Introduction: 12 Awesome Hot Glue Hacks

Picture of 12 Awesome Hot Glue Hacks

The hot glue gun is a really cool tool to have in any workshop. No matter whether you need instant holding power, insulation, or the properties of soft plastic, the hot glue gun is one practical tool to have at your disposal. Let's take a look at a couple of different interesting ways to use the hot glue gun!

Step 1: 12 Ways to Use Hot Glue

1. Super Fast DIY Frame

With hot glue you don't need to do any nailing! Simply cut up wood to fit your picture, then butt joint the pieces together, securing with hot glue. Using thin pieces, glue a frame on top which will function as a lip for your picture to attach to. Secure your picture to the lip with hot glue!

2. Create a Seal

Whether you need an air tight or a water tight seal, using hot glue works really well. Here I make a seal on a DIY paint can with a soap dispenser pump attached to make my own pump can for finishing products.

3. Assembling Small Models

When you need instant holding power, such as when building small models, nothing beats hot glue. It's fast, it sets up really quickly, and it's surprisingly strong.

4. Attaching Under Cabinet Lighting

If you're looking to attach LED lighting underneath your cabinets, then using hot glue is a great idea!

5. Decorative Copper Pipe Connection

When you want to attach copper pipes together, however you don't want to do any soldering, then using hot glue is a great option, especially if you're doing a decorative project.

6. Attach Decorative Knobs (Faux Drawers)

If you're looking to attach knobs to faux drawers, or some other project, where you're not actually going to use the knobs, then use hot glue!

7. Holding Wood Together for Template Cutting

When you're looking to cut a template on several pieces of wood at the same time, attach several pieces of wood together with a small amount of hot glue. Then do your cuts, and after that you can separate the wood and all the pieces are the same!

8. Setting Wires on Wood

Sometimes it can be useful to attach wires to wood when doing a project. Using hot glue secures wires very well, and it will keep everything neat and organized.

9. Attaching Fabric To Wood

One of the easiest ways to attach fabric to wood is using your hot glue gun!

10. Setting Magnets in Wood

When you want to set magnets in wood and you don't want to mess around with epoxy or anything else that smells bad and takes a long time to dry, then hot glue is a great way to go. It sets up quickly, doesn't smell bad, isn't toxic and is surprisingly strong!

11. Making Soft Painting Pyramids Take advantage of how soft hot glue is and make molds out of it. Here I used an ice cube mold which I filled with hot glue. Once dried, I removed the glue, cut a few in half, and then hot glued the triangle on top of the square to make a stable pyramid. This is great to use when finishing a wood project, as it enables both sides to dry without scratching the wood or the finish.

12. Waterproofing LED Lights

When you connect LED lights with wires and you want to make it waterproof, one excellent way to go is to encase the wiring with hot glue. As soon as the hot glue hardens, you can put it in water!

Step 2: Conclusion - Watch the Video

To see all of these useful hot glue hacks, take a look at the video for a more in depth look. Perhaps you'll pick up a few new tips you hadn't thought about!


schabanow (author)2016-05-17

D'you know how to DISassemble the objects being assembled with a hot glue? Any surfaces, any kind of hot glue. In a minute. Any damages. Fall apart, details and used hot glue, side by side. Furthermore, LOVELY, precise stamps out of coins (or sth similar reliefed small things) are easy achievable as well... ))

SoLongSidekick (author)schabanow2016-05-17

Acetone makes hot glue lose it's grip instantly.

schabanow (author)SoLongSidekick2016-05-17

Acetone is a poison. Ethylene does the same.

JulianP4 (author)schabanow2016-05-17

Acetone is naturally produced in the human body. It is only high exposure that is toxic. Acetone has been studied extensively and is generally recognized to have low acute and chronic toxicity if ingested and/or inhaled

Acetone evaporates rapidly, even from water and soil. Once in the atmosphere, it has a 22-day half-life and is degraded by UV light via photolysis

DavidB594 (author)JulianP42017-10-23

Julian: I'm a physician and you are absolutely correct. So tired of reading posts that equate acetone to cyanide or saran gas.

SoLongSidekick (author)DavidB5942017-10-23 Exactly what knowledge does being a physician bring to the table in a discussion about a chemical that I guarantee was never brought up once in med school.

DavidB594 (author)SoLongSidekick2017-10-23

You demonstrate your ignorance, moron, I mean SoLongSidekick. Acetone is a "ketone body" and normally present in both serum and urine. It occurs as a result of normal metabolism. It can rise to very high levels in uncontrolled diabetes in insulin dependent diabetics develop high glucose levels and due to a relative insulin-resistance begin to metabolize other substances such as protein and fatty acids instead of glucose.This condition is known as diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially fatal condition. Moron.

SoLongSidekick (author)DavidB5942017-10-23

HAHAHA you just outed yourself. "Physician". Sure.

