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The Tools You Need for Your Craft Projects

With their ability to quickly bond all sorts of materials, craft glue guns and sticks are essential additions to any crafting room. You can use them to make no-sew pillows, to decorate stylish wreaths, to create kids’ costumes, and more.

Finding the right glue gun for your project

When picking out a glue gun, start by considering size. Glue guns are usually sized to use normal or mini sticks. A mini glue gun is portable and helpful for smaller gluing tasks, but if you're going to be doing a lot of gluing, you may need a full-sized gun. Next, look at the temperature settings. If you are going to glue fabric, paper, or other heat-sensitive items, you need a glue gun that comes with lower temperature settings. If you want to do trickier bonds like metal, you need a gun with extra hot settings that works with extra-strong sticks like Gorilla glue sticks.

What features make glue guns easier to use?

The features that can help you get more use out of your glue gun include:

  • Auto shut off
  • Nozzle guard
  • Glue gun stand
  • Trigger lock
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Extra-long cords
  • Replaceable nozzles
Types of hot glue materials

Not every hot glue gun stick uses the same materials. Most start out with a type of synthetic polymer, like polyester, ethylene-vinyl acetate, or polyethylene. Then other various ingredients are added to make the glue more aesthetically pleasing or easier to work with. Some common helpful additives include:

  • Wax — Higher amounts of wax result in glues with a stronger and more flexible bond. Lower wax levels will help glue set faster though.
  • Plasticizers — Like wax, these ingredients add flexibility and toughness. However, they also help by reducing the viscosity of melted glue.
  • Preservatives — Various chemicals are added to hot glue to keep it from degrading over time. These antimicrobial agents usually don't change how the glue works.
  • Glitter — Sparkly flecks of metal or plastic can be used to create decorative hot glue sticks that add a fun touch to glue gun crafts.
Are shorter or longer glue sticks better?

Most glue gun sticks come in a standard width, but there is a lot of variety in length. Longer sticks are nice because you don't have to add new sticks as frequently. However, the added bulk can make it hard to maneuver the glue gun. If you're going to be gluing in tight spots, it may be better to pick shorter glue stick sizes instead.