There are so many different kinds of glue on the market that it is almost frightening. However, you can make your own inexpensive, non-toxic, organic, strong-bond glue. It is simple to do and it takes very little time.
It should be mentioned that this is not flour and water paste, which doesn’t form a strong bond. Flour paste is suitable for gluing paper together, but not much else. The glue recipe that follows is for crafts and wood, primarily.
I’ve been making a lot of things with wood lately and I needed some wood glue to add strength for joints between pieces of wood. I didn’t have any wood on-hand and didn’t want to go to a hardware store to buy some, knowing that it would almost certainly be overpriced.
This wood glue surpassed my expectations. It created a strong bond that dried the same color as the wood I was working with (pine, in this instance). To make it, be sure to retain about a half teaspoon of the very fine wood dust from the wood you are working with. This helps with the color match.
- 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon Knox unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 teaspoon wood dust
Wood glue instructions:
Put the gelatin in a shallow bowl. Bring the vinegar to a full rolling boil, then add it to the gelatin. Stir well until the gelatin is dissolved. A fork is useful for doing this.
While the mixture is still hot, stir in the wood dust and mix it thoroughly.
Apply wherever you need wood glue. This recipe is purposely for a small amount because it dries fairly fast. It is so easy to make that you can quickly mix more if you need it. It dries the color of the wood dust and the bond is strong enough that it can be sanded and/or painted once it is dry.
It is best to make this as you need it, but if there is excess, you can store it in an air-tight container that is just a little bigger than the amount of excess.
If you like doing crafts, you might have noticed that craft glue can be quite expensive for the small amount you get. The above recipe makes a perfectly suitable craft glue, though. Simply omit the wood dust. The glue will dry clear and hard, though it will have just enough flexibility that it holds crafts together.
Why this glue works
The bones, cartiladge, and sinews in your body are strong and yet a little flexible. This is mostly due to a protein called collagen. Without collagen, the connective tissue in your body would collapse and give way under stress.
Gelatin is made of collagen, mostly from the bones and connective tissue of cattle that have been processed for food.
Combining the gelatin with a hot, powerful acid, in the form of boiling vinegar, dissolves the collagen, giving you a clear liquid. As it cools and dries, it forms a clear, strong bond on anything it is painted on.
Adding wood dust to the mixture simply gives it color while adding strength from the wood. Although I wouldn’t recommend eating wood dust, it is edible in the amounts given in this recipe. The gelatin and the vinegar are also edible. All ingredients are natural and organic, in fact.
If the surfaces of the dried glue are painted, the glue reasonably withstands moisture, too. The cost is far less than wood glue or craft glue purchased at the store and this does a better job.
If you find yourself in need of wood or craft glue, the simplest and least expensive solution is to make your own.