June 02, 2020 / How To

Fabricated Wire Clasps - Simple Wire Hook Clasps

Learn how to create simple s-hook clasps with our step-by-step guide & video. ...

Fabricating jewelry clasps opens up a world of jewelry making opportunities! Learn how to create simple s-hook clasps with our step-by-step guide & video.

Enhance your jewelry-making repertoire by creating fabricated wire clasps! To learn and grow as a jewelry maker is a natural occurrence and at some point, as your jewelry making skills advance, you'll transition from finished necklaces to footage chain. This progression can open up so many more possibilities when working with jewelry chain styles, especially when implementing large chain link styles. You will now have the option of choosing a wide variety of pre-made clasps and closures, you can also begin to fabricate your own.

Let's start by looking at a complex clasp, and then I'll show you step-by-step how to fabricate a simple s-hook clasp using only round nose pliers.

Complex Fabricated Wire Clasps

Brenda Schweder Wire Clasp
Brenda Schweder: Complex Wire Clasp
Wire Clasps can range from simple hook closures to complex wire clasps as shown in the image to the left. This wire clasp was created by Brenda Schweder using her Now That's a Jig tool. Just as with any technique,  as your skills grow the complexity of your clasps will grow, too.

Simple Wire Hook Clasps

To begin making wire clasps, one of the easiest ones to perfect is the s-hook clasp. This simple clasp hooks to both ends of your chain creating a secure closure. Just by using a pair of round nose pliers, you can create dozens in a short amount of time, making it an ideal clasp for mass production work.

Simple Wire Hook Clasp
Simple Wire Hook Clasp

Fabricating a Simple S-Hook Clasp

Choosing your wire

Step 1:

Choose your wire. The wire gauge will depend on the link's inner diameter and the weight of the entire chain. You'll want to choose a wire that can handle the weight of the overall finished necklace and can also slide through the chain end links. Generally, 18 gauge silver wire is a good choice.

Tip: I highly suggest using copper wire to practice with.

Step 2:

Cut a length of wire 2 inches long.

Cutting a 2 inch piece
Filing the wire ends

Step 3:

Clean the ends of the wire. Using a file or sandpaper, flatten and shape the tips of your wire (if needed).

Step 4:

Using a permanent marker, make a mark in your wire at .5 inches, 1 inch & 1.5 inches. (You now have 4 equal spaces among the 2 inches of wire)

Marking the wire
Round nose pliers and wire placement

Step 5:

Place the wire into the jaws of the round nose pliers at the .5 inch mark.

Tip: To create equal-sized bends in the wire, mark the jaws with the permanent marker so that you fold the wire at the exact jaw point each time.

Step 6:

Holding the jaws in your non-dominate hand, wrap the wire around the jaws on either side of the .5 inch mark using your dominant hand. You should have the first half of your s-hook completed.

Bending the jewelry wire
Placement of the wire on the plier jaws

Step 7:

Flip your wire over and at the 1.5-inch mark, place it in the jaws of the round nose pliers.

Step 8:

Repeat step 6, working the wire in the opposite direction of the initial bend to create a complete "S".

Bending the jewelry wire again
Bending the wire tips

Step 9:

(Optional) Flare out the tips of the wire to create a fancier S-shape by using the ends of the round nose pliers.

Step 10:

Work hardening clasps is crucial! I like to lightly texture them to achieve that.

Tip: By working from the tips of the wire to the center point, you can work harden them without stretching or distorting the wire.

Work hardening with texturing

S-Clasp Designs

S-hook Designs
S-Hook Basic Design Variations

Have fun!

There are a variety of variations on S-clasp designs such as the flat and looped finials shown to the left. 

As your talents expand, explore the internet for inspiration! 

Fancy S-Hook - Item #: TK282222
Get inspired! Fancy Designs

Watch the Video

Watch the process of fabricating an S-hook clasp in the video below!

About Brenda

Brenda Schweder is a jewelry designer and inventor. Her tool Now That's a Jig! presents endless design possibilities - see how she used it to create a wire cuff bracelet. The ConnectorClasp she made for this article is available as a pattern at www.BrendaSchweder.Etsy.com.

Build your skills!

Multistrand Necklace with Brenda Schweder 

Making Chain from Wire with Jill MacKay

Tips for Chain End Finishing

Written By: Erica Stice
Erica is the former Studio Coordinator at Halstead. She spent 14 years with the company across a variety of departments but fell in love with metalsmithing. Erica's top tip for new metalsmiths is: "Practice! Be patient with yourself and have fun with it. Don't be afraid to ask questions. All of us at Halstead enjoy helping people whether it's questions on products or technical help in the studio. We're here for you."