Friday, December 16, 2011

On the 4th Day of Christmas: Embellished Clasps Free Tutorial


"Excellence is in the details.
 Give attention to the details and excellence will come. "
~ Perry Paxton

Obviously, we love using art beads around here. And when you are using art beads in your designs, you want something a bit more special for the closure. This tutorial shows you three ways that I like to add that special touch to my designs.

I purchase a lot of generic looking findings wherever I can get them. I love toggle clasps and hooks as they are like a blank canvas waiting for me to embellish them. They are like the work horses of my design studio. These humble little toggles can be dressed up to complement the color and style of the art bead that you are using.

To add that special touch, all you need are some simple toggles and large jump rings, wire and beads.


Top Row:
Take a pretty egg bead from Kelley Wenzel of Kelleysbeads in a lovely midnight blue with gorgeous frit. Pair that with a rope twist copper plated toggle, vintage bronze wire, and some navy seed pearls. Wrap one end tightly around the base of the toggle. String one pearl and then two wraps in between. Repeat until the end, tucking the wire into the toggle.

Middle Row:
I love word beads from Diane Hawkey. This red color is so bright and cheery and will make a perfect gift for my Tiny Dancer's dance instructor (and red happens to be her favorite color!). Sometimes I wander into different aisles at the craft store just to see what I can find. I think I had read about this on a blog once years ago (I wish I could remember where) that there was an embroidery floss that was wired. I happened upon the thread aisle at Michaels and discovered the DMC Color Infusions Memory Thread. This copper wire wrapped in embroidery thread adds a soft touch to your design and was perfect for embellishing a plain jump ring to make a pretty toggle to go with the 'dance' bead. Just wrap tightly around the ring, making sure that the opening to the ring is inside the coil and then tie a tight knot.

Bottom Row:
My favorite embellished clasp uses this hook from Vintaj. I use the vintage bronze colored wire to wrap the end of the hook tightly then add beads along the outer edge of the hook, in this case I used seed beads. Then just wire around the curve of the hook for a nice detail. Works well with the affirmation rings from Vintaj.

Another great look is to find some larger holed beads that can slip over the hook, like I did with this bracelet design (which happened to be my May 2009 ABS challenge entry, "Song of the Golden Lotus"). Just wrap the wire tightly between the beads for a charming variation.



I believe that the true strength of a design is in the details, and having a simple clasp on a stunning piece created with beautiful art beads is just not good enough. Have fun spicing up your designs with these simple touches.
 

25 comments:

debb said...

I love this- I never thought about dressing up the clasp!

BackstoryBeads said...

Excellent post! Wonderfully illustrated examples and ideas that I will definitely use. Thanks!

Katie said...

That's an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing it with all of us! Sometimes, when I'm done with the beading on a piece, I just want to toggle and be done - and with these simple embellishments, they won't look so blah :o) and I won't have to spend as much on fancy toggles!!

Starstruckbooks said...

These are lovely, thank you for sharing. Perfect timing as I was just trying to figure out how to make a book closure look extra special! I'm off to experiment now!

Beads2Die4 said...

Awesome! I have decorated clasps on occasion but had not seen that embroidery wire -- love it.

Malin de Koning said...

Love it Erin! Great great post! Thank you!

Karen Williams said...

What fun and interesting ideas for personalizing purchased findings!

I hadn't heard of DMCs memory wire - will need to look into it!

Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca said...

Love this Erin. I've embellished a few clasps before (love to do it with ear wires too) but it's great to see the different ways you've achieved it here. And by the way, I think you read about the wired embroidery floss on Lorelei and RoundRabbit's blogs :-) I remember funny things like that sometimes!

Sherri said...

Just gorgeous, each and every one of them!

Sandi Volpe said...

Erin, Love all these great designs, thanks for sharing!!!

Marie Cramp said...

This is what I have been missing! I have been feeling like my designs have been missing something lately, having been too busy to really take the time to make each one really shine. Now that the holiday rush is over I can sit back and rethink some of the li8ttle details that might have been missing. Thanks Erin! This may just be the best Christmas present I get all year!

Erin S said...

great ideas to take ordinary plain clasps to the next level!

Cece said...

Great idea Erin. There are so many nice boring clasps on the market that need a bit of bling.

Off the Beadin' Path said...

I agree, a clasp that is simply functional just doesn't look good enough. These are wonderful and useful ideas to make the clasp an active part of the design! Beautiful bracelet also! I liked the hook with the affirmation ring, too. Secure, but you hardly know it's the clasp. Thanks!

Parudy said...

Thank you Erin! What great ideas to embellish a clasp. I truly believe the clasp on a piece of your jewelry is just as important as the jewelry piece. These are great & fun ideas!

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

These embellished toggles and clasps are fabulous! What a wonderful idea, thank you for sharing. That little something extra makes all the difference, I can't wait to try this out!

Michelle Mach said...

Lovely examples! It is very true that a clasp can make or break a design. This is why contests and magazines always want to see the whole piece, not just a close-up of the front. :)

Erin Siegel said...

Creative ideas! These are all really beautiful.

Gaea said...

So clever! I love that! Like getting all dressed up for a night out on the town! Sweet!

TesoriTrovati said...

I have to say thanks to Miss Rebecca for setting me straight. Now that you mention it, I do believe the first time I saw the DMC Memory Thread was on Nancy Schindler's Round Rabbit blog (and she is back selling her lovely wares again - do check it out!)
Enjoy the day.
Erin

Bracelets said...

Great idea! Really a wonderful thought sure I will try this. Thanks for the share! Do posting!!

Charm Bracelets said...

That is sure...the details and the innovative ideas make them stay away from the ordinary and the usual.This leaf clasp is very beautiful.

Cherrie Fick of En La Lumie're said...

Great post Erin, I agree with Marie I feel like I need to sit back a bit and learn some little tricks to making my designs come alive. I have wire wrapped the hooks before but I hadn't though of using some of the ideas you had. Time to play. Love that bracelet!

Cherrie Fick of En La Lumie're said...

Love the ideas Erin, You are wonderful inspiration. I agree with Marie, I feel like it's time to play a bit and try some new ideas. Love the bracelet.

Tracey said...

Gorgeous!! Thanks for posting!