Hot Glue Gun Tips

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hot-glue-gun-tips-country-design-styleHot glue gun tips for anyone sorta new to these dangerous weapons to our fingers and

for anyone with old scars from hot glue!

Hot glue has been around now for years.  Many of these tips are a bit different than expected.

Hot Glue Gun Tips

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Hot glue gun tips HOTTired of hot gluing burlap to your index finger???

Keep reading!  My tip for this is below.

Hot Glue Gun tips Tray1.  Protect your work surface, dining room table, the dresser you just refinished, or in my case above my work tray with old boards.  I’m using a glass candle holder above.  I also use a metal tray and a piece of rubber pad to protect the area.

Hot glue gun tips ready2.  Make sure the hot glue is ready to flow.  This is hard for me because I get anxious to get going on projects.  Pushing the trigger hard to get the glue out just doesn’t work.  Make sure the glue is very liquid and hot.  Use enough pressure to get a firm connection and don’t move or test the connection until the glue is cool.  This will help in keeping a good glue spot.

3.  Make sure you are using the right setting on your glue gun.  The ugly very well used blue glue gun is the first glue gun I bought and still grab it first.  But it has only one setting…


The other glue gun is my latest and it has two settings, wow!  Now I’m not melting fragile greens!  Who knew!  This one I just learned.

4.  Trying to hot glue wood but it’s not working???  Did you know there are hot glue sticks for wood?  I order mine from Amazon.  They work great.

5.  Keep a glass of ice water handy if you do burn your fingers.  Better yet…try the tip from a reader below.

Hot glue gun tips press down6.  To keep those strings under somewhat control…because there is really no control I’ve found…but try swirling the tips around in circles…

then do the hookey pookie!

If you’re lucky the quick motion snaps the hot string.

Hot Glue Gun Tips Strings7.  Or if you’re like me and not good at the hookie pookie and you get strings, just make sure to remove them when finished with your project and the strings are cool.  I have tried using a hot blow dryer when the project is done and that does make glue strings disappear.

Hot glue gun tips HOT8.  For my favorite tip!!!!

Hot Glue Gun tips AHI learned to use a rubber spatula to press into the hot glue.  You can press hard.  The hot glue doesn’t stick to the rubber spatula if any does it comes right off easily and your fingers don’t get burned!!!

Did you know there are hot glue pots?  This one is my new best friend.  It melts little pelts of hot glue or add regular glue sticks to the holder to melt.  Why do I like using it?  You dip the item into the glue melted and you have two hands to decorate with.  No holding the gun.

Did I leave any tips out that you’ve learned?

Let me know in comments below.

Here’s to healing fingers. 😀

Need some tips for using a hot glue gun? Here's a collection of tips & including tips from readers in comments! Do you have a hot to tip we missed? Country Design Style

Tips from Readers

I decided to add tips received from lovely readers in the comments below.  Thank you, and please if we have missed any hot glue gun tips, no matter how strange,  let me know in comments.

Use toothpaste, regular paste not the gel, for burns.  I’ve tried it and it works on a burn from a hot cast iron skillet.  Didn’t help the itching a week later!

Use chapstick type product on burns.  I haven’t tried this one yet.  I’m using the rubble spatula and not been burned…except for the skillet above!  Now I’m using two spatulas when I want to pinch the glue between fingers.

Using petroleum jelly product on the tip of the glue gun and no glue strings.  I haven’t tried it.  Will let you know when I do.

Cut the glue strings with nail clippers or small scissors.  I have been using small scissors and it works great.

Use a hair dryer on hot over the project to remove glue strings.  This works!  I finally tried it.  A few “larger” glue strings need to be cut away, but I think that shows my messiness of hot gluing!

I have found silicone finger protectors and love them!  I do still use the silicone rubber spatula too.

Click here to see my most popular project held together with hot glue!

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  1. Dear Donna
    The best remedy I’ve found for burns which really does work is:
    my boyfriend got badly sunburnt on holiday & couldn’t even move his body. I put yoghurt on him & the pain went down alot. I swear by it.

