A friend sent me a Fridgie (small crocheted magnet) that was wonderfully stiffened. I asked her about it. Turns out, all she used was a squeeze bottle of Elmer's Glue. I asked her how she spread it around on the object, envisioning messy, globby, glued together fingers. She said, simply, cotton swabs.
This has been a real treat for me. Between spray sizing and Elmer's Glue, I am all set, at least for a while. I am always afraid of sugar starch, fearing ants all over the place (sigh), even though I have never heard of anyone having that problem. I still can't get past it in my mind.
So, I thought I'd share this with any of you who are clumsy about stiffening hand crocheted or knitted items. You do need to lay the item on waxed paper. It does not take too long to dry. And, if necessary, if you want a really hard finish, you can always apply another coat after the first is dry.