How to Make your own Wire Toggle Clasp for Jewelry

Updated on May 23, 2016

How to Make a Wire Toggle Clasp for Jewelry

Why pour your heart into a beautiful piece of handmade jewelry and finish it off with some generic, store bought clasp? Making your own toggle clasp is quick and easy, and it allows you to use materials that match your creation and personalize your piece even more! You don't need many materials to get started and the opportunities for customization are nearly endless.

All those different pliers really do have different uses! Your life will be easier and your jewelry better if you use the right tool for the job.

Materials for Making a Toggle Clasp

  • Wire - I prefer 20 or 22 gauge.
  • Wire cutters.
  • Pliers. I suggest using both flat nose and round nose pliers.
  • Something round to use as a mandrel. You can use a jewelers' mandrel, a pen, a marker, a dowel, or just about anything else round.

That's it! This may be the least material-intensive jewelry project ever.

Supplies for making a toggle clasp.
Supplies for making a toggle clasp. | Source

To Make the Clasp

First, cut two lengths of wire. The exactly amount you will need depends on how big around you want the clasp to be. I find the smallest part of a fine tip marker barrel to be the perfect size for a clasp done in 22 gauge wire and I like to cut pieces of wire about 6 inches long.

Source

To Make the Toggle Ring

1. Form the toggle ring. To do this, find the approximate middle of your wire, hold the middle to your mandrel, and wrap both ends around the mandrel until they meet in the front. Give the wires a twist to lock the loop in place.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Find the wire's middle, place it against your mandrel, and wrap.Wrap the wire's ends until they touch but do not overlap. Give the wires a twist or two to hold them in place.
Find the wire's middle, place it against your mandrel, and wrap.
Find the wire's middle, place it against your mandrel, and wrap. | Source
Wrap the wire's ends until they touch but do not overlap.
Wrap the wire's ends until they touch but do not overlap. | Source
Give the wires a twist or two to hold them in place.
Give the wires a twist or two to hold them in place. | Source

2. Wrap one piece of wire snugly around the other a couple of times. Then, move your round nose pliers a short distance up the wrapped piece of wire and form a small loop. This is the loop you will attach to your finished bracelet by affixing it to a chain, looping wire/thread through it, or using whatever other method you desire. After forming a complete, small loop, use your pliers to center it over the wire. You don't have to center the loop, but it looks way better!

Grasp the piece of wire with round nose pliers
Grasp the piece of wire with round nose pliers | Source
And form a small loop
And form a small loop | Source

3. Wrap the tail end of the loop forming wire back down toward the toggle clasp loop. Wrap it until it touches your previous wire coils. The wire is easier to wrap if you hold the small loop in place with flat nosed pliers.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source

4. Trim the wire's tail ends and press them flat, trimming more if necessary to prevent the ends from overlapping. Ideally, the two ends should just meet but not lay on top of one another. You're half way finished!

Finished toggle ring.
Finished toggle ring. | Source

To form the Toggle Bar

1. Repeat steps 1-4 above, making sure your second ring it slightly larger than the first. This ensures the bar will not simply slip through the ring. You can easily accomplish this by wrapping the wire a little further down the mandrel or using a round object with a slightly larger diameter.

2. Flatten the ring by carefully pressing it with your fingers and, as it becomes more flat, your pliers. Take care to keep the sides of the bar even so you don't end up with a lopsided toggle!

The flattened bar.
The flattened bar. | Source

3. Twist the bar's sides to make them prettier, thicker, and more durable. To do this, grab one end of the bar with your flat nose pliers and twist gently. Repeat this process with the other side. Be careful not to twist the metal too much or you could break it! Metal heats up when bent and becomes brittle, making it susceptible to breakage while you're twisting it.

Source

Do you make your own jewelry findings?

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Finished Toggle Clasp

That's it! You've finished making your very own toggle clasp. To make it a bit more interesting, try some of these ideas:

  • Use a pall peine hammer and a bench block to flatten the bar a bit.
  • Use a thicker gauge wire for the toggle ring and add texture to it with a hammer and bench block.
  • Use the ring as a foundation for wire wrapping to create a truly decorative clasp.
  • Refuse to hide your new work by making it the centerpiece of a necklace.

Do you make your own jewelry finding? How do you feel about topping off a handmade piece of jewelry with a store-bought finding?

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    • Natashalh profile image
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      Natasha 3 years ago from Hawaii

      I haven't had it break. At least, not that I can remember! As long as you make new twists, not just tighten down ones you already made, you should be fine. It's repeatedly bending the same area that leads to breakage.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you for sharing how to make your own toggle clasp. I love to make jewelry, and have never tried this before. I usually use store bought toggles, and have gotten some for a fairly good deal. I am still learning how to make more things with wire. I love copper wire a lot, and how it looks. I also think some of my wire is thicker than the wire you used here, and hope that will work. Have you had the toggle part break on you very often when gently twisting it?

