Getting Hooked (or, How to Make a Clasp)

26 07 2010

Being able to make your own jewelry findings means that you can always create what you need, in the size you need. I love finishing off a handmade piece with a well made clasp, and one of my favorites is the basic wire hook.

Step 1: flatten one end

I start with a 2.5 inch length of wire, in a pretty heavy weight. I’m using 16g here, but you can change up the gauge and the length to customize your clasp. Sand or file the ends clean, and hammer one end to create a “paddle” shape.

Step 2: create a small loop

Next, you need to create a small loop (as small as possible) at the flattened end, using the very tip of my round nose pliers.  Make sure you don’t use good precision round nose pliers – the heavier gauge wires could twist the tips out of alignment and ruin your pliers!

Step 3: make a large loop

On the other end of the wire, make a larger loop, using the base of your round nose pliers. Make sure that the loops are facing the same direction, as shown below:

The wire is now ready to be shaped

The loops are round, facing the same direction. The wire is nice and straight, and  can now be shaped around a mandrel into a hook (I use a pen in the following steps, but you can use any appropriately shaped rod as a mandrel).

Step 4: holding the wire

Hold the wire across the top of the pen, with both of the loops facing up. Position your thumb a bit closer to the large loop, and hold the wire tight on the mandrel.

Step 5: bending the wire

Start bending the wire over the mandrel on both sides – the end with the small loop will be longer. Bend the wire gently, ensuring it keeps a rounded shape.

Step 6: shaping the hook

Once both sides are pushed down (like an upside down “U”), push the longer end with the small loop under the mandrel, toward the large loop. This gives the clasp a “swoop” shape, which helps with the integrity of the hook.

Step 7: the finishing touches

Now the hook is done. The final step is to harden the wire, so that the clasp will not bend out when used. You can either whack it with a mallet, which will keep the wire round (as shown on the left), or you can lightly hammer the wire on the curves, which will result in a clasp as shown on the right. If the curves open up a little, just reshape them closed. And don’t forget to antique your clasp to match your chain and metal components if needed.

Practice a few in copper before working with silver, and adjust the wire gauge and length to create variations that suit your designs and style. You  will never be “held hostage” to store bought components again!


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13 responses

20 08 2010
TransFeressence

Thanks for this tutorial!

11 04 2011
Perfect Wirework! « Studiodax's Blog

[…] length of wire makes clasps of different sizes (you can learn to make a wire clasp in this TUTORIAL). This way, I can just pick the clasp that works for my project, and easily make it the same size. […]

9 06 2011
BellaJ

Excellent tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing. The pictures and instructions are easy to follow. Can’t wait to try it🙂

12 10 2011
kash

Great job!🙂

2 09 2012
Dancing Ranbows

Thank you for such an excellent tutorial…you make it look so easy!!🙂

9 11 2012
Deb byrd

I’m excited to find a site that has easy to follow instructions for a wide variety of topics. I have you pinned and bookmarked. I’ll stop by on a regular basis!

10 04 2013
tealwaterdesigns

Great tutorial! Thank you…I am going to try right now.

22 05 2013
bewishful

Reblogged this on bewishful and commented:
Fantastic tutorial – I am teaching myself wire work and at the moment am learning how to make my own findings, I think I might be a purist lol

13 06 2013
Wire clasp tutorials

[…] helps to harden the wire. See the difference?These hooks are from Studio Dax but hammering creates a different effect and texture on the […]

14 06 2013
reyna cuellar

me gusta, gracias

7 02 2014
Wire Clasp Tutorials Around the Web | skygrazer.com

[…] Classic Hook Clasp from StudioDax – Simple, elegant, classic. […]

4 06 2015
Suzy Walker

Your instructions are the best I’ve seen. They are very easy to follow and the pictures atr great. Thanks

23 03 2016
cattycay

Reblogged this on suitecrochet and commented:
I make a lot of crochet jewelry and would like to incorporate these as closures for necklaces or bracelets.

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