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Attaching Clasps to Chain 1

This article on how to attach a standard jewelry clasp onto links of footage metal chain was inspired by several readers over the past couple months who wrote in with questions about it. We’ve had to learn this particular technique on our own so hopefully this tutorial might give you some ideas on how to deal with it.

First, what items are we talking about and how are they usually used? Jewelry Clasps come in many different types, including lobster claw clasps, spring ring clasps, barrel clasps and magnetic jewelry clasps. Spring ring and Lobster clasps have a tiny spring mechanism that keeps the clasp shut yet allows it to be opened by means of a tiny lever. Barrel clasps are two pieces that twist together in a screw-like fashion while magnetic clasps are two piece clasps that use magnets to hold them together. All of these items are most commonly used at the end of chain or wirewraps as closing or securing pieces in necklaces and bracelets. It’s how people get their jewelry on and off.

We’re going to use the lobster clasp to illustrate the technique, although it can be extended to any clasp that has a connector that is “closed”. The idea is to somehow connect two closed loops together. What ways might this be accomplished?

We wrestled with this problem for quite awhile. One of the simplest ways is to attach the chain and clasp with a small open jump ring. However, this is not as “secure” and sometimes not as aesthetically pleasing. Another method might be to buy clasps that have an “open” connector… i.e. one end of the clasp is cut open like a jump ring, allowing you to open and close it by means of pliers. Again, this may not be as secure and may not be the look you are going for.

The method we have settled upon involves wirewrapping a small bead, crystal or pearl “accent” onto either end of the clasp and chain. This has the additional bonus of adding that extra special something to your piece, especially if the accent item matches up with the rest of the necklace. If you have a barrel or magnetic clasp then you can use this technique on BOTH pieces of the clasp, so that you have two accents. You can see what I’m talking about on this necklace we did for Bellaceti. We actually use a chain/accent/clasp combo on one side of the necklace, and a chain/accent with an “open loop” on the other end where the clasp is meant to open and close onto.

This tutorial makes use of wirewrapping techniques that you might want to review.

Supplies for Connecting Clasps to Chain

Silver Wire (24 or 22 gauge)
Metal Chain (whatever size you are using)
Beads, crystals or pearls for the accents
2 Chain Nose pliers (Smooth, Flat)
Round Nose (Rosary Pliers)
Sharp Nose Cutting Pliers

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