Stitch Markers with Beads

  • 01 of 05

    Gather Your Supplies

    Stitch Marker Making Supplies
    Supplies needed for making stitch markers include rings, head pins, beads and pliers. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Making your own beaded stitch markers (or making them for someone else as a gift) is a great way to use up little bits of beads you might have lying around the house, or as a way to get started with beading that isn't too difficult or time consuming.

    Even if you're not a very seasoned bead worker, it will probably take about 10 minutes at most to make one of these, so in a couple of hours' work you can have enough to keep and to share.

    First you'll need to gather your supplies:

    • 16...MORE mm round split rings
    • 12 mm round jump rings (these are the sizes shown, you can also buy smaller rings for use with smaller knitting needles)
    • plain or embellished head pins, 2 inches in length
    • an assortment of beads (I used Czech glass beads)
    • round-nosed pliers
    • wire cutters (optional)
    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Choosing Your Beads

    stringing beads
    Stringing beads on a head pin to make a stitch marker. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The next step to making stitch markers yourself with beads is to choose the beads you would like to use. You can plan out a whole set of stitch markers to coordinate but not exactly match if you like before you get started, or just plan one at a time as you go along.

    There's no science to what will make a good looking stitch marker decoration. I usually use two or three different beads on each marker, depending on the size of the beads and the look I'm going for. It's fun to vary size...MORE and color to make them interesting and unique.

    You can also use coordinating findings such as spacer beads if you like. This is really a chance to use anything you've got stashed away.

    Once you've chosen your beads, string them onto a head pin in the order you like.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Bending the Head Pin

    bending head pin
    The head pin is bent and ready to loop. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    In order to keep the beads on the head pin, it's got to be twisted around itself (and the ring that will be the stitch marker).

    To being to accomplish that, using your round-nose pliers and working a quarter-inch or so above the beads, bend the head pin so that it's a shape like an upside-down U.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Making the Wraps

    wrapped loop stitch marker
    A finished wrapped loop on a knitting stitch marker. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Now slide the ring of the size you want for your particular stitch marker onto the head pin, and use the pliers to help you wrap the pin around itself above the beads.

    For a more detailed look at how to do this, check out Tammy Powley's wire wrapping tutorial.

    Make sure as you form that first wrap that the loop around the ring is loose enough that the beads can move freely around the ring -- this will make it easier to maneuver when you're using it with your knitting.

    You can wrap as many...MORE times as you like, as you have room for or as many times as you can with the head pin length that is left. I like to try to use the whole length of the pin rather than cutting it, because it seems like the cut edge is sharper and more prone to snagging on my knitting.

    If you choose to cut, use wire cutters. Either way, make sure that the end piece is as flat as possible against the work so it won't snag.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finishing the Set

    finished stitch markers
    A few finished stitch markers. (c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Once you've made one stitch marker, keep going. Make a few more in various sizes to work with different sizes of knitting needles. It's OK to have them look similar, but it's a great idea to make your markers different so they can be used to mark different things in the same project.

    Once you get the hang of it, making stitch markers does not take a lot of time and can actually be pretty fun. In an evening of work while watching television you can make enough to keep and some to give....MORE It's a great way to incorporate a different craft into knitting.