Beading Clasps

Dana Hinders
Handmade bracelet

Beading clasps offer a pretty, yet practical, way to fasten your homemade bracelets and necklaces. If you're passionate about making jewelry, you'll want to have a wide assortment of clasps at your disposal.

Types of Beading Clasps

Although it's possible to finish your jewelry by simply knotting the cord, a clasp adds a professional touch to any bracelet or necklace. When choosing a clasp for your project, you have several different options:

  • Toggle clasps: A toggle clasp features an open ring on one end of the clasp and a bar at the other end. To fasten the clasp, you simply slip the bar through the ring. Since toggle clasps are available in hearts, flowers, rectangles, and ornate circular designs, they are great for simple projects that need a bit of extra pizazz.
  • Hook and eye clasps: Hook and eye clasps have a hook at one end and a simple ring at the other. This is a simple design most commonly found on casual jewelry.
  • S clasp: This design is similar to the hook and eye clasp, except that an open ring catches each side of the S-shaped clasp component.
  • Magnetic clasps: A magnetic clasp uses two small magnets attached to each part of the connector to secure the bracelet or necklace. This type of clasp is very easy to use, making it a great choice for people with arthritis or poor eyesight.
  • Barrel clasp: A barrel clasp features two small ends that must be screwed together to secure the bracelet or necklace. This type of clasp is simple and unobtrusive, but may come undone occasionally.
  • Spring ring clasps: A spring ring clasp consists of a plain ring at one end and an open ring with a small lever at the other end. Simply open the lever and slip the plain ring through to close the bracelet or necklace. This type of clasp is generally the cheapest jewelry finding, but it can be somewhat difficult to secure.
  • Lobster clasp: A lobster clasp is similar to a spring ring clasp, but the lever is larger and the rings are more decorative. Because it is somewhat bulky, this type of clasp is most often used on projects that feature larger stones.
  • Multi-strand clasp: This type of clasp is a specialty design used to make jewelry that consists of multiple strands of seed beads.

Clasp Materials

Beading clasps, like other jewelry making components, can be made out of several different materials. Choosing the right clasp for your project requires a thorough understanding of all available options. For example:

  • Sterling silver or gold clasps are most often used in jewelry that incorporates precious or semi-precious gemstones.
  • Plated-clasps provide the look of precious metal, but at a fraction of the cost.
  • Wooden clasps provide an earthly, natural look to your jewelry.
  • Crystal or stone clasps are effortlessly elegant.

Buying Clasps

Beading clasps can generally be purchased from any craft or bead store. However, if you prefer to shop online, you can also buy clasps from the following retailers:

Making Your Own Clasps

Although purchasing jewelry making clasps is easy and convenient, learning how to make your own clasps is a valuable skill. Since all you need to make a clasp is wire, wire cutters, and pliers, handmade clasps are a great option for the crafter on a tight budget. In addition, making your own clasp gives you the opportunity to further customize the look of your bracelet or necklace.To learn more about making your own beading clasps, check out the following tutorials:

Beading Clasps