- Jump rings
- Two pairs of gripping pliers (round nose, flat nose, chain nose, or needle nose)
- Crimp pliers
- Crimp beads
- Bead tips
Jewelry clasps come in many varieties, but they all have a small loop or multiple loops that allow you to attach them to your jewelry. How you attach them depends on the construction of your jewelry. With wire loop jewelry and chains, you can use jump rings to secure clasps. Leather cords also use jump rings to attach a clasp after a cord tip has been placed on the leather. With stringing material, you can use crimps beads or bead tips to attach a clasp.
Using Jump Rings
Grip a jump ring with two sets of pliers, positioning the jaws on either side of the ring separation.
Twist the pliers away from one another. One pair should come toward you while the other twists away. This will open the jump ring.
Insert the end of your chain or wire loop necklace into the jump ring and then place one half of the clasp onto the jump ring. If working with a leather cord, attach a cord tip to the end to create a metal loop for the jump ring to attach to. (See Resources for more information about finishing leather cord.)
Close the jump ring by repeating the twisting action with the pliers, but moving in the opposite direction used to open it.
Repeat for the other end of the necklace.
Using Crimp Beads
String a crimp bead on your necklace thread, then string one half of the clasp you want to use.
Place the end of the thread back through the crimp bead to form a loop that holds the clasp in place.
Place the crimp bead in the back indentation on the crimp pliers and compress it.
Move the crimp bead to the forward indentation on the crimp pliers to fold it in half. (See Resources for a visual tutorial of how to use crimp pliers.)
Repeat for the other half of the necklace.
Using Bead Tips
String a small seed bead on the end of your necklace.
Tie an overhand knot a couple times to secure the seed bead on the thread.
Place the bead tip under the seed bead so that the seed bead sits inside like a pearl in an oyster. Use pliers to squeeze the two halves of the bead tip closed around the seed bead.
Twist open the loop on the back of the bead tip with a pair of pliers, like you did for the jump rings in the first section.
Add the clasp to the bead tip loop and twist the loop closed. Repeat for the other end of the necklace.
Never pull a jump ring or bead tip loop sideways to open it. That will distort the shape and ruin the jump ring or loop.
Never squeeze a jump ring in the jaws of pliers to close it. This will also distort the shape.
Do not bend a jump ring multiple times or the metal will weaken and eventually break.