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Hot Glue Gun Helpers Winner

Congratulations to the winner of the Hot Glue Gun Helpers by Plaid

Dee in Oklahoma said…
Oh my goodness…I love thi Hot Glue Gun Helpers set.
This set has so many helpful items to help with the hot glue..my favorite being the twizzers. When I grip a small rhinestone with what I have, they usually zing across the room and my vacuum will find them.
Yes, I would definately buy this set.
I would love to win this set..thanks for the opportunity.

Please email your name and address to info@craftcritique.com. Please put Hot Glue Gun Helpers Winner in the subject of your email.
Thanks and Congrats!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: Hot Glue Gun Helpers by Plaid (2 of 2)

Reported by Erika Martin

If someone were to ask me what the one con is to using a glue gun, it would be that I am always burning my fingers. Always! I’ve had countless blisters and callouses on my fingers, knuckles and other parts of my hands. My daughter has her own craft area in my studio and likes to use hot glue guns with her projects and every now and then, she gets hot glue on her fingers, as well.

Not only do I burn my fingers, but since one way or another, my glue guns end up on their side, dripping on my work surface, so I’m always trying to scrape hot glue off my desk.
Enter the Hot Glue Gun Helpers by Plaid. Just gotta get something off my chest right here and now before I delve into all the specifics. The Hot Glue Gun Helpers? A-MAZ-ING! No more burned fingers! Now, on to my review.
The Hot Glue Gun Helpers pack comes with:
  • A 14.6” x 11.5” mat
  • 3 Finger caps in two sizes
  • Tweezers
  • Paddle
  • Press Wand
First up that I wanted to try out was the mat. The packaging states that the mat is heat- & stain-resistant (nothing sticks), protects your work surface from hot glue, tacky glue, Mod Podge and acrylic paints and that it’s an easy soap & water clean up. You can also use the mat as landing pad for heated glue guns.
The first thing I wanted to test was to see if hot glue really would come off the mat as easily as the packaging claimed it would. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve gotten glue on my craft desk and had to scrape it off with an X-acto knife or scissors. I’ve peeled off the finish on my desk, left nicks in the finish, etc. There are even some bits of glue that are STILL on my desk because I gave up with trying to get it all off.
See those pesky glue spots on my desk? NO MORE!!

I dripped a few beads of glue on the mat and when it cooled, I was able to pick it right up with my fingers.

I decided to go hard core with the glue. I was very generous with the hot glue gun and piped a big long line of it onto the mat and let it cool down.

I then took the paddle that comes in the kit and scraped it right off with hardly any effort at all.

Speaking of the paddle, the packaging states that the soft-press of the tip of the paddle won’t mar delicate embellishments and it helps with precise glue placement. One of the added benefits that I found from the paddle is that it’s great with eliminating “stringy-thingies.” You know when you apply your hot glue and when you pull the glue gun away, there’s a long string of hot glue that you just can’t seem to get rid of? The paddle is great for putting right up against the glue gun and “cutting off” the stringy-thingy. Nothing sticks to it and it’s heat-resistant so it’s perfect for this use.

Even though nothing sticks to the mat, it does tend to attract dust and lint, but a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth keeps it clean.

The finger caps are my all-time favorite item from the Hot Glue Gun Helpers. There are three caps (2 sizes) and they are heat-resistant safe up to 600 degrees F. Not that I would ever find myself in a position where I would be using something THAT hot, but that claim made it easy for me to put them on and try them out without hesitation.

The caps definitely felt sized for female fingers. I was able to get the biggest of the three onto my thumb, but couldn’t pull it all the way down. I don’t think I have terribly big fingers. My ring finger is only a 5 1/2 so I think my fingers are rather normal sized.

As I was working on a project with the i-bond Cordless Glue Gun, I tried out the caps when I was gluing a ribbon onto the back of a monogram I decorated for my bedroom. I couldn’t even feel the heat come through the cap.

Here’s a quick video run down I did of the Hot Glue Gun Helpers:

The Press Wand is the next item I tried out. The great thing about the items in pack is that they’re not just for hot glue gun use. They have other uses, as well. The Press Wand is multi-purpose. Of course, it’s non-stick and heat-resistant, just like everything else in the kit, but it’s also wonderful for smoothing out paper or cardstock when you glue them down using a liquid glue. Ever have those pesky glue bubbles under your paper that just don’t want to flatten out? The Press Wand is perfect for that!
I applied some liquid glue to a piece of chipboard that I wanted to cover.

Then, I placed my cardstock on top and rolled the wand over the top to even out any bubbles and so that the cardstock would dry flat on the chipboard.

I’ve always liked the hot glue technique on rubber brayers, but it’s hard to get the glue to come off easily. I wondered if I could get the same concept to work on the Press Wand.
I squeezed hot glue onto the Press Wand in a squiggle pattern and let the glue cool.

Then, I rolled the Wand over an ink pad, making sure to be careful not to loosen the glue.

