Home Made Mod Podge Recipe- Don’t be hoodwinked!

In lots of ways I am a hand clapping optimist. I find it really hard to imagine the worst case scenario and always think everything is going to work out, which is often to my detriment. In other ways I am a doubting cynic. When it comes to brands and their promises I am more dubious then Scooby doo smoking doobies in dubiousville.  When a grand claim is made of a product my mind screams “LIES, ALL DAMN LIES!” like some kind of crossed witch.

There are some exceptions:

  • Helmans mayonnaise (no other will do. I can eat this with a spoon for lunch.)


Okay, actually, I think that is it on my list.

So when I first heard about crafting super power that is Mod Podge I tried to ignore the screamy witch and find out exactly what it is that makes Mod Podge such a delight. First of all I began by trying to find out what Mod Podge is.Wanna know what it is, basically?

Watered down PVA glue.

That’s:  PVA glue with water in it.

PVA (that you can by from Poundland) with water (free)

But people are paying heaps for this crafting Must Have, to do things like decoupage and scrapbooking, that people have done for years with watered down PVA.

I kind of think the people of Mod Podge are trying to fox us all a little bit.

Oh well. Now we know, eh?

Home Made Mod Podge Recipe

To make a jar of fake Mod Podge you need 1 cup of glue and 1/3 cup of water. Shake really well  and use as you would Mod Podge. To make it gloss add 2 table spoons of water based varnish or to make the sparkly add super fine glitter.

I wanted to try making some decorated pegs. I made some Christmas pegs  with ribbon and scrabble tiles in this way but found cutting the fabric and getting it to not fray really tricky. When I read on Sew Scrumptious’s lovely site that she used Mod Podge to make the fabric paper-like I gave it a crack with my fake Mod Podge. It really works.

Just give the little scraps of fabric a good soaking then leave them to dry as flat as you can. Then snip them up. It is truly ace and made making these pegs so easy. And if you are like me and keep every snippet of beautiful material than this is the PERFECT use!

I used some navy polka dots and even a bit of lace, so simple and quick:

What do you think? Are you a Mod Podge Die Hard? Or are you generally happy with the fake/ home made versions of things?

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Thanks for reading!

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87 Responses to Home Made Mod Podge Recipe- Don’t be hoodwinked!

  1. I do still have some mod podge, but indeed it is just PVA and water, and I have that too! Cute pegs – my smallest is particularly in love with pretending to be washing. I have to put pegs on him and pretend I think he’s a sock or old pair of pants!

  2. Patch says:

    Have read about people using it on so many blogs, wondered what it was. Thank you for clearing that up. I shall not be going out of my way to get any. Home made it is for us!

  3. Kerry says:

    I’ve never used the actual modge podge and just mix up my own batch of the PVA and water as needed – it’s fab and something we always have around the house! Thanks so much for linking up lovely! xx

  4. Thrift Bee says:

    Homemade wins every time for me, (i will even admit to being happy with Aldi mayo ) I would love to tell you i’m your newest follower, but i cannot find out how to follow you other than by e-mail. If you have time could you guide me in the right direction. Much obliged.

    • lulastic says:

      Ah ummm.
      Maybe the RSS feed on the right hand side, just below the Twitter bit?
      Also, Bloglovin? It is host neutral and I’m learning to love it.

  5. Melksham Mum says:

    There was me thinking Modge Podge was some amazing stand alone product! Now I know if I ever need some what to do, so thanks for that!
    The pegs look adorable x

  6. Thanks for the lovely mention. I feel cheated by Modge Podge!! I didn’t realise it really was JUST PVA glue and water. Its really expensive!! Will be making my own from now on. LOvely pegs by the way. Loving the lace ones! x

  7. Saffron says:

    I just searched the other day for the ingredients of MP, after which I happily watered down my glue! Great fabric stiffener & all purpose magic thing!
    Ps. My Lulastic inspired resin things have turned out beautifully……thanks

  8. knittymummy says:

    I’ve just done my first decopage (which my husband insists is a word I’ve just made up) and I’ve used PVA, worked just fine.

