Illusion of hands - advice needed

Hello everyone,

Recently I had this urge to draw again. Really smooth sailing honestly, until I arrived at drawing hands. I just cant wrap my head around a way to create the illusion of hands holding things, and not just a color blob. I do realize I might have just screwed myself up by making the hands size a tad bit too small to really imitate anything that looks good, but I want to ask for help if anyone is interested in offering some advice.
The problem here is the sprite on the left, the hand size is just … not good. Its not really as noticeable when covered up, or when the hand isnt used, but when I need to have something be held the hands just dont work, and I dont know how to make it any better honestly.

I did tinker with it a little and thats the best that I can come up with, not really an improvement in my opinion. So yeah, would love to hear any advice or suggestions !