Hey there! Today we will explore 10 unique ways to use toggle clasps in DIY jewelry making designs. This video is prompted by the wonderful assortment of toggle clasps that show up in the monthly Bargain Bead Boxes, in particular. Unlike lobster clasps, toggles come in a seemingly endless number of decorative styles, shapes, and sizes.
With the openness of the loop portion, and the sturdiness of the bar, each toggle presents a unique design element, and multiple usage options. In fact, a toggle clasp may be used as a focal piece instead of simply a hidden afterthought.
Below are ten idea images with accompanying descriptions. Some of these ideas even have their own dedicated beading tutorial video! Perhaps this post will help you pull a few toggles out of your bead stash, and give them a second look:
10 Ways to Use Toggle Clasps:
Toggle clasp loops, specifically varieties which are round and completely open, make for great bead frames. In this example, the bamboo style toggles allow for plenty of room for the 4mm round gemstone beads to hang freely in the center. A simple headpin is is used to hold the bead in place, along with a wrapped loop, which is attached to the connector loop at the top. The overall design is enhanced further with the addition of the tree charms that are connected with a simple jump ring.
Idea #2 – Seed Bead Fringe Earrings
In this example, a pear shaped toggle loop is used as a seed bead fringe earring finding. The shape of the component allows for the fringe to cascade downward to various lengths, and the creation of seed bead loops around the finding provide for a secure connection for each strand. The bottoms of each strand contain their own tiny loop of beads, adding more interest, movement, and texture.
Idea #3 – Multistrand Necklace Connectors
If you have two matching toggle clasp loops, they offer a prime opportunity for use as necklace connectors. Use them in single, and/or multi-strand necklace applications to attach beadwork to chain, or cord. In this example, the pear-shaped toggle clasp loops imitate the pear-shaped gemstone pendant and the other bead and finding elements. Strands of beads can be attached to the toggle loops directly with the use of wire guards and/or crimp beads and covers.
Idea #4 – Assymetrical Necklace Connector
Only have one toggle loop that doesn’t have a match? No problem! In this example, check out the asymmetrical application of the toggle loop on the right, and the larger chandelier component on the left. The strands of seed beads bring the components together in a unified manner due to the symmetry of the turquoise bead placement, and the tone-on-tone antique brass seed beads.
Idea #5 – Front Facing Clasp
The great thing about toggle clasps is that they are a clasp you can feel good about showing off! The elegant designs add an interesting metallic element that can bring a piece together. In this example, beaded spike agate pendants hang from the loop portion, which makes the toggle clasp in the front functional AND decorative.
Check out the beaded bead cap tutorial to see how you can make this pendant!
Idea #6 – Pendant Component
Toggle loops may also be used on their own as a decorative inclusion to a pendant. In this example, Miyuki Delica beads are woven directly onto the toggle loop in a unique diamond pattern. The green aventurine drop bulks up the pendant while the toggle loop provides an airy quality.
Check out the free beaded toggle loop pendant tutorial, and make one too!
Idea #7 – Lariat Necklace Component
Creating a lariat style necklace is another great use for a single toggle clasp loop. If you choose to create a lariat style design, just make sure to plan the bead sizes according to what will fit through the size of the loop. In this example, I also added two of the metallic leaf components to the loop itself. When the lariat is worn, the third leaf component hangs beautifully with the other two.
Idea #8 – Toggle Perch Earrings / Toggle Bar Chandelier Earrings
What can be done with the toggle BARS, you ask? Just think outside the box, and check out how they’re used in this example. The Czech glass owl beads are actually “perched” whimsically on top of these toggle bars. A segment of wire was used to wrap the bars directly onto the bottoms of the owls. Additionally, the toggle bars can provide a foundation for attaching segments of hanging chain, and/or beads.
Idea #9 – Toggle Bar Beaded Pendant
Another way to use toggle bars is to turn them into the framework of a beaded pendant. In this example, a bar is used at the top and bottom of the beadwork, which is wire wrapped onto both components. With the wire-wrapping completed, the beads and bars are held together firmly in place. This design also allows for a further embellishment, such as a charm dangling from the bottom, and there is a loop situated at the top providing an easy connection to chain or cord.
Idea #10 – Toggle Bar Multi-strand Bracelet
Some toggle bars provide the perfect foundation for connectors. Look for toggle bars that have an element which could hold wire firmly in place. In this example, the bars have wider ends, which allows for wire to securely loop around either side. Create multiple loops with the wire in order to make additional connection points on the toggle bar, and voila! – you have multi-strand connectors.
Have more ideas? Feel free to share your thoughts down below, so we can all benefit, and get inspired!