Don’t Make This Mistake When Making Your Own Polymer Clay Crochet Hooks!

by | Jul 13, 2019

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This critical mistake can ruin your handmade crochet hooks! Beware of this polymer clay predicament and learn to fix it if it happens to you.

I am a huge fan of ergonomic crochet hooks.

Anything I can do to make crochet easier on my hands, I’ll try it. And of course, one of the best ways to do that is to use a hook with a really thick handle.

Furls Crochet makes hooks with a super-thick handle, so I got a few of those to try. I love them. They are some of my favorite hooks, but they are rather expensive. To buy a Furls Odyssey hook in every size would cost me several hundred dollars.

So instead, I decided to make my own.

I removed the rubber handles from my Clover Amour hooks, and added my own super-thick handles, made from polymer clay. This was a fun project, and only cost about $4-$5 per hook to do.
I’m not a professional polymer clay artist, but my hooks still turned out pretty nice. I covered them with extra-fine glitter, and added a coat of triple-thick gloss glaze for a beautiful, shiny finish.

I was thrilled with my new tools, until I really started using them. Even though it was completely dry, the triple-thick gloss glaze still felt sticky. If I stored them in a jar, they would stick together and peel chunks of glaze off of each other.

I had chosen that glaze, assuming that since it was “general purpose”, it would work on polymer clay. Well, I was wrong.

Evidently, not all surface coatings will work well when applied to polymer clay.

So, in the end, I had to remove the original glaze and replace it with a gloss varnish that is made for polymer clay.

Here’s how I did it:

First, I had to remove the existing glaze finish.  I put each hook in a small ziploc bag with a little bit of rubbing alcohol.  Then, I let it sit for a good 10 minutes, and turned the hook over to let the other side sit in the rubbing alcohol for another 10 minutes.  (I also placed the bag on top of a paper plate in case it leaked.)  As the glaze sits in the alcohol, it turns white and cloudy.

how to remove surface coating from polymer clay

Then, I used a paper towel to pull the hook out of the bag.  I carefully tried to wipe off as much of the glaze as I could with the paper towel.  At this point, the glaze was super-sticky, kinda like melted marshmallow.

To get off the rest of the glaze, I used a cleaned, old toothbrush with a bit of oil on it.  I scrubbed at the glaze with the oily toothbrush, making sure to get any globs of glaze out of the detail lines of the hook.  Then, I used a toothpick or piece of wire to gently pick out any globs that I couldn’t get out with the toothbrush.  I rinsed the hook handles with a bit of water to make sure all the glaze gunk was off, and laid them on a towel to dry.

Now, the old glaze was gone, but the hooks still had a bit of oil residue on them.  So I washed them with a gentle dish soap and water to remove any oil from the surface.  I laid them on the towel again to dry completely.

Applying the New Finish

For the new glaze, I used Fimo Gloss Varnish, which is made for polymer clay.  This varnish does cost more than the original gloss glaze I used before, but it was definitely worth it!  It worked so much better!

(Side Note: When I received the jar of varnish, it appeared rather liquidy.  Weeks later, when I opened it, it was thick, dry, and pasty.  The label said to keep it away from heat or cold, and I wondered if it had just been stored in a slightly cool place too long.  I filled a bowl with warm water, and set the jar down in it (not submerged, but just so the water came almost to the lid).  After the water came to room temperature, I warmed the water again and repeated the process several times.  The varnish slowly returned to a liquid consistency, and was ready to use. )

The consistency is pretty thin, so I applied it with a small paintbrush.  I poked the metal hook ends of my crochet hooks into a piece of packaging foam (not the kind that crumbles into little pellets, but the stiff, spongy, plasticky kind).  For photos on how I did this, see step 8 of this tutorial.

I applied a thin coat of the gloss varnish to each hook, and allowed it to dry.  Once it was dry, I applied a second coat for extra shine.

rainbow-colored crochet hooks with ergonomic polymer clay handles

With their new gloss finish, my hooks look just as shiny as before, but without the stickiness. I am so happy with my finished hooks now, and I can’t wait to start using them in my projects again!

10 rainbow-colored ergonomic crochet hooks

Have you ever made your own crochet hooks?

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This critical mistake can ruin your handmade crochet hooks! Beware of this polymer clay predicament and learn to fix it if it happens to you. #polymerclay #polymerclaycrochethooks #yayforyarn #handmadecrochethooks #ergonomiccrochethook #crochethook #crochettools

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  1. DavetteB

    Is the varnish necessary, like to seal in the glitter, or could it be skipped?

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi! I personally recommend the varnish, as the hook will be handled a lot. Even if you are not adding glitter, the varnish is supposed to help seal the baked clay. I hope this helps!

  2. Joan Rule

    Does the polymer clay make the hook heavy?

    • Yay for Yarn

      Hi Joan! My hooks range from 30-36 grams each, about 1 to 1.3 ounces. The weight is similar to my favorite Furls Odyssey hooks, which weigh about 36 grams / 1.3 ounces, only they are weighted in one particular spot for momentum. I actually prefer a heavier, larger-handled hook to a lightweight metal hook. The forward-weighted Furls hooks are my favorite, but my entire set of polymer clay handles cost me about the same as one Furls Odyssey hook. 🙂 I hope this helps!


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