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Craft Glue Hacks

Comparing Glue Guns and Gem-Tac

Deciding which craft glue to use is essential when making your DIY wedding invitations.

Which is the best adhesive or glue for attaching embellishments to your wedding stationery? The two most popular for this task are hot melt glue guns and Gem-Tac.

Here we compare the advantages and disadvantages of both;

Craft Glue - Hot Melt Glue

Hot melt glue from a glue gun is a quick, easy and convenient adhesive to use.

There are many types from cordless hot glue guns, mini hot glue guns and also low-temperature glue guns. Some have two heat settings, dual temperature so that you can switch between a higher or a lower temperature depending on the adhesive that you’re using.

The best hot glue guns for card making and DIY wedding stationery is a simple craft glue gun. Glue guns are perfect for quick repairs, craft projects and some DIY projects.

How To Use a Craft Hot Glue Gun

Hot glue gun sticks usually come in packs. After allowing warm-up time one or two sticks are needed in the glue gun, as you press the trigger, the glue is moved and melted appearing form the nozzle.

There’s very little mess; you have to be fast and apply the glue to the surface before it cools and then strings can be removed. You need to consider the surface you’re attaching it to, if it’s cold like a metal diamante embellishment, then the glue can cool too quickly that you don’t achieve a good bond.

Hot melt glue is quick, convenient and produces a good bond, but in our tests, the embellishment could be removed quite easily. We love hot melt glue for its convenience and its great for attaching small embellishments to cards quickly (such as paper flowers and ribbons). The significant advantage is that there’s no drying time.

Dual Temperature Craft Glue Gun

Our craft glue gun is ideal for general crafts and paper crafting.

Gem-Tac Adhesive

A multipurpose adhesive ideal for crafts & card making.

Glue Gun Sealing Wax

You can also personalise your wedding invites using wax seals using glue gun sealing wax.

Glue Gun Sealing Wax

Sealing wax for glue guns can be sent through the post, making flexible and robust wax seals. Ideal for high quality wedding stationery.

Glue gun sealing wax is best in a low-temperature glue gun, but we’ve used a craft glue gun, and this works well. If you’re creating a lot of identical wax seals at a time, this method is much less time-consuming. You can create many seals on a silicone mat and then use them later by glueing to your project.

The significant advantage of this is that you can reject any seals that you’re not happy with, the rejected wax can always be remelted and used traditionally.

Disadvantages are that changing wax colours can take 2-3 sticks of wax or glue before the new colour is clean. Some professional stationers have one glue gun for each colour.

Craft Glue - Hot Glue Gun Hacks

  • Stringy glue; keep your glue sticks for the hot glue gun in the freezer, and there’ll be far less stringiness
  • Low-temperature glue guns reduce the risk of burns
  • Clean the glue gun nozzle regularly; this is the most common reason for glue guns dripping
  • Don’t tip the nozzle upwards as the hot melt adhesive glue will drip down onto the casing
  • Protect the surface you’re working on; baking mats are ideal for this
  • How to clean your hot glue gun, make sure the nozzle is cleaned regularly by turning the glue gun off by the power switch and still squeezing glue out – this removes any melted glue
  • Hot glue gun safety tips; ideally wear heat resistant gloves and safety glasses. Keep on a heat protective surface and use a wire stand to support the glue gun. Remember to turn off when it’s not in use.
  • Should you get a hot glue gun burn then put the burn under running cold water for a few minutes and if necessary seek medical advice

Gem-Tac Glue

Gem-Tac from Beacon Adhesives
Our favourite glue for papercrafts is Gem-Tac

Gem-Tac from Beacon Adhesives is a liquid glue that can be applied directly from the bottle. It requires drying time, but you can reposition your embellishment if you feel it’s just not quite in the right place.

In our tests, we found that the embellishment stuck on with Gem-Tac was challenging to remove and that the only way to remove it was to tear the card itself. You can see how badly damaged the card stock is in our video.

Gem-Tac is a tremendous multi-purpose adhesive that dries clear. It can be used for bonding porous materials such as fabric, wood and suede to smooth surfaces such as glass, vinyl and metal. If you have a diamante embellishment to repair it’s the best adhesive for the job, other glues like superglue make the gems go cloudy or ‘foggy’.

In our opinion, it’s the best gemstone glue for card stock and also the best glue for gems on fabric. It’s a permanent adhesive that bonds gems, sequins, glitter and rhinestones to many materials, it’s ideal for attaching Swarovski crystals especially if you don’t have a heat tool or the gems are non hot fix.