String Theory: Yarn and Hot Melt Glue





Introduction: String Theory: Yarn and Hot Melt Glue

About: I'm a refugee from Los Angeles, living in backwoods Puerto Rico for about 35 years now and loving it. I built my own home from discarded nylon fishnet and cement.

This 3-D string drawing is called "String Theory".  Size: 18 X 24 inches.  Base material: rubber floor mat.

The basic kidney shape was cut out of one of those rubber floor mats with the interlocking edges.  A strip of the interlocking edges, previously cut off the floor mat was glued to the edge of the kidney shape with hot melt glue.  Various shapes cut out of more floor mat scraps were glued to the front of the base piece.   Everything was then covered with yarn and hot melt glue.  It took me about four days to make. 

I use a cheap, 10W  hot melt gun for the first application of the yarn.  You want to keep the glue to a minimum on the first pass.  After all the yarn is down, I take my 40W gun to saturate and iron down the yarn.  It flattens out some as air is expelled by the pressure and glue. 

I doubt that most glue guns are designed for doing this sort of work,   The conical tip is not able to get down perfectly flat against the work surface for ironing because of the plastic body of the glue gun.  Still, it works reasonably well with my big gun.

For the ironing stage, I experimented by shaping a copper soldering iron tip to an appropriate shape.  It worked well, but the higher heat of the soldering iron eventually started burning the glue stuck to it, creating toxic fumes.  It might work better with a voltage regulator reducing the voltage to melting temperature only. 

At the end, you can see some previous experiments covering bottles with yarn and glue to make flower vases. 



    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • BBQ Showdown Challenge

      BBQ Showdown Challenge
    • Stick It! Contest

      Stick It! Contest

    14 Discussions

    Very cool but how did you get a picture of my brain?
    You know it's cool when the first question you ask your self is where can I get one, I did

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    So how exactly is this done? Pardon my ignorance - I'm not exactly seeing step by step structions. Just glue the yarn to whatever and however?

    1 reply

    It is not a step by step instructable, but rather a share photo instructable. The steps, however, are simple. Glue the yarn to whatever and however. Use the minimum of glue for the first pass, just to hold things in place. On the second pass, flood it with glue and iron it down.

    VERY cool! Would make amazing jewelry. Have you tried making a wide flat extension for your 40 W glue gun? I needed a wide strip of glue at one point and found a copper extension worked because it didn't lose the heat. Will dig it out and post a pic soon.

    3 replies

    I made the copper tip by folding a piece of copper sheet. Years later saw the commercial tips. Don't know if they are still available. Sorry for the blur. If anyone wants a clearer bar code, let me know.


    Interesting. Thanks. Not the tips I need for the ironing, but they suggest possibilities.

    As to the jewelry, yes! Try hot gluing the yarn to a teflon coated cookie sheet. It pops right off, design visible from both sides. Good for ear rings, pendents, etc.


    4 years ago

    Oh darn so sorry I just found them at bottom of the list. Anyway very intresting


    4 years ago

    It would be easier if you actually told us how to do