Can you make a durable phone case with a hot glue gun?
When we came across a video of this phone case DIY, we were equally intrigued and skeptical. In our line of work, we feel we’re responsible for warning you when there’s a popular trend that could lead to unintentional device abuse. On the other hand, we love a good craft. Since this activity seems to be rising in popularity, we wanted to give it a try but also go a little bit further and test the durability of the case.
Part 1: The Craft
After several YouTube tutorials and a bit of trial and error, we created a couple of hot glue phone cases that we felt looked pretty cool and would provide adequate protection if dropped.
The process was relatively easy and definitely inexpensive. We used Ziploc bags as our plastic casing and some standard hot glue to fit our Target brand glue gun we got online from Best of Machinery. The glue dries quickly, which doesn’t leave much room for design error, but as long as you leave holes in appropriate areas (charging and headphone ports, camera and power button accessibility) there are infinite design options.
Cutting the phone out of the plastic casing is the most difficult and time consuming aspect of this activity, but once freed, the result is pretty neat. The case is chunky, but extremely lightweight and it can be easily painted and customized.
Part 2: The Tests
Drop tests are a part of the routine at uBreakiFix, but they’re still interesting and fun. We tried a few different heights and drop scenarios outside on the concrete, but the results were all consistent. To everyone’s surprise, not a single scratch or crack was sustained while testing the hot glue cases. The thick glue shielded the screen and edges and absorbed all the impact. The case also stayed firmly around the phone without shifting or breaking apart.
Before you go rushing to the nearest craft store, however, there are a few practicality issues with the case we think you should know about.
It’s very hot in Florida, and heat resistance is something that we have to keep in mind when we bring our electronics outside. We tested the case by leaving it in a hot car for a few hours with lining underneath just in case our suspicions were true. After a few hours, the case melted almost completely. This wasn’t particularly surprising considering that hot glue’s purpose is to melt and adhere to things using high heat, but it would be very dangerous and damaging to your device if it were left on a phone.
Part 3: The Results
This craft holds a lot of merit as a quick, fun and usable in daily life. It would be perfect for a homemade gift or a fun rainy day activity. Young children shouldn’t use a glue gun unsupervised but if a responsible adult let them draw out a design, you could trace it with the glue to make a personalized case.
The issues lie in the daily practicality of the case. Although it is durable when designed correctly, there is the potential of damage if you are not careful about where you take it.
If you’ve seen a cool tech craft or have a question about this one, leave a comment below!