Whenever you make a piece of jewellery, you will need to decide how to fasten it. This usually means using a clasp of some variety. Once you have decided which clasp you are going to use (there’s a full post to help you with this decision here), you will need to attach it to your jewellery.
Depending on the method you have used to make your jewellery and the type of clasp you are using, there are several different ways of attaching the clasp. You can download a full tutorial to teach you all the basic methods here, but I will give you a quick outline in this post.
If you have made a piece of jewellery that is stitched using thread like nymo, KO, Fireline, or something similar, then you have two choices for professionally attaching a clasp. You can stitch the clasp on using French wire, or you can use a calotte. If I am ever concerned that I may want to change the clasp I have chosen, then I would elect to use a calotte. This little finding will finish off your beadwork and the clasp becomes a separately attached component. If I choose to use French wire, then the clasp will be stitched directly to the beadwork, so if the clasp breaks, or if I decided I don’t like using it, I won’t be able to change it without re-making all or part of the beaded jewellery – it’s definitely something to think about carefully!
If you have strung a necklace on one of the stranded metal products (like Beadalon or Tiger tail), you will need to use a crimp to attach your clasp. The metal stranded products aren’t great for knotting and cannot be stitched, so the crimp is really the only good way to attach a clasp.
If you have made something that involves linking jump rings or split rings and you have a ring on the end of your jewellery, then you will be able to attach the clasp directly to the ring. You may find that you have a clasp with an open ring, in which case, just attach it directly onto your jewellery. If your clasp has a closed ring, then I recommend using a split ring rather than a jump ring for attaching. I have found that jump rings can pull apart easily, especially if they are holding a lot of weight (eg necklace made with heavy beads or semi-precious stones), whereas split rings are a lot more secure. The last thing you want is for your ring to open up and allow the clasp and necklace to detach from one another…it’s very embarrassing when it happens in public!