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How to block crochet with an easy DIY blocking board

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.com

Learn how to block crochet hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board.    Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.com Have you ever had the experience of crocheting so many squares for an afghan that by then end you’re finding them tucked into couch cushions, your pockets, under the seat of your car and if you’re like me, your kids’ mouths?

Lately, I’ve been making hexagons like a crazy person. (You can be crazy too! Here’s the basic crochet hexagon tutorial.) My plan is to use them for a gender neutral baby afghan for a friend’s new babe. (UPDATE: Get the free “Happy Hexagons” afghan pattern here!) Before any afganning could take place though, they needed to be blocked.

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.comMost knit and crochet projects look better with a bit of blocking to even out all the stitches and fiber, but this is definitely the case when your handmade object is made of cotton and has been balled up in the bottom of your purse for three weeks. In the photo below, the teal hexies haven’t been blocked and the grey have. See how the grey just look a bit more “organized” than the teal ones?

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.comBlocking is especially useful in projects with multiple crocheted or knitted “squares” like this because they’re much easier to sew together when they’re all one size. This homemade blocking board takes literally five minutes and a couple dollars to make and can be reused and reconfigured to fit many different small crochet projects.

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.comDIY Blocking Board Supplies

So you can spend more time finishing your crochet projects and less time shopping, this post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you.

foam knee pad meant for gardening (I got mine for a buck at Dollar Tree)
6″ wooden shish kabob skewers
• ruler
• pen
• spray bottle or iron

How to Make a DIY Blocking Board for Crocheting (or Knitting!)

1. Decide on how large you want your finished crochet object to be. (Obviously, you’re not just pulling this out of thin air. Base it on the pattern measurements. Or in this case, I measured several hexagons and took the average.) If you’re blocking hexagons, you want to measure the width and height as well as determine a consistent length for the sides.

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.com2. Mark the measurements for the finished object on your gardening pad.

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.com3. Gently insert the wooden sticks at the appropriate places for the size of your crocheted piece. If you are blocking something with longer edges (like this free boho flower headband pattern), place a skewer every 1-1.5” along the edge so as to keep the crocheting from drooping. Take care to insert the sticks straight up and down and not at an angle.

4. Carefully slide your crocheted hexagon or other square onto the sticks. Since I was blocking cotton here, I just needed a bit of moisture to get the fibers to relax and settle in so I sprayed each hexagon with a spray bottle before stacking another on top. (You could also block your crochet project with the steam from an iron. DO NOT put the iron directly on the crochet or on the foam pad though.)

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.com5. Stack a few more hexagons, squares or patches on your homemade blocking board, spraying each as you go. Set the blocking board in a place where the crocheted pieces will easily dry, like an open window. Once you’re finished blocking your crochet project, simply remove the wooden sticks and your DIY blocking board for the next project.

Learn how to block crochet or knit hexagons or granny squares with this incredibly easy and inexpensive DIY blocking board (made from a garden kneeling pad!) Click for full tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.comI let my hexagons stay on the blocking board for about 24 hours. When I slid them off, they looked nice and even and just a little more tidy than when I started.

For better or worse, that means I can’t put off the somewhat mundane task of sewing them together any longer. 🙂

If you’re ready to make your own hexie afghan, check out the free “Happy Hexagons” blanket pattern next.

This free crochet afghan pattern is customizable, so you can use it to make a baby blanket, lap blanket or even a bedspread. Makes a great modern, gender-neutral baby shower gift idea or an afghan for the couch. Make from Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Cotton." Click for the free pattern and photo tutorial. | MakeAndDoCrew.comAnd if you’d like some other free crochet patterns that are small enough to fit on your new DIY blocking board, look no further!

This free crochet headband pattern with flowers is surprisingly easy and it makes an adorable headpiece for a young flower girl in a wedding (or a bohemian beauty of any age)! Sizes include newborn, baby, toddler, child, teen and adult. | MakeAndDoCrew.com
Boho Flower Headband
(newborn – adult sizes)

Free crochet headband pattern! Sizes include, newborn, 3-6 months (baby), 6-12 months, toddler/preschooler, child, and teen/adult. Very quick DIY gift idea for a baby shower, Christmas or winter birthday. Click for free pattern. | MakeAndDoCrew.com“Aspen Socialite” Crochet Headband (newborn – adult sizes)

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35 Comments

  • Erica Hartman
    June 2, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Blocking squares are so expensive! I never thought to use knee pad foam from the gardening section.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      June 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      Yes! And if you buy a gardening pad at Dollar Tree, you can make the whole thing for only a couple of bucks!

      🙂

      Reply
      • Barbara Mary Donald
        April 29, 2017 at 10:23 am

        I made a blocking board, helped by my husband who added plastic strips to keep the sticks straight. They were made from curtain rail. It works well, which is good as I have 250 squares to block.

        Reply
        • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
          May 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm

          Oh my goodness! 250 squares!? That’s so impressive! Are you making an afghan? Your blocking board sounds really useful–especially for such a prolific crocheter like you!

          Reply
  • Ana
    June 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Hi, Thank you so much for your great item on blocking crochet pieces, I am delighted to see how easy it can be done. 🙂

    Reply
  • Donna B.
    June 29, 2016 at 4:28 am

    Such a clever and thrifty idea for blocking afghan squares and much more! 🙂 THANK YOU FOR SHARING!!

    Reply
  • Jamie
    July 5, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Thank you for this! I’ll have to try it out!

