Crochet hooks come in many sizes, but since small hooks can cause cramped, aching hands, many crocheters want larger handles for their hooks to reduce strain on their hands. Polymer clay, a crafting and sculpting material that can be baked in an ordinary oven, is hard and fairly durable, making it useful for a variety of projects, including making handles for crochet hooks. This is a very simple project that can be done with polymer clay.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Polymer clay
- Waxed paper
- Pasta machine
- Acrylic roller
- Crochet hook (metal or wood)
- Tissue blade
- Baking tray
Protect your worksurface by laying down a large sheet of waxed paper. If you are using a table designed for crafting, you may not need waxed paper, as the polymer clay might not damage the table. Instead, clean your table thoroughly to ensure that no foreign particles become embedded in the clay.
Condition your clay. Break off small chunks from the block and roll them in your hand, working the clay slowly to soften it. This will become easier as the clay warms up from your body heat. Continue breaking, rolling and squishing the clay until it feels very soft and pliable.
Roll your clay together into one large piece, flatten it in your hands, then place it gently into the top of the pasta machine. Roll the clay through slowly to get very flat sheets of clay. You may need to do this several times to get a flat, smooth and square sheet. If you do not have a pasta machine for clay, an acrylic roller is a suitable and less expensive alternative. Use the roller as you would a rolling pin to flatten your clay into a smooth and solid square.
Lay your crochet hook horizontally on your piece of clay, then make a mark slightly below the end of the hook. Make another mark where you would like the top of the handle to reach; the size of the handle is determined solely by personal preference, but the handle should not interfere with your ability to crochet.
Cut the clay vertically at your marks using the tissue blade. Then make a rectangle out of the clay by cutting horizontally at each end of the large piece of clay. This results in a piece of clay that is as long as you would like your handle to be. Remove spare pieces of clay from your worksurface; they can be reused for a different project. If you do not have a tissue blade, try using a knife and a ruler to help guide your cuts.
Place your crochet hook horizontally at one end of the clay sheet, then roll the sheet around the hook until the handle has the desired thickness. Use the tissue blade to evenly cut away any undesired clay. Put this clay aside for future use as well.
Roll the handle lightly back and forth to seal the cut edge and make the handle look like one complete piece. Smooth the top of the handle between your fingers so that it makes a smooth taper. Smooth the bottom of the handle to seal the clay as well; try rolling it gently on your table to make a smooth, round end for your handle.
Add any embellishments that you would like. Texture stamps, embossing powders, chalks and some glitters can all be used with polymer clay to customise your project. Canes can be used to make beautiful patterns but are not suitable for a beginner. You can also squeeze the clay with your crochet hand to create a custom handle shape that will fit your grip exactly or leave the clay unadorned if desired.
Place your crochet hook on a baking tray or similar baking pan and bake it in an oven according to the clay manufacturer's directions. 135 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes is common. Monitor the oven carefully; polymer clay can burn, which will discolour the clay.
Allow the handle to cool thoroughly. Paint or seal if desired.
Tips and warnings
- If you have a pasta machine, you can try to make colour gradients for your handle.
- There are many types, colours and textures of clay that can give the appearance of stone, metal or other materials. Selecting an appropriate clay is important to making a custom handle.
- Wood and metal are safe to bake in an oven. Plastics may vary, so it is best to make handles for wood or metal crochet hooks.
- Pasta machines used for clay should not be used for food, and vice versa.
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