Ten Genius Things You Can Do with a Glue Gun

Make Glue Gun Art

A mask made entirely of hot glue.
A mask made entirely of hot glue. | Source

1. Hem Pants

You're in a rush and just realized 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 it 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, and the glue just remains unseen. Washing the clothing has no effect on the glue's adhesion.

2. Fix Buttons

You're running out the door and notice you have a button that is about to fall off. 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

The glue gun is perfect for embossing just about anything: In other words, it adds a decorative raised ridge to any surface. Once you are happy with how it looks, just apply nail polish over it for a high gloss lacquer finish or use a colored stick. You can also use a glitter stick.

Embossing can be done in several ways. You can write words or draw a design on a flat, nonporous surface, let it dry, and peel it up. You can then attach your design to a card with a little bit of glue. This way you can trim it to perfection.

Another way is just to write directly on the card itself. The only problem with this is that hot glue on paper doesn't clean off well if you make a mistake. It usually takes some of the paper with it if you remove it.


4. Make Expensive-Looking Christmas Ornaments

Glue guns are great on glass and if you make a mistake, just peel it off. Apply it to the outside of plain glass Christmas ornaments to give them a 3-D effect. I usually use colored or glitter glue.

If you don't have the right colors, you can use clear glue and then apply nail polish over it. You can apply glitter while the glue is wet or afterward using some gloss mod podge glue.

5. 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 it to your advantage at Halloween? 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 it until your web is done. When Halloween is over, just run your hand through the glue, and it cleans up fast.


6. Create Scrapbook Embellishments

I bought a silicone mold, and it was so delicate that I was never able to make anything from it. That was until I used the glue gun. No matter how delicate the mold, the glue gun captured the design perfectly. Apply nail polish as a final step and you have the perfect embellishment in just minutes.

If you want, you can use two different colors of hot glue in the mold, just be careful not to overfill it. (I have put in too much glue, and the embellishment didn't sit right on the paper.) It's best to underfill rather than overfill. Make sure the glue gets into all the corners. 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 and not above it. If the glue is allowed to drip, it cools slightly and doesn't flow as well. I use the tip of my hot gun to keep it flowing. Test your mold material first 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: It won't effect the embellishment, and it prevents the glue from sticking to the plastic of the candy mold.

7. Create a Mold in Seconds

Do you like to use polymer clay? Or maybe you do cake decorating? Did you know that instead of buying expensive molds, you can make them with hot glue for only pennies? Squirt out a large dollop of hot glue and then push whatever it is that you want to mold into it. Wait for it to harden and you have your mold. This works best with smaller objects because the glue cools quickly.

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

You can also make the mold but color in the area where the object was with a sharpie marker for a different-looking embellishment.

8. Decorate Windows for Holidays

Apply the glue from a glue gun directly to your windows to create holiday magic. It peels off glass quite easily. Did you know glue sticks come in all sorts of colors, plus some that glow in the dark?

9. Make Jewelry

Hot glue makes wonderful jewelry. We made a bracelet entirely of hot glue. Kids love it!

10. Kill Bugs!

I know this sounds crazy, but it's the best way to kill bugs. I live in the desert and we have some of the fastest and most venomous spiders and bugs in the country. In the summer, I find black widows almost everywhere and we just found a brown desert recluse sitting on our toilet paper roll. Get that glue gun. You can render the bug harmless in seconds. It works on lines of ants, too.

Do You Own A Glue Gun?

  • Yes, of course and I keep it in my back pocket
  • No, glue guns are just for crafters
  • Yes, but it's dusty and in the back of the junk draw
  • No, but I will now
See results without voting

Stanley Brand Is One of the Best Glue Guns on the Market

Stanley GR20K Trigger Feed Hot Melt Glue Gun Kit
Stanley GR20K Trigger Feed Hot Melt Glue Gun Kit

I highly recommend the Stanley Trigger Feed gun. It's a high-quality, low-price gun that does not fall apart. The heat element is excellent quality and it doesn't overheat and burn out. You can use high temp or multi temp sticks.


What Is the Difference between Hot and Low Temp Glue Guns?

Use a high heat gun when you are working with metal and wood. High heat glue sticks are harder and a little stronger. Low temp can be used on paper and plastics.

