DIY Fabric Stiffener

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DIY Fabric Stiffeners and Starches

I recently got back into the fabulous world of macrame. In doing so, I quickly started looking at the cost of fabric stiffeners and decided I definitely need a DIY fabric stiffener. At about $1 an ounce, I decided this simply wouldn’t do, so down the DIY hole I went in search of the absolute best recipe for DIY fabric stiffeners and starches!

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Things I used


Elmers glue/School Glue

Mod Podge




Recipe Number 1: Glue and Water

Mixing equal parts of school glue and water and stirring them together worked very well. It is a milky white consistency when wet, but dries completely clear. If you are using this to stiffen fabric, it definitely does the job. Probably number 2 of my favorite recipes of all of them. If you want your fabric stiffer…simply decrease the amount of water that you use when mixing. Still dries clear and it is non-toxic.

Recipe Number 2: Mod Podge and Water

I mixed 2 parts Mod Podge and 1 part water. This also works really well. It is thin enough to dip my cord in, stays wet enough to comb it out afterward, and it dries totally clear. As long as Mod Podge is in stock this is probably my go to. You can stretch your product a little further and get the same result without paying for their Stiffy recipe.

Recipe Number 3: Cornstarch and Water

For this recipe, I mixed 1 Tbsp. of cornstarch with 1/3 C tap water to dissolve the starch, and then put 1/3 C water in the microwave and heated it for 2 minutes and stirred the cornstarch mixture into it when it was done. This had a much thicker consistency, but it did dry clear. It didn’t firm things up the way I wanted though. If I were doing a smaller project, like a fringe on a wall hanging or something this would be fine…but for feathers I just was not a fan.

Recipe Number 4: Flour and Water

For this last recipe, I mixed 1 Tbsp. flour with 1 C of boiling water and stirred for what seemed like forever as it cooled. It does not dry clear. It dries a kind of off-white color. So this one is out for me based on that. It also took way to long to make, and had a wierd consistency when I was done. So out of the four I tried, this one was a bomb for sure.

When Would I Use Fabric Stiffener?

I went on this hunt because I recently became obsessed with macrame. Like my DIY Macrame Feather. So to get the fringe right and to shape the feather I needed to stiffen it. But stiffener has been used in thread crochet for years…which is how I got the original idea. But no matter what your application is, I hope you found this information useful. Happy creating!

DIY Fabric Stiffener

Until next time,

XoXo Tina

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