These instructions detail the construction of two basic wire hooks for use as clasps in jewelry. Both clasps are reasonably simple and can be made in a wide variety of wire sizes, though they work best in strong wire. Remember that the clasp is typically the object under the most strain in any piece of jewelry, so you want it to be strong. Admittedly if you're really concerned about strength, you're better off buying, say, a lobster clasp (but only from a reputable seller! There's a lot of bad clasps out there). However, these clasps are durable, reasonably secure, and can be made with materials at hand.
To start out, you need a length of wire and some reasonably small pliers. Roundnose pliers will make your hooks more attractive than needlenose pliers, but either type works. You should have at least three inches of wire. The wire shown here is .0425" stainless steel, and it at the difficult end of the workability spectrum. Making clasps from thicker stainless is a pain.
Use the pliers to form a loop at one end of the wire. This will be the part that gets linked onto one of your rings, so it shouldn't be too much more than the wire diameter of the piece.
Right now the loop is a bit off-center. You can center it, and thus make the hook more aesthetically pleasing, by bending the wire at the closure-point of the loop.
At this point, you should figure out how long you really want the wire to be. I typically trim some from my hooks after having formed the loop. From the loop, measure out how much gap space you want (i.e. room for the rings on the other end of your chain to hook through), and then twice the length you want the hook part to be. Cut the wire there. Having done that, form a hairpin turn in your wire to avoid having any potentially sharp pieces of wire digging into people. Do this by forming a bend a bit over 90 degrees in the wire, and then squishing it flat.
Once you've done that, just form a wide bend in the wire and you have a clasp! Simple.
Simple, but kinda ugly too. That clasp is secure, but it's not going to win any beauty contests (being made out of steel doesn't help any). You can make a prettier, though slightly less secure clasp, using a minor variation on the clasp detailed above. As with the previous attempt, form a loop in your wire. However, do not center the loop.
Now decide how long you want the clasp to be. Go to that point in the wire and make a wire bend. Not a loop, but more than 180 degrees, so it crosses over as shown.
Now just form another loop or a hairpin turn at the other end!
And there you have it. You can throw in all kinds of variations on this theme, including doubling the wire, putting random loops in, and so on, but these are the basic forms. Good luck!
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