Stitch Markers: Budget Friendly DIY
As a maker who is also a momma, my greatest fear is leaving a project just for it to be unraveled by a playful child or pup. While scrolling through social media, pictures of gorgeous and unique stitch markers and progress savers popped up in my feed. I didn’t need to invent a solution, since it already existed! Progress savers clasp on the last stitch of your crochet work, preventing it from unraveling.
In addition to keeping my work from unraveling, I also enjoy making patterns in the round without joins (like this adorable jellyfish pattern). I use these stitch markers to indicate where each row starts, since they all tend to blend together in round patterns!
Realizing my need, I went on a search for some beautiful markers that wouldn’t break the bank. While the cost on Etsy for a single stitch marker isn’t terrible, being a single income family (and that income is a teacher’s salary), even $5 for a single item seemed like too much for me. Especially since I couldn’t find ones that really spoke to my creative aesthetic. A trip to Hobby Lobby was in order!
I immediately made bee line for the yarn department and found only the little plastic rings that I hate. They snag my yarn, putting pulls and runs in my work. Well, I thought, How hard can it be to make them?
Rewind a couple years, before we moved to central Virginia for my husband to take a teacher’s position here, I worked as the second assistant manager at a local Cato Fashions. Part of my job was to unpack all the jewelry each week and repair any pieces that were damaged in the shipping process. I got pretty good with a pair of needle nose pliers and jump rings! I knew I already had the skills to make my own from jewelry supplies.
Back at Hobby Lobby, I wandered over to the jewelry section and picked out my some cute charms. Of course, I already had needle nose pliers (I’m a maker, remember?), so my supply needs were pretty small.
Jump Rings (sometimes the charms come with these attached, so you may not need these)
Clasp (I prefer the classic jewelry clasp, since it doesn’t pull my work)
In the example above, you see the charm already has the little ring attached to it. If the charm doesn’t have that little ring, you will need to pick some up. I like to have the ring, clasp, and charm to have the same metal finish to keep them professional looking.
Also, if you look closely, I also have dog hair mixed in with my supplies. No project is complete without a little pet love!
1. Open the Jump Ring
To open the jump ring, I place the ring inside the needle nose pliers, but I don’t close the pliers all the way, I leave just a little space. I then turn the pliers a little to put pressure on one side of the ring, pushing it open. Or, you can lay one side of the opening on the edge of the table, grasp the other side with the pliers and gently bend it open.
2. Add charm and clasp to the ring
After you have opened the ring, slide the charm and clasp onto the DIY progress saver.
3. Close the jump ring
Holding both the clasp and charm firmly in one hand, gently squeeze the ring closed. Using the needle nose pliers, put pressure on either side of the ring to bring the two ends together:
If the two ends do not line up exactly, put both ends inside the pliers and squeeze them together gently. You may have to almost over-direct the ends to get the lined up tightly and flush. You want to get the ends as tightly together as possible, so your DIY stitch markers or progress savers don’t pull at your work.
Since the supply list for these progress saver and stitch markers are sooo small, I paid around $6 to make six markers! Of course, the final cost for these DIY progress savers depends greatly on the charms you pick. If you are making them for yourself, I say spend a couple extra bucks to get the charms that blend with your aesthetic. If you want to sell them in your shop, I highly recommend buying the supplies in bulk on Amazon. That way, you can make around 50 progress savers for close to $6-$10 - you can make a great profit at those rates!
Of course, being the yarn nerd that I am, I love making stitch markers to match the projects I’m working on! I have a cactus set and a fairy tail set so far. Who knows what I’ll make next?
If you make your own progress savers or stitch markers using this tutorial, I’d love to see them! Tag me on Instagram using #rebekahhaas or #makerofhappythings !
After you complete your DIY progress savers or stitch markers, maybe use them on one of these awesome free patterns!