New Pattern Re-Release! : SuperDuo Rosette 2.0

Hello, my lovely beady friends!

So, I think I promised this post back in June… of 2017.

Don’t judge me. I get distracted sometimes.

*ahem* But anyway! Now we are here and it is time to overhaul this old beauty!

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This pattern is my baby, you guys. It’s by far my best seller and I originally made the design and taught it back when Beads Direct was still a brick and mortar store back in  2012. It was the first design I put in my Etsy shop and I consider it my star pattern.

But here’s the thing – I didn’t write the pattern myself. When I first made the design (right after SuperDuos first came out) I showed my boss (Lizelle Hards, who is still my boss and one of my favorite people) and she wanted me to teach it at the shop. I agreed, but confessed that I had no idea how to write a pattern. She graciously offered to do it for me and whipped up a pattern for me to teach with based on the hand-written instructions and terribly-drawn doodles I gave her.

Then, in 2013, the shop went online and we closed the store front. I had two or three patterns that I had written by then and wanted to sell them on Etsy, since I no longer had a place to teach them (this was before I had ties with Cathy at Beaded Bliss and Carole at Bead Stash). I asked Liz if she wanted to me to re-write the pattern, since I was going to be selling it, but she sweetly allowed me to sell it as my pattern.

And it has served me well! Liz is a great pattern writer. But, I have 30+ designs now and it has bothered me lately that my best selling pattern isn’t written in my style and looks so different from my other patterns. Plus! I wanted to add in a tweak to pin the side embellishment down (very much like the Toying with Tiles Update) and, due to popular request, I ALSO wanted to add in instructions for how to make the double-wide version that I really enjoy.

So, with that back story explained, allow me to introduce my newest oldest favorite pattern!

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Tada!

So, exactly like the Toying with Tiles pattern, I have decided to do things this way. The pattern listing on Etsy, when purchased, will now include two patterns – the old one and the new one with the tweak. If you have already purchased the old pattern on Etsy and want the tweak without having to pay for the pattern twice, email me or send me a Convo through Etsy with the Order Number of our original purchase so that I can verify that you already bought the pattern. You can find your order number by going through your purchase history on Etsy. It’s a bit of a clunky system, but I think it’s the best way of making it fair.

Colors Used

I’ve been trying lately to provide the colors that I’ve used in my patterns in one spot for you guys, so here are the colors that I used in the cover photos. A quick caveat – I have made dozens of this bracelet and the photos are floating all over the internet. So if you see one with my logo and want to know what colors I used, you’ll need to send me the photo to ask if it isn’t listed here.

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This original prototype – literally the first one I made in 2012 (OMG You can see the black paperclip that I wore as my engagement ring <3). For this baby, I used Chalk Lazure Green SuperDuos (503000-65455), Miyuki 11/0’s in Matte Metallic Bronze (2006), Miyuki 15/0’s in Dark bronze (457) and 3mm round metal beads in an antiqued bronze finish.

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These are the three single versions.

The top bracelet used Jet Apricot SuperDuos (523980-29123), Miyuki 15/0’s in Steel (190), and Full Labrador Union beads for 11/0 (UB-11-131-27000), and Metallic Silver 2×3 Rondelle Crystals in place of the usual 3mm beads. I also used a really fancy Swarovski Elegant Elements box clasp.

The middle bracelet uses a bunch of different stuff. The SuperDuos were Chalk Red Luster (503000-14495), Chalk Orange Luster (503000-14413), and Chalk Light Green Luster (503000-14457). The 11/0’s were Miyuki Matte Duracoat Champagne (11-4204f) and the 15/0’s were Picasso Seafoam (15-4514). The 3mm pearls were Swarovski Pearls in Jade, Coral, and White.

The bottom bracelet used Opaque Olive Picasso SuperDuos (553410-43400) with Miyuki 15/0’s in Matte Brown AB (15-135fr) and Miyuki 11/0’s in Duracoat Opaque Eucalyptus (4481). The 3mm were one of the Saturated Metallic 3mm druks in a sort of plum color (I don’t have the number for that one – sorry!)

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For the doubles!

For the top one, I used Chalk Red Luster SuperDuos again (503000-14495) and 3mm round copper metal beads. The 11/0’s were Miyuki Metallic Chocolate (461) and the 15/0s were Duracoat Galvanized Dark Coral (4209). I got the button at a bead show somewhere, I think, but any shank button will work!

