- Knitting needles
- Permanent marker
- Jewelry saw
- Beeswax block
- Electric hand drill
- 1/16 inch thick drill bit
- Beading wire
- Other beads (optional)
Aluminum knitting needles aren’t just for making blankets. Whether your needles are bent and dented or you just don’t knit anymore, you don’t have to toss those tools. Instead, try making jewelry from them. Aluminum knitting needles come in a wide variety of colors and feature a hollow center. With the right tools, you can make colorful, sleek metal beads and repurpose old or unwanted needles.
Examine your knitting needles. You may make two kinds of beads from them: ring beads or long flute beads. Ring beads are about 1/8 inch thick and look like tiny finger rings. Long flute beads are longer sections of needle drilled through the top so they hang vertically from your jewelry pieces.
Mark your knitting needles where you want to cut them. Ring beads should be no more than 1/8 inch wide. Flute beads may be anywhere from 1 inch to 3 inches long.
Rub the blade of your jewelry saw against a beeswax block. Don’t build up a thick layer of beeswax; you just want to lubricate the blade.
Hold your blade perfectly straight over your marks. Saw the blade back and forth over the metal; don’t push. Let the blade do its work at its own pace.
Separate your ring beads from your flute beads. Hold flute beads upright. Drill two holes in the top edges of each flute bead about 1/8 inch from the top edge. Work slowly so you don’t bend your bead.
String ring beads, flute beads and regular beads onto a piece of beading wire. Large, round beads made of glass, ceramic or wood work well with your metal knitting needle beads. The textures and sizes combine for an organic piece.
Connect a number of ring beads together with jump rings to make an original choker. Drill holes through the sides of your ring beads, too. String them on beading wire with round or focal beads in their centers.