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      July 5, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Yes, try it, Jamie! I just used my blocking “board” today and it worked like a charm 🙂

      Reply
  • Alycia
    July 16, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Oh wow, I’m going to try this! Great idea 🙂

    Reply
  • Linda
    July 16, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Wow, what a smart and innovative idea. Thanks so much for sharing

    Reply
  • Darlene
    July 21, 2016 at 7:47 am

    this is a great idea thank for sharing

    Reply
  • Kirstie
    July 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Dim question I’m sure but why do I need to use a blocking board?
    This looks like a great cost effective alternative but as a newbie to crochet I’m not sure why I need one! ?

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      July 30, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Sometimes you want to block your crochet after finishing it or before sewing it together because it helps everything look nice and tidy. Think of it as sort of “organizing” the yarn fibers. 🙂 With these hexie blocks, it also helps make them a uniform size to sew together.

      Reply
  • Kamilla
    August 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Would you spray them with water even if you are using acrylic yarn opposed to cotton?

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      August 29, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      Hey Kamilla,

      I would just decide based on how they were looking after they are crocheted. Are the slightly different sizes? Curling at all? If so, I’d just go ahead and block them, but with acrylic yarn, the fiber probably wont’ relax as much as it will with cotton. Sometimes I use the steam setting on my iron to lightly mist acrylic with hot steam and that seems to work well. (Just don’t actually touch the iron to the yarn because it will melt.)

      Hope that helps!

      Jess

      Reply
      • Tara
        September 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        I am using acrylic yarn so I have a garment steamer I planned on using to block my hexagons….. Do you place one on the board, steam it and place another on top or do you create a stack and then steam through them all? This will be the first project I am blocking

        Reply
        • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
          September 16, 2016 at 2:40 pm

          Hey Tara,

          I would steam one at a time, taking care not to get the steam super close to the yarn. I think you could stack them on top of each other as you go though and just steam the top one each time.

          Good luck!

          Jess

          Reply
        • Kamilla
          September 16, 2016 at 2:42 pm

          Hi…I made mine wirh acrylic and blocked them but skipped the steaming process all together and it came out just fine and really flat!

          Reply
  • Kamilla
    August 28, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Do I still need to spray with water if I’m using acrylic yarn?

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      August 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Hey Kamilla,

      Yes, I usually do, although it’s harder to get the yarn to “relax” with acrylic yarn. You could research how to hover a warm iron above your knit/crochet piece and block it using the steam from the iron if you find that it’s not relaxing enough with just spraying water. (Just don’t touch the iron to the yarn or it will melt!)

      Jess

      Reply
  • Diana L.
    September 11, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I saw your idea about the gardening pad and I was heading to the dollar store! I saw a new Thrift Store and went in and bought for 50 cents a child’s swimming pad which comes with 3 pads. Went home with it and stuck my tiny knitting needles which I didn’t use and made my blocking pad! It works great! 50 cents!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      September 27, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      whoohoo! You have my Dollar Store blocking pad beat by an entire 50% cost savings! 🙂

      That’s great, Diana. What a lucky find!

      Reply
  • Beth
    December 25, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Blocking crocheted items is new to me. I have a long scarf that I just finished and it’s curling. How do I block a scarf?

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      December 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Honestly, often I just pin it to my carpet! 🙂 I use long “T-pins” and lay a towel down and put the crocheted item on top of the towel. If you’re using acrylic yarn, you can steam the scarf with an iron (just don’t touch the iron to the actual yarn). With wool or cotton, you can just spritz it with some water and let it stay pinned down for a day or two. It doesn’t solve all curling, but it should def help.

      Hope that is helpful!

      Jess

      Reply
  • Anna
    January 23, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    How damp do you get the hexes when you block them? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      January 24, 2017 at 12:28 am

      I get them fairly damp when I’m using cotton. I’d say a few spritzes with a spray bottle per hexie. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Barbara mary donald
    April 28, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    What a brilliant idea for blocking! I have been wondering how I can block my many squares I’m making for a blanket. Pity I can’t get a 50 cent pad in the UK but I’m out tomorrow looking for a bargain.

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      May 11, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Good luck, Barbara! Another idea I had was just to use the lid of a styrofoam cooler. Maybe you’ve got one of those laying around?:)

      Reply
  • Celia
    July 1, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Hi. Thank you for your great ideas!I have a shrug that I had to block, made with acrylic yarn, that didn’t hold. I used the sprizting method. Can I reblock it using the steam method or should I try getting it completely wet?

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      July 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      I think you could just try the steam method. I’d just take it easy at first as sometimes the yarn can go from “not blocked” to “waaaay too blocked” kind of quickly. I’ve had acrylic garments turn out too big when I’ve gotten a little ambitious with my steam blocking. 😉

      Reply
  • Aviva
    September 9, 2017 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Jess!
    Thanks for sharing. I was working on my first Afghan when I came across your blog which was perfect because my pattern didn’t suggest what to do after I was done with all these pieces?! Sometimes I wonder at patterns that they don’t explain more (I’m not meaning step by step here…but things that aren’t totally obvious like blocking or which seam works better for piecing it together etc.)
    Tried out your technique… Got the last 2 boards from the store! Turned out fantastic!

    Reply
    • Jess @ Make and Do Crew
      September 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      Yay! I love it when things work out like that! I’m so glad this was helpful to you!

      Jess

      Reply

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