Science, Tech, Math › Science 5 Ways to Make Glue Learn how to make homemade glue Share Flipboard Email Print Westend61 / Getty Images Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated April 11, 2020 Glue is an adhesive, which means it is a material that binds substances together. While you can always find it in a store, any chemist or homemaker will tell you that there are lots of naturally sticky common household ingredients, like honey or sugar water. There are also many substances that form glue when they are mixed. In other words, it's possible to concoct glue on your own. You can make homemade glue if you're bored, or even if you want an alternative to store-bought products because you prefer natural glue. No matter why, if you're interested in learning how to make glue, here are five easy recipes. Non-Toxic Milk Glue HandmadePictures / Getty Images The best all-purpose homemade glue is made using milk as a base. This is actually much like how commercial non-toxic glue is made. Depending on how much water you add, the result can be a thick craft paste or more standard white glue. Ingredients 1/4 cup hot water2 tablespoons powdered dry milk or 1/4 cup of warm milk1 tablespoon vinegar1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon baking sodaMore water, to reach desired consistency Instructions Dissolve the powdered milk in the hot water. If you're using regular warm milk, start with just that.Stir in the vinegar. You'll see a chemical reaction occur, separating the milk into curds and whey. Continue stirring until the milk has completely separated.Filter the mixture through a coffee filter or paper towel. Discard the liquid (whey) and keep the solid curd.Mix the curd, a small amount of baking soda (about 1/8 teaspoon), and 1 teaspoon hot water. The reaction between the baking soda and the residual vinegar will cause some foaming and bubbling.Adjust the consistency of the glue to suit your needs. If the glue is lumpy, add a bit more baking soda. If it is too thick, stir in more water.Store the glue in a covered container. It will last 1 to 2 days on the counter, but 1 to 2 weeks if you refrigerate it. Corn Syrup and Corn Starch Glue Bill Oxford / Getty Images Starch and sugar are two forms of carbohydrates that become sticky when heated. Here's how to make a simple and safe glue based on cornstarch and corn syrup. You could substitute potato starch and another type of syrup if you prefer. Ingredients 3/4 cup water2 tablespoons corn syrup1 teaspoon vinegar2 tablespoons corn starch3/4 cup cold water Instructions In a saucepan, stir together the water, corn syrup, and vinegar.Bring the mixture to a full boil.In a separate cup, stir the corn starch and cold water to make a smooth mixture.Slowly stir the corn starch mixture into the boiling corn syrup solution. Return the glue mixture to a boil and continue cooking for 1 minute.Remove the glue from heat and allow it to cool. Store it in a sealed container. Easy No-Cook Paste Recipe invizbk / Getty Images The simplest and easiest homemade adhesive you can make is a paste from flour and water. Here's a quick version that does not require any cooking. It works because the water hydrates the molecules in the flour, making them sticky. Ingredients 1/2 cup flourWaterPinch of salt Instructions Stir water into flour until you get the desired gooey consistency. If it is too thick, add a small amount of water. If it's too thin, add a bit more flour.Mix in a small amount of salt. This helps prevent mold.Store the paste in a sealed container. Simple Flour and Water Glue or Paste yipengge / Getty Images While no-cook flour and water is the easiest form of homemade glue to make, you'll get a smoother and stickier paste if you cook the flour. Basically, you're making flavorless gravy. If you want, you can tint it using food coloring or even jazz it up with glitter. Ingredients 1/2 cup flour1/2 to 1 cup cold water Instructions In a saucepan, whisk together flour and cold water. Use equal portions of flour and water for a thick paste and add more water to make glue.Heat the mixture until it boils and thickens. If it is too thick, you can add a bit more water. Keep in mind that this recipe will thicken as it cools.Remove from heat. Add coloring if desired. Store the glue in a sealed container. Natural Paper Mache Paste Erin Patrice O'Brien / Getty Images Another natural glue that uses kitchen ingredients is paper mache (papier mache) paste. It's a thin type of flour-based glue that you can paint onto paper strips, or you can soak the strips in the glue and then apply them. It dries to a smooth, hard finish. Ingredients 1 cup water1/4 cup flour5 cups boiling water Instructions Stir the flour into the cup of water until no lumps remain.Whisk this mixture into the boiling water to thicken it into the glue.Allow the paper mache glue to cool before using it. If you aren't going to use it right away, add a pinch of salt to discourage mold and store the glue in a sealed container.