Make Your Own Shoe Glue: A Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever found yourself in a shoe emergency, but with no glue on hand? Fear not, as it turns out, making your shoe glue is not rocket science. With just a few ingredients that you likely have in your kitchen, you can whip up a high-quality adhesive that will save your favorite pair of kicks. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll take you through the steps of making your shoe glue. Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before; we’ll make sure to keep it simple and straightforward. So, grab your apron, put on the kettle, and let’s get started!


When it comes to making shoe glue, having the right materials is key. By using quality ingredients and tools, you can create a durable and long-lasting adhesive that will keep your shoes intact. Here is a list of the materials you will need for this project:

For the Glue

To make shoe glue, you’ll need some specific materials. To create the glue, you’ll need gelatin, water, vinegar, and glycerin. Here are the details for each of these materials:

Gelatin: Gelatin is the base for the glue. It comes in powder form and can be purchased at any grocery store. Be sure to get unflavored gelatin for this project.

Water: You’ll need water to combine with the gelatin. Room temperature or cold water work best for this recipe.

Vinegar: Vinegar will help to preserve the glue and increase its stickiness. White vinegar is the best type to use for this recipe.

Glycerin: Glycerin is used to increase flexibility and stretchiness in the glue. Vegetable glycerin can be found in most health food stores.

Using the correct materials is essential to making a strong shoe glue. If you use low-quality materials, you run the risk of your glue not being strong enough to stick your shoes back together.

If you’re unsure about what type of glue to use for a specific type of shoe, do some research beforehand. For example, Birkenstocks are typically made of cork, leather, and rubber, so they require a strong adhesive that can handle those materials. You can find more information on how to glue Birkenstocks in our other article.

Different types of shoes require different types of glues. Nike, for example, uses a specialized glue for their shoes to ensure they withstand intense activity. You can read more about what glue Nike uses in our other article.

For those looking to add some flair to their shoes, glitter is a popular choice. However, you’ll need a specific type of glue that can handle the glitter and the shoe material. Read our other article on what glue to use on shoes for glitter for more information.

Leather shoes can be tricky to repair, and using the wrong glue could result in permanent damage. We have another article on what glue for leather that can help you with this issue. You’ll also learn how to glue leather properly.

Choosing the right materials is crucial when making shoe glue. If you’re unsure what type of glue to use, do some research beforehand. It can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

For the Application

The way you apply your DIY shoe glue is as important as the mixture itself. Here is what you will need for a successful shoe glue application:

  • Clamps or clips: They help hold your shoe in place as the glue dries. Choose clamps or clips that are easy to adjust and that won’t scratch or damage your shoes.
  • Sanding sponge: Use a sanding sponge to smooth rough surfaces on your shoes before applying the glue. This will help the glue adhere better and create a stronger bond.
  • Brush: A small brush such as a foam brush or a cotton swab can be used to apply the glue to your shoes. The brush should be small enough to navigate around small corners, but big enough to cover larger areas with ease.
  • Clean cloth: Use a clean cloth to wipe away any excess glue from your shoes as you work.

Remember, the glue mixture dries quickly, so work fast and avoid applying too much glue at once to prevent it from drying out before you’re ready. If you’re trying to glue glitter on your shoes, check out our article on how to glue glitter on shoes for some tips and tricks. Also, make sure you’re using the right type of glue. To learn more about what Shoe Goo glue is, check out our article on what Shoe Goo glue is. Don’t confuse it with other types of glues like E6000 glue, as they have different applications. For more information on this matter, you can read our article on what shoe glue is. Finally, if you’re looking to add pennies to the sole of your shoes for extra traction, we’ve got you covered in our article on why glue pennies to shoes. Always remember to work in a well-ventilated area and follow safety precautions.


