I believe a glue gun in your craft room is an essential craft tool. I find myself pulling out my glue gun often to finish up and create projects in addition to “fixing” household oopsies.
Glue guns have the ability to attach almost anything to almost anything else. Glass to wood and paper to…well just about anything.
Hot glue is also a very good alternate glue to some of the others that have toxic odors. Yes, E6000 has a useful place in my work area for certain specialty projects, but hot glue is often my first choice.
There are a few potential drawbacks to hot glue that is something to be aware of. Firstly, hot glue is…well HOT and the user has a risk of getting burned. It will happen for sure, but the more caution you take when using it the fewer blisters you will experience.
Another drawback but not as painful for sure, is that glue guns require electricity however, some newer models are battery operated. Having to be plugged in can sometimes make it a bit cumbersome to take with you to crops and retreats.
Types Of Glue Guns
Hot glue guns are typically available in three options: high, low, and dual temp. They also come in different sizes.
Basically, the important thing to know is that the higher the temperature of the glue the stronger your project will stay together.
Which glue gun you decide to use should be determined by what you are planning on doing with the glue gun. What types of materials will you be using?
Selecting the right one will depend on the project you are working on and what you want to accomplish. It’s important when using a glue gun that you chose the right one for the job.
If you plan on doing a lot of different types of craft projects you will likely want to have both types of glue guns at your disposal. It’s no fun to begin a project to then find out that you don’t have the right tools for the job. So having both available is a great way to plan ahead.
Low Temp Guns
Heats up to between 150 – 250 degrees.
A low temp gun works best for delicate items that have the potential of getting damaged or have the possibility of melting.
Low temp glue works best on delicate materials. It will not melt or burn materials like Mylar, styrofoam, nylon, etc. Low temp glue is also best used with ribbon or foil, where the glue can possibly seep through while working.
It’s good to note that low temp hot glue can much more easily soften and come apart on hot days.
Don’t be fooled, just because it is a “low temp” glue gun, does not mean that it won’t burn you. You still need to always be careful when using them.
High Temp Guns
These operate at 380 degrees are higher. Higher temp glue is best used for more durable projects like glass, metal, wood, and floral pieces.
Another notable thing to be aware of when deciding which type of glue gun you want to use is to make sure you purchase the right kind of glue sticks for the glue gun you own. Glue sticks come in low temp and high temp versions.
Miniature glue guns will not work with standard-sized glue sticks and vice versa.
You will want to make sure you know the size tip that is on your glue gun so you purchase the right size.
It can be quite frustrating when you don’t have the right type of glue or size glue stick when you get ready to create.
Hot Glue Craft Tips, Tricks And Ideas
Keeping glue sticks in the freezer can help prevent long string bands when gluing. Those long glue strands can be annoying. Especially if you have a lot of gluing to do.
The heat from a hairdryer removes strings. Simply blow-dry finished projects to remove hot glue strings.
Need to reposition hot glued items? Use an embossing gun to warm up the glue and loosen the glued area up.
Before you start working on your project allow the glue gun to fully warm up before attempting to use it. The glue will work better the hotter it is! If the glue gun is not hot enough before using it, the glue will not have a steady flow.
Hold your glue gun close to the project you are working with. Pull the trigger just long enough to get the amount of glue you want and then release the trigger. Tip the gun sideways and pull away to prevent long strands of glue.
When adding glue to a certain material or surface for the first time, do a spot test to make sure it works the way you intend it to work. This will also allow you to confirm whether you need low-temp or high-temp glue.
Many glue guns have a kickstand to allow you to place the unused gun upright. However, you will also want to have something to catch your glue drips. There are many glue gun mats and tools that are made for this specific purpose. You can easily use a kitchen dish but plan on making it a dedicated dish because won’t want to clean it after use.
Hot glue does have a cooling downtime. It doesn’t take long, but do make sure you allow your glued projects to completely cool down before moving them around.
Remember a hot glue gun is…Hot. Always take care when in use.
Fun Hot Glue Projects (Resources)
I also use a hot glue gun to create texture on art projects. You can actually “draw” with it. Here are some ideas:
Glue gun snowflakes – Using this technique you can make many different shapes using your hot glue.
Hot glue crayon rubbings – Similar technique as above, but using crayons to add color.
Glue gun cabochons – You could have so much fun making all kinds of embellishments with this little gem of an idea.
Harry Potter wands – Even though this tutorial has been around for quite some time, I think it’s a top creative genius idea.
Collection of glue gun ideas – Many ideas to get inspired
Make scrap pads – Love this next idea so much, I didn’t want to just link it, I also wanted to share it directly on this post. This is a great tip for paper crafters. I’m gonna be trying this one out for sure.
I hope this list of ideas, tips, and hacks is helpful to you. Have any other ideas you like to use a glue gun for? Please share. Because you know…sharing is caring.