I rolled the Wand back and forth over a scrap of white cardstock and got the coolest spattered ink background! I did have to be a bit careful that I didn’t move the glue too much because after all, the Press Wand IS non-stick. It was a bit messy of a process, but I really like the unique effect.

The glue slid right off the Wand when I was done.

I used the background piece as part of a little card that I made….and this is where I took out the Tweezers from the Hot Glue Gun Helpers. I really like the non-slip and no-stick feature of the tweezer tips. Picking up little items and trying to get precise placement is hard with the fingers at times, so having tweezers that aren’t going to fumble with small objects is a plus.
I applied a small dot of liquid glue to the bottom of the card I made (using the Press Wand background I created) and then used the tweezers to place my little flat-backed beads.

I found that the tweezers are also a plus when trying to apply a small amount of hot glue to VERY small embellishments such as the flat-backed beads. I squeezed a very small amount of glue out of the glue gun and applied it to my beads by holding them up to the nozzle with the tweezers.

I then adhered the beads to the front of a felt-covered journal that I made with the tweezers to guide the placement. My fingers were saved from getting burned and I didn’t have to worry about fumbling about with such a small embellishment.

Pros: – SO many of them
  • Finger caps are heat resistant and safe up to 600 degrees F, protect fingers when pressing hot glue, non-stick surface
  • Tweezers have non-slip, non-stick and heat resistant tips
  • Press Wand is great for smearing glue, rolling and smoothing paper while gluing
  • Paddle has a soft-edge tip so it doesn’t press delicate embellishments, great for “cutting off” those pesky “stringy-thingies” when pulling your glue gun away from your project
  • Mat is stain resistant and non-stick, protects work surface with a convenient size of 14.6” x 11.5″, great place to rest your glue gun, fast and easy water & soap clean up
Cons:
  • The finger caps (“thimbles”), while they do come in two sizes, may not fit on particularly larger fingers.
  • The mat tends to accumulate lint quickly, especially on the black decal, but a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth cleans it off nicely.
These helpers will definitely have a place on my craft desk at all times. I have a feeling my daughter will be “borrowing” them at her craft table, too. I know that I’ll feel a lot better with her wearing the caps on her fingers when she’s using my glue guns, especially the high-temp gun. More than just using these helpers with hot glue, they’ll come in handy for so much more.
The Hot Glue Gun Helpers retails for a price of $19.99 and can be found on Amazon.com

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at Plaid are giving away a set of the Hot Glue Gun Helpers to one of our lucky readers… just answer this question by leaving a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win:

What’s your favorite feature of the Hot Glue Gun Helpers? Is this a product you would buy? Why or why not?

You have until Friday, February 25, 2011 at 10 pm CST to enter. One comment per person, per article, please.


Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: The Hot Glue Gun Helpers Kit by Plaid (1 of 2)

Reported by Angie Backen

Being an avid user of hot glue on the majority of my projects, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review this product – The Hot Glue Gun Helpers kit – developed by “Creative Juice” TV hosts Cathy Filian and Steve Piacenza and brought to us by Plaid. It says right on the back of the package, “Nearly every crafter has a hot glue gun horror story!” and man…isn’t that the truth? I’m pretty sure I’ve peeled off most of my fingerprints, which stinks because I might need them someday.

Included in this kit are 5 non-stick items created to make hot gluing easier (and actually enjoyable): a pretty pink craft mat, a finger cap for protecting delicate fingers and pressing, tweezers with non-stick tips, a paddle for soft pressing, and a press wand for heavy duty pressing and smearing of glue.

First, the Craft Mat. It’s a good size – approximately 11.5″ x 14.5″ and it rolls up easily for travel. Of course, the first thing I HAD to do was squeeze a little hot glue on it to test out the “non-stickiness”.

Incredible. The hot glue just peeled right off without much effort on my part. I was curious to see how it would work with regular white glue. Of course it took a little longer to dry, but peeled right off just as easily as the hot.

It just so happened that I had a project that needed some fixing after it “jumped” off the wall onto the floor and a few pieces and parts fell off. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a few of the tools.

I tried the finger cap first. It’s the one tool I was most excited about! It fit quite snuggly on my index finger, but it wasn’t full coverage like I was expecting. My finger only fit a quarter of the way in, which left it feeling a bit clunky and spongy at the tip, so pressing on a clunky or pointy object straight down instead of at an angle will just be absorbed into the tip. Also, because is it round rather than pointed, getting into tight spaces with this might be difficult.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Uh, Angie… you’re wearing all three caps at the same time. Safety first and all, but that’s a little much 😉

Still, it served its purpose – that is to protect my finger from getting burned upon the first press after applying the hot glue. It also helped with those pesky hot glue strings (they remind me of spider webs and therefore give me the heebie jeebies) if you just wind them around the tip of your finger a couple of times.

Next, I tried the Tweezers. Let me just say that this tool alone will change your whole hot glue gun experience for the better. This tool is perfect for holding and applying hot glue to delicate wired embellishments and gemstones of any size. And it will also help with pressing in those tight places where the Finger Cap cannot.

