Friday, January 28, 2011

Cornstarch Glue, and Valentines, Too

Have I spoken to you of my famous daughter, spokesgirl for the line of bulk cornstarch for sale at Kodo Kids? I traded them usage of the photos from my oobleck tutorial, and they gave me an awesome-big bag of cornstarch, along with a couple of scoops and a chute for it.

We have made SO many things with our cornstarch:
  • scented powder
  • oobleck
  • more oobleck
  • pudding
  • gravy
  • some more oobleck
  • and, most recently, cornstarch glue
Cornstarch glue is more like school paste than Elmer's glue, but it's strong and sturdy, and it's WAY cheaper and less wasteful than those darned glue sticks that we go through like crazy.

The recipe is simple:

1. Stir together one part cornstarch to three parts water, with perhaps one drop of essential oil or a couple drops of food coloring, if you wish. I've seen recipes that call for a 1:2 ratio, but I've tried that before, and the result for me was crumbly and nearly unworkable, and the girls refused to use it at all.

You'll be tempted to use a whisk, but the cornstarch mixture is going to get pretty thick all at once, so really it's best to use a wooden spoon or a fork. Stir continuously--it won't take very long.

2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, but turn it down to medium-low as soon as you feel the mixture start to get thick. It gets thick quickly, and you want to be able to take it off the heat as soon as it looks smooth but translucent, exactly like Vaseline in consistency.

3. Pop the cornstarch glue in an old butter tub, and keep it in the refrigerator when you're not using it.

To apply the glue, you can use a popsicle stick or even a butter knife. It's perfect for kid craft projects, anything from their everyday stuff to Valentines--
--which we are quite immersed in these days, as you can well imagine.

P.S. Do you love fun and eco-friendly kid crafts? Then you'll love my Craft Knife Facebook page!


MadScientistK said...

I bet this paste would pack into an old glue stick tube, too. Don't know how well it would spread from there, but I want to try it!

julie said...

You know, it just might! It might crumble, though, instead of spreading...I wonder if I put just a tad of borax into the recipe?

Stephanie said...

Excellent. I've make pastes for papier mache, but not for just the usual stuff! Madd has gone through all my glue sticks. Even though she had a dozen or so of her own!

Kito said...

If while in the fridge your cornstarch glue separates, pop it back in the microwave for a minute before using. It'll regain it's Vaseline consistency.

Sasha Sobaszkiewicz Griner said...

Have you ever had any issues with it going bad? Like molding or smelling rancid? Just curious before I try it out.

julie said...

I never have had an issue with the cornstarch glue going bad, but I do store it in the refrigerator between uses. I've never had an issue with it separating in the refrigerator, either, but I've always kept Kito's microwave trick in mind if it ever does!

TarNZone said...

Cornstarch vs cornflour, are they the same thing

julie said...

They are not. Cornflour is a course flour made from dried corn--it'll feel grainy in texture.

Cornstarch is soft and silky in texture.

Chibi Hoshi said...

Cornstarch is called corn flour in the UK. Corn flour in the US however is different/not the same as cornstarch and is therefore not useable.

Meleakua said...

is this glue best for pasting paper to paper or might it work for gluing a wool felt gnome hat onto a wooden peg gnome's head? :) i'm looking for something natural to finish a project i'm making for the kiddo! thanks!!

julie said...

I think it would stick, but I'm not sure how well it would stand up to a kid pulling on it.

Michelle Daley said...

i WANT TO make this project to stick material to my walls. Will it go mouldy? apparently when i choose to change the material wallpaper I can just pull it down easily.

Michelle Daley said...

Cornflour in NZ as's used in custard as well. Cornmeal is yellow, coarse and makes cornbread.

julie said...

I know that the leftover paste will for sure sour and go moldy in its container, but that also still has the liquid in it. I would think that once the paste dried thoroughly it wouldn't be able to mold or spoil, but I haven't tested it myself. Perhaps it's time to dig out all of the valentines Syd made me when she was little! I can pretend like I'm checking them for mold, while really I'm just being sentimental.

idliketocommentonthis said...

Hi do you think this glue would stick to wood? I want to decorate little bird houses for use in our "fairy forest".

idliketocommentonthis said...

It will be for outdoor use.

idliketocommentonthis said...

Not super for gluing shells to wood. Papercraft would be the best use. As it says.


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