crafter doing decoupage

Mod Podge Use: It’s a Glue and a Sealer!

Mod Podge. It always reminds me of a tv show I watched in the 70s — Hodge Podge Lodge. I don’t know if it’s because of that show name, but I’ve always had a weird feeling about Mod Podge like it’s a poor woman’s PVA. But it’s not. 

bottle of Mod Podge

What is Mod Podge?

Mod Podge is a glue, sealer, and finish used in various crafting and DIY projects. It is a water-based sealer composed of polyvinyl acetate (a.k.a. PVA) and water. Its primary purpose is to be used as an adhesive and sealant for paper, fabric, and other materials. The original use was for decoupaging or creating collages. Use it to seal and protect surfaces, such as wood, paper, or canvas, or to add a glossy or matte finish to a project. Mod Podge is versatile, easy to use, and available in 3 finishes: glossy, matte, and sparkle.

There are also several types of Mod Podge, such as crackle, glow-in-the-dark, glitter, and more! You can check out a great blog called Mod Podge Rocks to learn all about them, how to use them, and all the crafts you can make with Mod Podge.

How Do You Use Mod Podge?

  1. Clean and dry your substrate. No dust, dirt, or grease should be on there.
  2. Apply Mod Podge by using a paintbrush or roller. I prefer a sponge brush for this, so I get fewer brush marks. In addition, you want a thin, even layer that covers the entire substrate. And make sure it’s even — no globs!
  3. Add your collage materials, such as paper, fabric, or glitter, onto the substrate and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles. An old credit card or scraper tool works well for this. Start from the middle of the collage material and gently work your way out to the edges.
  4. Seal your work by applying a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top. This gives your work a nice finish, especially if you use the sparkle Mod Podge!
  5. Let the Mod Podge dry! I know you’re excited about your project, but wait to touch it or move it until it is completely dry. 15-20 minutes should do it if you’re impatient. I try to let it go longer.
  6. Depending on what you’re working on, you might need to add a few more layers of Mod Podge to get the results you’re looking for.

What’s the Best Use For Mod Podge?

Mod Podge can be used in various projects and crafting techniques:

  1. Probably the most popular use is for decoupage. Decoupage is where you decorate an object by gluing fabric, paper, and/or other materials (*coughglittercough*). You can also add things like paint, leafing, and other embellishments. Think about all the unfinished wood items you see at Michaels or JoAnn. You could have a field day!
  2. My favorite use is making collages with paper, photographs, and other materials on a flat surface, such as paper, canvas, or wood. 
  3. Use Mod Podge to do photo transfers onto canvas or wood.
  4. Use Mod Podge to stiffen fabric to create dimensional embellishments for other projects.

Does Mod Podge turn yellow?

Nope. But the color of your substrate and/or papers, fabric, etc., may affect the final outcome. For example, if the paper underneath the Mod Podge yellows, it will appear that the Mod Podge is yellowing. In addition, too much UV light, humidity, or extreme temps could cause yellowing. So keep your Mod Podged (can we make that a word?) items in a cool, dry place, and don’t leave them in direct sunlight. Another idea is to use a UV-protectant topcoat to help protect your items.

How Is Mod Podge Used For Paper Mache?

Yes, Mod Podge can be used for paper mache. It is an excellent adhesive for attaching paper pieces to a form, and it also serves as a sealer to protect the final project.

To use Mod Podge for paper mache, you will need to tear or cut strips of paper and apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the form. Then you can add the strips of paper to the form, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.

Once the form is completely covered, apply a final layer of Mod Podge to seal the paper mache.

Again, it’s important to note that you should apply the Mod Podge in thin layers and let it dry completely between each layer. You should also use a paintbrush or roller to apply the Mod Podge evenly and avoid getting it too thick in one area.

Mod Podge is a great alternative to traditional paper mache paste, which is often made with flour and water, as it dries clear and does not yellow over time; it also gives a nice seal that makes the final project more durable.

Can You Use Mod Podge On Fabric?

Yes, you can use Mod Podge on fabric. But try using the Mod Podge formula specially made for fabric.

When using Mod Podge on fabric, it’s important to note that the material should be washed and dried before starting the project to avoid shrinkage or bleeding. Also, it is important to test a small area of the fabric to ensure that it does not bleed or shrink before starting the main project.

How to use mod podge on fabric: apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the surface, place the fabric on top of the Mod Podge, and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles. Once the material is in place, apply a final layer of Mod Podge to seal the fabric.

Mod Podge can make various fabric crafts, such as creating custom T-shirts, bags, or even stiffening fabric to make flowers, bows, or other embellishments.

Is Mod Podge Safe For Children?

Mod Podge is generally considered safe for children to use, as it is non-toxic and water-based. However, please supervise your kids and don’t let them eat it! It could cause skin irritation and (I would imagine) some gastric issues if they do.

Use Mod Podge in a well-ventilated area. It’s also important to remind your kiddos to wash their hands after using the product.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that while Mod Podge is non-toxic, it is not food safe, so it’s not recommended to use it on items that will come into contact with food, such as plates or cups. Be sure, in this case, to use dishwasher-safe Mod Podge.

To ensure the safety of your children, it’s recommended to use the non-toxic and water-based Mod Podge formula, like the Mod Podge formula for Kids and Mod Podge washable formula.

All in all, Mod Podge is a versatile and inexpensive product for you to keep in your craft stash. Have you made something with Mod Podge lately? Give us a link in the comments!

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