How to Make Gems and Other Shapes with Hot Glue

A while ago, I rediscovered a tutorial on making gems out of hot glue. With my upcoming Midnight cosplay project, I figured this tutorial would come in handy to make some of the adornments on her costume. However, I was a little scared at the idea of continuously reheating hot glue and pouring it into a mold. So, I improvised and decided to paint over the gems rather than mix in a pigment. I used a metallic paint, and finished it off with clear nail polish, and I was happy with the results.

When I posted the unpainted versions on my Instagram, I got a lot of positive feedback and some questions on how I made these, and I wanted to share with you all how I did! These are perfect if you need gemstones on your cosplay or props, and they are quick to make and budget-friendly!

Materials Needed

  • High-temperature glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Silicone chocolate molds
  • Cooking spray
  • Toothpicks
  • Acrylic paint/nail polish
  • X-Acto knife
  • Clear nail polish
  • Thick craft foam
  • Napkin/paper towel
  • Paintbrushes
  • Palette knife
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton ball/pads

Step 1

Plug in your hot glue gun so it can begin to heat up. Take your silicone mold and the cooking spray and lightly spray the cavities. To make sure the cooking spray gets into each nook and cranny–and to remove excess oil–dab with a napkin or paper towel. Place the mold on an even surface.

Side-by-side images of a silicone chocolate mold and cooking spray.

Step 2

Placing the tip of the glue gun as far down into the mold cavity, begin to fill from the bottom up, making sure that glue is dispensed into each corner evenly. Fill to the top. Tap the mold to disperse bubbles and settle the glue. Allow for the glue to completely cool down.

Drying hot glue in gem mold.

If you overfill the cavity a bit, take the palette knife and scrape off any excess.

Hot glue in mold

Pro Tip!

Make more gems than you actually need just in case one of them doesn’t turn out to your liking.

Step 3

Once the glue has fully cooled down, remove them from the mold. If there is any oil residue from the cooking spray, take a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton ball to clean the gem. Then, take your X-Acto knife and carefully trim off any excess.

Collection of clear, unpainted gems made out of hot glue.

Take your thick craft foam and lay it on a flat surface. Then, take the toothpicks and stick them in the underside of the hot glue gems, and prop them up on the craft foam. This will make the painting process less messy and easier.

Step 4

Start painting the gems in thin, even layers. Let the layer dry fully before adding on any other layers. If you’re using metallic paints, I highly recommend applying a base coat of the same color. Metallic paints tend to be thin, and you don’t want many layers of paint on these shapes. Let the paint fully dry for a few hours after applying the final layer.

Different shapes of hot glue gems propped up with paint drying on them.

For a more gem-like and translucent effect, you can also use nail polish. I painted a few gems using only nail polish to test it out, and the results were sparkly and beautiful!

One orange square hot glue gem and one clear diamond-shaped hot glue gem in hand.

Step 5

After the paint has fully dried, apply the clear nail polish to seal it all in. If adding additional layers, be sure to let each one dry completely. Once the final layer is dry, they’re ready to attach to your cosplay!

Multiple gems and stars in various colors made out of hot glue.

These are durable and pretty additions to any costume or cosplay, and they’re super easy to make! I made all of these in one day, and it’s a great little project to come back to as you work on other things.

Also, if you would like to try out other methods for casting with hot glue, here are some great tutorials that use different methods–but are just as effective!

“How to Make Gems out of Hot Glue” on Amino Apps

The Cosplay Chronicles’ Tutorial

Let me know if you try this out for yourself! And be sure to share your results with me on social media! I’m over on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Have fun!

Check out some of my other Beginner’s Guide to Cosplay posts, discover my favorite cheap makeup brands to use for cosplay, or follow my tutorial on making a costume belt!

Life was meant to be lived nerdily, so what are you waiting for?

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