I’ve been wanting to create an easy to hook pattern for a tote bag. I locker hooked one for my Mom and it was so easy, I decided to create some kits.
Created with Hand-Dyed Fabric & Jute Twine
The confetti tote is a simple locker hooked design that is fun and vibrant–casual enough to use anytime. The hand-dyed colors are great combinations and work well with denim and casual attire. The kits for these with all materials and instructions are available from colorcrazy.com, $44. You can also download the Confetti Tote pattern and there’s a video with locker hooking tips on the site. They’re available in 4 different color combos.
Locker hooked on 3.75 mesh canvas, this is an easy to follow pattern that can be finished quickly. The colored twine used is doubled up when pulling up loops and is easy to locker hook. Below I share a few easy steps. The Confetti Tote Bag tips video is a must if you’ve never assembled or worked with twine.
“The Confetti tote is a simple locker hooked design that is fun and vibrant–casual enough to use anytime.”
Step 1: Locker hook tote bag body working in the round following pattern. Use a clamp to hold canvas together if needed as you work. Locker hook bottom and sew in tails.
Step 2: Finish top edge with ribbon and tapestry needle.
Step 3: Attach handle with twine and tapestry needle. Watch the video on tips!
Step 4: Sew a lining and attach per pattern. There’s an online tutorial that covers this well at Future Girl. Just use the totebag’s measurements and a fusible interface lining if needed. Stay tuned for a post on sewing a lining.
Sounds simple and it is. Just take your time. Loops need to be a minimum of 1/4″ – 3/8″ in height and the twine loops are pulled up by doubling up and pulling two at a time. Twine loops must be a bit higher than the fabric to accent nicely. Download the pattern and create your own, or buy the kit in your favorite color combo. Happy Hooking!
I post about locker hooking all the time–about techniques, materials, and my own designs and patterns. If you’re new to locker hooking, you may not know the amazing creative possibilities. In this post, I celebrate the creativity I’ve discovered in locker hooked designs from customers, friends, and creative folks via social media. From small to large projects- the use of color, texture and artistic flair in these is inspiring.
The Water Carriers
TheWater Carriers is an amazing wall hanging by Debra Cottner on 5-mesh canvas. She first discovered locker hooking on YouTube when she saw my how-to video. She says she’s been “hooked” ever since. Debra loves to craft and has made over 60 no-sew blankets she’s been donating. She likes to work with plastic canvas and has made a rug, colorful doilies and tissue boxes. She also also likes to paint. For her wall hanging, Debra chose hand-dyed Color Crazy fabric strips. I love the contrast of the bright colors against the rich chocolate espresso background, and the interest created by alternating the direction of looped rows. She found an arrow hanger to accent her design perfectly and added a special touch with beaded loops.
Locker Hooked Runner
Stacie Schaat makes beautiful world map quilts and throw pillows that she sells through her shop Yellow Spool. I like the simple clean lines in her designs. They’re available in a variety of color combinations. I can only imagine the amount of leftover scraps. She decided to use them for a rug project that turned into this stunning seven foot runner with a colorful geometric design.
Shimmering Journal Cover
Inspired by the design featured on the cover of the Hook, Loop & Lock book, Carolyn Morton used various materials–ribbon, fabric strips, fibers & recycled silk to create this gorgeous journal cover. She ordered a custom Color Crazy kit and added some ribbons. Turquoise shades with cocoa colors just never get old. Carolyn also discovered locker hooking by watching a how-to Color Crazy video. She is now an avid locker hooker and has created numerous designs including trivets, purses, mats. She recently hooked some team spirit inspired creations with school colors and jute twine. Carolyn and her husband love to travel and she finds locker hooking is a great take along on trips.
Stitched & Hooked Shoulder Bag
Kathy Koeslin stitches great bags together with locker hooked panels. She used re-purposed t-shirts to create this one. Locker hooking is a great way to recycle and create something new and useful.
I hope you find these designs inspirational and will try something new with locker hooking. Embrace your creativity and stay tuned for more unique and colorful finds and ideas.
It all began when I saw a beautiful photo of a Phoenix Rooster. The tail was magnificent in shimmering, silvery blues. I just had to capture that feisty look too, and it took a while. I sketched a few ideas and created a pattern. I started locker hooking something that looked way too much like a chicken, so I started over. I created a new pattern and locker hooked some more, changed colors a gazillion times, changed the pattern along the way about 10 times, and then, finally…I was at the point where the locker hooking was completed, but it wasn’t until I stitched on the rooster’s eye…wow, it just seemed to come to life, and I love the way it turned out.
If you’re ready to give it a try, and don’t have a varied stash of fabric to use, I highly recommend buying the Phoenix Rooster kit. If you have some fabric but need key colors, buy the Color Crazy fabric strips. I chose to use Poppana (woven fabric cut on the bias–also included in the kit) fabric strips because of the texture they create. You could customize it with your own color choices.
I highly recommend using permanent markers to mark the pattern on canvas. It’s challenging to transfer a pattern to canvas, but here’s an important tip: the blue lined canvas is a great help if you match lines exactly before you cut the canvas. It’s much easier to mark and follow with blue lines as your guide. If you make a mistake, use white-out for stationary to cover it, let dry, and mark over.
“…here’s an important tip: the blue lined canvas is a great help if you match lines exactly before you cut the canvas. It’s much easier to mark and follow with blue lines as your guide.”
