Using Elmer’s washable school glue on quilts

7 10 2013

I recall hearing about Elmer’s washable school glue some time back, so when I was in an art supply store in Texas earlier this year, I picked some up (forgetting what it was useful for, but knowing that it’s not easy to find in Australia).

Then last week I came across this forum article about using Elmer’s washable school glue on quilts: There were lots of hints and tips in it, and quilters seemed to be using it for all sorts of things, including basting full quilts!

When I was quilting one of my community quilts on the weekend, I noticed that the edges were starting to pull apart, as shown in the first two photos below:



I thought about trying to stitch them down with stay stitching, but then I thought of Elmer’s glue! Why not give it a try?

I tried various ways to use Elmer’s glue to fix the edges together — straight from the bottle was a bit blobby and way too much glue, but when diluted with water (about 1:3) it was too liquid and just disappeared into the fabric and wouldn’t hold when ironed. After a bit of trial and error, I just squirted a bit of the glue into a paint tray (any plastic lid etc. would do), wet an artists’ paintbrush a tad, then dipped it into the glue and painted it onto the seams I wanted to join. I found I was able to get the right consistency and had a lot more control over the paintbrush than I had over the squirt mechanism on the glue bottle.


I only put glue on the underside of the seam, then pressed down with a finger before ironing. You can only see it pressed down here as taking a photo on a phone with only one hand is tricky 😉

After doing about 10 of these seams, I ironed them down with a hot, dry iron. This sets and dries the glue for stitching, though it will eventually wash out (you’re using WASHABLE glue),


It worked a treat and none of that stitching came apart while I finished quilting this quilt. It’s a keeper!




3 responses

7 10 2013
Community Quilt 114 | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] edges of the border were starting to pull apart so I used Elmer’s washable school glue to hold them down. Originally I was going to do ‘piano key’ stitching in the border, but […]

7 10 2013

Brilliant use for it, i picked some up at “office works” after seeing Sharon Schambers UTube video on how she does her binding. Haven’t use it yet but now have 2 uses for it

8 10 2013

Thanks for reminding us of this fabulous use for a very familiar product! I really appreciate all that you share!!!! Hugs…..

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