A hot glue gun is a wonderful craft supply item for
fixing heavier objects such as boxes, wood, chipboard and other
beyond-the-page projects together. Maybe it can't quite do what this quote suggests, but a glue gun is a pretty useful tool to have in your craft stash!
"Truth is the glue that holds government together".
Gerald R Ford
This type of papercraft adhesive works well on paper flowers and other bulkier embellishments. The adhesion is strong, quick-drying and effective, though not too flexible, so choose projects that will not be required to bend very much.It also leaves a raised bead unless you are very careful, so small, delicate items may not be appropriate projects. You could try other papercraft adhesives though.
There are glue guns with high heat glue sticks and warm heat
glue sticks. There's a significant temperature difference between the
two settings. Some tools offer only one setting while others offer both
warm and hot temperature settings. I would always choose a warm heat
setting when working with children for safety reasons (any hot glue, including warm types, can
burn the skin deeply). Be aware that warm glue can also burn deeply but you have a little more time to get your project organised as the glue sets a little more slowly. It's still a quick acting glue compared to some other types!
You will need to work quickly with higher heat glues as they set quicker.
This type of papercraft adhesive tends to 'string' like mozzarella cheese as it cools so quickly. Try snagging the glue on your project cleanly instead of lifting it away suddenly without a 'stop'. Otherwise the results can be a little clumsy or clunky looking.
Practice will make you
better at this! Here are more tips for reducing those strings.
As the adhesive sets in a thicker layer, I don't use this tool for thin, flimsy materials such as vellum or tissue.
I have seen someone slightly modify their glue gun with an ordinary biro (ballpoint pen) or pen-shaped tip to allow a thinner stream of adhesive to be extruded. This seems to give you better control over where the adhesive can be placed and is therefore more suitable when gluing delicate projects. (I also hope someone markets this little modifier one day soon!)
As with all heating appliances, make sure to read the instructions and warnings before using it. I keep a piece of foil or scrap paper or even an old cookie sheet that I no longer cook food with under my appliance as the hot adhesive tends to drip when the tool is at rest. I don't want to wind up with hard, firmly set beads on my craft table, floor or furniture.
You would be wise to have a bowl of ice water nearby in case you do get any glue on your skin. Plunge your affected skin in the cold water immediately to minimise the possible burn.
Some people use gloves while adhering with this tool, but do make sure they are not made of a material that could melt such as rubber or plastic as the hot adhesive will go right through them and you will have melted glove on your hands as well as the hot adhesive! Ouch!
If you do get some beads of adhesive on your furniture, allow them to dry completely before chipping them away. Often thee will be no residue left behind but it depends on the type of finish you have on your furniture.
How about you? Tell us how you have used these tools on your projects!
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