Things covered with Mardi Gras beads forms the backbone of Thrown Art. I have told folks that if it sits still long enough, I'll cover it with beads.
Furniture, skulls, hubcaps, I'm always trying to think of things that will look cool covered with beads.
Sometimes I can be rather monochromatic in my bead choice, as in a pink flamingo covered in, guess what, pink beads. Or an acoustic guitar covered entirely in blue beads (I named it Blues Guitar).
Other times, I go a bit nuts with the colors.
I do not use hot glue. It won't hold well enough, and it's a bit messy. I use a glue called E6000. If a bead comes off, it's not because the glue gave way, it's because the paint on the bead did.
There's plenty of challenges in working with beads. They're not perfect, and they will fade if they get too much sun. But, hey, they are free.