A note on glue gun burns: I have been working with glue guns since I was a young teen and even though I use them all the time, I still get burned. The temp of a high temp gun is over 300 degrees while a low temp is around 170 degrees. There is a huge difference between being burned by a high temp gun and a low temp one. When I work with a high temp gun, I keep ice water next to me. The burns can be severe and will continue to burn until the glue hardens. If you try to pull it off, it doesn't work, and you get burned on the hand you use to pull the glue off with as well. But if you dunk the hand immediately in the ice water, you can halt the burn and remove the glue faster. Keep ice water on hand at all times.

Children should not work alone with high temp guns.

Don't Forget the Glitter

COLOR Glitter Hot Melt Mini Glue Sticks - Pack of 50 (blue, red, green, silver, gold)
COLOR Glitter Hot Melt Mini Glue Sticks - Pack of 50 (blue, red, green, silver, gold)

Glitter glue sticks are great for creating embossed greeting cards. They can also add sparkle to fabric without the mess of paint.


Glow-in-the-Dark Hot Glue

Adhesive Technologies Glow in The Dark Mini Glue Sticks, 5/16 by 4-Inch
Adhesive Technologies Glow in The Dark Mini Glue Sticks, 5/16 by 4-Inch

Use the glow-in-the-dark glue sticks to make a glowing web for added Halloween horror. I can add this stuff to anything to make it glow. The sticks are a bit small, so keep that in mind. It's a specialty item so it's harder to find. Around Halloween, I stock up and use it throughout the year.


How to Use a Glue Gun

Comments 80 comments

aka-rms profile image

aka-rms 2 years ago from USA

Wow! And I thought it was just for sticking stuff together. Great ideas here!

AcornOakForest profile image

AcornOakForest 2 years ago from Western Wisconsin

I didn't even know there were colors much less all of these cool creative ways to use glue guns. Wonderful!

CherylsArt profile image

CherylsArt 2 years ago from West Virginia

Wow, interesting uses for hot glue sticks. You've given some ideas and things to try out with my acrylic paints. : )

Pam Irie profile image

Pam Irie 2 years ago from Land of Aloha

I love my glue gun for assembling things but I've never tried any of these really fun ideas you've shown here. Using a glue gun with silicone and candy molds never occurred to me AND making your own molds is genius too! Thanks for the inspiration. I love making things and DIY too so this opens up some new avenues. YAY!

Ezra Flom profile image

Ezra Flom 2 years ago from Arlington, TX

Lots of clever ideas I haven't thought of before. Thanks for sharing! I will be sure to pass some of them on.

LiamSE profile image

LiamSE 2 years ago from New York City

Many ideas I would never have come up with myself! Good job! Keep up the great work! I will definitely try some of these one day!

sirenewno 2 years ago

Another nice idea is to use them (low temp are better for this) on blown up balloons to write a child's name - great for birthday parties....

anima knitts profile image

anima knitts 2 years ago from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Great idea. Thank you for sharing.

mightyhub profile image

mightyhub 2 years ago

Great write up. I never knew you can do so much with a glue gun. Thanks for sharing

Mickie Gee profile image

Mickie Gee 2 years ago

I have lots of loose buttons. It is difficult for me to thread a needle - klutzy - and it it nice to know that I can use a glue gun if one is handy. I also might try to secure non-loose buttons as insurance, too.

Rhonda Lytle profile image

Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

Kudos! I learned multiple uses for my glue gun here, some really inspired. Especially loving the home made molds. I never would have thought of that and now my head is spinning with ideas. Thank you so much for that. More so, the spider fix. Again, brilliant! That spider that I know is living under my bed best start packing.

Kim 2 years ago

Wow...there are tons of great ideas here. I didn't know that glue sticks came in colors!! I have never seen them anywhere. I cannot wait to get crafting now! Thanks for including my snowflake wreath in your round-up! What a thrill to be included! :)

lbrummer profile image

lbrummer 2 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

I love the embellishments made with molds idea. Great ideas!!

Pawpawwrites profile image

Pawpawwrites 2 years ago from Kansas

I like the bug idea.

Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

This is quite impressive. I have a glue gun that I bought for something when I had my shop. Now it is packed away. I didn't know you could get colored glue either.

