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How to make a spiral leaf charm and clasp


About this design:

I was asked to share instructions of how I made the spiral leaf charms and hook clasp from my latest bracelet.

I know this is rather lengthy but if you're like me, a very visual learner, lots of pictures help. So I tried to show each step.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I need to explain something better. This is my first time. ;)

Components:

18 and 20 gauge copper wire.

Additional Images:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1:
Cut a 4 inch piece of 20 gauge wire and place the tip of it in your pliers, taking the smallest bite possible.
Step 2:
Bend it over with your thumb.
Step 3:
Then bend it a little more with the tip of your pliers to form a little "C".
Step 4:
Fold that "C" over on to the wire. This will form the center of the spiral. You want this to be as small as possible for the spiral to be round. If there is too much wire folded over your spiral will end up oval shaped.
Step 5:
Hold that folded end at the edge of the pliers and with your other hand bend the wire toward the pliers until it's snug up next to the little folded end. I used rubber coated pliers to avoid making dents in the spiral. This coating is called "Tool Magic" and is easily peeled off your tool. It's great!
Step 6:
Then reposition the beginning of the spiral so that you can repeat the last step, continuing around making the spiral bigger until you have 2-3 passes around the center.
Step 7:
When you have the spiral at the size you desire then make a bend in the wire just below the spiral. Bend it over until the end meets the other side of the spiral.
Step 8:
Bend that end of the wire around the top of your spiral.
Step 9:
Make a 90 degree bend off the top of the spiral and another 90 degree bend off the top of that.
Step 10:
Now you can form a wire wrapped loop at the top.
Step 11:
Wrap the wire until you're at the bottom. Cut it close to the leaf and bend the end in tight so there is no sharp end sticking out.
Step 12:
You could also spiral the end in and fold it over on the leaf as an alternate finish and a more 3-D effect.
Step 13:
For the clasp I used 18 gauge wire for more sturdiness. The process is the same through step #8. Then I took the end and wrapped it around the looping pliers until it almost touches the leaf.
Step 14:
Cut the excess off and make a small loop on the end.
Step 15:
I also hammered the curved edge of the hook to flatten it a little. I antiqued it with liver of sulfur type solution then polished it to bring back some of the copper color.


Read the comments (or add your own)

  1. Beadzilla aka Wanda
    Beadzilla aka Wanda says:

    Thanks Angela! Great visual and well written tutorial. Who’s the BEST! Angela issssssssssss!

  2. Medieval Momma
    Medieval Momma says:

    Very well written, I’ll have to try it!

  3. foxhill designs vt
    foxhill designs vt says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, Angela! Can’t wait to try it. :)

  4. GypsyMom
    GypsyMom says:

    Thank you, really pretty clasp!

  5. Blue Glass Studio
    Blue Glass Studio says:

    Very pretty! Easy to follow tutorial too. Thanks Angela!

  6. Laud
    Laud says:

    This is so cool! I love how it looks, and when I think of the money I’ve spent on clasps…

    Thanks so much for the clear, complete directions!

  7. Deb Harding
    Deb Harding says:

    Yea…directions with lots of photos!! I totally love that leaf.charm!! And.the.clasp!! Thanks Angela.

  8. No Photo
    Mary S - Sweet Chick says:

    Many thanks from me too, Angela! :-D
    Great photos!

    For the clasp, did you use 4″ of wire too or a longer length?

  9. Beadaholic
    Beadaholic says:

    This is great! Thanks so much Angela, I can’t wait to try it!

  10. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    Wow! Thanks everyone for the great comments! I’m sooooo glad you all like it and you think it’s easy to follow. I was worried ’cause this was new to me.

    Laud, I too have spent tons on clasps for pieces that would have done better with one of these homemade ones which are more rustic and expressive. Had I known then what I could do. However, store bought clasps are great too and definitely have their place.

    Mary S, I wasn’t sure so I had to make another one to check, and yes 4 inches works just fine for the clasp too. This is great because now I have a great stash of charms and clasps after practicing them all day! :)

  11. Asia
    Asia says:

    :D Angela, your tutorial is perfect, that is exactly the way I make my clasps and you can control the size of it depending on the design, you can also just use the wire from the spool, less waste :D

  12. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    Thanks for mentioning that Asia! I agree that it’s less waste using it from the spool. I only did it this way because for a beginner’s try I found it hard to wrangle the whole spool while trying to do the wire wrapped loop. So I tried different lengths and found that 4 inches gives you just enough to work with but wasted less than an inch of wire. Now that I’m an expert ;) I’ll have to try it from the spool again!

