Thursday, February 13, 2014

Beaded Wire Macrame Toggle Bars

Those of you who visit the AJE Component of the month blog hops may remember that my last COM design was incomplete because I'd made a bespoke bronze clasp and hadn't had time to fire it. Well, I still haven't fired it but I have managed to play around with some toggle bar ideas to go with it when it is fired.

Rather than use my usual hammered wire bars I wanted to try and come up with a design that carried the beaded element of my bracelet into the toggle bar so I decided to try the wire macrame technique I've used before for earrings. For my first attempt I use a spiral knot with the little etched beads featured in the necklace to create this bar and added a jump ring to the centre by which it can be attached to the bracelet. 

This works fine but I really wanted to see if I could include the connection loop within the bar itself so this time I formed a loop in the centre of the core wire and instead of knotting from end to end I attached the wire through the loop and knotted from the centre out.

This method takes a little bit longer but does create a slightly cleaner looking bar although personally I'd be happy to use either version.

Once the clasp is fired and patinated I think this will complete the design very well.

I have all sort of beads and components in my stash that could be used as clasps if they had a bar so I made a few more to see how they worked. For this one I used a square macrame knot and gently curved the bar when I finished knotting.

I think it makes a lovely focal closure for this beautiful ceramic element from Karen Totten.

For this ceramic link component by Marla James I used a spiral knot and teamed it with some lovely rustic faceted Czech glass beads to create an unusual clasp.


And finally, some simple seed beads add a little interest to a plain sheet bronze clasp - an idea that would translate easily to washers or large jump rings.

So it's really quite easy to add a little extra interest to your jewellery designs with a few beads and a length of wire. I'm sorry I didn't have time to write a complete tutorial for this post but I will do that as soon as I can and post it here and on my own blog.



  1. I really like your macrame wire bars. They are a wonderful idea for clasps.I will read your tutorial and make some too.

  2. what a cool idea for a clasp - really like it

  3. Love the bars and the way you wrap the beads so effortlessly...something that I avoid. Your techniques are always so fresh and creative. Thank you!

  4. I'm loving how your CoM bracelet is looking! I can't wait to see it finished, and to see what your frame clasp looks like when it's all done. I love your beaded toggle bars, I'm always trying to think of ways to make more interesting-looking toggle bars too. I feel inspired to add some beads to them!

  5. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it.


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