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Converting a Bracelet Clasp

Updated on May 30, 2014

Switch Your Bracelet Clasp to an Easy, Secure Magnetic Clasp

This page is dedicated to converting a bracelet to an easier to fasten clasp. Let's face it! Even when our hands are young and nimble, bracelets clasps can be difficult to work. Add a few years, and many women struggle with things like arthritis, failing eyesight, and other health issues that can make a seemingly simple task like putting on a bracelet challenging. Even a willing partner may not be able to help with a tiny or complicated clasp.

My mother came to me recently with a bracelet I had made for her. I had designed the four-strand black-lip shell bracelet with a simple lobster claw clasp, but the arthritis in her hands kept her from wearing it. I needed to simplify the clasp - make it magnetic - and I added a security chain in case it comes apart while she's wearing it. I think the chain gives it a nice decorative touch. I'll share a photo tutorial and some tools I recommend for the project. I hope you can use this project to help women in your life keep their independence in wearing the jewelry they love!

All photos on this page are my own.

Have you ever struggled to do a bracelet clasp on your own?

Have you ever struggled to do a bracelet clasp on your own?

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Magnetic Clasps

You'll want to choose a magnetic clasp that is both strong and beautiful. Fortunately, there is a wide variety to choose from; here are a few of my recommendations. If you don't see what you need here to match the jewelry you want to convert, click on any of these to see more magnetic clasp options.

Hampton Direct Locking Magnetic Clasps - Set of 4 SILVER By Jumbl
Hampton Direct Locking Magnetic Clasps - Set of 4 SILVER By Jumbl

These locking clasps are highly rated by customers on Amazon wth 4.9 out of 5 stars. They are extremely strong and stay locked tight if you try to pull them apart, but they come apart easily if you take them apart as they're designed. They come in a pretty swirl design.

 
22K Gold Plated Magnetic Barrel Clasp 11x7mm (1 Set)
22K Gold Plated Magnetic Barrel Clasp 11x7mm (1 Set)

I'm a fan of simplicity and the 22K plating make this the perfect match for a gold bracelet.

 

Converting a Bracelet to a Magnet Clasp with Security Chain - Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here's the 4-strand black-lip shell bracelet I converted for my mom.The lobster-claw clasp - close up.Tools you'll need - chain nose pliers, cutter, unfinished chain, magnetic clasp, and 2 split rings.First, cut 2 inches of chain.Remove the old lobster-claw clasp. I used split rings in the original design, so I just left them on this bracelet.Hold your split ring open using the tip of the chain nose pliers.Slide one end of the chain and the magnetic clasp onto the split ring - like sliding keys onto a key ring. Repeat for the other end.When the clasp is not stuck together, the bracelet with the added length of chain slips easily over the hand. Pull the clasp together and presto!
Here's the 4-strand black-lip shell bracelet I converted for my mom.
Here's the 4-strand black-lip shell bracelet I converted for my mom.
The lobster-claw clasp - close up.
The lobster-claw clasp - close up.
Tools you'll need - chain nose pliers, cutter, unfinished chain, magnetic clasp, and 2 split rings.
Tools you'll need - chain nose pliers, cutter, unfinished chain, magnetic clasp, and 2 split rings.
First, cut 2 inches of chain.
First, cut 2 inches of chain.
Remove the old lobster-claw clasp. I used split rings in the original design, so I just left them on this bracelet.
Remove the old lobster-claw clasp. I used split rings in the original design, so I just left them on this bracelet.
Hold your split ring open using the tip of the chain nose pliers.
Hold your split ring open using the tip of the chain nose pliers.
Slide one end of the chain and the magnetic clasp onto the split ring - like sliding keys onto a key ring. Repeat for the other end.
Slide one end of the chain and the magnetic clasp onto the split ring - like sliding keys onto a key ring. Repeat for the other end.
When the clasp is not stuck together, the bracelet with the added length of chain slips easily over the hand. Pull the clasp together and presto!
When the clasp is not stuck together, the bracelet with the added length of chain slips easily over the hand. Pull the clasp together and presto!

Additional Tools for Your Clasp Conversion Project

Beadsmith Super Fine Jewelry Pliers Ergonomic Tool Kit 4 Piece w/ Case
Beadsmith Super Fine Jewelry Pliers Ergonomic Tool Kit 4 Piece w/ Case

For this project, you really only need a few tools, and I love the ergonomic tools developed by Beadsmith. They feel good in my hand and they are durable. I've been using mine for years. In this project you'll use the cutter and the chain nose pliers, but get the set of four because you will want to use the other tools in the future.

 
Cousin SE29494-22 6mm Sterling Silver Split Ring - 12pc
Cousin SE29494-22 6mm Sterling Silver Split Ring - 12pc

I like silver split rings because I can rely on them! Jump rings may come apart if you snag your bracelet on something, but split rings will hold. They look like a tiny keychain ring and they're easy to use too.

 
Beadaholique Sterling Silver Cable Chain 3.8mm Unfinished Bulk By The Foot
Beadaholique Sterling Silver Cable Chain 3.8mm Unfinished Bulk By The Foot

Choose to buy as much as you want/need with this bulk silver chain. It's unfinished, meaning it doesn't have a clasp at each end, so you can use it for crafting. It makes a beautiful security chain for magnetic clasps!

 

The Right Stuff

Split Rings - They're like tiny key rings. They're so much stronger than regular jump rings, and they still look nice. Why not give the piece added strength in case it gets snagged on something?

Strong Magnetic Clasp - A good strong magnet is so important. They stay together if you pull, but slide easily apart when you need them to. Don't skimp on this!

Security Chain - It adds to the confidence of the piece - it looks pretty and keeps the bracelet in place no matter what.

Beauty, Confidence, and Freedom

finished bracelet
finished bracelet

I was so happy my mom asked me for the changes to her bracelet. I believe women need to continue to feel beautiful and confident as they get older. Even though a woman's hands don't work the way they used to, she should still be free to wear her jewelry and feel "put together." I truly hope this is a useful tutorial for others who want to help older family and friends keep their independence even in the little things!

Link Party Connections

Here are parties and blog hops this page is linked to. Click on any of them to find hundreds more ideas, recipes, crafts, and much more!

Do you think you would use a project like this to make a piece of jewelry easier to wear?

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    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Yes! What a clever idea for a lens (and for your jewelry)!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      4 years ago

      Great Ideas.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Absolutely - I've already converted some of my purchased bracelets to magnetic clasps, and I often use magntic clasps for the pieces I design for my custom jewelry clients. Terrific tutorial!

    • profile image

      IreneL11 

      5 years ago

      Of course.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 

      5 years ago

      What an ingenious way to make a favorite bracelet easily wearable for any one. Something to keep in mind for when I need it.

    • Kim Milai profile image

      Kim Milai 

      5 years ago

      I'm starting to have trouble with bracelets so this is timely info for me. Side note about people with pacemakers or such implanted, don't wear a magnetic necklace. Doctors advise.

    • profile image

      changrcoacher 

      5 years ago

      What a wonderful idea! I will share this lens with folks who struggle with ordinary fasteners. Thank you!

    • Erin Mellor profile image

      Erin Mellor 

      5 years ago from Europe

      Perhaps not for me, but for an older relative who is starting to find some things a bit too fiddly to deal with. This is a great idea, thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      What a great idea, nicely done lens. I saw your lens featured on the New Giant Squid Lenses Week of 9/23

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