Hot glue is amazing. Period. It is one of those inventions that makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. Whether you are using the large industrial size, the larger home size, or the smallest size as an applicator, hot glue is a an all-purpose “fix it” tool. Craft projects galore are completed much faster with a smidge of hot glue instead of a glob of wet craft glue. The leaves on wreaths stay put, bows remain “just so”, decorative buttons are in place to stay, decorative trim goes onto throw pillows in a flash, and on and on. I saw my florist use it to be sure the stems on a corsage stayed in place.
I use glue sticks purchased at the local craft store. But, did you know that there are other types for heavier use such as sealing cartons and gluing furniture pieces? We are accustomed to the glue stick, yet there is also chip style glue material used in industry. There are heavier style glue sticks too for the large glue guns which heat to 400o, not the winpy little 250 o we get at home, which also explains the burns, red marks, and “OUCH!” here and there when we don’t watch what we are doing. You can relate, right?
Yet, with all these wonderful things that hot melt glue can do, there are just some times when it doesn’t work well. Wine corks are a good example. I’ve made a number of wine cork bulletin boards for myself and for friends. People who know me save their wine corks and drop them off now in then. Hot glue works just fine for a bulletin board. Deciding to use the corks in another way I decided this summer to make a wine cork wreath for the front door. I glued and glued and glued and liked the finished product. Lots of corks made into a wreath on a strong wire frame. I added some trim and hung it on the front door, happy with the results.
Then I made a sad discovery. Hot glue and hot weather do not play well together. During our scorching heat wave this summer I came home to find a couple of corks had fallen off. What’s this? I got out the glue gun and used a lot of glue and put them back. A couple of days later several more corks were at my feet as I got home, their sad little tendrils of glue dripping off the wreath. I looked. I had certainly used enough glue. What happened? I touched the wreath and discovered that many of the corks felt loose and that is when it dawned on me. Very hot weather and hot glue do not play well together. The wreath came off the outside door and moved inside. It is sitting in a basket waiting for me to put it back together. Later. When I know it won’t get above 75o outside.
Today I had another sad lesson about hot glue. I’ve got nine large tubs of Christmas decorations in the den waiting to for placement throughout the house. Yes, it is early. We have a big event at our home in early December and on the Things To Do List decorating the house is right at the top. Even though things are wrapped in plastic and stored in lidded tubs, I run toss pillows, stockings, stuffed animals, and other fabric items through the dryer on the steam fresh cycle to be sure they smell fresh and are dust free. Three needlepoint stockings are fine. Holiday themed dish towels look great. Small stuffed reindeer and teddy bears are wonderful. The Santa hat looks new. Pillows are wonderful. Santa? Santa didn’t do so well. Santa is a star shaped pillow, with a red sequined hat, bright white trim, and cute face, with a beard of sequins and small fluffy puffs, on string. It is really cute – or was. I didn’t realize the beard was attached with hot glue. Ut-Oh.
Poor Santa. Santa’s beard is now at least 18 inches long, and attached slightly only on his left side. Santa is now in the so-called craft room until I have the courage to untangle, straighten, and reattach his beard – with a needle and thread. You know, how we did it before we had got glue.
Every Day Is A Good Day. VJ