Last week on ECT TV Episode 28 I showed you how to make a hook clasp. Today I’ll show you how to make a toggle clasp.
I encourage you to experiment with different designs, shapes and sizes and find your own expression.
If you try making your own clasp, we would love to see photos over on the Emerging Creatively Tutorials Facebook page!
Ready to dig in?
Here’s what you need to make the Spiral Toggle Clasp:
- 18 gauge, half-hard round wire *
- Wire cutters
- Round nose pliers
- Chain nose pliers
- Bent nose (or other) pliers
- Ring mandrel or something cylindrical like a marker or highlighter
- Chasing hammer and steel bench block or anvil
* I used 18 gauge wire for this which worked fine. I think that 16 gauge would be even better; however 16 gauge is more difficult to work with. You can use any metal you like: sterling silver, copper or some sort of artist wire. I used silver plated copper.
First we’ll make the loop part of the clasp.
Cut a piece of wire about 5″ long. No need to straighten it because we’re making a circle anyway.
Wrap the wire around your ring mandrel. To use my exact measurements, I wrapped around size 8.
Alternatively you can wrap around anything cylindrical you have around that’s about the size you want to make your clasp.
Twist the wire to make a circle or large loop.
HINT: Don’t be too concerned at this point if your circle isn’t perfect. You can fix it later.
Hold one of the ends of wire in round nose pliers near the twist you made.
Wrap the wire toward you and around the round nose pliers forming a loop. Straighten the loop so it’s straight on top of the circle. You can just adjust it with your round nose pliers still in the loop or take out the round nose pliers and use your chain nose pliers to straighten it.
Hold the smaller loop in chain nose pliers and wrap one wire around. Hold the end of the wire with the bent nose pliers and do the wraps. You could also just use your hand to wrap the wire if it’s comfortable for you.
Keep the wraps as straight as possible and very close. Then wrap the other end around. Trim off any excess wire.
Use chain nose pliers to push in the ends of the wire.
Remember how I mentioned you could fix your circle? This is where I did it. Just slide it back on your ring mandrel and push down as far as it will go and you’ll have a perfect circle shape again.
Carefully hammer with a chasing hammer. You’ll have to have the wraps off to the side.
And that’s the circle part of the clasp.
Now for the bar…
Cut another piece of wire about 5″ long. Make sure each end has a flush cut. (Use the back of the wire cutters toward the work.)
Create a loop in the middle of the wire using your round nose pliers.
Now we’ll make a spiral on each end of the bar. For the orientation of the spirals in relation to the loop, scroll down a little to see a photo.
Hold the end of the wire in round nose pliers. The wire should be at the top of the pliers, but not poking through.
Twist your wrist away from you while wrapping the wire around the pliers with your other hand forming a loop.
Go as far as your wrist will twist, readjust and then complete the loop.
Repeat and create a loop on the other end as well.
Hold one of the loops in chain nose pliers. Push the wire up spiraling around the original loop. Continue to adjust the wire as seen in these two images and continue to make the spiral.
Continue spiraling until the length, including the middle loop, is 1″.
Repeat on the other side.
HINT: If the circle part of your clasp is smaller, you can make the bar smaller. If you make your circle part larger, the bar will need to be longer.
Hammer the bar using a chasing hammer.
Now you can use your clasp in your designs for an even more personal look.
You have the basic idea here, but of course you can let your creativity go crazy here!
Love spirals? Check out my Spiral Wire Jewelry eBook with all the awesome spiral jewelry tutorials you see in the photo! The spiral bangle bracelet is a favorite of mine that is so much fun to make and I wear it all the time! Click here to learn more and to purchase.