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When it comes to making things, it drives me a little bit nuts to purchase lots of things that serve only one purpose, I like purchasing things that can be used for multiple purposes. Of course there are some things that must be purchased specifically for a particular craft or project. Last week when I was making necklaces, I ran out of clasps, so I reused a clasp from an old necklace, but when I ran out of old necklaces, I decided to put some of my wire to work by creating some fun clasps! So let’s make some clasps!
Handmade Jewelry Clasp Tutorial
1 piece of 3.5″ 18 gauge brass wire
1 piece of 3″ 18 gauge brass wire
1 standard round pen barrel (make sure the barrel is round, not hexagonal etc)
Round nose pliers (I find the mini sets very convenient for my little hands)
Ball pein hammer
- Start by putting on your safety glasses
- Take the 3″ piece of wire and center it over the pen crosswise
- Wrap the wire around the pen and then bring the ends back around the pen
- The wire should look like the end of safety pen
- Remove the wire from the pen
- Now let’s clip off the excess wire
- Notice where the ends of the wire is not rounded, you will want to carefully clip the wire off just before it starts to become “unround”
- Keep the safety glasses on
- Take the 3.5″ piece of wire and place it slightly off-center over the pen crosswise
- Wrap the wire around the pen once
- The left side should be longer than the left by about 1/4″ or so
- Now here is where you will customize the size of your clasp, just remember not to take too much off
- From the right side I clipped about 3/4″ off the wire and with the round nose pliers, I rolled the wire to create a closed eyelet (this is the one you will use to attach necklace or bracelet ends)
- Next I clipped about 3/4″ of wire off of the left side
- With the round nose pliers I rolled the wire twice to create a little spiral
- My clasp is about 3/4″ inch long
Now these look nice as is, but regardless we have to harden the wire so that it’s sturdy, so why not add a bit of texture?
Hammering the Clasp Set
- Keep those safety glasses on
- With your ball pein hammer and your hammering block, gently start hammering the wire, be careful to cover the entire surface of the wire
- For the jump ring, gently hammer the ends so that they are not on top of each other but underneath each other (see the last photo in the second collage, to see what I mean)
- As you hammer, you will notice that the wire starts to become a bit misshapen, don’t worry, we’re going to fix that
- Make sure that you don’t try to “flatten” the wire, you’re just trying to add texture and harden the wire
- If you’ve never hammered metal before, practice on a spare piece of wire before you hammer your work
- Using your jewelry pliers and round nose pliers, gently push everything back into place
- For the jump ring, press the wire ends back to where one is on top of the other – do you best to make the wire ends as flush as possible with the ring
Tip: if you cannot get your wire ends on the jump ring very flush with the ring, take some 26 gauge wire and wrap the ends like I did in the photo below. If you need to wrap your jump ring, you will want the clasp to be closer to 3/4″ long as the wire wrapping limits the movement of the clasp, making your bracelet less fluid (I like my bracelets to be fluid). If you’re using a wire wrapped jump ring on a necklace, the size of the clasp isn’t as big of a deal.
Note: these little clasps are sturdy, but they are delicate at the same time, so take care when wearing them, putting them on and taking them off.
Now start adding these clasps to your lovely jewelry creations!