How to Start Gluing
Whether you’re gluing wood together or being creative, a glue gun has many uses for small repairs, home improvements or creative projects. You can even create jewellery out of glue! Learn how to use a glue gun with this simple tutorial. We’ve broken down each stage to make the process as easy as possible for you. Enjoy!
Prepare your glue gun
Before you use your glue gun, always check that it is free from damage such as cracks or chips. Check the electrical cord for fraying or rips. If the glue gun has been used before, make sure the device is unplugged and clear the nozzle of any old glue residue. (Always clean your glue gun right after using it; see tip 10.) This will provide a clear pathway for the newly melted glue. You can do this with a dry cloth (never use water on a glue gun).
Choose the right glue stick
Now that the glue gun is prepared, you’re ready to insert the glue stick. Depending on your project, you will need either multi-purpose, coloured or wood glue. See our Comparative Fact Sheet to compare them. Also, glue guns have different temperature settings (see next tip). Check if you have the right type of glue stick by referring to the glue stick packaging or the product page on Dremeleurope.com. And make sure to never pull out a half-used glue stick from the glue gun when it’s still hot, as this can spill hot glue onto your skin or surfaces.
Set your glue gun at the right temperature
Coloured glue sticks require a lower temperature (105 degrees Celsius) than neutral glue, because then the glue will stay nice and bright. When working with coloured glue, it’s best to use the Dremel Glue Gun 930, which has two temperature settings. To find out the right temperature setting for your type of glue stick, it’s best to refer to the packaging of the glue sticks or see our Comparative Fact Sheet . It takes about five minutes for your glue to fully warm up. The nozzle will be very hot, so be careful not to lean it against any material or touch it without heat-resistant gloves.
Test the glue gun
Now for the exciting bit! With the nozzle pointing downwards, gradually apply pressure to the trigger and test the hot glue on a piece of scrap material, such as cardboard, to see if it’s ready to use. You'll know when the glue is ready when it turns to liquid and is released when you pull the trigger. Now try practicing with the glue gun until you feel confident – remember to pull the trigger gently to control the flow of glue. A little bit of glue goes a long way! Always keep the nozzle at a safe distance from any material as it is very hot and could leave burn marks on your material.
Protect your work surface
Now that you are ready to use the glue gun, protect any surfaces with a covering such as a cutting mat or, for smaller projects, a glue pad. That way you are protected from any spills and – with the Glue Pad – the glue simply wipes off the silicone surface. Also, use the stand of your glue gun to rest it on when you are not working with it. Never put the glue gun on its side as the glue could drip, or the nozzle could create a burn mark.
How to glue glass, plastic, metal, leather, wood and other materials
Whether you are gluing glass, metal, plastic, leather or wood, it’s important to have a dry and grease-free surface as oily, smooth surfaces don’t bond together as easily. If you’re working with glass, rub it with alcohol or glass cleaner. Otherwise, use water and soap. Or if you’re working with wood, lightly sand the area to be glued, and clean it. Then, apply the glue and press the surfaces together until the glue sets hard. For larger materials, this may require a clamp, for smaller ones a rubber band should be sufficient. Leave for 24 hours to allow the glue to harden properly.
Use your glue gun for basic repairs
A glue gun, particularly the Dremel Glue Gun 940, is perfect for small repair jobs around the house as it can be used cordless and has a higher temperature setting. It works particularly well on interior wood and plastics but it can also repair carpets and flooring. Planning to fix skirting boards? Try hot glue for a smooth, nail-free fix. And next time you’re putting furniture together, you can use hot glue on small joints, trim and mounting.
Use your glue gun for household hacks
You’ll be amazed at what you can do with a hot melt glue gun. For example, try using hot glue as a nonslip household hack. Simply apply hot glue to the bottom of socks, slippers, rugs or the sides of clothes hangers, let the glue dry and slip no more!
Create objects out of hot glue with molds
If you’re eager to get creative with hot glue, a fun project for beginners is to create 3D objects to attach to, for example, photo frames, hairpins or earrings. You can do this by simply filling up a silicone mould with (coloured) hot glue. You can use ice cube moulds, cookie moulds, cake-decoration moulds or any other mould you like. Insert the hot glue into the mould by tipping the glue gun and directing it into any corners first, then fill in the centre. Watch this masterclass to learn exactly how to do this.
How to remove glue from your glue gun
When you’ve finished gluing, always unplug the glue gun before cleaning it. To prevent the glue on the nozzle from setting, wipe the glue off quickly with a dry cloth. The nozzle will still be warm, so be careful – always wear heat-resistant gloves! Learn more in this article. If any excess glue has already set on your material and overlaps, you can trim it with a pair of scissors. For strings of glue, briefly heat the glue up with a hair dryer to melt it, and then wipe it away with a cloth.