  9. Liz says:

    I do have a pot of it knocking about, but I bought it several years ago. I’m definitely a fan of using DIY versions of such things if they work.

    • lulastic says:

      I am the worst- I ALWAYS think there is a DIY option. And google doesn’t tend to tell you otherwise haha. Somewhere out there there is a recipe for DIY gaffa tape!

  10. I was getting really grumpy that I couldn’t find anywhere to buy mod podge because so many American blogs use it for everything and I couldn’t find it over here. PVA and water, that I can do. Thanks for de-mystifying. Yay.

    P.S. Like the pegs. :)

  11. Charis says:

    Doh! Why am I only discovering what Mod Podge is now?! Bought it last month, ha ha! At least when it runs out I know to just replace it with PVA glue & water!

  12. Mod Podge is all over so many crafty blogs right now. I haven’t seen much of it here in Aus, only once in an art store recently. I distinctly remember seeing the price and thinking “ummm yeah, i’m sure PVA would work just fine!”

  13. TheMadHouse says:

    I have some as my friend brought it back from the us for me, but since ready how to make my own on A Place of my own, I have been just watering down PVA.

  14. sue harding says:

    i have been using watered down pva for various collages and seen it used wet to wrap materials around chairs, old phones (presumably decorative only) lamps etc to amazing effect using bright patterned cotton. Recently did a collage using an old embroidered torn cushion and including paper torn from magazines

  15. Saffron says:

    Aha, I see Sue Harding has left comment. She is my mad arty Aunt who put me onto your blog (which I lurve). Anyhoo, I need blogging advice, would like to set one up but am a bit of a technotwit. If poss, could give me a way of contacting you without using your comments bit? Thanks, Saffron (safftaylor@yahoo.com.au or freddyandviolet on Facebook)

  16. nice pegs! good tip on the PVA, I got some recently to try out decoupage but had read about Mod Podge and was wondering if I was missing out on some secret ingredient.

  17. lulastic says:

    Nope, not missing out even a dash. Consider yourself wisened to the unmystical ways of Mod Posge :)

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  19. Love. I guess will work for making kids fabric covered hairclips etc? On the ‘to do’ list!

  20. Hazel says:

    I have always been very suspicious of Modge Podge, mainly because I had only seen it on American blogs and thought that it might be something that has a different name in the UK. Turns out it does – PVA and water. Thanks very much, very useful!

  21. Make do mum says:

    Aha! I had a feeling it was just PVA with a fancy label. Great tip about applying it to the fabric before cutting it, love the little pegs :)

  22. Liz Burton says:

    Haha we just made some papier mache-decoupage thingies today using…guess what…PVA and water!

    I only started diluting it when I was once too short of glue to finish a project. This moment of extreme tightness made me realise that watering it down just a little bit, makes it go much further and doesn’t diminish it’s magic sticking powers. Then I just watered it down some more for laquering stuff etc. x

    • lulastic says:

      Cool cannae wait to see ‘em! I am ready to devoupage something big and bad, like a whole table.
      Mind you, I’d well get bored about a tenth through

  23. Erica says:

    I used to do heaps of decopage on anything and everything as a kid using none other than PVA glue! Was debating whether to get some mod podge to do a few projects, thinking it must have some miracle secret ingredient, but ill just stick with what I know now! Thanks heaps!

  24. YankeeCat says:

    Podge has a sealer in it….will this recipe hold up over time?

    • lulastic says:

      Hello. I think for craft projects this stuff will be fine – it has been used for decades after all.
      Mod podge is only a sealer to a certain extent anyway- it isn’t waterproof so you need to use varnish over the top to really make any thing modpodged or pva and water last – i.e decoupaged furniture.