For the bottom one, I used Miyuki 11/0’s and 15/0’s in Montana Gold Blue Luster (305) and the 3mm were a Saturated Metallic Turquoise kinda color. The SuperDuos were a mix that I made myself and then gave away as a prize after my facebook page got its 1000th like. It used more than 10 different colors and unfortunately, I did not write them down, as they were scraps and leftovers from my stash. If you combine a bunch of blues, greens, turquoises, and silvers from your own stash, you should be able to make your own “mermaid mix.”

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Phew!

And that’s finally it, folks! I’ve been super nervous to tweak my superstar pattern, but it needed to be done and I’m really proud of the new pattern. Let me know what you guys think down below! Was it worth the re-write? Have you tried this pattern yet? I love hearing from you all. Thanks for checking in! ❤

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Giveaway and Sale Announcement!

Hey, friends! This will be a quick post with two announcements.

Labor Day Sale!

First off, I’m having a quick Labor Day Sale with the rest of Etsy. It starts Aug 28th and goes until Sep 3rd – So pop in and check out the deals!

Facebook Giveaway!

Second, I am hosting a Facebook Giveaway!

 

 

It’s already running, but you have until midnight on Aug 31st to enter. The post with all the details is pinned to the top of my Facebook page here. You need to like the post and leave a comment and you just might win this huge 50 gram SuperDuo mix that I made myself!

(You’ll be seeing what I made with this mix soon!)

That’s it for now folks! Good luck! ❤

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Peyote Rivoli Bezels and How I Finally Conquered Them!

So, you guys wanna know something super embarrassing about me?

I have been beading for 13 years (half my life) and I have published (and taught) 35 original beadweaving designs. AND YET I have never been able to make peyote bezels for rivoli crystals. It’s a super basic technique that forms the base of SO many designs. I understood the concept and I do peyote all the time… but every time I would give it a go, the bezel would turn out too tight for the crystal. It was infuriating.

But I finally figured out what I was doing wrong! And look what I can do now!

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I FINALLY DID IT! These were my first successful Rivoli bezels and I paired them with these gorgeous fuchsia polymer clay leaves from SummerWindArt.

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Wanna know what I was doing wrong? It was my hatred of tail threads that did me in. Every time I would try to start a bezel, I would string the requisite number of Delicas (usually 36 for a 14mm Rivoli) and then I would go back through all of the beads in order to tie off the thread. Unfortunately, going through all the Delicas twice before even starting the peyote made the ring way too tight and that’s why my bezels were always too snug!

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Cathy (of Beaded Bliss) tipped me off that I needed to keep my tail thread intact and not reinforce that first row and it changed everything. Putting up with a tail thread was definitely worth the success! I can’t stop making these little bezels.

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I’ve had these little glass drops for so long that I have no idea what they are or where they came from. My brain says “vintage German glass”, but I have literally no memory of buying them or how I would know that, so we’re gonna call them mystery drops!

Next, I went browsing for some bezel tutorials that I would have skipped because of the peyote base and look what I found!

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These earrings were made using Frolova Oksana’s free Golden Star tutorial. I had to use Google Translate on the page, but honestly, her diagrams are so good that I didn’t need the text instructions.

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I am so excited at all the new design possibilities that I’ve opened up just by learning this basic technique. I can’t believe it took me so long to figure it out, but hey, we’ve all got our blind spots, right? And I know better now! Yay!

Do you guys have any tutorials on things I can do with a peyote bezel base? I’d love to get in some more practice and try some new embellishments. Leave some recommendations in the comments if you have any!

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Clasp Wars: The Slide Clasp

It’s time once again for another Clasp Wars post! I ran another vote on the Wescott Jewelry Facebook Page for what clasp you guys wanted to talk about next and though it was close, the good ole slide clasp just barely eked out a win!

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Artful Arcos Bracelet with Antiqued Silver Two-Loop Slide Clasp

Pro’s

So, first off! One of the most advantageous things about slide clasps is that they are incredibly slim. This is great when you don’t want to add a lot of length to your project. It’s also great if your piece is flat and you don’t want your clasp to disturb the low profile.

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I made this piece for a challenge – read about it here!

Slide clasps come in lots of different lengths. I usually use the two or three loop variety, but I’ve seen ones as long as nine loops. Regardless of how wide your bracelet is, you should be able to find a corresponding slide clasp with enough loops for a secure connection.

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Ruched Tila Bracelet with Silver-Plated Two-Hole Slide Clasp

Slide clasps are also available in a variety of color and metal finishes. My favorites are the matte antique-y ones, like the matte silver below, but they coming in bright finishes as well. You can also get sterling silver, if that’s your jam.

