You will be unsurprised to learn that we go through a LOT of glue around here. I try to buy the kids' glue only during back-to-school sales, when they're vastly cheaper than at other times, and I probably shop the back-to-school sales flyers even more avidly than the most penny-pinching parent of an institutionally-schooled kid, because whereas that parent might purchase one six-pack of Elmer's glue sticks for a dollar, I purchase ten of them.
The glue sticks give me agonies because of their plastic waste, but I still stock up because they're the best glue for all the daily little paper projects that the girls do, and they WILL go through 60 glue sticks in 12 months, I heartily assure you. I did better with the bottles of white school glue that I bought last year--I bought a dozen or so bottles (at a quarter apiece!) AND a gallon of Elmer's at the local office supply store. I took care of the small bottles, refilled them from the gallon jug as needed (as well as pulling from the gallon jug when I need glue for projects like gak and shaving cream puff paint), and did not need to purchase any new ones this year.
I over-purchased on the bottles last year (honestly, I DO know that even two children cannot each use six bottles of glue at the same time, three per hand) because I wasn't sure how durable they'd be for frequent refilling--those orange caps do break--but now that I've still got them, it's been in the back of my mind to do something fun with the extra bottles, to get them out of the glue bin and into the art rotation. I was thinking glitter glue, or perhaps tempera paint thickened with a little cornstarch, but finding this black glue and watercolor resist tutorial on the Pink and Green Mama blog was like some kind of personal jackpot for me.
I set out ten or so bottles of Elmer's glue--
Strathmore watercolor paper to play with it all:
My favorite part of this dyed glue is that it dries puffy, like the shaving cream + glue puff paint that the girls and I create sometimes, but unlike the shaving cream puff paint, this glue paint can live happily in its glue bottle on the girls' art shelves, to be taken down anytime they desire to make a little more art.