Box Clasps and Slide Clasps
In this blog post, I want to talk about two different clasps: box clasps and slide clasps. Why am I dealing with them together? Well, they are suitable for similar projects. Plus, you will use similar techniques for attaching them. So, let’s look at what they are and how you can use them.
What are box clasps?
Box Clasps are usually square or rectangular in shape (hence the name). They comprise two halves of metal – one clips inside the other. Then, you release the clip by pressing down on a little piece of metal protruding from one half of the clasp.
Box clasps come in different sizes. The size of the clasp will dictate how many rings it has for attaching to your jewellery. So, you can string one, two, or three strands from them. In the photo, you see a medium sized clasp that will accommodate two strands of beads.
You may also see another variation, often used by professional jewellers. One half of the clasp has a hook that will catch onto a bridge of metal in the other half and then push inside that half. So, this is doubly secure as even if the clip comes undone, the hook should still hold the jewellery.
What are slide clasps?
A Slide Clasp comprises two tubes of metal, one of which slides inside the other and clips into place to fasten.
As with the box clasps, they come in a wide range of sizes. In this case, it is the length that will vary. So, you will always have the same interlocking tube structure. But, as the lengths increase, so too with the number of rings on the side of the clasp.
Again, you can use these rings to string single strands of beads. Or, you can stitch them onto a wider beaded structure. So, let’s take a look at how that might work.
Attaching box clasps and slide clasps
These clasps often come with several hooks for attaching multiple strands of beads. So, that is simple – just attach a strand of beads to each hook. If you need to learn how to string jewellery and attach a clasp, try this free tutorial. You can apply the techniques to a single string or beads, or attach multiple strings to a box or slide clasp.
In the sample below, I’ve used this idea to attach a slide clasp to a wider bracelet. So, I created some shaping at the end of the bracelet to give me two strands with which to work. I then joined these to the two rings on each half of the clasp. If you wish to try this bracelet pattern, here is the link to the tutorial.
You can also attach these to a flat band of beads. Simply stitch the rings onto the back of the band. That is what I did in the leopard print bracelet I made, in the photo below, left.
For my Pumpkin bracelet, I started out by stitching the rings on, then I added another flap to cover them and create a really neat finish, as you can see in the central photo. The right-hand photos shows the rings being stitch into place.
When you buy a clasp for this purpose, you should measure the width of your band. Then, select a clasp of the same (or roughly the same) length.
Considerations for choosing your clasp
Pros: Box clasps and slide clasps are an ideal option for multi-strand jewellery. They fasten securely and are available in a range of styles so can be incorporated into different designs. They are both reasonably easy to fasten and unfasten with one hand. So, I find they are a good option for bracelet designs.
Cons: I have found that the fastening on a box clasp can become a little loose over time. So, this may be something to bear in mind.
The same problem can occur to a lesser degree with slide clasps as well. As with other types of clasp, this becomes less of a problem with a more expensive brand.
If you are making jewellery for yourself then you may feel comfortable risking a cheaper brand of finding. But if you are making for customers, then I would advise buying top quality. You should be able to pass on the cost in the price you charge. It is more than worthwhile when it comes to creating good customer satisfaction results. These are so important for your reputation.
Claspgarten have a lovely range of designer box clasps that are decorated with pearls and crystals or can even be personalised. You can find some samples here.