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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002
  • Tues. – Fri. 10am – 4pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12pm – 5pm

Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Homemade Liquid Starch Glue

This recipe requires the use of a stove, so it is recommended for adult preparation.

In The Art Studio at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, we use liquid laundry starch as the adhesive when we offer Tissue Paper Collage projects. We like using the prepared liquid laundry starch because we go through a lot of it and can store it without refridgeration.  If, however, you can't find liquid laundry starch in the laundry area of your store, or you just prefer to make your own, below is a recipe you can use. Children can assist by measuring the ingredients.

tissue paper collage

Tools and Ingredients:

  • Sauce pan
  • Whisk
  • Mason jar or plastic screw-top container
  • 3 C. cold water
  • 3 T. cornstarch


  • Put the cornstarch in the sauce pan and first whisk in about ¼ cup of the water to make an even slurry, then whisk in the remaining water
  • Place the pan over medium heat and whisk constantly. When the mixture comes to a boil, take the pan off the heat
  • The starch will thicken as it cools. Transfer it to the screw-top container when it's no longer hot.
  • Refrigerate the starch when not in use to prevent spoilage. It should keep in the fridge for at least 1 month
  • You can tint your glue by adding food dye or liquid watercolors if you want.

To use the starch adhesive, pour a small amount (a couple of tablespoons worth) into a yogurt container or no-spill paint cup. A stiff-bristled brush works well for Tissue Paper Collage.

This recipe can also be used to make a thicker paste or homemade finger paint. Just cook the starch a little longer past the boil.

Here are some Tissue Paper collages made with Liquid Starch Adhesive:

My next experiment will be with corn-alternative starches, so if you or your young child are allergic to corn, stay tuned!


by Meghan Burch

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 am and is filed under By Meghan Burch, Collage, Homemade Materials and Tools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. Catherine Stock says:

    Thanks, I am making some crocheted bookmarks and wanted to stiffen them. I appreciate this recipe!

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