Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend.
About a week ago, I made some polymer clay handles for my crochet hooks. It was the first time making them, and they’ve turned out pretty perfect, not to toot my own horn! They’re also really handy, especially if you get achy hands, like I do; as it gives a bigger surface for you to hold and it’s a lot smoother. I posted a photo on instagram, and everyone loved them! So, I thought I’d share a quick how to, using the marbling effect. Sorry it’s late- I was hoping that my ‘extra’ supplies would come in time, however, typically, they haven’t.
What you will need:
- Polymer clay (any brand will do. I’m using a set I found on eBay; which don’t have a brand, but still work just as well)
- A craft knife (I’m using a knife from a tool set I was gifted; please don’t use anything that will be used for food)
- A work surface (for example: a glass sheet, a craft cutting mat etc; anything that won’t be used for food)
- A baking tray (again, something you wouldn’t use for food; I’m using a disposable baking tray)
- A crochet hook (obviously, but I’d recommend using a aluminium hook, as they’re oven safe. Any size will do)
- Optional: letter or number stamps
I think you will all already know this, but please wash your hands before, as you don’t want to be mixing dirt or oils into the clay, and obviously, wash hands after using, to avoid consumption.
To start off, you will need to cut the amount you would like to use for your crochet hook. You be the judge on how much you use; if you are using a smaller hook, you may want to use more, so you have a bigger handle, and with a bigger hook, you may want to use less. You will need at least two colours. You can also use more of one colour, than the other. You’re the artist of your own hook. It doesn’t matter if, the hook is a different colour than what you want to use; you can choose colours to compliment it, or completely stray away, they will always look awesome! For mine, I picked pink, blue and purple.
With your chosen colours and amount, you will need to warm up the clay. To do this, roll it up into balls, using the palm of your hands. This is pretty self explanatory, however if you are using light and dark colours, please make sure to go from lightest to darkest, to avoid contaminating your lighter colours. You may also want to clean your hands between.
One you have rolled your colours into balls, you will then roll them individually, into long, thin sausages, shall we say. You can do this on your surface, or roll them in your hands, up to you. With your clay, you will then want to arrange them where you would like them to sit; maybe from lightest to darkest, or, wherever you think they look best.
You will then want to twist them slowly, starting from one end to the other. Once twisted, roll them, until they have blended together. I then twisted the roll quite tightly, cut it in half and twisted those pieces together. You can do this as many times as you like, until you get your desired look.
Roll the piece back out, and then cut it up into pieces. For this part, it doesn’t matter what size they are; just roughly chop them.
With your cut up pieces of clay, you need to arrange them onto your hook; leave a gap in between each piece, as it will expand once you roll it. Layer them up and roll the hook onto your surface, you can do this as many times as you like, to get a bigger hook, or just to get an even blend. I recommend that you add pieces gradually, especially if you are using a small hook, as otherwise, you may end up with air bubbles. If you do get air bubbles, simply cut a slit where the bubble is, and then roll the handle to allow the clay to blend again.
Keep adding pieces and rolling, it is important that you constantly roll, as it will create an even and smooth surface. Make sure to also cover the bottom of the hook. If the clay rolls off the end of the hook, you will want to gentle push it back up; gently press the bottom of the hook on your surface and then roll the hook. The key to creating a handle, is to keep rolling.
You can leave the information of the hook size out, or, cover it up. I personally like to cover this part up, as it’s the part of the hook that annoys me the most. I covered mine quite far down, because of how I hold it, but, it’s entirely up to you how far down you cover your hook. Using your knife, you will want to extract the clay at the top of the handle, to create an even surface. I like to use my nail to gently push on the clay, and rotate whilst doing this, to evenly smooth out the top. Again, the key here, is to rotate whilst working; you will want to actually hold the hook at this point, to see what you’re doing.
OPTIONAL: If you have covered your hook size, you may want to add the number or letter, back on. You can do this wherever you like; I prefer to do it at the bottom of the hook. Make sure that there is enough clay at the bottom of the hook, otherwise, the hook will poke through. If it does poke through, you want to gradually add a little bit of clay, roll it, and shape it until you are happy. If there is enough clay, you can use a little stamp, to add the number or letter back on, or, if you don’t have a stamp, you could have a go at scratching it on, but I find that it isn’t as neat. You could even paint the number/letter after baking, if you wish. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a photo to show you, as my camera refused to focus, my apologies!
Once you’re happy with how your hook looks, proof check before putting it in the oven, sometimes, there can be little cracks or nail marks that you have missed. It always pays to double check. Place your hook in your baking tray. You will want to bake it, following the instructions that came with it; mine didn’t come with instructions, so I followed what most polymer clay instructions say: 130c for 10-15mins. Once baked, obviously allow for it to cool before touching it. You can sand the hook down, using the finest grain with some water on the sand paper. It is optional to add glaze, I’ve read that it doesn’t exactly protect the hook, it just adds a shine to it; if you are going to do so, you will need to sand it down first. Then, allow the glaze to dry for 24hrs, with the hook standing upright.
Thank you for reading!
I hope this is easy to follow along and you will now be able to make your own hook handles. If you’re at all stuck, or there’s parts you don’t understand, please feel free to message me! 🙂
If you end up making one, please tag me on instagram, so I can see your beautiful makes ! @Oliviajde