  13. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    I just had a thought! What if you made the other side of the clasp the same but with a large wire wrapped loop for it to hook through? That way it would look like a matched set. What do you think?

    Attachment

  14. Deb Harding
    Deb Harding says:

    I wanted to ask a question regarding those little pieces of wire that go to waste. Isn’t there something you can do with that? Melt it into blobs or something. Don’t know what you’d do with that but it just irks me. I so hate waste.

  15. Deb Harding
    Deb Harding says:

    That clasp set is NICE!!!! I’m not good at the hook part yet but I’ve made a few of those clasp loops with a bead on them. Of course I haven’t yet finished the pieces of jewelry they are on…lol.

  16. Elis Mom
    Elis Mom says:

    Thanks for the Tute! I need to give it a try!

    Deb, if you’re working with silver or copper, you can save all the clippings and then sell them to a recycler….I’ve done that in the past…but you need A LOT of clippings to make it worthwhile.

  17. Peggy3
    Peggy3 says:

    Awe. Thanks so much. I admired this clap in your last bracelet :)

  18. Peggy3
    Peggy3 says:

    I admired the *clasp* in your last bracelet.

  19. Blooming Ideas
    Blooming Ideas says:

    Wonderful tutorial! Very easy to follow. Thank You!

  20. Laud
    Laud says:

    Question: Can you use a wire jig to make the looping part? (I don’t have looping pliers.)

  21. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    Deb, as Asia suggested you can just work off the spool instead of cutting off a length of wire, so no waste. However I just use the extra cut off bits to make beaded links. I’m always doing that with the ends of head pins and eye pins too. I always use every bit too.

    Laud, I have never used a wire jig but it looks like fun and so versatile. I think it would work great, go for it! You could also use the upper big part of your round nosed pliers. Easy peasy!

  22. Gail Layne
    Gail Layne says:

    Angela, Thanks so much for taking the time to do a tutorial on the clasps and charms. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while and even bought a couple of wire books but they weren’t helpful at all. This is great!

    PS. LOVE your set!

  23. CAS
    CAS says:

    Thank you! … thank you! … thank you Angela!!! Fabulous tutorial, I can’t wait to try it. :D

    Mmmmmm … I bet you could make some cool ones with colored wires too….

  24. No Photo
    Mary S - Sweet Chick says:

    Yes, I like it! The matching link for the clasp is awesome!

    I also save all the left over bits of wire. All but the tiniest pieces can be made into various sizes of jump ring/spacer beads.

    Here’s a question. I’d like to use wire from the spool but how can you tell how much you are using? It’s nice to know how to price items by the amount of supplies used. Thank you for any input!

  25. Crazy Beader
    Crazy Beader says:

    Angela, you are a natural-born instructor ! What a great step-by-step explanation – - and I love your “double leaf” clasp.

    Mary S – - here’s a thought for measuring wire from the spool – - mark the wire every inch with something non-permanent – - or mark the wire at maybe 6″ and measure backward from where you cut. Never tried this, just my math brain at work.

  26. Asia
    Asia says:

    If I may say a few words again, Laud I never used jigs, but I did use many objects as mandrels, even a wire itself, then to make a few spiral loops you can use your fingers to guide the wire( I do it even with a 12 gauge wire), Mary you can mark a foot lengths on the wire that will give you an idea how much you are using, start with a cheep copper wire from a hardware store to cut on the expense. Deb, I do save my copper leftovers in a jar only from the environmental point, it is a metal, should not end up in the garbage, but you can melt copper using crucible and TORCH, yes torch again Deb, then pour into molds and you are done. I have not done that myself, but I know that Frida was talking about doing something metals, one day when I have all the time in the world I might try something like this :D That was quite a novel, BTW, IS LIMA FINALLY GETTING THE PEANUT SEED BEADS?

  27. No Photo
    Mary S - Sweet Chick says:

    Oh yes, I forgot…..
    PEANUT SEED BEADS PLEASE!!!! ;-)

  28. No Photo
    Mary S - Sweet Chick says:

    OH!…..and thank you ladies for the “wire from the spool” tips!!!! :-D Great ideas!

  29. Deb Harding
    Deb Harding says:

    Durn….I’ve been forgetting peanut seed beads to implement my peanut seed beads subliminal message peanut seed beads plan!!

  30. puppychick  labratbecky
    puppychick labratbecky says:

    Perfect tut!! I have it in a book and yours is easier to follow!! :) I have been trying things with wire but I need bigger gauges for them to be usable–I’m just practicing now. :) And I save metal scraps to melt down, too. I have some sterling pieces waiting for a melting experiment. Maybe Asia can give us a tut on that when she melts her copper? :) Who needs peanut seed beads? WE need peanut seed beads. :)

  31. Chicky Zee aka Alice
    Chicky Zee aka Alice says:

    Great tutorial !