Li Perry profile image

Li Perry 2 years ago

WOW! I thought pinterest had some amazing ideas...but you have to search for the original article to find out how to do those things. You have provided some really interesting ideas WITH the instructions! Thank you!

linfcor profile image

linfcor 2 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

Great list of ideas and techniques. Going to get mine out and give some a try

JR co 2 years ago

Lol, I would truly love to zap an evil spider in a hot glue dollop!!!

Jemjoseph profile image

Jemjoseph 2 years ago

I'll definitely look at a glue gun differently from now on, oh the possibilities...

jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 2 years ago from Philippines

These ideas are fun! I'm gonna try them one of these days especially the Christmas things! Thanks for sharing!

Julia Eppehimer profile image

Julia Eppehimer 2 years ago

I love the art sculptures you can make out of glue guns! They are all so cool. I also love the idea of killing spiders; I hate having spider guts on my shoe almost as much as I hate spiders! The glue gun is a great idea!

lbrummer profile image

lbrummer 2 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

Love all your ideas, especially the peel-up letters.

HomeArtist1 profile image

HomeArtist1 2 years ago from Charlotte

Just what I need--another craft project! You can use a glue gun to write a friend's or family's name on the outside of a jar or vase, bottle, etc. When dry paint over the whole item and you'll have some great craft gifts that don't look like it. Fill your jar with candy. Viola! Fabulous hub BTW!

Heidi Vincent profile image

Heidi Vincent 2 years ago from GRENADA

Really interesting glue gun ideas/projects!

EnthusiasmMadame 2 years ago

I have three different glue guns and had not thought of all these uses. I am so glad a came across this page. I have bookmarked it and will certainly put my glue guns into overtime! Thank you so much.

Besarien profile image

Besarien 2 years ago

I notice that burning yourself and gluing your fingers together did not make your list. They would be my top two because I am very good at doing both. I also have an ancient glue gun that gets as hot as the sun and smokes. Seriously though I enjoyed your hub. Maybe I'll just go buy a newer, much safer glue gun and get to it.

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 2 years ago from Las Vegas Author

LOL... I have elevated gluing my fingers together to a new height lately with all the gluing I do. I too have one that gets way too hot. I am so used to my low temp gun I nearly saw stars when I fired up the big one for these projects. I have had that glue gun for so many years I just can't let it go.

Kat 2 years ago

Ok - I am not hanging around any spider long enough for my glue gun to heat up!!! But power to you!

Love the DIY embellies tip BTW - thank you!

Fatima siddiqui 24 months ago

Great ideas to keep in mind., thank u for sharing!

KraftyStudent 24 months ago

ok good idea for killing bugs, but by the time it heated up he bug would have moved

Carson 23 months ago

Please tell me where you live so I never live there. Eek spiders

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 23 months ago from Las Vegas Author

@Carson... LOL... I actually caught a fly with the glue gun the other day. Served him right for buzzing around me when I am packing heat. I took a photo, but it's kind of gross. I am debating posting it.

Lesa 22 months ago

LOVE my glue me on this....NEVER ever put crayons in it like some may suggest!!! LOL I speak from experience and there are many surfaces that I am still pealing and picking wax from!!!! LOL

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 22 months ago from Las Vegas Author

LOL... notice I didn't suggest the crayon. I totally agree!!!!! My daughter did it and what a mess we had. It destroyed the gun and made a total mess. The color in the glue on my page are made for the glue gun. It's colored sticks.

Georgina_writes profile image

Georgina_writes 22 months ago from Dartmoor

See, now I need a glue gun. I'd just thought they were for gluing stuff. Never realised you could make art with them, or use colour! Well that's next years birthday present sorted then! Great article. Rating and following.

Kristleangel profile image

Kristleangel 22 months ago from Flagstaff

Those are some great ideas.....except the spiders that's too close lol

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 22 months ago from Las Vegas Author

The spider was easy. I caught a fly with it, but it ended up getting glued to my desk and was pretty gross to remove. I have given up extermination by glue gun after that. The spider worked because my hand didn't have to go near it and it dripped right onto paper. You should have seen my daughter's face when I ran in with the glue gun instead of the poison.

Nimblepins profile image

Nimblepins 21 months ago

I love the idea of using silicone molds. I'll have to try it. I don't think I'd be able to hot glue a spider! Maybe if they were poisonous like yours!

pumpkincat210 profile image

pumpkincat210 21 months ago from Houston, Texas U.S.A.

the silicone mold idea is great! i have wanted to make my own dresser knobs and i think this would work if i used 2 guns at once to make the mold deep enough. do you think the mold would work with a resin compound?

