Crochet Hook Construction Trial 1: Plastic Toothbrush

This is the first of a series of trials to construct a durable crochet hook from found materials.

For this trial I used plastic toothbrushes.

First I tried the boiling method, but it didn’t really work. I found this plastic toothbrush bracelet tutorial which involved boiling the toothbrush and bending it. I could see curving the plastic enough to make a bracelet, but it didn’t seem to be bendable enough to make a hook.

Next I tried heating it directly over a flame, like in this plastic casting tutorial. I obviously need to perfect this method (as my first plastic hook is kinda ugly), but for a first try it’s not too bad! And I when I crocheted with it, it worked just fine!

Also…I love the fact that I was able to construct a hook out of another plastic thing that would just otherwise end up in a landfill.

The plastic casting tutorial is lengthy and has many details that don’t apply to hook construction. Basically this is all you need to know to make a plastic toothbrush crochet hook:

“Turn the flame up fairly high and then wait until the first small signs of melting appear (these include: drooping, sinking in on itself, moving and dripping). When this happens turn the power down to about half. If the plastic darkens, bubbles or blackens, it’s starting to burn. If you see any of those things happening, reduce the heat immediately. Over cooked plastic tends to be very brittle. Try to melt it slowly over a long period of time (about 10 minuets for an object this size). This reduces the likelihood of air being trapped inside the casting. Completely liquifying the plastic is not the goal. It’ll burst into flames long before you achieve that. Instead, you need to heat it just enough to make it soggy, so that it can ooze into the correct shape.”

6 responses

  1. I love this idea. It’s very innovative and would be a good solution to not being able to purchase crochet hooks to donate to your cause. Everyone should have a toothbrush! Brilliant 🙂 I bet you could even ask people to literally donate their used toothbrushes that they are gonna throw out to you. Then, you can just melt them all into hooks.

  2. You might get better results if you start by using a small file to make a V-shaped notch where you want the hook to be, before you begin to melt it. But then you might get worse results. 🙂

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  4. kudos to you for coming up with a creative new use for old plastic tooth brushes. I just wish that the method did not include melting the plastic, as this releases oodles of toxins into the environment and of course is very harmful for you as you are creating the hook.

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