Make a Bracelet Fastening Tool

by Rena Klingenberg
(Jewelry Making Journal)

make a bracelet fastening tool - tutorial

How to make a simple bracelet fastening tool, by Rena Klingenberg.

A bracelet fastening tool is a handy device for anyone who loves wearing bracelets with clasps. You know how frustrating it can be to fasten the clasp around your own wrist!

This is an especially welcome gadget for jewelry wearers who have arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other issues that limit hand movement.

It also makes a wonderful gift (for customers, friends, and loved ones), and it’s a great impulse purchase item when you sell your jewelry.

Have one of your bracelet fastening tools available in your booth or at jewelry parties for customers to try out!

Bracelet Fastening Tool Tutorial

The skill level is “very easy”.

Update:  I have long hands and fingers, and I made this bracelet fastener to fit me.  For smaller hands you may want to use less wire and make the knitting-needle bend in the wire a bit closer to your big loop.

Supplies:

brass wire for bracelet fastening tool

The wire I used for this project.

  • A 14-inch (35.6 cm) piece of 16-gauge wire (I used brass craft / picture hanging wire from the hardware store)
  • A ruler or tape measure
  • A file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone for smoothing off the wire ends
  • A ring mandrel, dowel, PVC pipe section, small prescription pill container, or other item with a diameter of approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm)
  • A fat Sharpie marker or knitting needle (to use as a smaller mandrel)
  • Wire cutters
  • Flat nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Nylon hammer (optional)
  • Jewelry steel block for hammering (optional)

How to Make a Bracelet Fastening Tool:

Cut a piece of your 16-gauge wire to a length of 14 inches (35.6 cm):

wire for bracelet fastening tool

Use your file, cup burr, or knife sharpening stone to round both ends of your wire and smooth off any sharp spots:

file and smooth the wire ends

Wrap one end of your wire around your ring mandrel (I wrap mine around ring size 10), or whatever you’re substituting for the ring mandrel.

That end of your wire should now look like this:

Use your flat-nose pliers to straighten out the wire stem below the loop you just made:

straightening the wire below the loop

Your wire should now look like this:

tutorial for wire bracelet fastening tool

Starting at the other end of your wire (the end WITHOUT the loop), measure down 6 inches (15.2 cm).

Place your fat Sharpie marker, knitting needle, or other item on that spot:

use knitting needle as a mandrel

. . . and fold your wire in half around it. Your wire should now look like this:

bracelet fastening tool tutorial

Now use your round-nose pliers to create a small curve (NOT a full loop) on the straight end of your wire:

Make a hook with your round nose pliers

Optional: Use your nylon hammer and jewelry steel block to hammer-harden your piece of wire and make it lie flat:

Hammer your wire work to strengthen and flatten it

Your wire should now look like this:

Tutorial for bracelet fastening tool

The finished bracelet fastening tool.

How to Use Your Bracelet Fastening Tool:

Thread the bracelet fastening tool through one end of your bracelet’s clasp (or the jump-ring next to the clasp, depending on how the bracelet is made):

how to use a bracelet fastening tool

Put the tool’s ring around one of your fingers, on the hand of your bracelet-wearing arm.

With your other hand, wrap the free end of the bracelet around your wrist:

bracelet fastening tool

Now easily fasten the clasp that’s being held perfectly still by the tool:

Fastening a bracelet clasp using a bracelet fastening tool

When the clasp is fastened securely, slide the bracelet fastening tool out of the clasp.

Even the frustratingly small toggle clasp on this bracelet was easy to fasten when one end was being held in place by this cool gadget!

Bracelet clasp closed with help of bracelet fastening tool

You can quickly whip up several of these little tools while watching TV or chatting with a friend.

Using inexpensive wire, you can make them quite cheaply.

If I used the entire package of wire (shown above) to make a stockpile of these bracelet tools, I could make 21 of these tools, and the materials cost of each would be about 21 cents.

