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Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun Profile

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A hot glue gun is a useful tool to have to use in a variety of craft projects, including many rubber stamping projects. In fact, there are many hot glue fans who would say that a glue gun is absolutely essential! Hot glue, unlike traditional glues and adhesives, quickly sets from a hot molten state, into a hard and solid mass. This means that it is suitable for a wide variety of applications, including creating decorative embellishments, and not just simply adhering one surface to another. While a hot glue gun is fun to use, it is also important to remember that the gun and the glue get exceedingly hot, and therefore it is a tool that should be used with caution.

What is Hot Glue?

Hot glue is a form of glue or adhesive that is sold in solid sticks. In order to use hot glue it is necessary to use a glue gun. The glue gun heats up the tip of the hot glue stick, and the molten glue is extruded through the tip of the gun. The molten glue can be applied to the surface as required. The glue gun will have a tip which will give you a great degree of control over applying the hot glue. You can direct the placement of the glue and thin lines of glue can be drawn as well as large or small spots. The glue returns to its solid state as it cools. While the surface of the glue quickly obtains a 'skin', the length of time that the glue takes to solidify and harden depends on the thickness of the glue and the surface that it is spread on.

What is a Hot Glue Gun?

A hot glue gun has been designed to heat and distribute hot glue. It is an electrical device and you will need access to an electricity supply to use it. The gun quickly heats up the tip of the glue stick. There are many different types and manufacturers of hot glue guns, with very basic hot glue guns available for just a few dollars - compare prices. More information about choosing a glue gun is available here - How to Choose a Glue Gun.

Buying Hot Glue Sticks

Hot glue sticks are sold in packs and there are different sizes available. It is important to buy the correct size of glue stick for your glue gun. There are different types of glue stick available, with different finishes. Both transparent and opaque versions are available, along with colored versions. These are useful if you want to make a feature of the hot glue in a project.

How to Use Hot Glue

Hot glue can be used in a wide variety of projects. It is perfect for attaching rough or absorbent surfaces together, such as fabric, heavily textured paper or ribbon. Hot glue gives a strong bond and is useful where normal glue will not be strong enough. As well as being useful for attaching two or more surfaces together, hot glue can be used as a decorative feature. Try stamping into the surface of a spot of hot glue, for instance, or sprinkle glitter over the surface to make a sparkling embellishment.

Tips for Using Hot Glue and a Hot Glue Gun

Here are some tips for using hot glue and a hot glue gun:
  • Hot glue is hot! Remember that hot glue is exceedingly hot when it is melted and therefore it needs to be used with care. Make sure that you are working on a heat proof surface and that you exercise caution. The tip of the hot glue gun will also get hot so be aware of this when you place the hot glue gun down to cool. Many hot glue guns come with a stand to keep the tip away from the surface. If you should burn yourself then treatment for hot glue guns is described here - hot glue gun burns.
  • While pressing items into the surface of hot glue presents plenty of opportunities for decoration, remember that unwanted items can also get stuck there. Dust, pieces of scrap paper from other projects, glitter etc can get attached to the hot glue surface therefore make sure your working area is clear before you start.
  • Keep a look out for fancy hot glue sticks, such as glitter sticks, as these are a quick way to add some bling to your projects.

Hot Glue Projects

Here are some projects from around About.com that use hot glue:
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