DavidB594 (author)SoLongSidekick2017-10-23

Please inform me what part of what I posted is inaccurate. You obviously are a physiology and biochemistry savant. Enlighten us, oh wise one!

SoLongSidekick (author)DavidB5942017-10-24

I can't, as I stopped reading after "You demonstrate your ignorance, moron, I mean SoLongSidekick"; which no one has heard since middle school. Are you the first teenage physician in the world?!?!

SoLongSidekick (author)JulianP42016-05-17

...and? Rubbing alcohol is more abundant and used more often, and is equally effective.

schabanow (author)SoLongSidekick2016-05-18

What does it mean 'rubbing'? The stuff you rub your chest / foots when you got bad cold or caugh? I guess that stuff is more like to vodka then pure ethylene... ???

Mark 42 (author)SoLongSidekick2016-05-17

Rubbing alcohol is not going to affect hot melt glue.
I sort of doubt acetone would work well, but it would work eventually.
I use a heat gun to disassemble hot melt glued assemblies.

SoLongSidekick (author)Mark 422016-05-18

... it works instantly. As in within three seconds the bond falls apart.

JulianP4 (author)SoLongSidekick2016-05-17

..just mean acetone isn't as bad as is often thought..

schabanow (author)JulianP42016-05-18

Got it, thanks. Well, all in all, acetone's to be quite expensive here (twice or even trice more the pure alcohol) and prohibited as a precursor. The word is to be used here to name a stuff that can be used in opiates excretion process, as well as potassium permanganate (for instance) which you can by in a drugstore in a tiny amount otherwise you will be asked for permit papers... So I can buy acetone in a special stores only and it's a pity that kind of stores isn't achievable for me.

SoLongSidekick (author)schabanow2016-05-17

Then I suppose it's a good thing that it's not necessary to drink it to get hot glue to release.

schabanow (author)SoLongSidekick2016-05-18


schabanow (author)SoLongSidekick2016-05-17

Much more eco friendly than acetone. In fact, not "much more" but not environmentally / human harmful at all. Any guess?

SoLongSidekick (author)schabanow2016-05-17

I can't imagine wasting time using anything but acetone / rubbing alcohol. Especially since that method takes two to three seconds total.

f1dd13r (author)2016-07-07

It is excellent for mending small holes in a water butt (that got blown over after SOMEONE untied it from it's wall anchor). You just put some on both sides of the hole so it hardens as one piece and it holds for years.

nrajagopal (author)2015-07-16

My hot glue coming out easily after I stick, either I don't know how to use it,either while charging or after charge, how to use it someone tell me?????????

woodNfish (author)nrajagopal2016-03-20

Hot melt glue (thermoplastic) will not stick to everything. It is best for paper and wood and some plastics, or as a temporary removable tack on materials it will not permanently stick to. You can also use it to make quick molded thermoplastic parts.

debz3492 (author)woodNfish2016-07-05

So if using hot glue on wood like soda or bottle caps will it hold up outside in the heat?

Yonatan24 (author)nrajagopal2015-07-28

if you really want to use hot glue you should scratch the magnet so it has better adheison

Mindmapper1 (author)2015-07-17

Hot glue is horrible stuff and should (in my opinion) only be used for sticking car boxes together.

Its not good at holding things like lights which get warm, as it will soften and then the light will fall off. Even LED lights get warm.

Its not good with metal (magnets etc) as it cools on contact and does not forma good bond. Large disc magnets will just pull out of it as the magnet is stronger than the glue bond.

woodNfish (author)Mindmapper12016-03-20

Hot melt glue is great stuff, it just isn't for everything.

debz3492 (author)woodNfish2016-07-05

so i have a question if im gluing beer bottle caps to wood and putting it out side will it hold up?

Yonatan24 (author)Mindmapper12015-07-28

I personally prefer hot glue but silicone glue has a lot of advantages that hot glue doesn't have (it doesn't melt when it warms up, and it stays fresh when cold

