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Why I Never Use a Glue Gun [+ the BEST glues for different DIY materials!]

Looking for alternatives to a hot glue gun? Here’s a great list of amazing glues to use with different materials!

Picture of a hot glue gun with text reading "Why I never use a hot glue gun"

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you are also looking for an alternative to the almighty glue gun. When I tell people that I’m a DIY blogger that doesn’t use a glue gun, most people don’t believe it. In fact, most people don’t even know of any alternatives to a glue gun!

Why I don’t use a Glue Gun

I have never enjoyed using a glue gun. I burn myself every. single. time. I use one. Maybe I’m just not patient enough.. lol. But if I wait until the glue isn’t too hot, then its dry and I have to peel it off, taking my work surface with it. Can’t win.

Then there’s the glue strings… ugh. How can you possibly get a DIY project to look good with those strings? And the clumps? It’s impossible to flatten the glue before it dries (or again, you burn your finger!), and then I end up with lumps and clumps all over my project… I’m too much of a perfectionist to work with a glue gun!

Why I Never Use a Glue Gun [+ the BEST glues for different DIY materials!]

So I have a glue stash. A few different glues that I use for EVERYTHING from crafts with my daughters, to DIYs with my Cricut Explore 2, to woodworking. And I promise that NONE of these glues burn you, leave clumps or take too long to dry!

Here are some amazing alternatives to glue guns

Buttons – 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue <– Still dries super fast!
Burlap –  Fabri-Tac & Stop Fraying
Ceramics – Two part epoxy
Copper – Two part epoxy
Cork – Power-Tac <– Super strong and still dries really fast!
Craft Metal – Power-Tac
Denim – Fabri-Tac
Embellishments (Rhinestones, glitter, pearls, etc.) – Gem-Tac
Fabric – Fabri-Tac
Fur (faux) – 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
Felt – Fabri-Tac
Jute string – 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
LeatherPower-Tac (I used to use E6000, but this stuff doesn’t smell)
Leather (faux) –3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
Paper (tissue paper, cardstock, regular) – Any glue stick, or Mod Podge for decoupage
Pipe cleaners3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
PlasticTwo part epoxy
Pom poms3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
RaffiaSpray Adhesive (on surface)
RopePL Premium
Tissue Paper – Spray Adhesive
Twine – 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
Vellum – Spray Adhesive
Wire (floral) – 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue
WoodWood glue

What Glue is Best for Kids?

There are so many awesome materials for kids to DIY and craft with and the most common glue traditionally is a glue gun. I don’t love a glue gun for myself, but I also don’t love giving one to my kids, especially if I’m not using it hand-over-hand with them.

Instead I typically give them the 3-in-1 advanced glue. It’s perfect for a ton of kids materials including ribbon, pom poms, pipe cleaners, toilet paper rolls, beads, and more! It’s not hot so it won’t burn them, it’s easy to use, and it dries quickly, which is important considering how impatient my kids are!

Some Glue Gun Alternatives in Action

All of these glues are on this list because I’ve used and loved them! I wanted to share a few examples of how I’ve used my favourite ones so that you can check them out before you buy them!

Alternatives to Glue Guns

Some great alternatives to glue guns that I've used in my home and DIY projects.

If you think of something that should be on the list, let me know! I’d love to update it!

Why I Never Use a Glue Gun [+ the BEST glues for different DIY materials!]


Monday 5th of September 2022

Thanks for the list. Will consider them but I DO LOVE MY GLUE GUNS!! I DON'T THINK I COULD LIVE WITHOUT THEM. I take my time so as not to burn myself. I do appreciate your list and it will come in handy sometime. Thanks!!


Monday 12th of September 2022

I get that! There is a time and place for glue guns, lol. They just drove me totally crazy.

Jane Toomajanian

Monday 5th of September 2022

Really good information! What glue would you suggest for gluing a ceramic bead to wood?

Judy Williams

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Thank you for all the wonderful information! You have made me feel better about not enjoying the glue gun. I am Not alone.. :) I Loved your article and so glad to find you, also ladies here thanks for the added info! Have a good day! smiles from Tennessee, Judy.


Wednesday 21st of October 2020

Finally a diyer who has the answer to using something other than a hot messy glue gun. Grazie from Italy


Friday 19th of October 2018

Thank you so much for the glue list!! I tried several glues for my button art with poor results. I will try your suggestion, thanks again. Connie