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 21 months ago from Las Vegas Author

I know it probably won't work. The plastic is too soft for something you will be pulling on. Try a hard bonding resin.

sallybea profile image

sallybea 21 months ago from Norfolk

I have had a glue gun for ages and for some reason I have not had the courage to try it out. If I could make some of those socks on the washing line, I certainly would have a go. Any idea on how they were made!

Maggie Bonham profile image

Maggie Bonham 21 months ago from Missoula, Montana

Cool ideas!

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 21 months ago from Las Vegas Author

The socks are probably the easiest of all the projects on there. Go to Google and get a coloring book photo of the socks you like. Put two layers of tin foil down on a flat surface and then the photo on top. Trace hard. Life the photo, there will be lines in the tin. Spray with cooking spray (A MUST). Follow the lines, let cool and peel. BINGO

Kappygirl profile image

Kappygirl 21 months ago

Great ideas. I've used glue guns for years but I never knew glue sticks came in different colors or glow-in-the-dark!

Clearissa profile image

Clearissa 20 months ago from Cary,NC

I had no idea hot glue came in any other color. This is an excellent article.

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 20 months ago from Sunny Spain

An interesting hub, with lots of information about glue guns and their uses. Though I am not too sure that I could every use it on spiders or ants :(

kathys 19 months ago

Gold leaf also sticks nicely to the hardened glue.

Sophia 19 months ago

the bug idea would be great if it wasn't for the time the glue gun has to warm up. I don't know about you, and luckily we don't really have poisonous spiders in my country, but I'm not waiting 10 minutes for my glue gun to warm up only to find I'm no longer sure where the spider is.

Norma Bartlett 19 months ago

To keep from getting burned with the glue gun (which I have done many times.Lol.) purchase those rubber finger tips available at Wal-Mart & many office supply stores & wear them while using the hot glue gun. Works like a dream to protect your fingers from those nasty burns. Hope this helps somebody out there.

Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 19 months ago from the wadi near the little river

I love these great ideas. Your suggestion to use a glue gun to hem pants is one I'm definitely going to try. Loved your pictures and voted up!

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 14 months ago from Oklahoma

Glue guns are great fun.

Great ideas!

Tess 13 months ago

Got to order some coloured glue sticks now I know they exist!

Marva 13 months ago

Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas about using glue gun. I had no idea glue sticks came in anything other than clear. Can't wait to try these new craft tricks.

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great ideas. I never used a glue gun before. Handy to know that they kill bugs and spiders. Will they kill flies, too?

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 12 months ago from Las Vegas Author

The spider in the photo is a black widow. They don't die with poison very easily. Living in the desert we see them all the time. They move very quicky too and seem to step over poison. I used the glue gun to get rid of that one. I happen to have had it handy and hot. It prevented the spider from moving and me from getting too close to it. I also stopped a line of ants with it. I didn't really kill too many ants, but I think I plugged up the hole where they were getting in near my sink. The line never returned. I did have to sacrifice the roll of toilet paper along with the spider but considering I had a screaming kid on the toilet it was worth the quick exchange of rolls. It's a silly way of using a glue gun, but it did work. I have no mercy for spiders that can kill my family or at least put them in the hospital. Other spiders get escorted out of the house gently. I don't hate spiders. They kill other bugs that are way worse. If they live outside it's a fair game. Walk into my house and it's a dog eat dog world.

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Thanks for letting me know Craftypicks.

reelme profile image

reelme 12 months ago from India

cool... awesome idea

helenstuart profile image

helenstuart 12 months ago from Deep in the Heart of Texas

I have used a glue gun for quick repairs on clothes before, and also to make snowflakes to hang on trees, for hours and hours at a time. Thanks to the shout out to the spiders of the world. We had a big green one eat a wasp yesterday. We live in Texas and have giant black widows and a certain breed of brown recluse that is also plentiful. I was thinking and thinking about different ways to make molds for various parts of the sculptures I am making, and I know a lot of crafty stuff, but you beat me on this one by FAR! I only saw the the fairy house and the mask so far, LOVED both, I am going to make fairy houses as well. HEY, you could also probably use the glue to cover the inside of tabletop fountains, at least the places that aren't taken up by your own little rock waterfalls and stuff. You could probably even glue some sand on the top layer very carefully with a little tool. I bet you would be really fun to craft with. Could you just help me figure out my website now? Haha. Many many thanks

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 12 months ago from Las Vegas Author

LOL because I dripped it, it didn't see it coming, but then we had to sacrifice the roll because we hot glued a spider to it. OK, it wasn't one of those ideas I totally thought though.