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Norelle Bracelet with Antiqued Silver Two-Hole Slide Clasp

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I have found in the past that connecting them was a bit annoying. They were always perpendicular to how I was stitching, so I had to use jump rings to attach them or do some weird stitching to get bulky loops where I wanted them. But now they make slide loops with vertical loops! I don’t have any photos of jewelry made with them, since I just found out about them recently – but I am very excited to play with them in the future! Image result for slide bar clasps

You can also get them in a plain bar style, which is perfect for peyote stitch! I’ve used something like these once or twice, but I don’t do plain peyote stitch often enough to keep a huge supply on hand.

 

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Tetrabella Bracelet with Copper Two-Hole Slide Clasp

I’ve also found that slide clasps are a good blend of secure and easy to use. Some of them are a bit magnetic, but the main mechanism to keep them closed is with a little tension doo-hickey in the center. Since the slide goes vertically and most sudden tugs on the bracelet will be horizontal, it tends to hold up well against stress and doesn’t break easily.

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Backsplash Bracelet with Silver-Plated Two-Hole Slide Clasp

Cons

Honestly, there aren’t a lot of disadvantages to this type of clasp, but one thing I don’t love about them is that they’re a little plain looking. Adding pretty twisted jump rings can help and some times the simplicity of the clasp works better with the design, but I’ll admit, the look isn’t my favorite.

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Two Years Cuff with Silver-Plated Three-Hole Slide Clasp

Another to note is that sometimes a customer won’t know how to use a slide clasp if they haven’t seen one before – it’s not always super intuitive that they slide out vertically. This is not at all a problem if you’re selling your jewelry in person, since you can just show them the magic, but if you sell online, it can be a little tricky to describe the motion through text.

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This pattern is Lisa Khan’s Catherine Bracelet from her book – Bead Metamorphosis

When Do I Use Them?

I only use slide clasps on bracelets. They might work on multi-strand chokers, but I rarely make multi-strand necklaces and find them a little fussy to work with behind one’s neck. I use them on bracelets where I need the clasp to add as little length as possible, where the design calls for a slim, simple finish, or I’m making something particularly wide or flat.

I’ll admit, I used to use slide clasps more before I started keeping a stash of box clasps on hand. Nowadays, I don’t find myself as drawn to the simple, utilitarian style. But I have used them lots in the past and I consider them a useful staple in my stash.

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Details on this bracelet can be found here!

So, do you have anything to chime in? Comment below if you have any thoughts about slide clasps! Do you like them? Use them a bunch or never tried one out? I wanna know! 

Stay tuned for more Clasp Wars and other posts – and check out my Facebook page for when I post my next poll on what type of clasp to examine next!

 

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Happy 26th Birthday to Me!

It’s my birthday, everybody! I had all these grand plans to have a 26% off sale – because I am turning 26 today and it would have been adorable. But Etsy is only allowing sales with percentages in multiples of 5 now, so…

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(Didja like my cheesy ad photo?)

Yep! Everything is 30% off, but only for today! So, hurry up and do some buying while the sale is hot. You can hold a hot dog in one hand and shop online with the other, right? I’m gonna go enjoy my fireworks, but you better get your shopping on! 😀

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New Design – The Tiptoe Chain Bracelet with GemDuos or DiamonDuos!

Hi, everybody! Guess what I’ve gooooooot?!?

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I’ve got a brand new pattern available in my etsy shop! The Tiptoe Chain bracelet works with either GemDuos or DiamonDuos and seed beads in a variation on RAW. Sorta.

Due to popular request, I have included the colors in the actual pattern, including all 15 colors that I used to make this rainbow ombre triple wrap version. ALL 15 COLORS just for you guys. I hope you know I love you guys.

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Isn’t it cute? I’ve been developing this pattern over the last month, so it was definitely Pride inspired. I use the black and matte black as a unifying element and then went crazy with the rainbows. If you’re local to Cincinnati, Cathy is selling kits at Beaded Bliss, but you can also use it as a stash busting project – check your stash and see what kind of rainbow you can make.

 

My original prototype was a delicate single strand and the dainty nature of the bracelet was the inspiration for the name. After the crazy Joystone Bezel I did last round, it was refreshing to make something more simple and delicate.

 

Then, I decided to make a muli-strand! To do so, I just made three identical bracelets and attached them to a three-strand clasp. It was easy as pie and I think the effect is super pretty.

 

One thing to be aware of is that Toho 11/0’s will not work as the main 11/0’s. You can use them for the 8/0’s or the accent 11/0’s, but if you try to use them around the DiamonDuos or GemDuos, they won’t fit. It’ll stay all jumbly instead of giving you that sleek eye shape. That’s spelled out in the pattern, but just a heads up!

