Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Stitch Marker Tutorial

A package of head pins (found in the jewelry section of most craft stores)
Some beads - I picked this strand because it had a bunch of different sizes.
Round nose pliers
Skinny nose pliers (I'm not sure what they are called, but they're the ones with the red handle in the above picture.)
Wire cutters

Start by putting some beads onto a head pin.  I like to put a smaller bead on the bottom then a bigger bead and finally another smaller bead on top, but you can put however many you'd like and in whichever order you think looks good.

Using the round nosed pliers, grab ahold of the headpin directly above the top bead.
Using either your fingers (which is what I do) or the skinny pliers, bend the head pin over halfway so that it's at a 90 degree angle.

Reposition the pliers by letting go and re-clamping the headpin right above the bend you just made with one of the round parts of the pliers facing up towards the ceiling.
*Note:Now this is where you can adjust the size of your finished stitch marker's loop so it can fit the size of needle you want.  By moving the whole thing up higher on the pliers where the round parts are bigger, you can make a bigger loop.  When I made this one, it would probably fit a US 3 needle, but when I brought it up higher, it would fit probably a US 5.  These pliers are a little dantier, so they make smaller stitch markers, but I do have another pair that is bigger and with it I can make them to fit up to a size US 7.  You could also bend it around a knitting needle if you want to make it bigger than your pliers will allow, but it's a bit tricker.  I recommend trying it with the pliers first so you can see how it all works.

This is what it should look like from the side.

Now again, using either your fingers or the skinny pliers, bend the head pin straight back upwards towards the ceiling.

Then keep bending it over until it's parallel with the floor as shown above.  There will now be a sort of half loop above the top bead.

Reposition your pliers again by letting go and re-clamping in the same spot, but now with the top of the half-loop in between the pliers.
Now twist the end of head pin downwards and back up towards the back creating a closed off loop.  The the wire will now be on the opposite side from where it was.  The picture below shows what it will look like when you let go of the stitch marker.

See how it's closed off the loop?

Re-clamp your pliers with the loop now in the middle of the pliers, just like shown above.

This is where the skinny pliers really start to come in handy!  Using them, start slowly twisting the end of the head pin around the "neck" space just above the top bead.

This part takes practice and can be a little fiddly, but stick with it!  If you find your end is going to be too long, just clip some of the excess off with the wire cutters.

See, mine was a bit long, so I snipped some of it off.  Now it's much more manageable to work with, and it will fit nicely into the "neck" space.

When you get almost to the end, continuing with the skinny pliers work carefully to sort of gently squeeze the last little end up close so there isn't a picky end sticking out.

And ta-da!!  You now have an adorable stitch marker all ready for your next project.  Enjoy!!

xoxo, R

P.S. If you have any questions, just ask them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them as soon as I can.

P.P.S. Thanks Kepanie for asking me to make this tutorial!!


  1. FAN-tastic job, Ralli! Mahalo nui loa for putting together this post. I can't wait to try it.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad you liked it :D I hope it all makes sense!

  2. I'm gonna Pin this and post this on my FB page for Knitspiring Odyssey.

  3. This is a great tutorial. So detailed! The pliers are called needle-nosed pliers, so you were close when you said skinny-nosed :)

    1. Thanks for letting me know what the pliers are called!! I totally blanked on the name! lol