They’re small, sparkly circles of creativity that have been used as a method of decoration for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Originally made from metal or glass, today’s plastic sequins come in near-infinite possibilities, and can be used to adorn anything from hair accessories to practical covers for tablets and phones. If you like a bit of sparkle, a flurry of sequins is a simple way to upcycle and add glamour to an old sweater or dress.
Hooking with sequins is very easy, especially if you’ve previously worked with beads. The process is very similar, although there are some extra details that you need to know.
Once you’ve mastered using sequins with your crochet, why not check out our Free crochet Christmas tree sequin patch pattern.
What sort of sequins are there?
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to sequin types.
Sequins come in two basic varieties: flat discs and domed bowls. Both create gorgeous bling, but the domed bowls tend to add more sparkle by reflecting the light in several directions from their many facets.
Not all sequins are made to sparkle, however – as well as the shiny versions you’d expect, you can get sequins with various surface effects including matt, hologram sparkle, transparent, embossed, printed patterns, and many more.
From tiny dots to big statement features, sequin size can vary hugely and is measured in diameter – the distance from one side of the sequin to the other, across the central hole. On the middle row in the picture above you can see 3mm, 5mm, 8mm and 12mm sequins.
Most sequins have a central hole, with the yarn of a stitch stretching from the hole to the edge to secure it. With larger sequins, look for a hole near the top instead (known as spangles), which creates a more even look.
Once you’ve mastered round sequins, you can try all sorts of novelty shapes, including squares, stars, flowers, hearts or snowflakes. If your sequin has jagged edges, take care that they don’t damage the yarn.
How to crochet with sequins
Get started with a hook, some yarn and a few sequins.
To start off, we suggest you use a 4ply yarn and a 3mm hook. This is because no matter what size your sequin, the hole at the centre is usually 1mm. This limits you on the weight of yarn that can thread through a sequin – 4ply creates the best results, although you can use a heavier or lighter weight, such as DK or 2ply, but you may find the sequins hang too stiff or too loose rather than flat against the fabric. Alternatively, you can now buy sequins with a larger hole, around 6mm, for use with thicker yarns. We’re going to focus on standard sequins here.
To start your sequin adventures, you’ll need to string some sequins onto your yarn. For a 4ply yarn, we suggest you start with 5-7mm sequins. You’ll also need some cotton thread and a needle that’s narrow enough to pass through the hole of your sequins.
Cut a piece of cotton thread approx 30cm long. Fold it in half and thread the two ends through the needle. Pull the ends through by approx 5cm, to create a loop in the thread away from the needle.
Take your yarn and pass the end through the loop in the thread.
Thread a few sequins onto the needle. If your sequin has a front and back, make sure you insert the needle into the front of the sequin.
Pass the sequins down over the thread…
…then gently slide them onto the yarn. You can do this one at a time or do a few sequins at a time.
Repeat Steps 4-6 to string all your sequins onto the yarn – we suggest you start with around 30 sequins.
Now you’ll be ready to work the sequins into your stitches. Double crochet stitches tend to work best so try making a fabric with 12 dc. Starting with a right side row, work three plain rows of double crochet – this will give you enough background fabric for the sequins. The next row (a wrong side row) will be a sequin row, placing the sequins on the right side of the fabric.
Start the sequin row by working two plain dc.
You’ll work the next stitch with a sequin. To do this, start off as usual with a dc: insert hook into the next stitch, yrh and pull up a loop.
At the back of the stitch, slide one sequin up the yarn so it sits next to the right side of the fabric.
Work yrh and pull through the 2 loops on the hook, to complete the dc stitch as usual. You won’t be able to see the sequin because it will be at the back of the stitch, on the right side of the fabric.
Work the next dc without a sequin. Here’s the fabric from the right side.
Repeat Steps 2-5 until you’ve placed four sequins. Then work two plain dc to finish the row. Work the next row with just plain dc stitches.
Repeat Steps 1-6 again or until you’re happy with the technique. Once you can hook with sequins, you’ll be able to place sequins in any stitches you like. Try varying the look by repeating Steps 1-6 again, but this time skip Step 5 and place the sequins in every stitch (for a total of eight sequins) – they will overlap nicely.
By now, you’ll see how the sequins are only worked with on wrong side rows, to appear on the right side of the fabric, while right side rows are only plain stitches. Depending on the size of your sequins and the weight of your yarn, the plain rows create a gap between the lines of sequins. If you want to eliminate this gap, try experimenting with working in the round and placing sequins on every round. In rows or rounds, always follow the instructions in your pattern if you’re using one, or if there’s a specific effect or pattern you want to create, make a swatch and experiment until you can achieve it.
How do I string sequins to use a chart?
Once you can hook sequins, you can use almost any charted design to create a motif using them within your fabric. If you’re using a chart, you need to string your sequins in the correct order to make the pattern. To do this, start at the top row of the chart and string the sequin on the far-right of the row first, moving in order towards the left. If you’re left-handed, start at the far-left of the row and move towards the right. Repeat this process with each row, moving downwards to the end. Use this method to design your own sequin patterns, too – almost any festive make can benefit from a touch of sparkle!