Possibly I’m just mildly delusional, but I could have sworn that in older versions of blender it was possible to parent entire objects to a specific bone in an armature (so, for example, you could parent something to somebody’s hand bone and have it move with the hand), however now I can’t seem to find a way to do it. Is there some new way of doing this or has it just been got rid of entirely? Or am I just being some kind of an idiot?
You’re not delusional, it’s still possible. Go into Pose mode on the armature. Then (still in Pose mode! this is the trick) select the object you want parented. Shift-select the Bone, Ctrl-P, Parent to Bone.
You probably just need to change into pose mode (Ctrl_Tab) for the armature.
but step by step, from default blender screen:
Place the Cursor somewhere away from the origin,
Add an armature,
extrude the initial Bone out 2 or 3 times,
enter Pose Mode (Ctrl_Tab),
Right Mouse click the Cube,
Shift_Right Mouse Click the bone that you wish to parent to, and
Ctrl_P > Bone.
Thanks - I’d tried doing it in edit mode, but for some reason it never occurred to me to try it in pose mode.