Using a Hot Glue Gun

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An essential tool for many crafting projects is the glue gun. This is a page about using a hot glue gun.
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September 25, 2016

If you make a lot of crafts like I do, then you most likely own a hot-glue gun. If so, you are surely familiar with the nasty burns that inevitably come with using one! Hot glue is very painful and continues to burn your skin for several minutes after contact. To minimize the damage, I always keep a bowl of ice-water within easy reach on my work surface. The instant the glue hits my skin, I plunge my finger into the ice water. This stops the burn from causing more damage by curing the glue and instantly cooling the wound. The glue peels off easily and prevents the burn from becoming worse. I never use a hot glue gun without that bowl of ice-water; try it next time you craft- you'll be so glad you did!

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Get tired of the stringies when using your glue gun? I keep my glue sticks in a plastic shoe box in the freezer. This really reduces the stringies when working on a project.

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By Patty Harris from Lowell, OR

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Do you use a glue gun when you craft? If you are looking for a way to catch all of the excess glue that oozes from your glue gun, why not use a pretty plate from Goodwill!

blue and white plate with glue gun resting on it

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I use hot glue frequently for crafts. One of my biggest annoyances is that the hot glue always slips off the table because the cord is too short.

Stop Hot Glue from Slipping Off Table - glue gun attached to an extension cord wrapped around chair back

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When working with small projects and a glue gun, I usually keep a jar of water and some Q-tips on my table. When I need to cool the glue down fast, I just dab the glue with the wet Q-tip.

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January 3, 2016

To avoid getting hot glue on your fingers while using a glue gun, put a Bandaid on each of your finger tips before using the hot glue gun. It really helps!

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To remove hot glue cleanly from surfaces: Wait until glue has dried, then get a Q-tip and apply alcohol around the edges of the hot glue. It works quickly and easily.

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December 14, 2004

If you need to use hot glue for crafts then cut chunks of glue sticks into an old pan and warm on the stove, then dunk things that need to be glued into the glue. Use the pan over and over after glue cools and just reheat.

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When working with my hot glue gun, having to lay it down between steps, but needing to leave it on, I rest it facing into a cake pan, with the glue spout inside the pan, the handle on the outside.

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September 14, 2005

To get rid of those glue strings when you use a hot glue gun when making a wreath or other craft use a hair dryer on high heat for a few seconds by blowing over the project to make them disappear!

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Questions

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Can anyone tell me how not to burn myself when using the glue gun? I always stick my finger in to the glue to press down. Thank you!

Marilyn from P. Huron, MI

Answers

February 12, 20080 found this helpful

Keep a bowl of cold water next to you; if you do burn yourself, plunge your finger in immediately. If you need to smooth the glue while it is hot, dip your finger in the water before you touch the glue; and work quickly. The water will insulate you the tiniest bit, and (more importantly) will keep the glue from sticking to you.

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If you are pressing down to make sure the items have stuck together, try using a spoon or put a thimble on your finger.

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By Kay from Houston (Guest Post)
February 12, 20080 found this helpful

Cool glue guns are made now. They're still hot, but not nearly as dangerously hot as the others. They are not expensive and require special cool melt glue sticks. I use a gun often for floral arrangements, and keep a sturdy cut off stem to press things together. any kind of stick or knitting needle etc. would work. I can appreciate your pain. Sometimes my fingertips would get very blistered. Hope this helps.

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February 12, 20080 found this helpful

There are pro's&con's to a HOT glue gun.After many raw burnt fingers...I use toothpicks or an orange stick to mash something together..

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February 12, 20080 found this helpful

I use a special pair of tweezers, and toothpicks or popsicle sticks depending on what im working with. mostly tweezers as i make stuff that is very tiny. :)

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February 13, 20080 found this helpful

I use inexpensive chopsticks to stick stuff down. Also can get a silicone oven mitt at the dollar store and cut off the thumb.

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Make the rest into a pad for the glue that drips from your gun to fall on, save a table that way.

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By Libb e (Guest Post)
February 13, 20080 found this helpful

Keep a popsicle stick in your hand and use it to press down. The bowl of water is a great tip which works. I keep an old tile to set the glue gun on when not using it and the glue can drip on the tile.

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February 16, 20080 found this helpful

I use a wooden spoon that I set aside just for this purpose.

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February 17, 20080 found this helpful

Use the new cooler type of hot glue gun. OR an even better idea for you might be to use that X-2000 type of glue in a tube (sold in craft stores)... It's not as quick drying as hot glue, but BOY-OH-BOY will it stick to ANYTHING & EVERYTHING! Great stuff!

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These hot glue guns can be VERY dangerous, I can't tell you how many times I've given myself severe burns with blisters on my hands by trying to hurry to quickly when making Christmas Wreaths!
Slow down, Use care & keep kids away!

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February 18, 20080 found this helpful

I want to thank everyone who sent a answer! I am going to try and glue tonight and I think I will try a little of everine"s answers! Marilyn

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February 21, 20080 found this helpful

I use either or an ice pick or a dentist type tool. You can cut off the end to not make it so sharp and then grind it down to make it blunt or you can leave as is. This has always worked really great from me.

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February 17, 2015

When you're finished using your hot glue gun and there is still glue in the glue stick, what do I do once the gun has cooled down? How do I take this glue stick out and can it be used again if there is some glue left? Does it need throwing away? Thanks.

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By Sue

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July 4, 2018

When crafting using a hot glue gun try keeping a bowl of ice water near by to dunk your fingers in if you accidentally get glue on your skin. This is a page about remedies for hot glue gun burns.

Glue gun dripping hot glue onto wood surface.

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September 30, 2012

This is a page about cleaning a glue gun. It is very frustrating to have your glue gun become clogged right in the middle of a project.

Cleaning a Glue Gun

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