Glue Gun 101

Anyone who does crafting will tell you how great glue guns are. In fact, if it weren’t for the handy glue gun, many crafters may take up a different hobby. They make crafting easier and quicker. I had never even heard of glue guns until I got to college and found myself doing crafts with my sorority. But not everyone knows the benefits of using one, so here’s a short glue guns 101 to bring you up to speed.

Glue Gun Safety, Guidelines and Tips

What Are Glue Guns?

Glue guns are small tools which superheat sticks of glue up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit. The glue, when melted, sticks nearly anything together. Whether you’re working with wood, plastic, thick fabric or dried flowers, a glue gun can do the trick of providing a tight seal.

Glue Gun Safety

Remember, when it comes to using a glue gun, safety comes first. The smaller gun you can use to do the job, the better. You’ll be less likely to burn yourself on the tip of the small gun. Keep children away from the glue gun unless closely supervised by an adult. These items may look cute but they get extremely hot and can burn little hands.

Use the glue gun near your work space away from flammable objects. Placing the glue gun on a non-flammable surface such as a pie pan or ceramic dish is also a good idea.

Give it ample time to heat up before use because the glue may not be thoroughly melted. If you use the gun near your work area, you’ll be more likely not to forget it if you have to step away.

Keep cold water nearby when using a hot glue gun just in case you do burn yourself. Dip your hands into the cold water, which will instantly solidify the melted material, and then peel off the glue.

How to Use a Glue Gun

When your glue gun is ready, place the glue stick into the gun and allow it to heat up, 2 to 10 minutes depending on the model. Heat up time can be determined by the age of the glue gun or the type of glue youíre using. Gently squeeze the trigger to see if glue comes out; if not, let it sit another minute or so. Then try again.

Draw a thin line of glue on one piece of the items to be glued. Immediately place the second piece on top and press them firmly together for about 15 seconds. Once youíve allowed the glue to cool a little, remove one hand and see if the items remain stuck. Let them set for a few minutes to completely ìcureî and then pull away any stray strings.

After you’ve finished using the glue gun, immediately unplug it from the wall. This will reduce the possibility of a fire hazard. Do you have problems remembering to unplug your gun? Set a timer for 20-minute intervals so you can remember itís still hot.

Should Children Use Glue Guns?

Consider the attention span and maturity of your child before allowing them to use a glue gun. Personally, I wouldn’t consider allowing a child younger than elementary school age to even try. Using a cold glue gun, ask your child to demonstrate how to properly use it, where to hold the gun while inserting the glue and how they treat the glue which has come out of the gun. If you’re sure they are aware of the parts which are hot, let them try using the gun while it’s hot and you supervise. When you’re comfortable, step back and allow them to create but remain close by if they need you.

Always remember that the glue gets very hot (430 degrees) and it is possible to get burned. Be careful while using a glue gun and it can be used for a variety of crafts.


  1. I have a very small glue gun and should read your post every time I’m going to use it….just to make sure I don’t burn myself! 🙂

    Good tips!

    1. Ha! I learned keeping a cup of cold water by the work area the hard way. I wasn’t seriously burned but my skin was sensitive for several days.

  2. The very reason I hesitate to use glue guns! But, I guess I should get over it since it is such a useful device!

    1. LOL, Roshni. I put my glue gun away for a while and was so happy to get it out again. Makes the bigger crafts SO much easier.

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