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you very much! I'm constantly trying to improve my hubs and it's nice to know others are enjoying my efforts! Thanks so much for the votes and FB share.

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      I really love this hub. Not only is it clear with excellent instructions, the photography is beautiful and the layout top-notch. You really deserved HoTD on this one, Natasha. You've convinced me to crack out my tools and get to clasping too. :) Thumbs up, useful, beautiful, and Facebooked!!!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks, Thelma Alberts and RTallloni! Sadly, I was way better about making my own clasps when I was a teen. I guess I had more time back then! Something about not having to work for a living...

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      It makes perfect sense to make a toggle clasp for handmade jewelry and your tutorial is easy to follow. Thanks and congrats on a well-deserved Hub of the Day award!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Congratulations! This is definitely a HOTD. Easy to follow instructions with awesome photos. Thanks for sharing;-)

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate the comments from all of you. If anyone gets around to making a clasp and has any questions about the process, please stop back by and I'll do my best to help out.

    • The Unlearner profile image

      Jo 4 years ago from Isle of Wight UK

      Well done, what a helpful tutorial. I make jewelry sometimes, but have always used the shop bought clasps. I will bookmark this for future reference.

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 4 years ago

      Thank you for this great tutorial! I have made jewelry in the past, and will probably get the urge to do it again in the future. Making as much as possible by hand (whether jewelry or anything else) is a goal I have, and now I have this great lesson on making toggle clasps.

      Voted useful and interesting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Congrats on your HOTD! I was showing my daughter this because she is interested in making jewelry! Nice hub and photos.

    • MaeMG profile image

      MaeMG 4 years ago

      Awesome! I'm definitely bookmarking this! This is a great tutorial. I will be definitely trying this in the future. So glad that I caught this when I was looking at the HOTD. :D

    • talfonso profile image

      talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Very interesting! I will make a bracelet in the future for this Christmas and I need a good toggle clasp for that! Not only it saves me money, but it makes the jewelry handmade and homemade!

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very useful article for our day to day life from easily available wire. Great idea!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Wow - I just checked in on my lunch break and I'm thrilled and honored to see so many new comments! Thank you, everyone.

      You know, SidKemp, it's never too late! =)

      I never, ever find any sea glass, Rebecca. Like never once, even though I've always lived in a coastal state!

      There's nothing wrong with having to try a few times to get it right, Stephanie. I'm sure you'll get it!

    • PeterG7 profile image

      PeterG7 4 years ago from Portugal

      Easy and cheap:) very nice!

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Congratulations!

      This is an easy-to-follow article. However, I am not so sure my version would come out looking like that the first few times around. But I am always willing to learn. Thanks for sharing.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have some lovely sea glass and have been looking for some jewelry making ideas. thanks, great Hub. Congrats!

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thank you for bringing back memories. I made jewelry when I was in my teens (unusual thing for a guy to do!), and the business failed because I didn't know how to make clasps. Wish I'd had someone to teach me back then!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      I'm lucky, purl3agony - my amazing man gave me a great new camera for Valentine's! Thank you for pinning.

      Thanks, ComfortB! I appreciate the support =)

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      A very clever idea Natashalh. HOTD is well deserved. Congrats!!!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Great hub and really wonderful photos (I'm jealous). Congrats on your HOTD!! Well deserved! Pinned!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks so much! I try hard to make hubs user friendly -

      I'm glad to know at least one person thinks it is!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Happy HOTD, Natasha! Love your layout. It's really cool. --Jill

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you, pstraubie! My mother and sister have received a lot of jewelry from me over the years, too. I am very excited about the HotD!

      Thanks, CZCZCZ! I appreciate it.

    • CZCZCZ profile image

      CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

      I like the way you put together this tutorial, very easy to read and understand. great visuals.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Excellent photographs and clear instructions---well done.

      Congrats on HOTD.

      My daughter makes jewelry for me for my birthday and Christmas and uses all of these clever clasps. You all are so talented.

      Sending Angels your way early this morning, Natasha.

      :) ps

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Yes, it would be a great way to fix up an old favorite! Let me know if you have any problem or questions I can help with.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I do need this for some of my chains that have broken clasps. Very nicely done!

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Ahahaha - that's only because I don't publicize my failures! Thank you, though.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      I envy your tool set and your interesting projects.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      You could probably even make a beaded one, either by doing wire wrapping with beads or threading the beads on the wire you use to form the clasp.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I use toggle clasps frequently for my jewelry designs, but I'd never thought about making one myself! Now I'm intrigued. Thanks for the detailed tutorial.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Excellent! I hope you enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

    • galleryofgrace profile image

      galleryofgrace 4 years ago from Virginia

      Absolutely super! Thanks so much for sharing- will definitely try it.

    • Natashalh profile image
      Author

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks so much for voting and sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This is a great step-by-step tutorial on toggle clasps. Thanks f0r great steps and photos. I vote awesome and shared!

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