How to Make Hot Glue

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Hot melt glue is one of the most useful all-purpose crafting accessories, but what do you do when it isn't available? If you don't have a craft store in your area, don't have a glue gun, or have just run out of glue sticks, you may find yourself in a position where you need to improvise a replacement in a pinch. At times like these, homemade hot glue can be made in a snap by looking to your microwave and your candy jar.

Things You'll Need

  • Gum balls
  • Microwave-safe plate
  • Pot holder
  • Popsicle stick or bamboo skewer
  • Hairspray or clear nail polish

Select a few gum balls and place them on a microwave-safe plate. As with regular hot glue, it's best to only melt a small portion at a time so that you can use it before it hardens. When melted, this improvised glue will be mostly transparent but will retain some of the color of the gumball, so choose accordingly for your project (white gumballs will look the most like regular hot glue).

Heat the plate of gumballs on high for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Remove the plate. Be sure to use pot holders, as the plate is likely to be hot (heating sugary materials in the microwave generates a lot of extra heat).

Stir the melted gumballs with your popsicle stick or bamboo skewer. They should have a transparent, liquid consistency at this point. If they don't, microwave them for a another 30 seconds or so.

Apply the melted gumball glue to your craft projects. The glue should stick immediately and set up fully in a few minutes.

Coat any exposed, hardened glue on your project with a little clear nail polish or a few spritzes of hairspray. This will keep the glue from attracting dust or lint.

Re-melt unused glue as needed. When finished, clean the plate by soaking it in water for a few hours.

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