It can get quite messy so tackle one design element at a time. For example, you can start by hooking the outer frame, then follow with the head and chest, the wing detail, the path, tail feathers, belly, and so on. I filled in the top background at the end. I also decided to use the ruched frame technique for the tail feathers. I wanted them to stand out. If you’re not feeling like hand stitching the feathers, you can just locker hook them.
It was a messy process, I must admit. I ended up with a nest of fibers and fabric strips I had discarded. While testing different colors, I tried different yarns and fibers for certain areas like the feet and comb, and ended up with fabric strips. The raffia was an idea toward the end that added a nice touch for the landscape.
In the Works: Locker hooking the rooster
“It was a messy process, I must admit. I ended up with a nest of fibers and fabric strips I had discarded.”
Too Many Tails?
Once you’ve finished the locker hooking part, you’ll be left with a bunch of tails on the back side. You can pull them up and sew them in…or, if you’re planning to add a backing (I highly recommend that you do), just clip the tails to 1 – 1 1/2″ and cover them with the backing.
Adding a backing is easy if you just glue it in place. Here’s how…first cut a piece of fabric with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Steam press allowance under, test and adjust to fit by pressing adjustments. Cut iron-on fusible to size and press on. Machine stitch a top stitch 1/4″ inside edge. Use fabric glue like fast-drying Quick Grip to glue backing on. If desired, stitch on a hanging loop made from ribbon or twine before gluing backing.
Now that this Phoenix Rooster is hanging in my studio/office, I think he may need a mate. Maybe that chicken design is not such a bad idea after all.
The idea of using twine had been in the back of my mind for some time. I’d love to have the time to locker hook an entire rug using jute twine–maybe sometime in the near future. In the meantime, I thought I would try something smaller, and when the new Color Crazy Dahlia tiles came in, I just had to give it a try. The Dahlia ceramic tiles were created with a raised relief motif that I designed. To mimic the raised relief look, I locker hooked rows of twine slightly raised above the fabric rows. I just loved the look so much, I had to hook a set for a birthday gift for my Mom. I used the Poppana in Red Linen for the larger design below.
With the jute twine, it’s all about the texture; and it pairs so well with the hand-dyed Color Crazy fabric strips. I used the Hibiscus color for the red designs and the Copenhagen Blue for the blue dahlias.
It sure is fun and pretty easy to hook with twine.The texture you create is so natural and unlike any effect you can get with yarn or fabric.
How To Locker Hook with Twine
If you’d like to give it a try, just use 5-mesh canvas and a double string of twine when locker hooking–similar to what you would do with yarn to bulk it up. Choose some hand-dyed, vibrant fabric strips to add contrast in your design. Color Crazy has twine available in a variety of colors in 40 yds and 100 yd spools. For these designs, I chose the natural bark colored twine. I locker hooked rows that were approx 3/8″ high–almost 1/2″h– with the twine, and 1/4″ high with the fabric strips. I finished the edges with rayon ribbon for a nice polished look.
After I finished the trivets, I just had to try a monogrammed coaster so I hooked one with the fabric strips in the Kaleidoscope color and the twine in soft white and bark. I think it’s time to make a set of these and then give that rug idea a try.
Post updated April 16: added link to Color Crazy Dahlia trivet kits.
For the holidays I always try and create something crafty and fun for decor–a creative display, a mat, or some ornaments or other trinkets. This past season it was heart ornaments. I’d locker hooked heart ornaments before, but this time I decided to make them double-sided and extra plush with a touch of bohemian sparkle. They were so fun and colorful, I had to give some away as gifts. And then, I just had to create some Color Crazy Heart Craft Kits! The kits include pattern and materials to create a heart, and can include the glue. Tools are sold separately.
They’re so perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift. What a great reminder to share the love with family and friends. You can hang them on cabinets or doors, or just tuck them into a wrapped gift. They can even be turned into sachets with potpourri inside and tucked into a drawer.
I created the Heart Kits with Color Crazy Satinique Ribbons. They can also be made with vintage silks and Color Crazy Sari Ribbons. They’re accented with the Sashay Metallic Yarn in various colors. It’s a ruched frame design (technique from Locking Loops book) where the outline is locker hooked and the inside is padded with bulky yarn. They’re available from Color Crazy with Satinique Ribbon in three colors: Crimson Red, Blue Violet, & Mauve Pink. The image on the left shows vintage silks.
Here’s how they’re made…
You begin with a heart shape and cut out two pieces on 3.75 mesh canvas. Then you secure edges with Quick Grip glue. You locker hook an outline with the Metallic Sashay yarn (it has adorable tiny gold sequins!) leaving a 1 – 1/2 square around edge. Then stitch on yarn padding with tapestry needle, and then wrap padding with Satinique or other ribbon, making sure to not get your needle caught in the woven yarn. This can be challenging. The yarn is a heavy woven type and the needle can get caught in a tight spot. If this happens, just pull the needle out and push through again weaving around yarn. NOTE: Before you get started, make sure your two heart shapes match exactly. Trim if needed.
Once all padding is covered, you stitch both hearts together with the rayon ribbon and tapestry needle. You can add a tiny drop of glue to hold ribbon in place at top center of heart. This also helps adds to the shape. Using the needle eye of your locker hook you press through the top center and pull shimmering cord through for the tie-on and it’s finished. That’s it…and then you just have to make another one!