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Beaded Wire Macrame Toggle Bars Revisited

July 2, 2015 , In: Beadwork, Metalsmithing, Tutorials
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I have all sort of beads and components in my stash that could be used as clasps if they had a bar to go with then and a while back I adapted the wire macrame techniques I used for these earrings to create some alternatives to the usual plain wire option.

This technique utilises simple macrame knots interspersed with small beads that can be adapted to match the component and give your clasps some individuality.

Here I use a half knot (spiral) with little etched beads to create this bar and added a jump ring to the centre by which it can be attached to a piece of jewellery. 

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 as with the earrings I attached the wire through the loop and knotted from the centre out, wrapping the wire end over each other to finish.
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.
For this one I used a square macrame knot again but this time gently curved the bar when I finished knotting to add a little something extra… 
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.
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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 and if you don’t have any suitable components in your stash don’t worry – there are plenty out there to suit all tastes.
 Lampwork by Julie Burgard - Outwest Art Glass
Outwest Art Glass
Classic Bead
Tree Wings Studio
Suburban Girl Beads
Mary Harding Jewelry
Starry Road Studio

Lesley Watt

Lesley Watt started making jewellery in 2009 with a handful of hobby store beads but quickly discovered art beads and became completely smitten. Taking courses in metal clay, metal smithing, enamelling and etching she began making her own components in 2011 and has never looked back. Always looking to try new things she has branched out into ceramics, bead embroidery, mixed media and textiles.
  1. Reply

    Very cool toggle bars Lesley__ so many lovely options. Thanks so much for sharing and including my butterfly component!!!

  2. Reply

    What a great idea!
    I can see how I could make good use of the tip, so many thanks.

  3. Amazing how a tiny bit of wire can jazz things up, isn't it?
    Sooo….if you want to make the wiring *really, truly* neat, then instead of going end-to-end, or working inside out, start from the outside and work inward.
    That way, both ends are 'clean' with no free ends to catch and the actual ends are in a fully protected area. You can even wind them partially around the central loop to hide and protect. OR you can have the ends on the opposite segments change places and secure them to one another through their outside 'loops' – as if they were clasping arms across the center of the bar. Which of course, means you can add an art bead there and use a very simple toggle loop for a slightly more delicate look. 🙂

    Lots of options. Thanks for the post!

  4. Reply

    This is a great example of putting your thoughts into action. "Thinking outside the box." Your post is inspiring and the pictures are really nice. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  5. Reply

    Aren't you the clever one! Great idea! Love this post! I'll not copy, but it sparks wonderful inspiration… thoughts spinning in my head already! Thank you!

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