One of the easiest ways to finish a bracelet, necklace, or anklet design is to attach a clasp with jump rings. Just be sure to select sturdy jump rings—18 or 20 gauge sizes work well—and use the proper technique to open and close them.
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Materials to Attach a Clasp
Here's what you'll need to attach a typical clasp to your beadwork:
- One or two open jump rings (small metal rings with cut seams)
- One pre-made jewelry clasp of your choice, such as a lobster clasp
- Two pairs of pliers that are either chain nose or flat nose pliers
- Optional: One metal figure-eight connector
You can find all of these supplies at bead shops and online jewelry supplies stores. The examples in this tutorial used one 5.25mm jump ring, one 9mm lobster clasp, and one 9mm figure eight... connector. All of these findings are silver colored.
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Use Pliers to Open the First Jump Ring
Use two pairs of pliers to open the first jump ring. The photo shows opening a jump ring using a pair of chain nose nose pliers on the left, and a pair of flat nose pliers on the right.
Alternatively, you can use two pairs of chain nose or two pairs of flat nose pliers.
Position the jump ring with its cut seam facing up, and then gently rotate one half of the ring away from you and the other toward you. Only open the jump ring as much as necessary to slide the beadwork in.
Never pull a jump ring... open side-to-side. This can weaken the metal and alter the circular shape of the ring.
There is also a great tool that is made especially for opening jump rings. It is a ring that you wear halfway down your finger with grooves that correspond to the different gauges of jump rings. Using one of these tools only requires one pair of pliers.
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Attach the Jump Ring to Your Beadwork and Clasp
Slide an end loop on your beadwork into the open jump ring. This example uses an end loop on a daisy chain bracelet pattern.
Then, slip the clasp onto the open jump ring. Pre-made clasps normally have rings or loops to accomodate jump rings.
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Use Pliers to Close the Jump Ring
Hold the jump ring with your two pairs of pliers again, with the open seam facing up and the clasp and beadwork hanging down below. Gently rotate the two sides of the jump ring closed. Wiggle them together until the seam is even and tight; there should be no gap in the seam.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Open the Second Jump Ring or Figure Eight Connector
You can attach either a second jump ring or a figure-eight connector to the other end of your beadwork. In the example, I use a figure-eight connector. Open one end of the connector the same way you would open a jump ring. The advantage of a figure eight connector over jump rings is that it extends the ring a little further away from the bracelet making it easier to clasp.
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Attach the Second Jump Ring or Figure-Eight Connector to Your Beadwork
Slide the loop on the other end of your beadwork over the open end of the figure eight connector.
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Close the Second Jump Ring or Figure-Eight Connector
Use the two pairs of pliers to close the second jump ring or figure-eight connector, with the beadwork hanging down below. Use the technique described in Step 4.
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Enjoy Your Completed Jewelry
The clasp is now ready for use!
To make your design even more durable, you can use closed jump rings instead of open jump rings.
Closed jump rings are seamless or soldered closed, and they cannot be pulled open accidentally. To attach them, you need to string them directly into your beadwork, rather than adding them later. For example, if you stitch a beaded loop at one end of your beadwork, string-on a closed jump ring before you complete that loop and weave-in your thread.