Easy Ways to String Easy-to-Wear Designs

Dec 18, 2009
Spacer 10x10 pixels Simple stringing for ready-to-wear styles
I have several fabulously stylish senior women in my life. From my mom to my mother-in-law to my aunts––they all love wearing jewelry. However, many types of clasps are a struggle. Tiny toggles and wiggly buttons and loops can be frustrating for uncooperative fingers or for many other reasons.
Stringing magazine has lots of ideas for styles that can be modified to use easy-to-clasp or clasp-free connections. In honor of all women who want to wear jewelry without needing help to put it on, here are a few of my choices for making easier-to-wear jewelry designs.
knotted linen Knotting
Knot your strung piece large enough to slip over your head. Can't get much easier than that! Of all the popular cords out there to use for stringing, my favorite is waxed linen. It comes in many colors and a few thicknesses and holds a knot forever. After all, if ancient Egyptian jewelry made with waxed linen is still holding up, so will ours! Plus, the wax enables you to mold the knot into a tidy little ball without loose ends, as in this beaded necklace.
Chirp Chirp necklace by D. Fox Tie a Bow for your FREE PROJECT!
This is a simple solution––add charms and special dangles to the ends, and tie a lovely little bow, as in Chirp-Chirp by Danielle Fox, editor of Stringing. Not only is the closure technique easy, it's also adjustable!

Enjoy this free project!

crimped bead necklace Hidden crimping
Make sure your strung necklace fits easily over your head, then crisscross the wires in opposite directions through a single crimp tube and a couple beads on either side of the tube. Pull snugly and squash the tube firmly. Cover the tube with a nice crimp cover. You can be very clever in hiding the crimp, even working it into your design as I did here, camouflaging my silver crimp among silver accent beads. My crimp tube actually slips inside the large swirly silver bead next to it.
box clasp Box clasps
One of the easiest types of clasps to fasten and among the most decorative, box clasps are widely available in a billion styles. Look for box and tongue with larger squeeze-triggers. Most box clasps are gorgeous and worthy of being the focal pieces worn in front or in a sassy asymmetrical position.

3 large clasp hooks

Large hook clasps
What makes clasps such as these easy to fasten is their size and the size of the ring onto which they hook. In this photo, I show a large lobster spring clasp with a sizeable trigger, easy to handle. The brass fishhook clasp slips through a wide bail. The S-hook is also large, and as you see, the ring into which it hooks will be easy to capture.
lariat Lariat
This is the easiest of all clasp-free forms of jewelry. Sounds like a no-brainer, but the style can be overlooked. Longer is better, so there are variations in the way it can be worn. Fold it in half, lay it around your neck, and pull both loose ends through the loop. Or, simply tie the ends loosely in front. You can really have fun with the end embellishments in lariats, such as the lovely toggles in the Perennial Favorite by Ricky Talmage, published in
Stringing magazine.

So what's your favorite easy-to-fasten clasp or clasp-free design? Share your tips with everyone here on Beading Daily!Spacer 10x10 pixels

Featured Product

Perennial Favorite

Availability: In Stock
Price: $4.00


Vinelike lariat


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JojoJ wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 6:23 AM

Don't forget magnetic clasps.  They really work.

Kay-Sea wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 7:15 AM

Yeah, magnetic clasps are great!  They work especially well for bracelets.

LyrlA wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 9:32 AM

I have been obsessed by spiral ropes for over 3 years. I make them long enough to go over my head, tie the ends together with a surgeon's knot, and add the required number of loops. Even I can't tell where the join is!  

   -- Lyrl

bjesh wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 10:03 AM

I use magnetic clasps and then a safety chain out of brass which is not magnetic.  This works especially well for bracelts, you can get one on with one hand.

Question about crimp covers.  Where do you get the room to crimp a bead and then have that crimp tunnel into another bead?  Is the crimp bead the tinest?

Jan@404 wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 11:12 AM

I love toggle clasp. They are decorative and easy for aging fingers to slip in and out.

CynthiaM@53 wrote
on Dec 18, 2009 11:14 AM

I like to knot necklaces and have used silk thread but it seems to stretch. Is waxed lined non stretchable? Where do you get it? Does it come in different sizes? Thanks for the help.

on Dec 18, 2009 11:59 AM

Hope this isn't a duplicate, but somehow my comment disappeared from screen while still in progress.

1)  Re magnetic clasps: They are wonderful, esp those that come together as a "tube" as opposed to overlapping. I learned the hard way (on a 20" hand-woven sterling chain) that a safety chain is an absolute must. I only hope that whoever found my chain appreciated the value and work involved and treasure it as much as I did.

2) Re waxed linen thread: I've used it for years and have never had a stretching problem. It's great for delicate macrame jewelry.  I'l;l be happy to submit project ideas and instructions if anyone wants. Don't think I've seen this in Beading Daily, but I may have missed it.

3) Another adjustable cord closure idea is to tie the end of each cord around the end of the other. This results in overlapping ends which can be slid closer to or farther away from each other. The knot can be as simple as a square knot, a short sinew of half or square knots or a hangman's noose. The noose allows the addition of beads and/or charms to the sliding ends.

4) Re large hook and eyes: For those with sensory loss or dexterity problems, it's even easier to manipulate if you use a crimp-eye end instread of a loose jump ring. I you cant find one with a large ring and a small diameter crimp, it's not very difficult to solder your own together.  Be careful of excessive heat, though because of the thin gague of most crimp tubes I;ve found available.

5) When choosing your clasp, be sure to take into account the functionality of the piece. For example, bracelets are usually fastened with one hand as opposed to necklaces, which are usually fastened with two.  Also, bracelets are subject to more stress than necklaces because our hands are the most often-used "tools" of the human body. Keep this in mind when choosing stones as well as clasps: try to use your soft or delicate stones (such as opals) for necklaces as opposed to bracelets.

on Dec 18, 2009 12:18 PM

Thanks everyone, great feedback. I use very strong magnets, too--don't know why I didn't include them. I bead around some to gussy them up, too.  But--I have lost a bracelet on a shopping cart, (someone found and I got it back) and I attract utensils in restaurants. :-)

Special thanks to the extra-thoughtful reply from Claire.


Beading Daily editor

on Dec 19, 2009 8:01 AM

Sorry, From Marie St. Claire.  :-)