It’s also helpful when you need EXACT placement of an object.

The non-stick tips are a bit thick so I was skeptical about how it would handle tiny gems or beads, but it was hardly an issue. In fact, the non-stick material helped to firmly grasp the tiny objects. Score!

The next tool I tried was the Press Wand. Now, this tool is meant to be used for “heavy duty” pressing, which I thought would perfect for reinforcing the metal frame on my project with a little hot glue, so I was expecting it to be firm and sturdy – almost like an eraser – but to my surprise, it was quite floppy. It took very little exertion to make it bend and the only way to apply force to pressing with this tool is to hold it at the very tip. And even then it’s a bit floppy.

The pointed tip was also meant to be used for spreading your glue to help get rid of those telltale hot glue gun lines – unless of course, you want the added dimension.

I squeezed a bit of glue onto a piece of paper, put my gun down and then reached for the Press Wand, but by the time I went to spread the glue, it was already dry…so that didn’t work. I tried again, this time working faster, but I found that the glue was difficult to spread and even sticking to the Press Wand. It certainly didn’t leave the smooth finish I was hoping for and would definitely be visible under thin paper or fabric.

Now, it just may be that I’m not using the right type of hot glue for this particular tool, but because I only use one type, I probably will not be using the Press Wand too often.

Lastly, I tried the Paddle. At first glance, I thought this tool would also be sturdier, but turned out to be very flexible at the tip.

It’s meant for soft pressing, so it’s perfect for flat items like flowers or fabric embellishments.

What I do like about this tool is the sharp corner because it helps to apply the tiniest smidge of glue to those little objects (like beads) and can get in those tight little spaces, but again… YOU HAVE TO BE QUICK!

Pros:

  • No more finger burns when working with hot glue!
  • Craft Mat protects your work surface from hot glue burns and makes for easy clean up. It can also be rolled up for easy travel.
  • Tweezers help with small objects and tight space presses that can otherwise be difficult placing or reaching.

Cons:

  • While the Finger Cap prevents burns, the round tip makes pressing difficult in tight places. A pointed cap would work for that.
  • Press Wand is not sturdy enough for the heavy duty presses it was intended for.
  • A carrying case to keep tools together and make for easier transporting would be nice, but doesn’t take away from the product itself.
  • Unfortunately, this does not keep you from accidentally burning your arm with the tip of the gun while reaching across the table for supplies. Ouch. 😉

GIVEAWAY!
Our friends at Plaid are giving away a set of the Hot Glue Gun Helpers to one of our lucky readers… just answer this question by leaving a comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win:

What is your hot glue gun horror story?
You have until Friday, February 25, 2011 at 10 pm CST to enter. One comment per person, per article, please.


Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Glow in the Dark Halloween Skull Sneakers

Original Project Design by Modern Surrealist Marisa Pawelko


Make a statement this Halloween by “upcycling” a basic pair of black tennis shoes! You still have plenty of time to whip up this simple but impressive Halloween project!


It’s so easy to do! Here’s all you need:

Black Tennis Shoes
PLAID Folk Art Extreme Glitter in Silver, Black and Red
Marvy Uchida Deco Fabric Marker in White
Ad Tech Low Temp Mini Glue Gun
Ad Tech Multi Temp Mini Size Glow in the Dark Glue Sticks
Fine tip and medium size paint brushes

Instructions:


Use Deco Fabric Marker to freehand white skulls and bones outlines  onto sneakers

Go over the white marker lines with a layer of Ad Tech Glow in the Dark Hot Glue

Fill in the areas of blank canvas sneakers with PLAID Folk Art Extreme Glitter
 Let dry and you’re done!!!
 

Marisa’s Links:
My Website:
http://modernsurrealist.com/
My Blog:
http://blog.modernsurrealist.com/
My Facebook Fan Page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Modern-Surrealist/50022044010
My Twitter Page:
http://twitter.com/ModSurrealist
My You Tube Channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TheModernSurrealist

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA Tools: Hot Glue Gun Helpers

One of the most exciting and innovative products to come out of CHA are the Hot Glue Gun Helpers by Plaid. Designed by superstar crafter and Creative Juice co-stars Cathie Filan and Steve Piacenza, the Hot Glue Gun Helpers are silicone tools with a spark of genius!

These tools, rated up to 600 degrees, are for use with the glue gun you already have. If you are like me you have burned your fingers multiple times using hot glue – pressing a ribbon into place or gluing a small object on a project. Just dripping a splotch of glue onto your workspace can be a big headache!

The Glue Gun Helpers change all that. Listen to Cathie as she gives us her Glue Gun Helper pitch… personally, I can’t wait to try it out for myself! And did you hear the price? All for under $20?! I think the Mat alone is worth that! Cool right?


Visit Cathie’s blog to see more about these amazing tools!

This post is brought to you by: eclectic Paperie: Looking for a great selection of Tim Holtz products Check out tim’s muse at eclectic Paperie.” Pre-order new Tim Holtz Distress Inks colors at eclectic Paperie.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!