  2. hello fellow gluers! I found silicon finger tip protectors in the cake making isle of a hobby store like michaels. I also found some silicon mats in bed bath & beyond that give you a nice work area for all projects except large ones -3 to each pack. they are called cutting boards. Hope this is some help to all crafters.

    1. Great tips Sharron, thank you. We don’t have any large craft store in our small town but will be stopping in one the next time I head for the valley. Silicon finger tip protectors are on my list! ~Jeanette

  3. I just have to say that there is a reason I don’t use a “hot” glue gun. I use a “low-temp” gun only. My mom told me horror stories about how she used to melt her fingernails and get blisters from the hot guns. No. thank. you. I find a low-temp gun works on most projects unless you’re doing industrial grade gluing like my brother does for his cosplay armor, then you just need contact cement or gorilla glue. E6000 is good stuff, too.

  4. Hello, I have been using hot glue guns for years…..So my fingers are kind of used to it. But I use a teflon pressing sheet and finger guards for irons that I got from Nancy Zimmerman’s website. The pressing sheet is good for applique, but I now use it for hot gluing, and the blue finger guards are used for pressing bias strips but again I now use for hot gluing. Have been making wedding accessories, silk flower displays, birdhouses and fairy houses for years……

  5. I made a headband for my Granddaughter, I used ribbon and glued on silk flowers in a row across the top of the headband. I would apply the glue gun to the bottom of the flower, squeeze out a small amount of glue and I decided to use a pair of chop sticks to place the flower. This worked well for me, but then I know how to use chop sticks.

  6. I use silicon finger protectors on my thumb and forefinger. They are like little gloves that slip over your fingers. If I do get a burn, I reach for chap stick. I find that it works immediately to ease the pain. FYI…it works on those pesky burns from the oven racks, too.

    1. Andrea, I have been using a hot glue gun for more years than I want to admit and have heard of the hair dryer trick and have never tried it myself! I always forget. This weekend I’m redoing a wreath so I’ll try it then. With all these great tips from readers, I think I’ll update the post to included my readers tips. Thank you so much. ~Jeanette

    1. Sheri, I’ve going to try putting vaseline on the end of glue gun for my next project! I can spend more time putting off the strings than I do making the project! Thank you for reading! ~Jeanette

  7. Two of my daughters and I were working for HOURS on wedding reception stuff, and there was a LOT of sticking fingers into glasses of cold water. One burn was particularly painful so I Googled hot glue burns. I read that toothpaste makes it stop hurting. Tooth paste, not gel. So we tried it… daughters said it worked almost instantly!

    I now keep a tube of toothpaste in the first aid kit. Comes in handy with the grandkids!

    1. Mary, thanks for the tip. I now have a small tube of toothpaste stored with my glue gun. Hopefully I won’t need it! What a wonderful time you must have had with you daughters, except for the burns. I’m sure the wedding reception will be stunning! Thanks for visiting! ~Jeanette

  8. Hi Jeanette…thanks for the great tips. My favorite hot glue gun stopped working after I think 15 yrs. : ( I’ve been shopping for a new one and I’m not happy with what I’m using. Do you have any suggestions on a good hot glue gun and where to purchase it? Thanks.

    1. Debbie, Thank you for stopping by and reading! My favorite glue gun is a Thermogrip that I’ve had for 25 plus years! It’s the first glue gun I bought. It still works great, only one temperature, but looks awful! I just bought one at a craft store for an event with two temps and I’m not fond of it. The cord is very thin and feels fragile. I would suggest looking in tool and hardware sections or stores instead of craft stores. I think they would carry brands that are more durable. I’m not compensated in anyway by any glue gun companies or stores, these are just my own opinion. ~Jeanette

  9. Jeanette, Thanks for the hot glue tips. I especially like the spatula press. I wonder if we’ll have any fingerprints left when we get to heaven. God won’t need them to identify us anyway.

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