How can I make knitting stitch markers using recycled old stuff?

stitch_markersMost of our “how can I make…” posts recently have been big things, or house things, or both so here is something different for a change.

How can I make stitch markers for knitting/crochet reusing or recycling old junk and whatnot? I end up using whatever is to hand and vaguely stitch marker shaped – bent out of shape paperclips or bits of paper with holes torn in them usually. The paperclips often snag on the wool and the torn paper is … less than satisfactory and usually results in me abandoning markers altogether.

Now I know you can buy super cheap plastic ones for just a couple of quid but I’m trying to avoid being a super cheap plastic kind of girl these days so I’d rather make my own – if I make my own recycling old stuff, not only am I reducing waste, I’m also more likely to take care of them/not lose them because I’ve put time and effort into them, rather than just paying a few pence for them.

I’ve seen other handmade ones using light metal rings with decorative beads attached, which are a good starting point – aside from the made-for-purpose jump rings etc, old washers from a random old fixings box or drink can ring pulls might work for the hoop — although both would probably need a bit of work (painting?) to make sure there isn’t any sharp bits or rusty spots which might ruin the yarn. Any other suggestions?

However, I prefer split stitch markers – the clip-type ones used for crochet – which I suspect will be a bit harder to make. I could just bend a piece of reclaimed wire into shape but where’s the fun in that? ;) Any better suggestions?

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13 Responses to “How can I make knitting stitch markers using recycled old stuff?”

  1. Alice says:

    Didn’t someone ask recently about what to do with shower curtain hooks? Would they work?

    I often cut bits out of plastic milk bottles for various things before I put them in the recycling bin, could you cut out a spiral shape like the markers shown in the picture from plastic bottles etc before recycling the rest of them? use sandpaper to get rid of any edges that don’t come out smooth.

    Or just loop the stitch you want to mark with some contrasting thread or wool.

  2. Lizzy says:

    Continuing from Alice’s milk bottle suggestion, how about cutting the flat bit from a bottle top so you’re left with the ring , which you could maybe cut a bit off to make it narrower? Or cut another circle from the flat circle of bottletop to give a ring? If you take a week of sampling each type of milk in a shop you could get lots of different coloured tops and make a pretty set ? =D

  3. Nicole says:

    Paper clips can work, also the colour coded rings for electric toothbrushes

  4. Kelly says:

    How about old jewelry? Rings or hoop earrings you don’t wear anymore. Or if you’ve got jump rings from old or thrifted jewelry… and beads from old/thrifted jewelry to decorate them with.

  5. yogahz says:

    I make loops from yarn – that way I can pick a contrasting color and also alter the size.

  6. Stacey Trock says:

    I just made stitch markers (for knitting… the non-locking kind) from cutting the links off an old bracelet. They were heart-shaped and turned out really cute!
    About the locking stitch markers, I agree that they’re much harder to find things to use for them. One thing you can do, though, is buy lobster clasps (pretty cheap in the jewelry findings section), and then attach little adorable bits and pieces to them- and you’ll have dangling locking stitch markers!

  7. caroline says:

    I also make stitch markers using yarn. I have a little make up bag that contains all my knitting bits, like scissors, crochet hook, cable needle, stitch holders etc.

    Every time I cut the tail of the yarn at the end of a project I pop it in this bag. Then when I need one I have it already ready from waste yarn.

  8. Michelle says:

    Safety pins

  9. Lyssa says:

    I use old jump rings from jewellery, also I had an old winnie the pooh keyring with little winnies hanging from one big ring… took them off and used them.. they are brill… also put some beads of a earwire and bent the top into a ring shape.

  10. Anonymous says:

    A lot of people make beaded ones with wire, if you really want to make it out of recycled items you could try making one out of old plastic baggies or something. Maybe you could make one out of old clay, or even make your own clay. If you want some that you can make really quickly, try braiding some or knotting them even. You could even cut strips of plastic bags and braid or knot that. You could try finger knitting it. I have not tried to make my own yet so I do not know what works best. Maybe you could knit some. I have several patterns for nice flowers to knit that you could probably attach to your stitch marker if you really wanted to, but you would probably need to make it smaller first. If you like, I could give you a link to the websites, I have so many flower websites, it is unbelievable. I posted about a dozen on another website.

  11. Knitter says:

    Continuing on Alice’s suggestion (and Lizzy’s), maybe you could just take the ring off that is around the mouth of the bottle just below the cap. I know I used to take them off all the time, although not necessarily to use for these purposes. If you have really big needles, you might get away with it. As for the smaller needles… ask someone else, my fingers are getting tired from all this typing.

  12. Knitter says:

    What are lobster clasps?

  13. Adam says:

    You could just use keyrings

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