Mod Podge Collage and Decoupage Medium

Mod podgin' it
Silly Eagle Books/Flickr

Mod Podge is an acid-free brand of glue produced by Plaid. Mod Podge is useful for collage and decoupage as it can be used both to glue something down and as a protective layer over it (instead of a varnish). It is available in a variety of finishes, including gloss, satin, or matte, as well as specialty finishes such as antique matte, super gloss, sparkle, and outdoor which is specially designed for sealing and protecting materials that are exposed to the elements.

Uses of Mod Podge

Mod Podge is a milky white liquid that can be applied with a brush or foam brush and dries transparent in less than 10 minutes. It is water soluble and easy to clean up with a damp cloth.

You can also get Mod Podge in Sheer Color, which adds a bit of glossy transparent color to your finished product.

Because the original Mod Podge is certified AP Non-toxic it can be used for children's craft projects as well as adults. Be sure to look for this seal on products you intend to use with children. 

The company website describes it as a "the original all-in-one glue, sealer and finish"1. The name was derived from its creator, Jan Wetstone, from the terms "modern decoupage"2.

Buy from Amazon: Mod Podge

Authentic Mod Podge vs. Home-Made

You can find recipes for home-made mod podge on the internet, some made from ingredients in your kitchen, much more involve diluting glue with water and adding a bit of acrylic varnish.

But while Mod Podge is a glue, it has stronger bonding properties than a craft glue and also contains sealer and varnishing ingredients in the formula that make it more durable. The consensus is that it is worth spending a bit more to get the real thing than to make your own and risk ruining your project or having it yellow and flake off before long.

Mod Podge Is Not a Replacement for Acrylic Varnish on Fine Art

While Mod Podge is quite versatile and can be used for mixed-media projects and combined with acrylic paint (also water-based) for some interesting effects, it is a craft supply rather than a fine art supply and should not be used as a substitute for acrylic varnish on a finished painting.

A professional acrylic varnish - whether glossy, matte, or satin - protects the surface of the painting from dirt and dust and unifies the painting, evening out the final appearance so that it is a consistent sheen. It absorbs the dirt and dust and can be removed and reapplied to give the painting a fresh appearance.

You can also use acrylic varnish over a finished piece you've created with Mod Podge to make your piece more durable. 

Further Reading and Viewing

Mod Podge Rocks!: Decoupage Your World, by Amy Andersen, also the author of the website Mod Podge Rocks. This book consists of a variety of creative and interesting decoupage projects ranging from holiday decor to home accessories to jewelry that will inspire you to create your own masterpieces. 

Mod Podge Tutorial: Basic Steps of Applying Paper to Wood Using Mod Podge (video tutorial)

Learn All About The 8 Original Mod Podge Formulas from Plaid Craft TV (video tutorial)

Updated by Lisa Marder



1&2 Plaid website, accessed 14 May 2011.