Friday, December 18, 2015

10 Tips for Using Hot Glue

First thing I want us all to agree on is that hot glue is great.  It can attach almost anything to almost anything else. Wood to metal to paper to cork. Hot glue is also better because it causes less damage than your average adhesive. And although it sometimes gives you burns I think it's worth it!

1. There are basically three types of hot glue guns out there: high, low and dual temp and they come in different sizes. Basically the important thing to know is that the higher the temp the stronger the attachment. So if you're working with large or heavier things better to use a high temp. I always use that just in case.

2. When shopping for hot glue sticks, make sure you are getting the right kind of sticks based on the type of glue gun you have, and be sure to get the right size!  Those miniature glue guns will not work with standard sized glue sticks and vice versa.

3. Before you start working let the glue gun warm up fully before attempting to use it. The hotter the glue is, the better the glue will work! If it's not hot enough the flow will not be good and you'll just get frustrated...

4. DO NOT hold the glue gun super far away from the object you are gluing. That will create long annoying strings, which are easy to remove, but why make more mess than you need to? The best way to use a hot glue gun is to put it right next to the object and use a small amount of glue. Then lay off the trigger, pull the tip sideways just a bit to "cap" the glue and pull away.

5. Oh...and don't forget... NEVER touch hot glue when it is HOT!  Just don’t!

6. Only squeeze half the glue out that you think you need. Less burns, less strings and more glue for more projects!

7. Evaluate your materials before starting to glue.  Use the right temperature and when in doubt, TEST!! For example If you’re using a glue gun on Styrofoam, be sure it’s a low-temp glue gun. You can use a high-temp gun, but it might melt a small portion of the foam.

8. Place a piece or scrap of tile under the glue gun to catch glue drips otherwise you might end up with little hills of dried glue on your craft mat and that's really annoying to clean.

9. When you finish your project: make sure you allow the glue to dry fully before moving the project. Hot glue dries quickly, but not THAT quickly.

10. I also use a hot glue gun to create texture on art projects. You can actually "draw" with it. I create lines and other shapes for example HERE and HERE.

Even if you're not convinced I think a hot glue gun is a useful tool a crafter or artist should have. You can but a small one that doesn't take too much space and one day you might just find yourself using it.

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Have fun creating!


  1. You can also use hot glue to make a stencil for mixed media projects. Just make sure that the glue lines connect. I love my hot glue gun.

  2. I love it too...Thanks for the great tip!

  3. thank you. my friend gave me a new mini one. bought guerilla glue sticks and they get super hot! i've been keeping a tool or stick so i can smooth it in between layers and not get blisteed fingers!