Now that you have gathered all the necessary materials, it is time to dive into the steps to make your very own shoe glue. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure that you create a strong adhesive that will bond your shoes securely. Don’t worry if this is your first time making glue – this guide will take you through each step with ease. By the end of this process, you’ll have a high-quality adhesive that will leave your shoes looking and feeling as good as new. And if you’re curious about how to use E6000 glue on shoes, check out our guide for further information. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Mix the Gelatin and Water

To start making your own shoe glue, you will need to gather the necessary materials and follow a few simple steps. The first step is to mix the gelatin and water.


Material Amount
Unflavored gelatin 4 tablespoons
Water 1/2 cup

To begin, mix the gelatin and water in a small saucepan or microwave-safe container. Stir the two ingredients together until the gelatin is fully dissolved.

It’s important to note that the quality of gelatin you use is also key to ensuring the glue’s effectiveness. Try to use a high-quality, unflavored gelatin brand for optimal results.

Once the gelatin and water are fully mixed, you can move on to the next step in the process. But before doing so, make sure to read the following tips and tricks to ensure your ultimate success in making shoe glue.

Learn how to use E6000 glue on shoes for additional tips on keeping your shoes in great condition.

Step 2: Add Vinegar and Glycerin

Once you have mixed the gelatin and water, it’s time to add vinegar and glycerin to the mixture. These two ingredients are essential for the adhesive properties of the glue.

Ingredients Amount
White vinegar 2 teaspoons
Glycerin 1 teaspoon

Vinegar is a weak acid that helps to break down the gelatin proteins and create a more powerful adhesive bond. It also acts as a preservative, which helps to extend the life of the glue.

Glycerin is a thick, sticky liquid that helps to give the glue a smoother consistency and improves its ability to adhere to different surfaces. It also helps to prevent the glue from drying out too quickly.

Once you add vinegar and glycerin to the mixture, stir everything together until it’s well combined. You should have a smooth and slightly thick liquid. The next step is to heat the mixture, so be sure to keep the mixture handy.

Step 3: Heat the Mixture

Once you have your mixture of gelatin, water, vinegar, and glycerin prepared, it’s time to heat it. This step is crucial to activate the gelatin, allowing it to form a strong bond when applied to your shoe or other project. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Prepare a double boiler: Fill a small pot with water and place it on the stove. Bring the water to a simmer. Place another pot or heat-safe bowl on top of the simmering water, making sure it’s big enough to hold the glue mixture. This creates a double boiler, allowing you to gently heat the mixture without overheating or burning it.
  2. Pour the mixture into the top pot or bowl: Carefully pour your glue mixture into the top pot or bowl. Use a spatula to scrape as much of the mixture out of the original mixing bowl as possible. Be sure to wear oven mitts or use a pot holder to avoid burning yourself.
  3. Heat the mixture: Allow the mixture to heat up in the double boiler, stirring occasionally. You can use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature—it should reach around 150°F (65°C). Heating the mixture thoroughly will help it liquify and become easier to apply. It will also activate the gelatin, making it sticky and adhesive.
  4. Remove the mixture from heat: Once the mixture has reached the desired temperature, use oven mitts or a pot holder to carefully remove it from the double boiler. Turn off the heat and remove the pot of water from the stove as well.
  5. Let the mixture cool: Allow the glue mixture to cool slightly before using it. You don’t want to apply it to your project when it’s too hot—the heat could warp the materials or cause the glue to glob up and become ineffective. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Heating the mixture is a key step in creating a strong and durable shoe glue. Be sure to follow these steps carefully and take your time to avoid damaging your project.

Step 4: Store and Use the Glue

Once you have made your homemade shoe glue, it is important to store it correctly to ensure its effectiveness. Here are some tips on how to store and use your shoe glue:

  • Use airtight containers: When you are not using your shoe glue, it is important to store it in a container that is airtight. This will prevent the glue from drying out and becoming unusable. You can use a small glass jar with a lid or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Label the container: To avoid confusion, it is a good idea to label your container with the date you made the glue and the type of glue it is. This will help you keep track of how long the glue has been stored and whether it has been used before.
  • Store in a cool, dry place: Temperature and moisture can affect the quality of your glue. Store your glue in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. A pantry or a cupboard is a good place to store your shoe glue.
  • Shake well before use: Before using your shoe glue, give it a good shake to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed. This will help to ensure that the glue is effective and spreads evenly.
  • Apply sparingly: When applying the glue, it is important to apply it sparingly. A little goes a long way, and too much glue can cause the shoe to become stiff and uncomfortable to wear. Apply a thin layer of glue to the area that needs to be repaired and press the surfaces together firmly.
  • Allow to dry completely: Once you have applied the glue, it is important to allow it to dry completely before wearing the shoes again. This will ensure that the glue has had time to set and will be strong enough to hold the shoe together.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your homemade shoe glue is stored and used correctly, allowing you to save money by repairing your shoes at home.

Tips and Tricks

Making your own shoe glue can seem daunting, but with the right tips and tricks, you can make a successful batch. Here are some helpful tips:

Mixing the ingredients: When mixing the gelatin and water, be sure to add the gelatin to the water slowly and stir constantly. This will prevent clumps from forming and ensure a uniform mixture.

Heating the glue: When heating the glue mixture, use a double boiler or place the container in a water bath. This will prevent the glue from burning and ensure a smooth consistency.

Adding glycerin: Adding glycerin to the glue mixture will give it elasticity and prevent it from becoming brittle. Be sure to measure the glycerin accurately, as too much can make the glue weak.

Storage: Store the glue in an airtight container, such as a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will prevent the glue from spoiling or becoming less effective over time.

Application: When applying the glue, use a small brush or toothpick to apply a thin, even layer to the area to be glued. Press the surfaces firmly together and allow the glue to dry completely before handling the shoe.

By following these tips and tricks, you can make your own shoe glue successfully. Remember that practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment with the ratio of ingredients to find what works best for you.


In conclusion, making shoe glue at home is not only a cost-effective solution but also a fun and creative project to try out. With just a few simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can make a high-quality adhesive that’s perfect for all your DIY shoe repair needs.

Remember, when making shoe glue, it’s essential to use high-quality ingredients, such as gelatin and glycerin, to ensure the strength and longevity of the glue. Also, be sure to follow the steps carefully and pay attention to the temperature and consistency of the mixture to ensure the best results.

Additionally, you can customize your shoe glue by experimenting with different ingredients and ratios, such as using cornstarch instead of gelatin or adding essential oils for a pleasant fragrance. The possibilities are endless, making it a great way to unleash your creativity and try something new.

So next time you have a pair of shoes in need of repair, don’t rush out to buy a new pair. Instead, gather your materials and try making shoe glue at home. Who knows, you may even discover a passion for DIY shoe repair and start fixing all of your footwear yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can shoe glue be made at home?

Yes, shoe glue can be made at home with a few simple ingredients.

What are the materials needed to make shoe glue?

You will need gelatin, water, vinegar, glycerin, a double boiler, and a container to store the glue.

Is it difficult to make shoe glue?

No, it is not difficult to make shoe glue. The process is fairly simple and straightforward.

How strong is homemade shoe glue?

Homemade shoe glue can be just as strong as store-bought options when made properly.

What type of vinegar should be used for shoe glue?

White vinegar should be used for making shoe glue.

What is the purpose of the glycerin in shoe glue?

Glycerin is used to give the shoe glue some elasticity so that it can move with the shoe.

Can homemade shoe glue be used for any type of shoe?

Homemade shoe glue can be used for most types of shoes, including leather, rubber, and canvas.

How long does homemade shoe glue last?

Homemade shoe glue can last for several weeks when stored properly in an airtight container.

Can shoe glue be used for other purposes besides shoes?

Yes, shoe glue can be used for a variety of purposes, including repairing small household repairs or crafting projects.

Is homemade shoe glue more cost-effective than store-bought options?

Yes, homemade shoe glue is typically more cost-effective than store-bought options, as the materials are relatively inexpensive and can be easily found at most grocery or craft stores.


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