Monday, April 13, 2009

How to Make Jewelry Clasps from Wire

Remember my antique bronze letter pendant with the 2mm double cord? Well, I had to make cord ends and a clasp for it as I didn't have either in bronze. I did have 20G bronze wire and this is how I went about making the findings. The 20G wire gives a more delicate look. You could also go for thicker wire like 18 G or lower for the clasp. This style of clasp is ideal for chain maille jewelry because the double loops resemble the double rings used in the weaves.



COIL ENDS
I coiled some lengths of wire around a knitting needle. Then I made a loop at one end and trimmed the other. You can work- harden that loop by hammering it.



Since there were two cords, I pushed both through the coil to ensure both ends really went right through. Trim the cords if they look ratty. I dabbed some glue on the cords and retracted them until the ends were flush with the top of the coil. Repeat with the other side. Wipe away excess glue. Use your chain nose pliers to compress the lowest most coil (trimmed end) so it "bites" down on the cords.



HANDMADE CLASP

Cut a piece of wire about 4 inches long and bend it into half. Squish the bent wire together to make it narrow. Now bend it again about 1/2- 3/4 inches away from the "blunt"end. Too long and it looks odd. Too short and your clasp will come undone so experiment! Also be aware that the second bend may be uneven because your round nose pliers are tapered. A knitting needle may be a better idea if you want a balanced bend.



Trim the raw ends even and make loops. Again adjust to get even loops. You can also add a little "lip" to the blunt end by curling it a little.



There you have it, a simple little clasp. If you want another variation to it as for my cord necklace, instead of just bending the wire around one half of your round nose, close down on the wire and then bend the cut ends to the right as indicated by the red arrow below.



FREE TUTORIALS FROM THE WEB

The Wigjig.com site has some easy clasps you can make using a wire jig such as these below.



Geltdesigns has a slide tutorial on how to make Egyptian clasps which were developed by, you guessed it, Ancient Egyptians.

Wittyliving.com has a wire spiral clasp for those of you who love doing spirals!
Tania Zakharchenko has a fabulous coiled style clasp design.

Art Jewelry Magazine also has great video how-tos for a looped S-clasp and a hammered S-clasp.





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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

13 comments :

BetteJo said...

Nice tutorials, I always love seeing the stuff with wire because I'm not very good at it.

Ruralrose said...

Love this entry Pearl, thanks

Azure Islands Designs said...

What an interesting way to make the coils Pearl...I've finished leather cord with a similiar kind of wrapped effect but I never thought of coiling the wire first...I just wrapped the wire around the leather...takes some practice though to finish it neatly!

Cheers

Tamara Jans said...

More genius!! Great new look, by the way!! Thank you again for awesome info and ideas!

Kokopelli said...

OK, just have to make sure, I'm on the right website. Great new look, Pearl!
I loved to learn making my own clasps and findings. It stopped my search for the perfect clasp. I just make it!

Anitra Cameron said...

This is great! I don't know why I never thought of making my own coil ends--thank you for opening the window for me!

MyBlog said...

This is great information. I never used the hammer to flatten the wire. Thank for this information.

Horse'n'Garden said...

just found this blog today and am in LOVE! quick question, you have two pictures of clasps just above the videos.. where are the tutorials for those posted? I love the look and ease of them and would like to make some for myself. Thank you!

The Beading Gem said...

Those are from the Wigjig site. Just click on the link! if you have any further questions, please ask!

Horse'n'Garden said...

ah Thank You! Don't know why I didn't see the link before :D

Donna Jo Wallace said...

I have used this clasp design on a couple of bracelets. It looks neat, and professional looking, but when I used it on a bracelet that I wear myself, it falls off regularly. I am deciding that this design is better for necklaces than for bracelets. If there is a way to make it safe for bracelets, I would like to know because I think it is a nice alternative - I keep going back to a simple s-hook though.

Pearl Blay said...

Hi Donna, The reason why your bracelet unfastens with this type of clasp is because it is too straight. If you still want to use this for a bracelet, I suggest you make the stem a little longer and then round it like a hook. Hope this helps.

Donna Jo Wallace said...

Clearly, I'll have to adapt it. Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try.

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