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So what do you think? Something nice and new and crisp and easy. ❤

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Stay tuned for some special birthday news in early July! I’m turning 26 on July 4th and there just might maybe be a flash sale to have you guys celebrate with me! ❤

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Sale Time – Happy Birthday, Etsy!

Hey, friends!

I just wanted to pop in and announce another sale.

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I do feel a little bit like my sale events are a little less special since they’re happening more often, but when Etsy says, “Hey, let’s have a sitewide sale!”, you’d best participate!

So, take advantage of this sale, my dear friends! It’s a quick one – less than a week!

Sale runs from June 18th to June 22nd!

Happy Shopping and Happy Birthday, Etsy!

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Clasp Wars: The Snap Clasp

 

Welcome back, friends! In this third installation of my Clasp Wars series, we are going to be talking about snap clasps. I asked which clasp we should talk about next on my Facebook page and the request for these little clasps was surprisingly high.

Just a quick note, I tend to refer to these clasps as “snap clasps”, but you may also find them listed as “ball and socket clasps” or “trailer hitch clasps”. They’re all the same, but just a heads up in case your local bead shop or favorite online store uses one of their other names.

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SuperDuo Rosette Bracelet with Matte Bronze Snap Clasp

Pro’s

So, I am super stoked to talk about snap clasps because I absolutely love them. They’re one of my favorite clasps to use and though I only really became obsessed with them recently, they are quickly becoming my favorite clasp type.

First, I love them because they are wicked easy to use.  To close them, you simply place the loop part over the ball and press it down. Then, to open it, you press down on the ball and it snaps right open. It’s easy to do one-handed, even with limited mobility. They are also very secured, since the pressure needed to pop them open is perpendicular to your wrist, there’s pretty much no way that they’re gonna come off accidentally.

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Bejeweled Collar Bracelet with Gunmetal Snap Clasp

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Snap Clasps do come in multi-strand options, but I don’t have any in my stash at the moment. I don’t usually find myself needing to gather multiple strands into a small point like that. Instead, when I have a wide bracelet, sometimes I will put multiple snap clasps on the end and I get a kinda cool corset-like effect!

 

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Ruched Tila Bracelet with three Matte Bronze Snap Clasps

Honestly, I love these clasps. They’re strong, come on lots of different metallic finishes, and are easy for my customers to use. ❤

 

Cons

It’s is honestly hard for me to think of cons, because these are truly my go-to clasps. I suppose they are a little simple looking. You’re not gonna get the same oomph that you get from an elaborate box clasp.

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Daybreak Bracelet with Matte Bronze Snap Clasps

Also, they don’t seem to be available in a huge range of sizes. The ones I have are all around 12-14mm, which work perfectly for my purposes, but I am surprised that a wider array of sizes (and colors?) aren’t easier to find.

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Tetrabella Bracelet with two Bright Bronze Snap Clasps

I do think sometimes that it would be nice if the holes were vertical instead of horizontal, so I could stitch straight through the loops instead of needing to use a jump ring… But I usually attach my clasps with a jump ring anyway, because it means I can change a clasp if a buyer requests it. So, again, that’s only hypothetical problem. Overall, I am VERY happy with my little snap clasp friends!

When Do I Use Them?

I use my snap clasps on pretty much any bracelet that doesn’t need something highly decorative and is relatively flat. I tend not to use them on necklaces or beaded ropes, because the twisting might make them a little harder to use. And I just don’t think they look quite right on a necklace or rope. *shrug* I’m honestly not super sure why.

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Toying with Tiles 2.0 Bracelet with Dark Silver Snap Clasp

So, there you have it, folks! This post is a little short, but I really don’t have to much to say about these clasps other than OMG, I LOVE THEM and that you should give them a try! It’s so refreshing to have something that is both secure AND easy to use.

What do you guys think, have you tried snap clasps? And do you have any requests on what clasp I should do next? 

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Sale Time – Memorial Weekend Sale!

Hey there, everybody! I just wanted to pop in and remind everyone my etsy shop is having a big sale this weekend! Going from today until the 29th, everything in my shop is at least 20% off! All the discounts apply automatically, so you don’t even have to bother with a coupon code.

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That includes beadweaving patterns AND finished jewelry, so if you’ve got some graduates to celebrate or some weddings to attend, there’s a ton of pre-made pieces just waiting for new homes. Do me a favor and check it out! ❤

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Clasp Wars: The Box Clasp

Hey, everybody! So, a few weeks ago I debuted my first post in a new series on my blog where I talk about different clasps and really get into what I do and don’t like about them. We talked about lobster claws in that first post and the number one most requested clasp to discuss next was something a bit more decorative.

