Cheerio loop joined with hot glue


Heart shaped loop with copper wire center, joined with hot glue

I've found a few more practical uses for hot glue in building bubbling cords. I've used it before to join the ends of diamond braid cotton for novelty garlands like my cheerio bubbler and for some prototype loops for a heartstrings garland.

For Swivel-less Garlands


Hot glued connection on a garland strung with Dacron fishing line

I've also found it useful for forming connections in what I call grinner (a.k.a. denture) garlands that use a thin and easily twisted line to connect the loops rather than swivels. I like using Dacron fishing line to do the whippings and make the connections. The best and worst thing about this line is that it's difficult to knot. With something like cotton, if you accidentally make a knot while you're using the garland, it can be more or less permanent. It hasn't happened to me yet, but I worry about those who buy grinners from me. The Dacron almost unties itself.

Using hot glue on Dacron-strung grinners, I solved some bothersome problems.

For the whipping that connects a loop's cords' ends (on the left) and leads to the next corner, I needn't wrap it so many times, or make it very tight, or wrap as near to the frayed ends as I dare, or deal with trimming those frayed ends afterward.

The glue guarantees the whipping won't loosen.

After applying some glue to the frayed ends and while it's still relatively hot, I found I can roll them into a tapered shape with my finger and thumb, after moistening them. (I don't know why, but a wet tongue works better than a damp cloth for this purpose.) This taper helps reduce hang-ups and fold-overs when the garland opens.

This connection can be done without any wrapping at all but it's ugly and exposes some of that inside corner to glue rather than fabric.

Where the line exits the corner of a loop (on the right), I tie a simple overhand knot around a bundle of cotton threads. A tiny dab of glue on that knot and some of the surrounding cotton secures the knot well and reduces stress on that group of threads.


Hot glued connection on a garland strung with colored crochet cotton

For some experimental grinners I used colored crochet cotton to string the loops. Again I could make a short whipping and taper the frayed diamond braid cord ends. The pretty color of the yarn showed through the glue nicely.

I don't doubt that hot glue could also be used to taper connections for improved deployment on garlands that use swivels for their connections and other wick materials. It could also speed up build time.


For Tri-strings


Tri-string bottom-string connected with colored hot glue

With some experimentation, I found that you can used hot glue instead of knots to fasten a bottom-string securely to a top. However, I recommend using clear glue. It's stronger and it's very difficult to get a decent looking connection with the colored stuff.


Tri-string leader knots secured, decorated, and tapered with colored hot glue

With the 22" and 32" tri-strings that I sell at fairs and on Etsy, I always paint the leader knots. This helps secure the simple overhand knots I use and reminds kids that they needn't dip the pole tips in the solution, which leads to tangling. "Just get those blue spots wet." I also form the paint into somewhat of a taper while it's drying.

With the tri-strings I supply to my guest bubblers, after hundreds and hundreds of dips and with the help of rowdy kids, these knots have failed a few times. Sometimes the knots' tails shed their fabric paint and become a source of extra hang-ups and tangles. The knots themselves contributes to tangles in any case.

Using colored hot glue, I believe I've mitigated these problems. It's also a little faster to apply than fabric paint.

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