  32. No Photo
    Janella W says:

    Very beautiful! This will look great for a project I am planning.
    I have not been able to find flexible stringing wire in antique copper. Can you suggest a color that will blend well with antique copper focals and beads.

  33. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    Thank you Janella! I often use antique brass colored stringing wire because it is darker than the bright copper stuff and looks great with antique copper components. Lima Beads has many choices and this link will take you right to that page. http://www.limabeads.com/Soft-.....Wire-C4050
    Hope this helps and thanks again! :)

  34. No Photo
    E Rhodes says:

    This is really helpful and easy to follow. I look forward to trying it soon.

  35. No Photo
    M McMenamy says:

    I think this a beautiful piece and the colors are so soft. The dragon fly adds to the necklace in a way that a focal piece first look at the necklace and then the rest of the necklace blends right in.

  36. RLMerder Designs
    RLMerder Designs says:

    Thanks, trying this ASAP :)

  37. No Photo
    L German says:

    I love the way your leaf turned out, and I also agree – you are a natural born bead instructor – so, when and where do we sign up, teach? What is the next class about?

  38. No Photo
    H Rousseau says:

    Good article.I was wondering about the wire type? Is it half hard or dead soft ?I make my own clasps using dead or very soft 20g.wire and they seem to be fine but I wonder if the wire is sturdy enough.

  39. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    This is just bare copper wire. I know that sterling silver comes in half hard or dead soft, but I’m not sure about copper. My copper wire does not specify either. As I’m sure you know, being a wireworker yourself, that it is always good to work harden your clasp, jumprings and earwires. I use a rawhide mallet with the piece sandwiched between a paper towel to avoid marring. The best would be tumbling, but since I don’t have one…yet ;) I do it this way. I hope this helps!

  40. SweetBirchDesigns
    SweetBirchDesigns says:

    Angela, I just wanted to tell you how incredible fabulous these clasps are! It is such a wonderful design idea and they look wonderful on your bracelets! Thanks so much for sharing, cause I know I always am trying to figure out how to make a homemade clasp look respectable and sometimes I just end up messing up my wire because I’m not sure what to do! This helps immensely! Your tutorial was incredible clear! Thanks again! :)

  41. No Photo
    Eha K says:

    Thank you very much!

  42. No Photo
    LindaDarlene B says:

    I was a 5511135potter for 20 years, when my life changed. I tried polymer clay after I closed my studio, but there was not the resources available. Now the world has opened via the internet and gracious people as yourself have made all the information bloom. Did I spell that correctly? thanks so much.

  43. No Photo
    LindaDarlene B says:

    thanks so much. You have no idea how much you are appreciated.

  44. No Photo
    L nantt says:

    Thanks Angela!!! This is the neatest use of a spiral in a design that I have ever seen. Keep up the good work.

  45. MaryAnn A
    MaryAnn A says:

    Just browsing Lima beads and found this. Great tutorial, can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing.

  46. shunter3
    shunter3 says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us ~ I can’t wait to give it a try :D

  47. Wild Aymer Jewelry
    Wild Aymer Jewelry says:

    LOVE! Thank you for sharing!

  48. SquirrelGirl aka Angela
    SquirrelGirl aka Angela says:

    Thanks again everyone! I love all of your comments and welcome any suggestions. :)

  49. VisionQuest Artworks
    VisionQuest Artworks says:

    what a great technique! I recall your beautiful work from etsy, in fact I think one of your leather bracelets is one of my first that I favorited there :)

  50. No Photo
    Bead Faery says:

    looks gorgeous, can’t wait to try!

  51. Marnie Fawcett
    Marnie Fawcett says:

    Well done and such a pretty little design. I absolutely love it.

  52. Jillie
    Jillie says:

    This is beautiful! I make all my own findings, its amazing how you can charge a little more with touches like this. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Jillie
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/JacknJillsAllTiedUp

  53. GemVibes aka Cat Tayler
    GemVibes aka Cat Tayler says:

    Your instructions are great, however, sadly, I need a video as well to master a project such as this one.

  54. CV Cola
    CV Cola says:

    Easy to follow instructions. Good visuals. Thanks.

  55. AJDesigns
    AJDesigns says:

    that is a wonderful technique thanks been wanting to make my own clasps and could never find one i like till now Yes!!!!!

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