Meet Your Favorite Clasp: The Toggle
"I never met a toggle that I did not like!"
Those were the words of one Beading Daily reader--and more than 50% of the nearly 1,000 readers who voted recently on their favorite clasp agreed!
Why do you like toggle clasps so much? Most readers said that unlike other closures, you can make a toggle clasp a design element, rather than have it fade into the background. Use a striking toggle clasp as the center of your necklace or choose one that highlights the "theme" of your necklace. Or hang pendants or beads from the ring part of the toggle, as Catherine Kenyon does in the Jeweled Disks necklace below.
Here are three more reasons you like toggles:
- Variety: Toggles are available in a range of metals, sizes, and clever shapes (such as heart and arrow, or teapot and spoon).
- Easy to fasten: Several readers mentioned that toggles were especially easy for people with arthritis to use. It's also possible to open and close them with one hand.
- Customer favorite: One member wrote, "I was selling my jewelry at a craft fair and I had a mix of magnetic, lobster claw, and toggle clasps. By the end of the afternoon, I had sold all my toggle clasp bracelets. I sold only five of the lobster clasp bracelets and two of the magnetic clasp bracelets."
Jeweled Disks by Catherine Kenyon
Second Most Favorite Clasp
The second most popular clasp (20%) was the lobster clasp which readers felt was secure and affordable, plus blended unobtrusively into the design.
Left: The Silver and Sparkle Bracelet by Donna Kraidman uses a lobster clasp.
Project: Beaded Watch with Toggle Clasp
As promised, here is a new project featuring the most popular type of clasp.
I personally like beaded watches--there's something very appealing about jewelry that is both practical and beautiful--so I was happy to find this Time Out watch by Donna Kraidman. If you're not into watches, you can easily make this into a bracelet by simply adding an additional Kazuri bead in place of the watch face. (Kazuri beads are hand painted ceramic beads from Africa.)
Design tip: Notice how this watch uses a monochromatic color palette (blue), but mixes patterns (polka dots/swirls). The color gives it a polished, professional look, but the mix of patterns (particularly the use of polka dots) adds a touch of whimsy and fun--the jewelry equivalent of a fun T-shirt worn with a suit jacket.
Project: Time Out by Donna Kraidman
Note: The free period for this project has ended. Instructions are now available in the Beading Daily store.
But What Kind of Clasp Do People Really Use?
This may shock you, but sometimes people say one thing in polls ("I love broccoli for dessert!") and do something else in real life ("Mmm. . . double fudge mocha almond ice cream!"). In the interest of beading science, I decided to look at the Spring 2008 issue of Stringing and see what kinds of clasps were actually used by designers. The results were exactly the same for necklaces. For bracelets, toggles were also the top choice, but the second most popular clasp--by one design--were box clasps. In the last issue of Beadwork (February/March 2008), toggles won out for bracelets, but hook-and-eye closures were the top for necklaces. So, love 'em or leave 'em, you can't get away from toggle clasps!
Surprised by these results? What's been your experience? Love toggle clasps? Hate them? Share your comments on the website.
Glass Bead Design Challenge - Last Chance!
Have you submitted your challenge entry yet? Design a necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings with any type of glass beads and you could win a cool new beading book or a beautiful starfish lampwork pendant by Stephanie Sersich. Deadline is Sunday, March 2, 2008. Enter the Glass Bead Challenge.
Michelle Mach shares free beading projects and tips every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have questions or comments for Michelle (including suggestions for future free projects or poll questions), please post them here on the website. Thanks!
Filed under: Beaded Beads, Bead Making, Stringing, Glass Beads, How To Bead, Bead-weaving, Beading Tools, Necklace Making, Bead Crafts, Beaded Jewelry Design, Beads, Beading Daily