Polyvinyl acetate or PVA glue is an adhesive made by emulsifying a polymer in water. PVA glues are very common and come in many varieties. They are typically used for crafts and woodworking. PVA glues are relatively inexpensive and non-toxic through contact with skin; however, they do contain petrochemical compounds. It's possible to mix effective substitutes for PVA glues using various household ingredients which are cheap to make and much safer if swallowed.
Many recipes for glues and pastes use corn starch or wheat flour. These are usually boiled with water. Other ingredients may include sugar or syrup. Preservatives, such as salt, vinegar and essential oils, may also be added. For a transparent glue that sticks to glass, gelatin may be used. While hese glues are non-toxic, care should be taken if they are used by people with gluten or wheat sensitivities. Gelatin glues are non-vegetarian.
This basic paste is very quick and simple to make. Made from flour and water, it is safe for children to use and works well for collage and other paper crafts. The flour is placed in a bowl or jar and mixed with water until it is the right consistency. The paste should be sticky but not too runny. A pinch of salt stirred into the mixture acts as a preservative. The paste needs to be kept in a sealed container.
Basic Glue Recipe
A basic glue can be made by mixing flour and sugar in a saucepan, then mixing them with water to make a smooth paste and heating the mixture on a medium heat. When cooled, the glue can be poured into a sealable container. A teaspoon of vinegar stops the mixture from growing mold, though it should still be sealed and stored in a refrigerator. A variant of this recipe calls for corn syrup instead of sugar.
PVA glue is sometimes used on smooth surfaces like glass. An alternative glue for use on glass can be made using gelatin. The gelatin is sprinkled onto 2 tablespoons of cold water and left to thicken. Three tablespoons of boiling skimmed milk and a few drops of wintergreen oil are mixed into the gelatin. This glue is good for sticking labels to jars or gluing tissue-paper to glass for stained glass projects. It must be used while warm.
Because PVA glue is flexible, it is sometimes used for fabric projects. Although not suitable for items that must stand up to washing, a gelatin/glycerin glue can be used for fabric crafts in place of PVA. The glycerin makes the glue stay flexible after it dries. An envelope of plain gelatin is mixed with 6 tablespoons of boiling water, 2 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 teaspoons of glycerin. The mixture can be cooled and stored. This glue is also suitable for use with paper.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
How to Use PVA Glue
PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) glue is one of the most common forms of adhesives on the market. This normally white glue is found...
How to Make Flour Paste
There's no need to purchase expensive store-bought adhesives if you're just pasting paper or other lightweight objects back together. With a little...
How to Remove PVA Glue From Clothes
Remove spilled PVA glue from fabrics. There are methods to remove the glue while still wet and when it has dried.
How to Make Beeswax Molds
Beeswax makes beautiful, semi-translucent castings of everything from Christmas ornaments to shaped candles. Premade molds can be purchased at craft stores, but...
How to Make Paper Mâché With Water & PVA Glue
Paper-mache is versatile enough to use in crafting anything from sculptures to hand-crafted masks. French for "chewed paper," it has been in...
Paper Mache Recipe With Glue
The beauty of creating crafts with paper mache is it requires no special supplies -- the items you need to make your...
How to Add PVA Glue to Mortar
PVA adhesive is useful in many scenarios in which you apply a certain coating to an existing surface. It helps the surface...
Art Projects with All-Purpose Flour
With a simple recipe for dough made from all purpose flour, salt and water, a crafter can create holiday decorations, a faux...
What Happens When You Mix Elmer's Glue & Water?
Mixing glue and water results in thinned glue, which has many applications, such as a sealant or for papier-mâché. Water will also...
What Type of Glue Sticks to Corkboard?
If you want to modify your corkboard with fabric or glued-on embellishments, choosing a suitable glue ensures you won't be left with...