If you’ve decided to make crocheted earrings, you need a way to help them hold shape. The good news is that there are lots of different ways you can accomplish this, from using items already in your cabinet at home to some more creative methods.
So what is the best way to make crochet earrings stiff? Before you stiffen your crochet earrings, you’ll need to “block” them by stretching and shaping them while they’re damp. Then you can stiffen crochet earrings with glue, starch, sugar water, or wax. The method you choose depends on how stiff you want your crochet earrings to be.
If you want to learn the various ways to stiffen crochet earrings based on how stiff you want them to be, keep reading! It’s a pretty big list, so make sure to read through the whole thing to pick which method is best for you. We’ll start with the blocking techniques and move on toward the more permanent techniques later.
How to Block Crochet Earrings – 2 Ways
When you crochet your earrings, you’ll generally need to block them to get them to hold a specific shape. Blocking is basically the method of stretching and shaping a knitted or crocheted item, which helps it to be more uniform and showcases the pattern.
The two major methods of blocking are wet blocking and steam blocking. You’ll need your pattern, something to block on such as a blocking board or carpet, and pins.
You can use a towel if you don’t have a blocking mat, or you can buy one here.
1. Wet Blocking
- Dampen your earrings with water until they are completely wet but not saturated and dripping.
- Gently squeeze excess water out of the crocheted earrings with a towel.
- Lay your earrings out on the blocking board or surface and pin the crocheted pieces into the shape you desire.
- Allow the earrings to dry completely.
2. Steam Blocking
- You may find this easier for items that should not get very wet, but ensure the material won’t melt or use extra caution to prevent that from happening.
- Shape the earrings into the desired shape and pin them into place on the blocking board or surface you’re using.
- Hold the steam iron over the project and steam it about half an inch above the item, rather than touching it.
- Allow the earrings to dry before you remove the pins.
- You can also try steaming the project and then pinning it into place.
Many projects, such as crocheted earrings, need to be stiffened, in addition to being blocked. You can incorporate materials into your project to help them provide shape or use stiffening solutions later to help your earrings retain their shape, making an ideal fashion accessory that you can show off anywhere.
How to Make Crochet Earrings Stiff
There are 4 main ways to stiffen crochet earrings, but we will provide other ways as well. We want you to leave here feeling satisfied that you got all of the answers you need. This is an ultimate guide, after all. Let’s dive in!
1. Stiffening Your Crochet with White Glue
One of the easiest ways to stiffen your crocheted earrings is to use a mixture of white glue and water, applying it to your earrings to add a little rigidity to your project.
- Start by mixing white glue with water. You’ll want to mix it with 3 parts white glue to 1 part water, mixing well to form a solution.
- Soak the earrings with the white glue and water solution, either by dipping them in the solution or spraying with a spray bottle. (Keep in mind the glue might clog up your spray bottle.)
- Block the item as you normally would and allow it to air dry completely.
- Do not iron projects that have had this mixture applied. It will generally turn the earrings brown or even burn them.
2. Using Starch to Stiffen Your Crocheted Earrings
Cornstarch or corn flour is often used as a stiffening agent for crocheted projects. If you already have this in your cabinet, consider this as a viable option for stiffening your crocheted earrings.
Please keep in mind that this is not ideal to use if your earrings are white, as the starch can cause the earrings to yellow gradually over time.
- To create your mixture, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into half a cup of water. Simmer the mixture in a pan on the stove over medium heat until a translucent but thickened material is produced.
- Once you’ve got your mixture dissolved and thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool.
- Soak your earrings in the mixture or apply it to your crocheted earrings.
- Sop up any extra moisture with a towel.
- Pin your project onto your blocking board, piece of carpet, or other material.
- Allow the crocheted earrings to dry thoroughly before removing them.
You can also use liquid or pressurized commercial starch, like Aleene’s stiffening fabric spray. Apply it the same way and block your pieces while they dry. Keep in mind that if your earrings get wet, the starch will dissolve and the earrings may lose their shape.
3. A Sugar-Water Solution to Stiffen Your Crochet
Another common way to stiffen your crochet earrings is to use a sugar and water solution. This is an easy-to-use method, and it’s especially great because most people have sugar in the cupboard.
- Like the other methods, you’ll start by making your sugar mixture. Dissolve 2 parts sugar into 1 part water, bringing the mixture to a rapid boil in a saucepan on the stove.
- Allow the mixture to cool once the sugar has dissolved by removing it from the heat.
- Soak your earrings with the mixture, either by dipping them in it or spraying them with the sugar water solution.
- Any excess water should be removed from your crochet earrings with a towel.
- Block your project as necessary on your blocking board.
4. Using Wax to Stiffen Your Crocheted Jewelry
Using wax on your crocheted items is an older method of helping to provide stiffness to the project. It can add a little weight to your earrings, but the overall amount should not add a significant heft to your crocheted earrings.
What you’ll need: Start by picking out wax that is the same color as your earrings so that it blends in well with your project. You’ll also need an iron and as well as some wax paper. Work quickly as you proceed, in order to shape your project.
- With a dry crocheted set of earrings, grate wax over the crocheted shape. This is best done over a tray or wax paper. As you grate the wax, gently press it into your earrings.
- Turn the project over and repeat grating wax onto the other side. Tap off excess wax from your earrings.
- Sandwich your crochet earrings between pieces of wax paper and carefully iron. The wax will melt into your project. You will need to iron both sides of the project.
- Repeat this process to reach the desired level of stiffness. You may need to melt wax over the earrings several times.
- Make sure that you do any shaping that you need to while the earrings are cooling but take care not to burn yourself. Once the wax has hardened, you would need to melt it again in order to do any additional shaping.
Other Things to Consider When Making Crochet Earrings Stiff
If you don’t want to stiffen your crocheted earrings with one of the above methods, there are a few different techniques available that can help provide rigidity to your earrings.
Pipe Cleaners or Chenille Stems – For one, you can crochet around material such as pipe cleaners or chenille stems, or you can even use wire. This technique will also make the edges of your project thicker, so be prepared for that. It is, however, a relatively lightweight method of stiffening your crochet projects.
Fishing Line – Another method is using a fishing line in your crocheted projects. This is especially helpful when you are making earrings, as the fishing line is often translucent or white, so it will blend in well with the project you are working on. Fishing line also comes in a variety of sizes (thicknesses), so you can try different sizes to see what works best with the yarn or thread you are crocheting with. You’ll make your stitches right over the top of the fishing line, incorporating it into your project.
Technique – Consider your technique as well to help make your crocheted earrings stiffer. Using half-double crochet stitches instead of single crochet can add stiffness to your project. If you use a smaller needle, it can make your stitches tighter, which can make your earrings stiffer. You might also try different thread weights to add more heft and stiffness to your crochet earrings.
There are lots of methods you can use to stiffen your crocheted earrings. The method you pick is often determined by what you have on hand, but consider trying other methods when you go to the craft store.
If you’ve always used starch to stiffen your crocheted projects, maybe now is the time to try melting wax into your earrings to provide a new level of rigidity to the project.
Make sure you have all of the supplies you need before you get started, and always read your project materials’ labels to ensure that you don’t inappropriately use heat or solutions. After all, some materials can’t be safely ironed, and above all, you want to be safe so you can continue making your crocheted earrings for years to come.
Also keep in mind that some materials may become discolored, such as white threads with starch, and you want to preserve your work for years to come. For those projects, consider trying a sugar-water solution or white candle wax to stiffen your earrings.