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The Box Clasp

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Box clasps have two distinct sides. On one side is a decorative box (usually rectangular, but they come in lots of styles and shapes) and the other side is a small, angular tab that slots into the box. You can sometimes find them listed as Push ‘n Pull clasps or Tab Insert Clasps.

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Pro’s

First off, box clasps are fairly easy to fasten one-handed. Unlike the lobster claws, the tabs just have to be pushed into the box component, so there’s no fishing around with a hook clutched precariously between your fingernails. They’re even easier to take off, since all you have to do is depress the tab with a fingernail and it’ll spring apart on its own.

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Secondly, box clasps are highly decorative, also unlike the oh-so-functional lobster claw. Box clasps don’t look like hardware and they come in many different styles and shapes. You can find sparkly or antiqued, square or round, filigree and even floral. Lots of the ones I like best come with inlaid crystals, but there are also tons in matte and antiqued finishes to match less fancy shmancy pieces.

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I also find the size of most box clasps to be very useful. With a wide cuff or bracelet that doesn’t come down to a point, wider clasps don’t break up the overall silhouette. When you have a wide bracelet, it can be difficult to find a clasp option with the right proportions. A tiny one-strand clasp can look kinda clumsy on a big bracelet.

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I also love that box clasps come with multiple loops. I usually end up preferring the two- or three-loop options, just because they stabilize a wide bracelet connection. They do make single-strand box clasps (you can find these on a lot of vintage jewelry) and I think they look super classy, even though I don’t use them as often.

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Cons

The biggest con with box clasps is that some of them are more secure than others. I have bought some in the past where the tab has been bent at too tight of an angle and the tension isn’t enough to keep the box secure. When you close a box clasp, you wanna feel a secure and noticeable “click” into place. If the clasp feels mushy or doesn’t “click”, I wouldn’t trust it. Because of this, I prefer to buy my box clasps in person (either at my local bead shop or at a bead show) so that I can open and close them before purchase to make sure they’re secure. This means that buying them online is a gamble.

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Another con with box clasps is that they are decorative.

“Hold up!” you may say. “You listed this as a pro! You are full of contradictions, you clown. How could you betray me with this horrific discrepancy???”

And you’re not wrong. Box clasps being so decorative is definitely part of their appeal, BUT it does mean that you need to take aesthetics into account when choosing a box clasp for your bracelet. Not only does it need to be the right metal and the right size, but the style needs to match the style of your beading. It can really add to your piece, but you need to make sure it doesn’t clash or overwhelm your beading.

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Another quick note is that box clasps usually have a bit more surface area touching the skin, so if you or your clients struggle with metal allergies or turning metals, more of the clasp will be rubbing up against their wrist than with a lobster claw or toggle.

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Another con is that box clasps can be expensive. You get what you pay for and in general, I’m happy to spend a bit more for a bit of sparkle that I trust is secure, but it can cause a twinge in your heart to spend $10 on one clasp, when the same amount could buy you about 20 lobster claws. Especially if you sell your jewelry and that added cost means you’ll need to increase your prices.

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When Do I Use Them?

My favorite use of box clasps is one wider bracelets that can stand a little pop of style without disrupting the aesthetics of the over all piece. I especially love lightweight filigree options with two or three holes.

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Generally, I do not use box clasps on necklaces. Traditionally, single strand box clasps are used on knotted pearl necklaces, but personally, I find it a bit wasteful to use such a detailed clasp when it’ll be hidden under your hair. I’m also not sure I trust box clasps with the weight of multi-strand necklaces.

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Now, I don’t usually make brand-specific recommendations on this blog (unless I’m extolling the virtues of Miyuki seed beads, like I did here), but as I mentioned – box clasps can be hit or miss. So, let me tell you now that I LOVE Elegant Elements brand box clasps. They come with crystals or without and I have never had an issue with them closing properly. They can be a bit heavy, but I find them extremely reliable and high-quality. They’re priced accordingly, but I have found them to be worth every penny. They’re made in Germany and are either 23k gold-plated or rhodium and the crystals and pearls they use are Swarovski.

Elegant Elements is a great brand for box clasps and I 100% recommend them. I am not being paid or sponsored for this opinion, and I use them on my own jewelry all the time.

(Elegant Elements, I love you and if you wanna sponsor me, hit me up!)

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So! Those are my thoughts about Box Clasps! Do you guys have anything to add or any ideas on what clasp I should do next? Let me know in the comments. ❤

 

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