DIYdiy projects

An Ode to the Glue Gun: 18 Projects that Use Our Favorite Craft Tool

by Grace Bonney

The humble glue gun seems to be a divisive tool in the crafting community. Some see it as a symbol of projects that lack a certain level of sophistication, but others (like me and Paul Lowe — who has one tattooed on his arm!) see it as a way to open up a world of possibilities in just a few quick clicks of a tool. Glue guns aren’t just for summer camp popsicle stick projects — they’re also a useful and valuable tool for getting just about any project done, from collaging and woodworking to endless decorative details. So today, I decided to round up my 18 favorite projects that show off the versatility of the everyday glue gun and all you can do with it. Squeeze away! xo, grace

Megan Pflug's Moroccan wedding blanket-inspired pendant is one of my favorite lighting projects of all time. A hot glue gun makes adding on all the trimmings quick and easy.
Whether you mount it on the wall as art or use it on the floor as a decorative mat, this woven sisal DIY is a fun way to focus on two main supplies: glue guns and sisal rope.
Upgrade your art (or just celebrate your handiwork with the frame alone) with these amazing custom frames.
Dress up your everyday pendant cord with a dramatic woven detail. All you need is rope, hot glue and a little weaving know-how. Check out the full how-to here.
If you have a nonfunctioning fireplace, but still want to make it a focal point, pick up a piece of wallpaper (or gift wrap!) and use hot glue and foam core to create a mantel that has style for miles.
Brenna's faux capiz shell chandelier is one of the most beloved projects we've ever run -- and it's a testament to the power of paper and hot glue. (Don't worry, this paper is safe to use around bulbs and hot glue.)
Hot glue, feathers and a basic pendant shade turn everyday track lighting into something special and custom.
A woven balsa lampshade is a great way to upgrade your vintage or thrift store find, and it only takes a few moments and a few supplies -- including your trusty glue gun.
Glue guns are great for practical projects, but they're also fun for making more decorative or arts-based projects, like this DIY 3D Cube Art.
These sculptural paper orbs use hot glue and paper tin liners to create stunning works of art for your ceiling.
Give your home a little marquee style with this DIY lighting idea, which turns hot glue and string lights (although not touching!) into something spectacular.
Make over a bland box-store table with patterned grass mats and hot glue. A brand new, custom look for 1/10th of the price.
This budget-friendly modern pendant idea turns delicate sticks and hot glue into a cool sculptural statement.
Stones, paint and hot glue turn everyday objects into DIY gilded bookends for showing off your prized tomes.
Get your desk in gear with this spool-shaped organizer that uses paper, cord and hot glue!
This faux stone mirror uses contact paper and hot glue to create 3D decorative elements.
This sweet and simple DIY wooden heart is a great way to surprise someone you care about -- or just perk up your own home or desk space.
Who couldn't use a little more organization on the family fridge? These quick and easy clay magnets combine colorful everyday clay and hot glue with magnets to create something fun and functional.

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  • Glue guns are great and boy they sure stick well. Be careful with glue guns and lighting heat. I work in lighting and had a fun idea to make a finial with lots of cool beads. Fortunately I brought it home and watch the beads drop off one by one with the heat of the light bulb! oh gosh, it was funny! Glad I didn’t sell any!!! Hi Paul!

  • I have used the same mini glue gun for more than 20 years! My grandma was the manager of a craft store and as a little kid I’d help her make the display models of floral arrangements, bears in frilly outfits on wicker chairs, and abaca angels (now THERE’S a fad just waiting to come back). I wrote a tiny essay about how the glue gun was my favorite toy, and took umbrage at Girl Scouts that only the adults were allowed to glue the backs onto our SWAPs.

    The trigger doesn’t work all the time and it’s still covered in early 90s craft detritus but I’ll never buy another.

  • What a very fun post. It gives me hope. One of my top pics is the Moroccan Wedding Blanket themed chandelier. I suppose it might be almost “too neat” as the charm of the blankets are entirely handmade and imperfect. I suppose I could try this sometime. Inspired! Thanks!

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