Wireworked Clasp
For Silk, Hide, Yarn, Etc.


Someone was asking, over on the messageboard at Polymer Clay Central, if there was somewhere online where she could see what people did to add clasps to silk cording. It seemed to me it would be so very easy to just cobble up your own! Now, I'm sure there's a tutorial out there somewhere by one of the many jewelry/wire working buffs, but I don't know where it is!!  And I'm a real amateur when it comes to wire working. I don't know the difference - yet - between hard, semi-hard, and soft wire or what practice wire is. But the technique for making the clasp is easy!!

In this tutorial, I am using telephone wire for demonstration purposes only. It is wayy-y-y too soft to be a viable clasp!! I'm also using rawhide string in this demonstration, you can use whatever suits your design. --sunni

clasp003a.jpg (11806 bytes)

Supplies:
About 12 inches or so of 18 or 20 gauge wire
Your stringing material (Silk cording, hide, yarn, whatever)
Flat-nose pliers
Round-nose pliers
Small side cutters

 


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1.  Here you see a couple different clasps used for silk cording I purchased ages ago. For a closer look, click on the thumbnail. 

clasp002a.jpg (11419 bytes)

2.  To secure them to the end of the stringing material, you simply glue them on! So I looked at the wire one carefully and figured out the following steps in order to build my own. For a closer look, click on the thumbnail.  

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3.  I found a dowel about the same size as the stringing material to wrap the wire around and set it aside.

clasp005a.jpg (5544 bytes)

4.  I folded about an inch of the end of the wire back on itself and pinched the bend with the needlenose so the two lengths were lying right against each other with no loop.

If you want to get fancy or have a more finished look, make the short length a little longer and then wrap the end around the longer wire a couple times to keep the two lengths together and tuck the end out of the way.

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5.  On the longer length, I gripped the wire just below where the shorter length ends and bent it over at a 90 degree angle.

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6.  Lay the folded end of the wire along the stick and wrap the wire 12 times around the dowel. Bring the last wrap straight out and remove the looped wire from the dowel.

clasp008a.jpg (7346 bytes)

7.  Opposite the folded end, bend the wire at another 90 degree angle.

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8.  Measure down the wire about an inch and snip off the excess wire. Bend the end so it lays across the opening of the wire loops.

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9.  Using the round-nose pliers, place the very tip of the wire at the base of the grip where the round nose is largest. (If you're making a smaller clasp, place your wire along the round nose in the appropriate location to get the size you need.) Turn the end of the wire until it meets itself.

clasp011a.jpg (6474 bytes)

10.  At the other end of the loops, place your round-nose pliers about halfway between the base and tip. I judged the size for the loop would be about halfway down the length of the round nose, you can choose how large or small you want your  hook to be.

clasp012a.jpg (7370 bytes)

11.  Place your finger on the tip and pull the end down so it wraps around the pliers and runs parallel to the bottom half of the end.

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12.  Now move the pliers down to the end and, with the flat-nose pliers, squeeze the tip so it bends out a little.

clasp014a.jpg (7741 bytes)

13.  Place the side cutters right in the center of the loops and snip. Voila, you have your hook and eye clasp set.

clasp015a.jpg (8243 bytes)

14.  Place some glue inside the loops and then place your stringing material inside the loops too. If you need to double the stringing material over, be a little generous. When the glue dries, trim the excess off flush with the end loop. For a closer look, click on the thumbnail. 

 


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Copyright 2004-2013 Colleen D. Bergeron.
Last revised: February 20 2013