How to Make Homemade Bookbinding Glue

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Making bookbinding glue requires only simple ingredients, all of which you can find in your own kitchen. But there are a few basic guidelines you should know before you start. With this information, you'll be on your way to making and repairing your own books in just a few steps.

Tip

  • Basic Guidelines: The three types of glue most common in household bookbinding projects are hot glue, white glue, and wheat glue. All three are widely used. Critics seem to agree that hot glue dries too quickly and that wheat glue is the best option. However, a nice compromise seems to be a combination of white glue and wheat glue.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 part cake flour (because it's low in gluten)
  • 5 parts distilled water
  • Non-stick pan
  • Fork or whisk
  • Stove

Tip

  • A batch of homemade glue will last from 2 to 4 days, so determine the amount you will need based on the 1 to 5 ratio and what you can use in that timeframe.

Step 1

Place the cake flour in a non-metallic bowl. Slowly add 1/2 of the water while stirring with the whisk or fork. Stir until there are no lumps remaining.

Step 2

Continue to stir, slowly adding the remainder of the water to the pan. Mix until the color is uniform and there are no remaining lumps.

Step 3

Put the pan on the stove at a medium-low setting and heat until it comes to a boil. Stir quickly and reduce heat to a low simmer.

Step 4

Simmer until the glue is the appropriate consistency. This happens very quickly, from 1/2 a minute to 2 minutes total.

Step 5

Remove from the heat and stir a couple of times. Then leave to cool.

Tip

  • If for some reason lumps have developed during the heating process, then you may run the glue through a sieve while it is still warm.

There are many things, including white glue, that can be added to wheat paste to highlight specific properties. See this listing for examples.

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