Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How to Make a Button Clasp Bracelet (with Bead Soup #4)

Back in the 4th Bead Soup Blog Party, I traded beads with lampwork glass artist Manuela Wutschke.  I made a necklace, wasn't 100% satisfied with it, and made it again.  I was so glad I was brave enough to tear apart the original and make another, because I wear the necklace ALL the time now!

I had a few beads left over from the original stash -- some freeform disks, some small lampwork spacers, and a handmade glass button.  I've never been good with buttons as clasps because I never know how large to make the fiber or seed bead loop at the other end.  So I created a new way to use a button for a clasp.

First, here's the finished bracelet:


(Apologies for fuzzy photo.)

The only thing I added that wasn't from the soup are the olive faceted Czech glass beads and the fringe chain.

To make the button clasp, I used a combination of sterling silver wire and beading wire.  The gauge of the silver wire depends upon how large the button shank opening is.  I also had to make sure a strand of beading wire would go through the shank as well.


Basically, it's a fat briolette wrap.  Then I passed the beading wire through, crimped it, and made the first half of the bracelet.  I crimped the beading wire to one end of the fringe chain, and then was ready for the next part of the clasp.


I used 22 gauge wire this time, instead of finer gauge, because I wanted some substance to the clasp.  I first made the hook clasp using a tap-and-wrap tool (I can't live without it -- it makes great ear wires and comes in two sizes)!  I hammered it slightly after putting the spacer on it.  If you don't but the spacer on first, you run the risk of hammering the wire too wide for the bead's hole.


So there you have it -- a button clasp with a traditional clasp.  Easy peasy!



I've already made the dates 
for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party
so stay tuned!



Photobucket


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.

37 comments:

Firefly Visions said...

Thank you so much for sharing how you did this. I have so many buttons, but haven't been able to figure out how to use them as clasps.

Manuela said...

Dear Lori,

you are a genius ☺, I love this new way to use a button because I have my problems too ☺☺☺ with them.

I am so glad that you figured it out, I was sure you will find a good way to use it and ... LOL, to be honest, I had something like that in my mind: Give Lori a button and look what she will do with. Clever girl me giggle, giggle.

Wish you a wonderful day, thank you for sharing,
♥ Manuela
P. S. My name is Manuela Wutschke ☺☺☺(hard to spell, I know)

Lupe Meter said...

Thanks for sharing this, Lori! Great idea using buttons as clasps. I use them for mico-macrame (cording) but couldn't figure how to use them with wire as a clasp.

salla said...

Wonderfully inovative! thanks for sharing.

Karyn B said...

ooh, how clever! and the bracelet is SO pretty!

Anne said...

Neato, Lori! Thanks for sharing.

gelfling50 said...

Just adorable, and Fabtabulous ta boot love it

Gail Accinelli said...

Adorable thanks for sharing

Gail Accinelli said...

Adorable. Thanks for sharing.

Patti Van said...

Lori.... is fantastic!!! And the bracelet is gorgeous, as usual!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Shirley said...

Ever so cool Lori! Of course, I would need to be a LOT better with wire than I am right now. :) And can I tell you how much I love the bracelet?? I've just decided that one of the reasons I love your designs is that you use good quality materials. And that you know how to show off those qualities as well.

la mar de bonita said...

Lori, that's a great idea and a wonderful bracelet! And these colours go so well together!
Greetings, Michi

Cheryl Dunham said...

Beautiful bracelet! I've used buttons as clasps before but always used leather. This is a very good way to use the buttons. Thanks for posting.

Creative Moon said...

That's wonderful, Lori! I love it! And you take such GREAT pictures!!!

Rebecca said...

Completely love this. WHen I first read this post, I was actually part way through making a bracelet to which I had attached a vintage button! I finished it off in this way and now have come back to say thanks for the inspiration. Gorgeous colours too btw!

Bobbie said...

This is such a great idea! Can't wait to have an excuse to go play with buttons and wire...

Sharyl said...

I keep trying to make sense of buttons for jewelry. I've checked out books and looked at photos on websites. Just haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. This looks REALLY terrific though, Lori! Thanks for sharing this step-by-step!

Carol D. said...

Ooooh Lori! Love this bracelet.

KayzKreationz said...

Love it. I like the idea of buttons for clasps, just hadn't figured out how to do it yet.

Sally Anderson said...

This button idea is the coolest thing I've seen in ages. What a great idea! And I just love the bracelet. Gorgeous as only you can do!

horimarika said...

Wow! Great idea! Great bracelet!

Natasha said...

LOVE this! thanks so much for sharing!

Off the Beadin' Path said...

Thanks for the vey clear directions on this great button clasp! And I had an "AhHa" moment when you explained the wrap and tap pliers! Way to make life easier!! The bracelet is really gorgeous, too! Nice post!

lynsey said...

Lori the bracelet is lovely, I really like the colours

Spirited Earth said...

thanks for sharing this ..it's a brilliant idea..and pretty too

Kristen said...

Wow! I love the look of that!

m.e. said...

this looks Wonderful !
I am always searching for cool clasp ideas.
Your directions make it seem so easy.
I know I have some neat buttons around here somewhere.......
m.e. :)
PS I'm doin' the summer Bead Soup happy dance !!!!!

steufel said...

That is so cool! Love that bracelet. Such a fun design. And that fringe chain - loooooove that one!

Tracy Statler said...

Really unique clasp Lori - love the bracelet! Thanks for sharing.

Pearl Blay said...

Excellent idea with the button clasp!! Will be sharing!

JeannieK said...

I love all the colors and mix of beads and chain. It's a stunner

Christine said...

Love this - Thanks!!

Silver Parrot said...

What a great idea. And the bracelet is so cute - love the color scheme and the design. It looks like fun to wear.

Mixed Kreations said...

Love the bracelet. Very unique. Love how you made the clasp. Thank you for sharing.

Almost Precious said...

So Clever ! Since jewelry making seems to require a lot of clasps . . . hard to get around the fact that things like necklaces, bracelets and anklets all need some means of putting them on and taking them off again . . . I find myself constantly searching for unique and different closures.
After awhile it feels like I've tried just about everything and so it is always refreshing to discover a new and different way of getting two ends to come together in a fashion that has a fresh new look to it.
Thanks so much for sharing this, you're an angel. :)

Becky Pancake said...

Lori you are a genius. I saved pics of it to my inspiration file.

Jean said...

yes really nice!!! xox jean