      • stephen-walker says:

        there are 2 types of pva external (waterproof when dry) and internal will go misty white when damp for long time hope this helps have been using it for years without realizing this is whot the crafters where talking about

      • Esther says:

        I actually painted several jars for a candle/potpourri project six years ago or so. I put a couple of layers of Mod Podge over the paint. I tried reclaiming the jars not long ago and that stuff wasn’t budging. At. All.

        I finally gave up. Whatever is in Mod Podge definitely isn’t in the glue I’m currently using for a glass bottle arrangement for my sideboard. I thought it was just watered down glue, but it isn’t shiny and it mocks me with its unstickiness. Thankfully the paint and glue come off easily with hot water. It must be the varnish that’s missing.

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  27. Norma Hasham says:

    Wish I’d seen your site two weeks ago, have just been on a weekend workshop to make an antique book and Mod Podge was on the requirements list, I’d not come across this before so stumped up several £’s to the workshop organiser to order some. The moment I opened the jar the smell made me think ‘PVA’ and I have to admit I felt somewhat cheated. Thanks for confirming my suspicion, I now know what to use in future

  28. I’m so glad I found this post! I have recently started blogging, as well as following your blog and just the other day I had searched for Mod Podge, figuring there might be a homemade version recipe out there. I have never used it before – the real thing or homemade – but saw this cute idea: http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2011/04/cereal-box-crafts-notepads.html and just have to have some to make them as Christmas gifts for some kids I know!

    Do you think the homemade will hold up on something like that?

    Thanks for a wonderful blog – I love it here!

    • lulastic says:

      AHHH thanks! Sorry for late response! I love those :) and your own version. I would make it more glue than water, I d tend to tweak the rations depending on the materials I work with.

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  30. Ginger Davis Allman says:

    Oh…just like others, I wish I had read this two days ago. I have been using Golden Acrylic Medium and ran out of it for a collage project. The closest store doesn’t carry Golden products so I looked online to see if Mod Podge was the same thing. Page after page of scrapbooking forums said it was the same thing. So I bought it. And the minute I opened it I could smell the PVA and new instantly that I had just wasted my time, my money, and and sadly, my project. Mod Podge is PVA glue. Elmer’s Glue-All. Aleene’s Tacky Glue. Same darned thing. I want my $5 back.

    And I agree with you about the Hellman’s. Nothing else comes close.

    • lulastic says:

      Ah good, I am so glad we are clear on that! (Hellmans)
      I would love to hear your feedback , once you have been through a jar of it. I truly haven’t found anything where this stuff hasn’t sorted me out.

      That $5 could just be part of your Craft Trials fund :)

  31. Teri says:

    A load of blogs I follow use mod podge for just about everything. As a lot of them are American. I thought i’d be unable to get it in the UK. I found it online but its way out of my pocket and here you are giving me an affordable version! I can’t believe its just PVA and water. I will be making lots of this up!! Thanks so much! :-)

  32. Kathy says:

    What the heck is PVA glue?

  33. Rachael says:

    Tysm im going to doing your version off it, ty for sharing xxxx

  34. Kristina says:

    What kind of glue do I use? I don’t know what PVA is and I don’t have a pound land here.

  35. Vix says:

    Home made all the way for me!! I got very lucky and found some 1950′s Times Supplements on freecycle and used them to decoupage a boring bookcase! I used good old pva and water and it looks fab :)

    Also, I found your blog quite by accident but I love it x

  36. Fabric lover says:

    So the matte mod podge would just be the PVA and water? I want to make a book purse for my friend and don’t want to splash out on mod podge :)

  37. earthy says:

    I made some up and ive tried to transfer graphics on a shabbied table and its not as good as mod :( any tips?

  38. jan evans says:

    Hi I saw an item on Pinterest about making plain glass look like coloured frosted glass using something called Elmers glue [we don't have it in England] and food colouring would that work with your recipe ? ps Glad to know I am not the only one with the Helmans, i make most savoury sandwiches with it and always lick the spoon clean !

