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10 Genius Ways to Use Your Hot Glue Gun

Lori is a budget-conscious crafter who enjoys coming up with creative uses for everyday objects.

Do you have a glue gun that's collecting dust in your junk drawer? Here are 10 ways to put it to work!

Do you have a glue gun that's collecting dust in your junk drawer? Here are 10 ways to put it to work!

What Is a Hot Glue Gun?

Hot glue guns are common electrical appliances that use continuous heating elements to melt cylinders of adhesive so they can be applied to surfaces and used as glue. These small, affordable, handheld tools allow users to melt, aim, and apply hot glue using a simple "trigger."

Hot glue guns are most commonly used in arts and crafts, but they come in handy quite often for simple repairs and miscellaneous household projects as well. In many homes, they can be found in "junk drawers" among a somewhat random assortment of other occasionally useful items.

Despite their incredible usefulness, many hot glue guns only get used here and there for the occasional crafting project. In this article, we'll explore 10 less common but totally practical uses for that hot glue gun that's been gathering dust in a drawer or closet. Below the list, you'll find information about how to use glue guns safely and a glue gun recommendation from yours truly!

10 Practical and Creative Things to Do With Your Hot Glue Gun

  1. Hem pants
  2. Fix buttons
  3. Emboss cards
  4. Make Christmas ornaments
  5. Create Halloween spider webbing
  6. Make scrapbook embellishments
  7. Create 3D molds
  8. Decorate windows (and more) for the holidays
  9. Make jewelry and art
  10. Open jars with stuck lids

1. Hem Pants

If you're in a rush and realize your hem has gone down for the count, get out that glue gun and go to town. Later on, just peel the dots of glue off or leave them on while you sew.

Use only small dabs and not full lines of glue—this makes removing the glue easier, and it won't stain the clothing. When I have done this in the past, I usually forget to remove the glue, so it just remains on mu pants unseen. Washing the clothing has no effect on the glue's adhesion.

2. Fix Buttons

Running out the door and notice you have a button that is about to fall off? If there's no time to sew it, just run some hot glue over the threads and go. Your button will stay in place, and when you have time to sew it, the glue will just pop off the plastic. Unlike clear nail polish, the hot glue won't damage the button.

3. Emboss Cards

Glue guns are perfect for embossing just about anything. In other words, they can be used to add a decorative raised ridge to almost any surface. Once you are happy with how it looks, just apply nail polish over it for a high-gloss lacquer. Glue sticks come in a variety of fun colors, and you can also order cylinders that include glitter.

If you want to use hot glue to create three-dimensional lettering or a raised design to add to a card, just apply the glue directly to a hard, flat, nonporous surface. Let it dry completely, and then peel it off slowly. You can then attach your design to a card with a little bit of glue. This way, you can trim it to perfection.

Another option is to write or draw directly on the card. The only problem with this is that hot glue doesn't come off of paper cleanly if you make a mistake. It usually takes some of the paper with it if you remove it.

You can use hot glue to create one of a kind, DIY Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations.

You can use hot glue to create one of a kind, DIY Christmas ornaments and holiday decorations.

4. Make Christmas Ornaments

Hot glue applies well oto glass, and if you make a mistake, you can just peel it off! Apply it to the outside of plain glass Christmas ornaments to give it a 3D effect. I usually use colored or glittery glue when embellishing ornaments.

If you don't have the right colors, you can use clear glue and then apply nail polish over it once it dries. You can apply glitter while the glue is wet or afterward using some glossy Mod Podge glue.

5. Create Halloween Spider Webbing

Most crafters hate those threads you get using low-temp guns, but even high-temp guns will spin webs for you, so why not use this to your advantage during Halloween season?

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Apply a dab of hot glue to anchor the web, and while blowing on the glue, pull it to a different anchor point. Keep repeating this until your web is done. When Halloween is over, just run your hand through the glue to clean it up fast.

I like to put hot glue in silicone molds to make little 3D embellishments for my scrapbooks.

I like to put hot glue in silicone molds to make little 3D embellishments for my scrapbooks.

6. Make Scrapbook Embellishments

I bought a silicone mold, and it was so delicate that I was never able to make anything with it. Then I tried using my glue gun. No matter how delicate the molds were, the glue captured the designs perfectly. Apply nail polish as a final step, and you'll have the perfect embellishment in just minutes.

If you want, you can use two different colors of hot glue in each mold—just be careful not to overfill them. When I use too much glue, the embellishment doesn't sit right on the paper. It's best to underfill rather than overfill. Make sure the glue gets into all the corners of the mold. You can do this by taping the mold against the table surface.

Another trick is to dip the tip of the glue gun into the flow of the glue rather than holding it above the mold. If the glue is allowed to drip, it cools slightly and doesn't flow as well. I use the tip of my hot glue gun to keep it flowing. Test your mold material before you do this. If the gun is too hot, it can melt the plastic on some molds.

It is fine to use plastic candy molds. You may want to use a drop of mold-release such as cooking spray. This won't affect the embellishment, and it prevents the glue from sticking to the plastic of the candy mold.

7. Create 3D Molds

Do you like to use polymer clay? Do you decorate cakes? Did you know that instead of buying expensive molds, you can make them with hot glue for only pennies?

Simply squirt out a large dollop of hot glue onto a surface and then push the object you want a mold of into it. Wait for the glue tyo harden, and you'll have your mold. This works best with smaller objects because the glue cools quickly.

If you're going to make molds, I recommend using high-temperature glue. It flows easier than low-temperature glue and stays liquid longer, so you have time to make a larger dollop and set your object.