Make your homemade envelopes amazing with this DIY envelope glue. Envelope glue is painted on the envelope flap and allowed to dry. It is moistened to seal the envelope just like with regular store-bought envelopes. While you can buy envelope glue in some office supply stores, it is hard to find and can be expensive. (At this writing the current price on Amazon for a 1 ½ ounce bottle is $50. Yikes!). But you can make DIY envelope glue for pennies.
It only takes 10 minutes to make 3 ounces of DIY envelope glue – you can’t even drive to the store in that time. That’s enough for hundreds of handmade envelopes. Plus it uses just 3 ingredients (plus water) that you already have in your kitchen. It’s GMO-free and gluten free, too.
A lot of envelope glues are made with pork gelatin, the most common gelatin. It isn’t kosher, so envelopes and stamps for use in Israel don’t have a strip of lickable glue to seal them, according to my daughter who lives in Jerusalem. But you can make your own envelope glue for pennies. You can make it kosher and you can even make it taste great.
A recap of the benefits of DIY Envelope Glue
- Tastes great
- Dries clear
Here’s my recipe for DIY Envelope Glue flavoured with grapefruit essential oil. You can use any citrus essential oil or peppermint essential oil for a good tasting, lickable glue, that’s kid-friendly.
Kosher Envelope Glue That Tastes Great
This is magical glue that dries on the envelope but can be licked just like regular envelope glue to seal the envelope. It is kosher and doesn’t have a nasty taste. The essential oils are antimicrobial and help preserve it. Plus they make it taste good, too. Keep unused portions refrigerated. It should keep for a month in the fridge.
Yield: 3 fluid ounces – enough for 300+ card size envelopes
- 1 tablespoon of kosher gelatin (or 1 pouch) (This is the one I use.)
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 3 tablespoons boiling water
- ½ tsp. honey
- 12 drops grapefruit or peppermint essential oil
- 1 tablespoon of gelatin is the equivalent of one envelope of unflavoured gelatin, or 7 grams or ¼ ounce. You can use an envelope of gelatin to replace the 1 tablespoon called for in the recipe. (Note that unless marked as kosher or beef, gelatin is commonly made from pork hides and hooves.)
- Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a heat-proof glass measuring cup. Allow the gelatin to soften for 5 minutes. Pour boiling water over the gelatin. Stir well to fully dissolve the gelatin.
- Add honey and stir to mix fully. Add essential oil.
- Immediately place glue in a sanitized glass jar with a tight lid. A four ounce jam jar or cosmetic jar is the perfect size.
- Label the jar “Envelope Glue” and date it.
When to discard:
Discard it if the glue turns liquid in the fridge, has a bad smell, or becomes moldy. These are signs of spoilage. Just discard the glue and make a new batch.
- Warm the glue by placing the jar in a glass of hot tap water, until the glue turns liquid.
- Using a ¼ inch wide, stiff paint brush apply a thin line of glue on the envelope flap of each envelope you wish to seal. Allow the glue to dry for three to five minutes. The glue will dry clear. Once it is fully dry, the envelopes can be put away, for later use.
- To seal the envelopes, moisten the ribbon of glue by licking or apply a barely damp sponge to the glue surface. Seal the envelope as usual.
- Notice how good it tastes! There’s no nasty hide glue flavour. It’s acid-free and nontoxic, so it’s perfect for scrap booking and archival use, too. It’s safe for children and pets.
- Cost of the commercial product: $30+. Cost to make your own: 25 cents to 50 cents for 3 ounces.
Other ways to use this DIY hide glue
- Make stickers, stamps, and embellishments
- Use it for seed envelopes, letters, cards, and valentines
- Handmade journals and books
- Dried flowers
- Handmade papers
- Sticking paper to paper
Check out my tutorial for DIY Envelopes in Any Size for more ideas on putting this hide glue to work.