How to make your own fancy stitch markers

In a previous article, I taught you how to make your own needle minder, using polymer clay. This time I wanted to make something for my other hobby that is crochet. That’s how I’ve got the idea to make cute stitch markers using this same medium. After showing my first stitch marker to my Instagram followers, and asking them if they wanted me to teach them how they can make one for themselves, here I am with this new article to show you how to make your own fancy stitch markers too!

Material – How to make stitch markers

How to make stitch markers

Preparing your work space

When working with polymer clay, I recommend to work on a clean, flat and steady board. Especially when varnishing your piece, you want the table to be really flat and even, with no bump, so this way the liquid will dry on all the surface of your polymer piece uniformly.

Cover your working space with a sheet of baking paper, let it be smooth with no wrinkles preferably. You can also use a flat and smooth tile to work your clay on.

Make sure that your hands are washed and with no dust residue on it, because it will stick to your clay and it would be a hassle to clean it off.

Now you can start to work your clay. I highly recommend you to read this article about how to condition your clay before shaping it. I personally conditioned my clay by hands and with the help of my acrylic roller. Once your clay is soft enough, you may start the sculpting phase.

Sculpting your charms

Your hands are your primary tool to start sculpting your clay into the shape you want. If the clay needs to be flattened, then use the roller. You have different ways to flatten it evenly using the roller, this video show you how you can do it easily.

To sculpt my tiny crochet hook, I rolled between my hands two different colors of clay, light purple for the handle and pink for the hook. Once I got the thickness I wanted, I cut with the blade one side of the clays, then for the handle I rounded the other side with my hand.

For the hook, I rolled a tiny piece of the opposite tip, then I started to shape it with my clay tools to make it look like a crochet hook.

To attach them together, you can either blend the clay together with a silicon tip tool like the blue one in the picture above. This video shows you exactly how to do that.

Or you can also use the oven-bake glue to stick each part together. For the glue, you have to make sure no excess of the liquid is leaking on the sides, because when baked it will appear as orange stains on your clay. So put a small amount of glue if you want to avoid this. Secure your pieces together with some blending before baking.

You can also use molds to shape your clay. But if you don’t have any, like me, there’s a simple way to get a somewhat similar result to a mold. Print on a paper the shape you want to make, then cut it. Place the paper on top of your clay, and with a craft knife, cut your clay around that shape. That’s the method I used for both: my paw and flower design.

You may use the same designs to make your charms: save it, scale it and print it.

Important note: make sure that your clay is thick enough for the screw eye pin that we will insert later on, it has to be thick for the clay to not break when baking it.

After cutting, smoothen the edges with your clay tool. Add details if needed, for example for my flower I made 5 little dots in the middle. While I dug light holes in the paw to glue the pads on.

Digging dots in the middle of the cherry blossom flower to later add some gold foil in it
Putting in some oven-bake glue in the holes to stick the pads to the paw

After you finished adding all the details to your charms, insert your screw eye pins in your clay. Instead of shoving it inside directly, you should turn it around like a screw, in your clay. I found this method way better for the screw to adhere and hold perfectly to your clay. You might need a flat nose pliers for this. Now you can either leave the screw in or take it out before baking the clay. I personally left them in while baking the charms. To secure the screw eye pin, add some glue on it before inserting it in the hole you made beforehand.

Baking and Sanding your Polymer Clay

The baking process needs to be done in a oven. You can’t bake your clay in a microwave, for example. You can bake your polymer clay with the screw pin in it, in the oven, it is safe.

The temperature needed depends on the brand of clay you’re using. It is usually indicated on the package. The brand I used, “Nara”, needs a temperature of 100°C (= 212°F). The time you will leave your clay baking depends on the thickness of your clay. I let mines bake for 45-50 minutes. I recommend you this article to learn a little more about the baking process.

Note that I placed my charms in the oven, on a flat surface and on top of a baking paper.

When your charms are baked, take them out of the oven and let them cool down on a flat and clean surface.

Then, once it has perfectly cooled down, you can start polishing it, with a sand paper, to smoothen your clay and remove any fingerprints left on it. Here’s a good read on how to proceed.

After sanding, rinsing and drying your charm, take a piece of denim cloth and rub it hard on your clay to buff it. This will give it some shine.

Embellishing your stitch markers charms

Now you are either satisfied with the colors of your charms, or like me, you want to paint it to enhance the colors. When I baked my charms, the colors darkened a lot, especially the light ones. The acrylic paint is your best solution for this problem.

Paint multiple layers to get the perfect color (let the paint dry in between the layers, of course).

Embellish your charms with glitters and gold leaf. For my crochet hook, I painted some stars then traced the stars with a glue pen, and poured some glitters on it.

How to make stitch markers

While I stuck some gold leaf flakes in the middle dots of my cherry blossom flower.

How to make stitch markers

The final touch – How to make stitch markers

Finally, after embellishing your charms, it’s time to varnish them. You can use UV resin like I did. A UV lamp is needed for this, you can use a small UV lamp for nail polishing. Or you can let the charms dry in the sun, but dust can stick to the resin in the process. It is better to let the varnish dry inside your house, than outside in the open, to avoid any spoiling of the varnish. Use gloves to protect your hands. Apply the resin uniformly on the surfaces of your charms, with a pointy wooden stick, a toothpick will do.

How to make stitch markers
How to make stitch markers

Once your varnish dried, the only thing left to do is to attach 2 jump rings and a lobster clasp to your charm and tada! Your fancy stitch marker is done!

How to make stitch markers

Don’t hesitate to comment down below if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them and help you the best I can. Also let me know if you like this kind of articles and if you wish to see more of them in the future. I love to read your feedbacks on my work.

You can follow me on Instagram to keep in touch with me and see what I’m working on and have some sneak peek of my next articles and crochet pattern. Have a nice and productive day!

Back to top