I consider my self a Crafter not an Artist and I use hot glue all the time. I love how well hot glue bonds and it's ability to dry completely hard and NOT STICKY. A few years ago I dressed up as the black swan from the Movie with Natalie Portman. I had to have a crown that was exactly like the one in the movie but the few I found were insanely expensive or not similar looking enough. Hot Glue was the answer to create the perfect black swan crown. This crown is made completely out of hot glue that has been painted.
You only need a few items.
1. A hot glue gun (Duh!)
2. A lot of hot glue sticks.
3. Parchment Paper
4. A pencil for drawing the shape of your crown
5. Something heat resistant to use as a work surface.
6. Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Gun Metal. (This was the only paint that was the perfect metal color I was looking for.)
7. Paint Brush
Step 1: Draw Crown Outline
Cut a piece of parchment paper that is large enough to fit your entire crown lying flat. You can cut hot glue very easily when it is dries which allows you to can cut your crown down to size if needed. Draw the outline of your crown on the parchment paper. I used a ruler to draw a straight line for the bottom edge of the crown. From there, get creative. Draw any shape you want for your crown. I referenced pictures from the internet for the black swan crown. Once your crown outline is drawn on the parchment paper you can start applying hot glue. Make sure you have something heat resistant under the parchment paper before you start applying the hot glue. I have an old craft table that I used so I was not worried about damaging my work surface. I started by tracing over the outline I drew with hot glue. The hot glue outline will act as a border as you begin filling in the space with more hot glue. Get one full layer laid out and apply a second and even a third layer of hot glue to reach the desired thickness for your crown. It took about three layers. I wanted a melted metal look so I was not worried about being neat.
Step 2: Paint the Crown
I used Martha Stewart metallic craft paint in gunmetal. It is the paint that looks the most like metal and is worth the little extra money. I did not prime my hot glue crown before I started painting it and it took me many coats of paint on the front and back of the crown to get the desired color. I think priming your crown first would give the paint something better to bond to then just the hot glue. Keep painting until you like the color.
Step 3: Glue Ends and Apply Rhinestones
When I made my first black swan crown a few years ago for Halloween I attached the crown I made to a headband. It worked well but it was not necessary to use a headband. Take your time and build up the layers of hot glue and your crown will become stiff enough to support itself. Then all you need to do is use a little more hot glue and glue the two ends of the crown together. Don't forget to embellish your crown with some rhinestones. Now it is perfect and you have a sweet crown.