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Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Glue and Sealer vs ModPodge

I am a hardcore Mod Podge fan. I have used it since I first began to decoupage, and I have always been happy with the results I get from it; plus, I love the retro-style packaging!

I am also a semi-closeted Martha Stewart fan. I check out her blog from time to time and subscribe to both her daily recipe newsletter, and her fabulous healthy living magazine, Body and Soul.

We have different aesthetics, Martha and me, but I do acknowledge and respect her crafty genius.  So you can imagine my confusion and delight the day I made a wrong turn in my local Michaels store and stumbled into: Martha Land! I had no idea she had her own line of supplies.

Feeling guilty for betraying my beloved Mod Podge, I quickly snapped up a basic glue stick and the decoupage medium–and they have sat prettily on my craft table ever since, completely untouched–until now. I figured I’d give it a shot: Martha vs. Mod Podge. I decided to decoupage basic small-diameter wooden discs that will eventually become a pair of earrings, one in my usual way with Mod Podge and one with Martha’s product.CIMG9948

Most of the time I use small, cheap brushes (like the kind that comes in watercolors) I like the precision, control over detail and the fact that if I forget to rinse it afterwards it’s no big deal if it gets ruined. It is a tiny hassle to get up and rinse the brushes, however. For large surfaces I use a big foam brush. The fact that Martha’s medium comes with it’s own brush is a big perk.CIMG9925

I used Mod Podge on the first disc. It smells and looks like basic all-purpose white glue. I like that you can see immediately where you have applied it (though it dries clear). I like to “glue” down the fabric then apply a thin layer on top immediately to seal it all in.

Moving on to Martha: wow–the brush is huge. The medium is thinner than Mod Podge and clear. I assume it will dry shiny–it doesn’t.CIMG9931

I dripped the product all over the sides of the bottle because so much gets on not only the brush but the stem as well. I had wipe off the excess onto the lip of the lid then quicky do the same for the stem to avoid major dripping.

It was hard for me to see where I applied it because it was clear, which was a bummer. The fabric didn’t seem to lay smoothly and started to fray a bit at the edges, which has never happened to me before. It was hard to have much control over the brush and I ended up painting my fingers as well.CIMG9929

By this time the Mod Podge was dry and the disc was ready to get a coat of varnish. (I use Triple Thick) I like being able to tell that it is fabric underneath so sometimes I skip this step, but since this is jewelry I want it to be able to withstand a bit of rain if it has to.

Back on Martha’s end, it seems that the decoupage medium has soaked into the fabric. It looks gummy and very wet still. I start a new project while I wait.CIMG9936

About half an hour later Martha’s disc is all set. I applied a coat of varnish then noticed that the Triple Thick is dry on the first disc so I was able to turn it over and use Mod Podge to attach fabric to the back of it.

I was feeling like it wasn’t very fair to make up my mind after one use so I decided to start a second project, on a large disc. I figured the brush might come in handy on a bigger surface.

I applied the product to the disc then pressed down the fabric. This fabric is 100% cotton instead of jersey like the first project so I thought it would not soak through the way it did the first time.

I was wrong. I got a weird dark patch where it was being absorbed into the cotton. I was hesitant to apply a coat on top immediately because I wasn’t sure if it would ruin the piece.CIMG9944

I work with scraps, which I love. Not only for the eco-factor but also because it forces me to be more creative and use what I have. It also keeps me from making too many of the same thing, if I get stuck on a fabric I love. So I can’t take the chance of ruining a tiny scrap that I can’t replace.

At this point I see that the medium is not holding the fabric to the wood and it is peeling up. I recap Martha and set her back in her spot on my crafting table. I’ll redo this piece with Mod Podge (the saturated spot did dry clear luckily).CIMG9945

*The next day:

I let everything dry over night. The Martha decoupage medium still wasn’t dry and I couldn’t apply varnish and move forward with the construction of the earrings until it was. This morning I went to check on them, the Mod Podge disc was fine and ready to go, the Martha disc had strange puckers and dimples in the fabric.

Pros:

  • Nice packaging
  • Comes with a brush
  • Made by Martha!
  • Might be good for scrapbookers and other crafters using paper or something thinner than fabric in their work.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work at all for what I need it to do. Granted, they don’t list fabric as something that it will be compatible with but it does say “paper…and more” on the label which led me to believe it was a possibility.

Will I repurchase in the future? No. And if I had my receipt, I would be tempted to return it.

Price: for$3.99 for 4oz. (currently 30% off at my local Michaels store)

Label Info:

  • This two-in-one glue and sealer is great for all your decoupage projects.Includes brush applicator.
  • Ideal for decoupage with greeting cards, tissue paper, magazine pages, postcards, stamps, tickets, and more.
  • Non-toxic & acid-free
  • Dries clear

Where to buy: The Martha Stewart line is now carried at Michaels, A.C. Moore and some WalMart stores.

Have you tried any of Martha’s products? What did you think? What is your favorite decoupage medium?

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17 Responses to Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage Glue and Sealer vs ModPodge

  1. Charlene H. July 22, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    I had purchased a coiled book from Michael’s and was going to decoupage some DSP onto the front and back. I decided to try Martha’s Decoupage. I had already done the back cover with Mod Podge. I applied Martha’s Decoupage the same way as the Mod Podge. Let it dry and sealed the top. After the it was all dry, I noticed a piece was not quite stuck down. I gently lifted it up and the whole piece of DSP came off the cover. It was nicely coated in the decoupage – kind of made it like plastic coated paper. It just didn’t stick at all to the cover of the book.

    That was my experience with it and mine now sits unused. I would be happy to hear of any other uses for this product just so I could use it up.

  2. Jenn July 22, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    Martha isn’t all she is cracked up to be according to my husband, she is a fake. Anywho, thanks for the report, I have modpodge and I guess I won’t be switching anytime soon!

  3. Christine July 22, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    I have tried a few of Martha’s products. I can honestly say I am NOT a fan of her acrylic stamp line. They have some pretty images, but it’s made out of the cheap stuff. I have to literally rip the stamps off of the clear sheet and it completely warps the image. I also have difficulty getting them to adhere to my acrylic block, or even the sheet I pulled it off from. I also don’t get very good ink application from it. I’ve tried two stamp sets thinking maybe I just purchased a defective one, but it was the same deal for both. I also noticed that, one one of the sets, the stamps were all connected at the edges. This made it doubly hard to remove since I had to go in first and cut them apart and then remove it from the plastic sheet.

    I do adore her border punches and have purchsed a few. They all work pretty consistently with crisp cuts and they haven’t lost their sharpness yet after a few months.

    I have also tried her glitter set with the glue stamp pad. Another product I’m disappointed in. I don’t know what it was, but the glitter was just not sticking. My boyfriend’s mom tried it as well and she thought maybe the glitter was too fine and that’s why it wouldn’t stick to the glue? We tried the glue pad it came with, no luck. We tried some other liquid glue I had, still not luck. We let it dry completely and the glitter would just flake off. I have yet to try any other bottles of glitter from her line due to this.

    Based on this review of the decoupage glue, I don’t think I’ll try that either.

    I’m pretty disappointed in the quality of some of her craft products.

  4. .................... July 22, 2009 at 11:27 am #

    For the comment by Charlene – Maybe it’s only useful as a top sealer? Doesn’t sound like it is any good for gluing.

  5. Lisa G July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am #

    Mid-way through your post I had already decided to stick (no pun intended!!) with my tried and true ModPodge. I finished reading in hopes of seeing the final results of your crafting projects 🙂

  6. robin July 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm #

    Look closely at the packaging… it’s not really Martha’s products but her name slapped on another brand.
    Not sure what real brand the glue is, but most of her other paper crafting “products” are really EK Success. It’s an easy way for her to license out and cash in, I guess.

  7. Jen_in_Kansas July 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    I love Mod Podge and I get the best ideas from http://modpodgerocks.blogspot.com/

  8. Dizzy Broad July 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm #

    I agree with Christine on her account of Martha’s acrylic stamps. They are of poor quality and do not ink up well even after some “conditioning” as recommended for cheap acrylics. I purchased the gingerbread images and was very disappointed as the pictured images on the stamp sheet do not match the acrylic images. The gingerbread house images, in particular, are a mess and the lines do not line up – perhaps a manufacturing defect. I’ve given these to my 5 yr old to play with.

    I do, however, adore her border punches. Just be careful on the weight of cardstock you punch on as I’ve read somewhere that they will break if you force the punch on heavier card weights.

  9. Blue Mama July 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    Hey guys, thanks so much for all the awesome feedback!

    I have the finished projects on my FlickR page! Images number 137 and 146. With the cherry earrings, the back was very warped and not so cute, but the front was fine (after I used Mod Podge and Triple Thick) the necklace was fine since I ditched the Martha medium as soon as I saw that it was not going to work.

  10. Kimberly S. July 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    I have purchased several of the Martha Stewart craft kits from my local Walmart on clearance.

    I have been displeased with all of them.

    I follow the step by step instructions, but the materials that they give you to work with are cheap and definitely don’t turn out like the image on the packaging!

  11. queenvanna July 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    thanks for trying this out so i don’t have too!! guess it firms up my belief to go with what i know – mod podge is the BOMB, i use at least 2 big bottles a month! =D

  12. scrappypug July 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm #

    I have tried Martha Stewart glue stickle, clear adhesive, and glitter glue and probably a few more glue-related items and NONE of them work. If I can get them to adhere to begin with, and thats a big IF, they invariable come off the next day or can be peeled off easily often times leaving a stain. I do not trust any of her craft line in that area at all. I have some of the regular punches and no problems there. But I won’t be buying anything else unless its on a great sale!

  13. Cathy July 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

    I have only tried Martha’s punches and her glitter which I do like. My favorite decoupage glue is good ol’ Mod Podge. Actually, I am Mod Podging a wooden paper towel rack today.

  14. Mod Podge Amy July 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    Whew! I was sweating that review the whole way through. Luckily, Mod Podge Rocks and Martha can kiss my bum! (Love her punches and rhinestones and stickers . . . okay, just her decoupage medium stinks.)

    Long live Mod Podge!

    PS. Thank u Jen_in_Kansas

  15. ScrapHappyGal September 26, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    I have purchased the Martha decoupage and was very dissapointed. I used it with my kids to make covered clipboards. What a waist of money. The kids still had fun but in my head I was thinking how horrible this product was compared to ModPodge.

  16. Anonymous October 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    I’ve been wondering if Triple Thick can be used in place of Mod Podge and I noticed that you used both. Will you explain why? I’m new at using these products 🙂

  17. LoriM August 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Thanks for this. I am new to decoupage and was buying supplies for a glittered wooden spoon project (http://somethingturquoise.com/2013/07/26/diy-glittered-wooden-spoon-favors/) but before I bought the glue and sealer I wanted to find out if ModPodge was the same thing and maybe get that instead. I think this web site with the spoon project is a Martha Stewart affiliate of some sort. So I’m glad I checked here first! The ModPodge was $4.47 for 8 oz at Walmart. They didn’t have the MS product at Walmart but it sounds like it is more expensive, too.

    Is Tacky glue the same thing? It was .97 for 4 oz. I’m guessing it doesn’t dry smooth.