I love to spend a lot of time making jewelry and over the time, I’ve faced a lot of obstacles and failures. I’m sure that you’re familiar with some of them.
- Late in the night, you get a sudden vision of a necklace you want to start. You gather all the beads, pearls and threads you might need… and surprisingly you’re missing the right toggle clasps. It’s hard to fall asleep after that.
- You spend hours behind the table, crafting a necklace. As soon as you’re about to finish, you realize that the toggle clasp you were about to use is broken. Must have forgot to double-check, but you pretty much wasted half the day making a beautiful necklace and you just have to deal with the fact that you’ve got to start all over again.
- This time you’re prepared. You’ve got an idea, materials and time. Everything’s finished, nothing broke this time. You’ve got yourself a new necklace! Few hours later though, your skin’s red and itchy. Oh no, allergy! Sensitive skin isn’t always helpful when it comes to using toggle clasps you’ve bought online.
- I’ve stocked up on toggle clasps that are made of silver (925). They’re not bat for your skin and therefore are very useful in every jewelry box. Unfortunately, it is known that toggle clasps made of silver lose their shine with time and end up looking worn and ugly. And they are hard to clean without pretty much destroying the rest of the necklace.
Over my first few years with jewelry making, these were my biggest obstacles. I found a solution that works well for me. I make my own toggle clasps. I always have plenty of seed beads and they are easy to make.
I prefer to use transparent crystal seed beads, size 11/0. They’re very neutral, don’t break, don’t change color and no fear of allergies. Perfect for me!
Pattern is always the same. I start making my necklace by making an „arrow“ – the T-section of a toggle clasp.
Step 1. Thread 5 +5 seed beads on the thread. The first five are your main row and the next 5 are the right side of your “arrow”.
Step 2. Take the thread through four seed beads, skipping the first one to leave that as a break.
Step 3. Pull the thread tight.
Step 4. Thread 1+ 5 seed beads on the needle. The first one will serve as the middle point and the following 5 are the left side of your “arrow”.
Step 5. Take the thread through the last 9 seed beads back on the right side of the “arrow”, again skipping the first bead.
Step 6. Pull the thread tight.
Step 7. Now take the thread through the beads on the left side on the “arrow”, skipping the first one. It should be strong enough.
Step 8. Take the needle through four beads to reach the middle, again skipping the first bead.
Step 9.Take the needle through 5 seed beads that were your main row.
Step 10. Pull the thread tight. You should be back in the beginning now. T-section is finished and you can start making your necklace on bracelet.
When you’re finished with your necklace or bracelet, you’ve got to make the O-section, this is a lot easier:
Step 11. Thread 5 + 13 beads on your needle.
Step 12. Take the needle through the 13 beads to create a loop.
Step 13. Pull the thread tight and thread the needle through the 13 seed beads a couple of times to make it last.
Step 14. Take the needle through the first 5 beads back to necklace/bracelet
Now my jewelry has hand-made toggle clasps.