Fiona Jean Mckay profile image

Fiona Jean Mckay 12 months ago from South Africa

Some cool ideas - my glue gun and I have a love/ hate relationship but fortunately here in South Africa we have a herbal cream called Zambuck that takes the sting out of the burns completely.

Rabadi profile image

Rabadi 12 months ago from New York

Glue guns are useful, nice hubs! I'm following you now.

Zakmoonbeam profile image

Zakmoonbeam 11 months ago from Parts Unknown

Some lovely ideas here!

Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

Kailua-KonaGirl 11 months ago from New York

Wow! You came up with some really great ideas! I am going to pin it to my Christmas board. I want to do some Christmas decorations with it. I like the embossing ornaments idea, making snowflakes to hang and on the window too.

Protasker profile image

Protasker 11 months ago from USA

Just wanted let you know I love your page! I too, many times have been burned by the big gun, I'm surprised I have any fingerprints left!

greenmind profile image

greenmind 11 months ago

What? This is a great hub! You really write well and I never imagined that a glue gun could do so many amazing and creative things. Well done and I think HubPages could use more writers like you. Thanks!

Protasker profile image

Protasker 11 months ago from USA

No disrespect, I know it's a hub. I got stuck in the move from Squidoo to Hubpages and I don't know what I'm doing here yet :)

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 11 months ago from Las Vegas Author

I don't think greenmind was referring to anything you said. It's all good.

Bonnie Bee keeper 11 months ago any of you think that a mold made of glue would hold up under the heat of melted bees wax to make small candles? mmmm or would the glue melt again :) This is probable a duh question but must ask :)

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 11 months ago from Las Vegas Author

Not a dumb question at all and it depends on the size. It's good for tiny molds. I have done those, but once I made the larger ones the glue gun glue hardened before it was out of the gun. The only thing I can think of is trying it. My bad ideas always out number my good ones, but when I get a good idea it's worth all the effort.

Cynthia 10 months ago

Go to google and find the glue gun kit that contains finger guards that you can put on your fingers to avoid burns. Kit also contains a stick free mat and a couple of tools to smooth the glue out on the object you are glueing.

sparkleyfinger profile image

sparkleyfinger 10 months ago from Glasgow

So many amazing things that can be done with a trusty glue gun! Thanks for sharing with us!

Chris 10 months ago

I hae the

I have three glue guns and pot one to. Been using them for years. Some of your crafting ones for scrapbooking and card making are great. Thanks for the tips.

Geri 9 months ago

Before using the glue gun, I put lotion on my hands and the stray glue doesn't stick to my fingers.

Doreen 9 months ago

I love the window idea, I currently decorate with foam snowflakes and double sided tape(which is difficult to clean off the window). I would love to glue snowflakes to the window as they would be so easy to take off after the holidays.

Carien 9 months ago

It takes longer for the glue gun to heat up, then it does to sew on a button.

Liesel Chamen 8 months ago

Poor ants...use baby powder - they run a mile in seconds. Put it around my digs bowls too. Glue guns are awesome - just a schlep to pack and unpack

Linda 8 months ago

You can also use crayons in your glue gun. I bought one of the small inexpensive ones to use strictly for the crayons. When you want to switch colors just run some of the clear glue stick through it to get rid of the color you were using.

Craftypicks profile image

Craftypicks 8 months ago from Las Vegas Author

Crayons are a different type of wax and while they will heat and melt the wax gets very thin and for most people it gets all over the place. I have one for crayons but won't use it for the glue gun after because of the mess. You should have seen my kitchen after my daughter tried it.

roob profile image

roob 7 months ago

wow the embossing was a great idea, I want to try if I can ever find time!(:

Laura 5 months ago

Wondering if you think the glue gun could somehow be used to make those grippers you sometimes find on the bottom hems of shorts to keep them from sliding back up the leg (probably an old costumer's trick or something)?

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