The Craft Cabin

Hot Glue Gun: 5 Uses & 5 Tips

Barely a day goes by that we don’t pull out the glue gun to fix something or make something crafty and wonderful! It is such a quick and versatile glue that has saved manys the day in The Craft Cabin!

Just to say it’s not a catch-all solution and for some projects, it can be too destructive, not ‘sticky’ enough or overkill for what you are trying to achieve. Read our previous article on choosing the right glue for your project.


1. Cool Glue Gun or Hot Glue Gun

If you are gluing delicate items that might melt (like Styrofoam) consider using a cool glue gun. It doesn’t get as hot and takes a little longer to dry, but it causes less damage.

2. Get Scruffy

If surfaces are too smooth it can be hard for the hot glue to adhere securely. Use a bit of sandpaper or a nail file to rough up a surface in preparation for the glue.

3. Pump and Drag

If you can touch the nozzle with the surface you are putting the glue on and angle it a little when you press the trigger, as you’ll get better control of the flow of glue. Use a small amount as it spreads quickly. If possible ‘drag and lift’ the nozzle back on the surface where you are gluing in a quick motion so it wipes the nozzle clear reducing the number of glue strings.

Or another tip is to pump the glue as normal and pull back the nozzle a little and ‘spiral’ the glue gun, like you are making whipped ice cream.

4. Water Bath

If you are gluing small items and run the risk of getting hot glue on your fingers, wet your fingers first. The water will cool the glue immediately and prevent very bad burns.

5. Keep It Clean

The nozzle can get sticky and start collecting lots of dust and small debris from crafts. Keep it clean by wiping it with a scrunched-up piece of aluminum foil when it’s still wet. Drips from the hot glue can also damage the table it’s resting on so put a little bit of foil under the nozzle to catch any drips.



5 Uses For A Glue Gun

1. Craft Projects

Hot glue is an excellent choice for gluing crafty things together that need to bond quickly or is an awkward shape. Gluing artificial flowers onto a wreath, bows to ribbon, or metal embellishments onto plaques, there\’s a host of projects crying out for a glue gun.

2. Make Embellishments

Hot glue is a great medium to make lots of various shapes for your crafts. Draw an outline on a piece of baking paper and ‘draw’ the outline with the glue gun. When dry you’ll have a shape that you can easily paint – or when it’s still wet, add glitter!

Things to make with your hot glue gun. 

3. Fix Things

Your glue gun is an invaluable tool around the house as you’ll find lots of small jobs fix. If the dowel is too loose on your kitchen roll holder or glass bevel has come off a photo frame a dot of glue will fix it quickly

4. Create ‘Bumpers’

To stop drawers noisily banging closed, or doorknobs denting the wall, use hot glue to dampen noise and friction. It’s also great for the back of wall hangings to help prevent scratches or to stabilise an item on a surface

5. Make items anti-slip

Put dots of glue on the bottom of plates, knife blocks, chopping boards and other items to keep them from slipping off surfaces. Dot glue along the tops of hangers so stop tops slipping off the hanger.

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