AeSix (author)2016-05-17

1) Not for anything much larger than an 8.5x11 picture, or the weight will make it fall apart.
2) For temporary or prototyping sealing, sure. Other than that, a real sealer should be used. Silicon II from GE works for many things.
3) Again, for prototyping, sure. But if you want your bond solid, have longevity and not look like a mess, material specific glues are better.
4) This is a great idea, as long as it's in a low moisture, low heat area, otherwise the bond will loosen...
5) epoxy sticks and rubber gloves. permanent and paintable. Copper-filled epoxy can be found to negate necessity of painting.
6) Not a great long term solution, humidity, temp differences will looses the glue. Not to mention the first time a guest pulls on it. Save them the embarrassment of breaking your things.
7) This could be great if done properly, and a few minutes in an over or with a heat gun will loosen the bond. Plenty of pressure should be applied before the glue cures to prevent slippage while cutting.
8) This also works in computer cases. However, on wood, this should be assisted with staples in the event the bond fails
9) Yup. Now you're starting to actually use hotglue for what it was meant for. The fabric, unless it's a large piece, won't have enough weight to pull the two apart..
10) Again, hot glue on wood isn't awesome, if the materials being glued are less than the holding bond of the glue, they'll work. I've had many magnets where the magnet was hot glued to wood or ceramic or even plastic knickknacks/paperweights and the glue has failed. Again, epoxy sticks are much better for longevity.
11) This is a great idea for in-a-pinch, but wouldn't putting the end of a hot glue stick in a pencil sharpenet (like you get with Crayola colored pencils) work to make the point and then cut that off as a cone? Also, re-usable plastic pyramids can be had for just a couple dollars usually.
12) I learned this the hard way ($1800 worth of electronics the hard way) that hot glue is not water proof. Silicon II from GE works much better. Hotglue on LED connectors to keep them held in place however, is a great idea.

I'm not trying to be mean, I'm simply trying to save everyone else from making time and effort wasting mistakes.

on a whole, these are good ideas, for temporary, non-functioning, prototyping, childs crafts, or other projects where the finished item don't need to exist permanently.

DIY-Guy (author)AeSix2016-06-07

AeSix, I appreciate your detailed comments above. Thank you.

KROKKENOSTER (author)2016-05-23

I found that hot glue do not work well on virtually everything if a strongish joint was called for To hold something while the proper glue was setting ideal

Tumunga (author)2016-05-20

yer purty!

I like the waterproofing the LED lights, but I didn't get the pyramid thing. Can you explain that for me?

martin.schmiedl.3 (author)2016-05-19

from my experience hot glue is not a good choice for waterproofing. after a few seconds it was dripping through. maybe mine was made of different chemicals

JulianP4 (author)2016-05-17

Hot glue can also be used to make soft pads that conform to irregular surfaces. I use it to make pads between bike lights and handlebars and seat tubes when the original light brackets break. Cable ties hold the lights in place, pads set the position of the light.

schabanow (author)JulianP42016-05-18

Exactly. Thumb's up. So you can use acetone / alcohol to form such an unique irregular pad, and then got disassemblable )) unit.

schabanow (author)2016-05-18

I insist ethylene works perfectly, at least with any kind of China-made clear rod glue (i.e. well melted, tightly assembled and then cooled down hot glue joints) that I can bought here. The subject looses all grip ability in a half of a minute. Then you can pry one side of joint win a scalpel or sth similar to let spirit to pour into tiny slot formed, then just slowly pull further to disconnect the seam of glue from the surface(s) alltogether...

... I did it many times. (C) M. Twain

Altoidian (author)2016-05-17

Awesome Instructable. Thanks!

BenC123 (author)2016-05-17

Hi, as a noob, may I add Holiday lights attached to brick? You can arrange them spaced and pointing in the same direction using brick and mortar lines as a guide.

DDW_OR (author)2016-05-17

to remove HMG (Hot Melt Glue) i use my tweezers and rubbing alcohol.

dip the point of the tweezers into the rubbing alcohol, then place the point where the HMG and the surface meet. the liquid will then separate the two.

I have only done this on hard surfaces.

Blue Hawaii (author)2015-03-15

I like to use hot glue at Halloween time to make spider webs using an air compressor and a blow gun nozzle. Looks real!

eliz.ponce1 (author)Blue Hawaii2016-05-17

I'd LOVE to see a tutorial! Or somewhere I can get more of a description on instructions....

Me too. A couple of these really need a video with them.

doo da do (author)Blue Hawaii2015-05-02

sounds interesting

strick (author)Blue Hawaii2015-03-17

You need to make an Instructable for this...

MrE (author)strick2015-03-21

Already done by kipkay. Here you go.

Flash635 (author)Blue Hawaii2015-03-17

A paint spray gun with thinned contact glue in it works great for making cobwebs.

qdogg (author)2016-05-17

You can make fake spider webs by dribbling the glue into the airstream of a hair dryer. They even feel sticky but are pretty easy to clean up. Also upholstery is amazingly easy w/ HG and you can easily re-cover furniture.

TeresaM7 (author)2016-05-17

Unfortunately, I find there are a lot of things that hot glue simply will not stick to. I love my hot glue gun, but it's sometimes limited.

adillbeck (author)2015-06-09

One thing I've used hot glue for in the past is as an alternative for shrink tubing to protect solder joints.

Mostly for low current things that aren't being handled, it seems to work good.

About This Instructable



Bio: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check ... More »
More by darbinorvar:Mid Century Modern Storage Table W/ Built-in LED LightingLED Acrylic & Wood Cube LightsHow to Bend PVC & Make Incredible Shapes
Add instructable to: