Learn how to make your own inexpensive, lightweight geodes out of hot glue sticks!
Crystals and geodes are all the rage right now. Since we did our crystal post a couple of months ago, it only made sense to make geodes too!
Supplies you will need:
- AdTech® Pro80 Glue Gun – Buy on Amazon
- AdTech® Multi-Temp Full-Size Glue Sticks (Very important for clarity!) – Buy on Amazon
- Parchment paper (baking paper)
- Small cup
- Utility knife
- Cutting board
- Alcohol markers or acrylic paints in colors you love
- Embellishments – such as dark sand, chunky glitter, gold or silver paint, faux gold or silver leaf, metallic nail polish, etc.
- Clear nail polish or gloss lacquer
IMPORTANT: Anything made with hot glue will start melt above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not leave your finished project in a hot car, near a heater, run it through your clothes dryer, etc.
Step one: Cut the glue sticks to make crystals
This is what your end-goal should be… 3-6 main crystals, some chunks and some fine crystals. I highly suggest you use AdTech® Multi-Temp glue sticks because they are the most transparent out there and have non-yellowing properties built in!
Main Crystals: You’ll want to refer to this blog post for instructions on how to carve crystals out of hot glue sticks. Be very careful! Cut slowly and carefully, so you end up with no rounded edges left. Cut the angles on the tip and then cut off that crystal – about an inch or less in length. (Keep the scraps! See below.) Usually I can get 2-3 little crystals out of each carved section. Make them different heights. Then, if you have more of the piece that you just carved, cut tip angles on that as well and cut it so it’s an inch or less in length. Do this until you have 3-5 little crystals.
Crystal Chunks: You can use your scraps for the chunks. Cut the strips with scissors or your knife. I also use a fresh glue stick and cut angles off the end with my knife for the chunks.
Fine Crystals: You will want to refer to this blog post for instructions on how to do these. Cut them up and put aside. OR… you can use the long slices above and cut them into tiny shards with scissors. That should work as well.
Step two: Make the parchment paper mold
Next, you need to make your geode base. Take a square piece or parchment paper and loosely fold it into a cone shape.
Squeeze the paper into a crinkled cone. We do this so that the base will look rough and more rock-like.
Place the cone into a small cup and fold over the edges. Make the bottom somewhat flat, so your geode will have a flat bottom and sit well.
Step three: Create the glue base
Today, I’m using our full-size, high-temp Pro 80 glue gun, because it has great output and makes creating the geode bases quick and easy. You can use pretty much any AdTech® glue gun though – depending on the size of your geodes.
Start applying glue around the top edge of the paper cone. Let it dribble down and coat the paper. You can pick up the cup and angle the cup so that the glue coats more evenly. Continue applying glue so the paper is covered completely. Let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes! Hot glue that is applied thick like this takes longer to cure.
Once cured, remove the parchment paper. You can trim the edges of your base with scissors if you’d like, but rough is good!
The geodes look beautiful clear, but this is the step where you’d color them if you’d like a different look. Here I’m using a Marvy Uchida Le Plume alcohol marker to color just the bottom and bottom edges of the crystals. You can use a very light coating of acrylic paint as well. The color will reflect up into the crystal without looking fake. Sometimes I will also color the inside of the base with markers or paint as well. I did that a little for this geode, as you can see in one of the photos below.
Next, put some hot glue on the bottom of your crystal and place it in the base. Crystals naturally grow at various angles, so don’t make them perfect. You can always look at photos of geodes online for inspiration!
Next, add your chunks by hot gluing them around the larger crystals. Try to place them so that you don’t see many rounded edges from the glue sticks.
After that, add your fine crystals by applying hot glue to the base and then sprinkling the fine crystals on, or pushing that part of base into a pile of fine crystals. Do small sections at a time.
Step five: Make your base more realistic
For this geode, I am painting the base with black paint, and then hot gluing black sand over it, and gluing chunky gold glitter to the edges. Don’t put anything on the bottom, because the geode will look much prettier when the light can come through the bottom a bit!
I got the black sand at Dollar Tree, and the chunky glitter can be purchased at most craft stores. Often, I will use faux gold/copper/silver leaf on the geodes too. (Use a liquid adhesive to stick those.)
Step six: Shine it up with a coat of nail polish
Your geode will look more realistic and beautiful with a coat of clear nail polish. Non-yellowing is best. Once you’re done, you can leave your geodes as-is, or add some jewelry findings and made a necklace or brooch!
That’s it! Now you have a beautiful geode! I think this has been my favorite hot glue invention since working here at AdTech. It was fun and exciting creating this project for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, and I hope you’ll share it with your friends. 🙂
Here’s a photo of the geodes sitting on some battery-operated LED lights. (LED lights don’t get very warm. I have made geodes and attached them to the tops of white LED tea lights for a neat effect. Yes… I use the word, “neat”. Haha.)
Love what you created? We will, too! Tag us in your image on Instagram, @adtech. Use the hashtags #glueasamedium and #thisishotglue so others can see your creation!