    • jan evans says:

      PPS Just been mooching around your blog [came to it via mod podge] to find out that you were in England now in NZ so you probably don’t know what elmers glue is either !

  39. Jacinta says:

    I am a massive mod podge fan but you are right it is a very expensive product and I always figured it must be pva glue and something else. Was heading out today to buy some but I will give the homemade version a go :) there are plenty of different brands doing the same thing and mod podge has released another 20+ different types, from glitter to 3D! Would love some info on how to make all the different types one day :) thanks heaps Xx

  40. Kim says:

    Hey, I was just wondering if this would make it as waterproof as Modge Podge claims to be. I have a few projects up my sleeve, one being some ceramic photo tiles but I read somewhere that the homemade modgepodge doesn’t work as well on this type of thing although I am really quite reluctant to spend nearly £10 on the stuff if the home made stuff will work just as well?

    In anticipation of your response.

    Great site by the way, glad I stumbled upon it

    Kim x

  41. Kay says:

    Thank you so much for the tip. You’ve just saved me a small fortunes worth : )
    So glad i came across your blog and will be checking in for more tips and thrifty ideas soon xxx

  42. Kristina says:

    I was just wondering if anyone has tried this on glass? or if anyone could recommend an alternative for gluing glitter to glass?
    Many thanks :)

  43. Corrine says:

    Hi lovey, Thank you for your post about alternative mod podge! Just one question, does the finished project go yellow after time, as this happened to a tray I place photographs on, using PVA glue, which spoilt the effect? Modge Podge claims not to go yellow?

    Whats you opinon in this matter.

  44. MARY says:

    Does this also work the same for the photo transfer onto other materials? ie. wood? Thanks

  45. Jojo says:

    Hi there

    Phew was just about to order mode podge so glad I found you cause I’m pregnant and need to keep hold of out money and I have pva glue xxx

    So my question is I’ve just seen a few youtube clips of photo transfer using mode podge is the Receipe different for photo transfer? Xxx

    Jo :) xxx

    • Lucy says:

      So sorry, I haven’t tried it. Do a version that doesn’t matter if it goes wrong and let us know!

    • dany says:

      Hi Jo
      Just wonder if you have found out about the Pva and MP yet ? I am also would like to transfer photo to canvas but not sure about pva turning yellow after sometimes I was told ? Can you post once you find out please.
      Thank you

  46. Jon says:

    Great blog!

    Can anyone recommend a place to get polyurethane as a paint-on? As opposed to a spray. Something in me says it would be easier to paint on – but perhaps I should give the spray a go.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    • Lucy says:

      I get my poly from the hardware store… Does that help?

      • Jon says:

        Sorry, was that here in the uk? If so, could you tell me the name of it and I’ll google it. All I can find is poly in a spray can :-(

        Perhaps it has another name?

        Many thanks

  47. Jennifer says:

    That’s the same recipe I use for the “starch” I use to stiffen my crochet ornaments. It’s amazing what manufacturers try to make us believe we can’t live without.

  48. dany says:

    I am glad to find your website.
    I would like to transfer picture to canvas and was told that pva will go yellow after a few years ….MP won’t !
    Have you experienced that ? Please let me know ….much appreciated!!!!

  49. Julie Penson says:

    I too was scouring the web looking for the miracle that was modge podge – It now turns out that i’ve already modge podged the whole of my bedroom without realising! I bought some old books from a charity store and used the pages to paper my whole room…it looks fantastic and the cost was absolutely minimal. I just brushed the wall with my pva/water mix, applied the book page (I did batches of 6, so that it didn’t dry out) then brushed the same mix over the top. It’s stood the test of time for 12 months so far – I also covered 2 mismatched tables so that the whole room matched. I’m so glad i’ve finally solved the mystery :)

  50. thanks for the tip i always wondered what modge pod was so i googled it and up pops your site thanks for all your advice super person

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