How to Make Pretty Stitch Markers With Beads

Stitch Markers. Lisa Yang

If you're a knitter, you probably know that fancy stitch markers are entirely optional, and there are many creative ways to mark your spot while knitting—everything from a contrasting colored piece of yarn to a paper clip can work. Let's be honest, though, how much fun is that? Instead, whip up some knitting stitch markers that inspire you creatively, as well as help you keep track while you are knitting. 

Stitch markers sit on the knitting needle and are transferred from one needle to the other while you are stitching. Consequently, the stitch marker should have a loop that is large enough to fit on a variety of different sized needles. The stitch marker will likely come in contact with the yarn or knitted fabric, so it is important that they have smooth edges, so they cannot get caught in or pull the yarn. You also may want to consider the weight of the stitch markers too. If a knit pattern calls for several stitch changes, using stitch markers that have heavy beads can make knitting unnecessarily uncomfortable.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Wire cutters
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Round mandrel
  • Step pliers
  • Permanent market

Materials

  • 5 to 6 inch 20- to 22-gauge craft or jewelry making wire for each stitch marker
  • Assortment of beads

Instructions

  1. Select and Add Beads to the Wire

    Get creative and choose the beads you would like to use. You can have a theme, such as hearts, a color family, or just wing it and see where your muse takes you. This project example uses one larger focal bead (about 1/2-inch long) and a smaller (4 millimeter) accent bead.

    Slide the larger bead onto the wire. Hold the bead about 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of the wire. Fold the wire up over the bead towards the hole at the top of the bead. Leave enough wire at the bottom to fold over the bead and then wrap around the wire on top of the bead to secure it in place.

    Bent Wire with Bead. Lisa Yang
  2. Secure the Wire

    Keep the wire pressed against the bead as you bend the bottom portion of the wire over the top of the bead until the wire is at a right angle. If necessary, use the flat nose pliers to press the wire against the bead.

    Wraparound. Lisa Yang
  3. Wrap the Wire to Secure

    Wrap the wire around the wire stem coming out of the top of the bead. Start on the top of the bead, keeping the wire close to but not overlapping the prior round of wire to form a neat coil. To be sure it is secure, wrap around the wire stem at least two or three times. When you are satisfied, trim the wire you were wrapping with close to the stem wire. Press the wire's end so it is flush with the other wraps.

    Twist. Lisa Yang
  4. Add Another Bead and Loop

    Add the smaller accent bead on top of the wire coil. Leaving a small gap above the bead, bend the wire to a 90-degree angle. Place the sharpie or other round mandrel on top of the bend and shape the wire around it to make a complete circle. Make sure the wires cross to complete the circle. Remove the mandrel.

    Add Beads. Lisa Yang
  5. Secure the Loop

    Wrap the tail end of the wire around the wire stem to fill the gap above the smaller bead. This will secure the large wire wrapped loop. Trim the wire tail and press the cut end against the wire stem.

    Loop and Wrap Again. Lisa Yang
  6. Finish the Set

    Once you've made one stitch marker, keep going. Make a few more to complete a set of six or more. Remember that it is OK to make them similar or to make them slightly different, so they can be used to mark different things in the same project.

    If you follow these instructions, one side of the bead will have the wire crossing over it while the other is plain. To make the side with the wire more interesting, you can grasp the wire with your flat nose pliers and give it a slight twist. This will also tighten the wire against the bead.

    Group of Stitch Markers. Lisa Yang