKSIDE of whatever you are attaching.
It doesn't need to be perfect, it only needs to be completely covered.

Step 6: The 2 Go Together With Another Application

This part can be a little tricky but don't let it scare you.
Lay the paper on the table with the "wet" side against the surface you are attaching it to.
Try and smooth out any bubbles and keep the wrinkles to a minimum.
Then apply another thin layer of "The Mix"
*You can see mine is very wrinkled and there are some bubbles. I have another trick to take care of those pesky little things

Step 7: Trick #1

Use a hair dryer on warm or hot setting to remove bubbles and wrinkles.
*Don't burn the paper or yourself.

You can also put your project out in the sun on a warm sunny day to eliminate most problems.
*If you have a few problem areas after working with the blow dryer simply apply a thin layer of "The Mix" to the problem areas and use the dryer again.

Step 8: Trick #2

Notice how all the wrinkles and bubbles have disappeared after using the hairdryer?

For trick #2 you should wait until dry then instead of cutting the paper to the exact size, sand the edges to take off the extra.
This trick gives the most natural looking edge.
Any ragged spots just go over with sand paper again until they come off.
*I usually go around the piece once to remove the majority, then again to clean it up.

Step 9: Choose the Finish

Lots of options here...
You can add additional coats of "The Mix"
You can top coat it with Polyurethane
I have even waxed with clear and dark wax

I decided the gold paper needed a little something so I brushed on a gel stain, waited a few minutes, then wiped off.

Step 10: TaDa.... an Unusual Use for Two Ordinary Things

The finish looks so much better in person!

Using this "Mix" you save $$ as it's counterpart cost roughly $8 and I made this for $1 AND there is plenty leftover to recreate a few more things.

Step 11: "The Mix" Vs Mod Podge Plus My New Instructable :)

Mod Podge is Vinyl Acetate
The glue I use is PVA or Poly Vinyl Acetate

Mod Podge purests say there are additional sealers and such in Mod Podge therefore it is better
I am no scientist but I looked up the MSDS for both products and I can tell you I would need a scientist to figure out the difference :)

Check out my other Instructable if you would like to create treasures from discarded or unused pictures and frames -

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80 Discussions

PVA and water are fine as a sealant. You will still need a varnish or polyurethane coating to protect from water. ModPodge actually contains a form of water soluble varnish. In the waterproof version, they add a waterproof varnish. You can of course, spray a varnish over the top.

Here are a couple of diff recipes: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Mod-Podge

Is wikihow a competitor? Anyway, the first recipe is a good one. Depending on the surface (don't use on styrofoam or polymer clay without sealing first with white glue or a brand specific sealant.)

I have used several ModPodge variants. Depending on the surface, sometimes the podge will get and remain sticky. A friend who was a chemist tried explaining the interaction to me...soooooooooooooo, regular mod podge has a water soluble varnish in it. It will resist (though is not impervious to oils, etc. but water will make it sticky and leave marks. It always needs to be sealed with an acrylic varnish. Some versions have a different varnish and are water resistant.

PVA is different than VA - talk to a chemist to get an explanation about molecules, chains...(not my field so I gave up trying to figure it out.

2 replies

This has held up to "sweating" glasses of water, pop bottles, spilled coffee, etc.... My husband is very rough on furniture and never follows "the rules" lol
Not one thing wrong with the top of this yet!

Cool to know! OMG, I don't even remember making this comment. I may have subliminally been more offended that you use "artsy fartsy" as a name. You are the only person, other than my mother and I, that I've seen use the term AND it is your user name!!!!!!! I should have recognised your brilliance for the name alone!

Great looking desk! Love the hair dryer and sand paper tips. It seemed as soon as I thought, how is that going to work...bam! There was your solution. Did the stain have water proof sealer? If not, would that work with mod podge like mixture? Thank you for this instructables.

1 reply

No sealer used and still looks great 3 years later

Great project! Thanks for sharing how to make "Artsy Fartsy glue. A question, please. Could you put the bonding on the table top and then place the foil on top?

1 reply

Not sure what you mean? By bonding are you referring to the paper I used or the glue/water mix?

My husband has been using this desk for three years now and it has held up to his abuse better than anything else he has!!!

I'm a bit confused as "Mod Podge" seems to have several different ... ah... formulas? Each for a different purpose. The one I chose, out of 3 types on the store shelf, I thought was intended specifically for fabric. I was covering heavy card stock with squares of fabric, then a label. The stuff "never" dried! It was tacky for weeks. Needed to be waterproof as was for outdoor garden stakes. Sent it to Mom anyway, eventually. Her hanging garden in a fabric pocketed shoe rack vertical garden deteriorated by the end of 2 years. The "Mod Podge" was still tacky, not in the least bit waterproof, and the so called "permanent" ink just washed away after the first "watering". Such a waste. I hope that setting a hot cup of coffee on you table does not ruin that pretty surface. How could one possibly make the "Mix" waterproof? Best Wishes,

2 replies

I never use Mod Podge any more for that very reason-it never really dries. I like Royal Coat instead

It needed to be sealed with an acrylic varnish or polyurethane "varnish". ModPodge is water soluble.

What is the ratio of white glue & water for glue a collage on foam core?

Dose the glue &. water work to make crackle when painting I find all glue to thick.

I thought that you were going to make slime ?????????

Nice, hobbyists like myself have used cold glue and water as a coating for model aircraft for years, add this mix to brown paper or newspaper and you have a not half bad fiberglass alternative. Here's a question though, would modge podge or this concoction be suitable as an eggshell/protective coating on polystyrene, styrofoam etc?

1 reply

Hi wingnuster - I haven't used modge podge or this mix styrofoam before, but I have used undiluted PVA over styrofoam objects before painting them with acrylic or enamel spray cans or nail polish, with no eating away from the solvent. I used 2 coats of PVA to be sure I'd covered everywhere. Modge podge or this version would probably work, but you might need to use more coats to be safe. Hope this helps.

That is a really nice table project and I had no idea that mod podge was only glue and water..but I would never buy it for the price. Now I don't have to! THANKS!!

1 reply

Mod Podge is water proof (ish) when it dries (it dries clear), but school glue will quickly dissolve if it gets wet. If you use titebond 2 instead of white glue, you will have a food and water safe bond (though a little yellow). modpodge is the one to use if you need a clear drying and water resistant glue.