By Crochet Contributor Sara. Follow Sara on her blog, Sunflower Cottage Crochet.
We all have those plain metal, boring and VERY uncomfortable to use hooks from when we first started crocheting. The smaller hooks can be difficult to hold and spin around in your hand while you try to work with it.
A friend mentioned that she had a similar problem and used polymer clay to make her own grips. I was intrigued but had questions:
Is it really comfortable to use?
Does it stay on the hook or work its way loose after a few uses?
Can you really put a hook in the oven?
Will it be durable?
Let’s find out.
You will need to get some supplies and grab all your old hooks to get started. By the way, you can use both metal/aluminum and bamboo hooks for this.
- Polymer Clay Kit
- Crochet Hooks
- Paper towels or newspaper or old cloth to work on
- Oven (for baking….)
- Gloves (optional)
You might need to wipe down your old hooks to make sure there’s no dirt or smudges on them.
- Open the polymer clay kit and pick the colors you’d like to use.
- Clear an area and lay down the protective towels or cloths or newspapers.
- Get your gloves on and get ready to start mashing clay together!
Getting a certain look out of your clay:
There are several looks you can go for but the most common is a marbled look. Alternatively, you can go for a striped look or mottled look. The possibilities are endless!
For a Marbled look:
- Grab 3 or 4 of the colors you want to put together.
- Using the cutting tool (looks like a knife), cut little chunks of each color. Cut it all up.
- Grab even amounts of chunks of each color and start rolling it and mashing it in your hands.
- Roll it into a “worm” or “snake”.
- Start wrapping the rolled up clay around the handle of the hook. You can start at either the end or just below the thumb indent of the hook.
- As you’re wrapping the hook, be sure to press the clay onto it so there are no air pockets.
- Fully cover the very end of the hook. This is where I pressed then bottom into a bit of a flat squared off bottom.
- Have your oven ready—the instructions that I had called for 200 degrees F. Yours might be different, just be sure to read the instructions (if it has any!). If you cannot find instructions, a safe bet is 150-200 degrees F.
- I lined my cookie sheet with foil, I recommend doing this so that you don’t leave behind any smells on your sheet. Or colors. Or Clay.
- Place the hooks so that they don’t touch each other on the cookie sheet and put them in the oven. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. My instructions said 5-10 minutes, I think I ended up around 10 or so, it just depended on how wet the clay still looked, and how bad the smell was getting!
Be prepared for a little bit of an annoying chemical smell. It won’t hang around long—it goes away as soon as you are done baking.
The result are some cool looking handles!
Braided, twisted, and child-like:
For these results, you will need your child and to braid the clay. This project really is awesome for little ones to join in with. You get custom crochet hook handles and time with your kids! Bonus!
- The baking instructions are the same as the ones above. Also have that cookie sheet ready.
- Get your gloves on and cut some colors into larger sections this time.
- Pick 3 of the colors and roll them out separately—do not mash them together.
- Once you have 3 different colored “ropes”, put them next to each other and press the ends together.
- Start braiding! If you’re not familiar with braiding, it’s quite simple.
- You have a left, right, and center strands. Grab the right strand and place it over top the center strand, moving the center one over to the right side.
- Grab the left strand and place it over the center strand, moving the one that was in the center to the left side now.
- Repeat steps a and b until you reach the end.
- Now that you have your braid, roll it out!
- Wrap the rolled out clay around your hook, making sure it’s clinging to the hook and that there are no air pockets.
- Place the hooks onto the cookie sheet and bake for the instructed amount of time.
Alternative Style Handles:
You can alternatively make knobby handles like the wooden ones you see online or at the local hobby shop. These will take patience and a lot of sculpting. If you’re up for that, by all means, go for it!
You might also consider making your handles look similar to the Furls crochet hooks with tapered bottoms and fatter middles. It’s really all down to personal preference.
Color coding might also be a great idea. And if you cover the size markings of your hooks, you will need to etch them in with one of the fine pointed tools that come with the kit. It will bake up just fine; I had to do that on my bamboo ones!
This is a fun, quick project to do with the family or friends. Kids love doing this stuff and their creativity really shines when they have these sorts of crafts to do!