This week, my daughter asked if she could use my glue gun by herself for the first time. At 11, I feel she’s certainly old enough and has shown the maturity to use the tool well, and I was excited to see what she would make. I was reminded, though, that even with the ease of use a glue gun offers, there are some precautions to take and some tips that make the process run smoothly. (have you Googled “hot glue gun burns” lately? One word: OUCH.) Here are some of my favorites, do you have any to add?
- One of the most obvious safety tips (and yet, I always seem to forget to do this …) is to keep a small bowl of ice water nearby when working with your hot glue gun. If you are unlucky enough to get burned, getting your injury in to cold water and on ice quickly is one of the best ways to assuage pain and minimize damage. Again, checking out pictures of folks’ glue gun burns reminds you very quickly that this is no joke.
- Use tools for holding on to objects while you are glueing them. If you are working with tiny pieces, a pair of tweezers or needle-nose pliers can be very handy for keeping your fingers out of harm’s way.
- Use something besides your fingers to press your two glued objects together. This is especially true if you are glueing thin materials like fabric or felt. The heat of the glue can seep through and burn your finger tips and you press the objects together using something like a popsicle stick or plastic spoon can help protect your finger tips.
- Hot glue is notorious for leaving lots of spider web-style strings all over a finished projects. Grab your hairdryer and use a low-eat setting to zap them away.
- I have a few inexpensive plastic IKEA placemats that I keep on hand specifically to use under my hot glue gun. They can get messed up, and I don’t mind. Most of the glue peels right off when dry, but if it doesn’t I’m not upset to have messed up an inexpensive mat.
What are some other tips and tricks you have for using your glue gun?