If You Make Bracelet Fastening Tools
to Give or Sell:

You may want to package them with a brief instruction sheet so people will understand how to use them.

If you like, you can use this text (which I also used above) in your packaging for this product:

How to Use Your Bracelet Fastening Tool:

1) Thread the bracelet fastening tool through one end of your bracelet’s clasp (or the jump-ring next to the clasp, depending on how the bracelet is made).

2) Put the tool’s ring around one of your fingers, on the hand of your bracelet-wearing arm.

3) With your other hand, wrap the free end of the bracelet around your wrist.

4) Now easily fasten the clasp that’s being held perfectly still by the tool.

5) When the clasp is fastened securely, slide the bracelet fastening tool out of the clasp or jump-ring.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and find this nifty gadget useful!

Update:

Make Gift Packaging
for Your Bracelet Fastening Tools

My Mom created three tutorials for making simple, appealing gift packaging for these bracelet fasteners:

Bracelet Fastener Gift Envelope

Bracelet Fastener Gift Pouch

Bracelet Fastener Travel Pouch

Thanks, Mom! :)

~ Rena Klingenberg

Want to Learn the Basics of
Designing Your Own Wire Jewelry?

Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components Class In my Design and Make Artistic Jewelry Components video class, you’ll learn how to get great ideas for wire jewelry designs – and then follow my easy system for turning those ideas into successful pieces of jewelry.

By the end of this online video class, you’ll be designing and making your own artistic earwires, clasps, connectors, and pendant bails.

You’ll also learn my tips for making wire jewelry more easily, with more professional looking results.

 

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Comments

  1. Beverly Jenkin says:

    What a great idea! I’ll definitely try this out……..

  2. Thanks for that nifty tut – will use it – love your pages BTW

  3. T.hanks so much, I’ve had several customers not buy a bracelet they like simply because they cannot fasten it. I shall definatly make some and maybe jazz them up a little bit with some leftover beads. Just as a question, how much would you sell these for?

  4. SusanV says:

    Awesome! I will definitely be making some for my next event. Thank you so much for this useful tut! I learn something cool every time I visit this site.

  5. how generous of you to make this so easy to sell…thank you! i cant wait to make one to use myself!

  6. I love this! What a great and easy tool. I sell a lot of bracelets, especially at shows and this would be a great (inexpensive) add on. I always cringe a little when I see a potential customer struggle with a clasp.

    Very often, they don’t buy the bracelet if they can’t put it on by themselves. This is a perfect solution. Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks so much for this tutorial. I’ll be making some of these for my next show.

  7. Yes, I too would like to know how much to sell these for, although for repeat customers I would probably throw this in as a gift since it does cost so little to make or do a “Buy 2 bracelets and get a free fastening tool”.

    If I were making 15 or 20 of these at one go, I’d have a production line going, and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes each to make them.

  8. Thanks a whole bunch. Going to give this a try just for myself.Then maybe include them in bracelet purchases.

  9. Rena! Great timing! Show season’s about to come into full swing, and this handy dandy little tool will thrill my customers! I plan to have one handy for them to use, too. That way they can try it out and see if it works for them.

    I might make them in different lengths, too. Some women have exceptionally large hands (long), and some are so petite. Fantastic idea, and so simple. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I can’t tell you how many times people have said, “I can’t use that type of clasp. I can’t close it myself”…so…this is the perfect solution for that!

    I’ve had my own problems trying to get particular bracelets on that I own. Very frustrating. Now I won’t have to grind my teeth down to points trying to get my jewelry on! You’re a peach…thanks again!

    Cat
    Chatty Cat’s

  10. Helen Cooper says:

    Awesome tool for me to use and I will make these for my customers. Thank you for sharing the incredibly easy tutorial for making these great tools.

  11. Brilliant! I will not only use it for myself, but will have some at my next show and demonstrate. You are so smart!! Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is a great idea! So much more fun and elegant than my usual stand-by tip…when I can’t get a bracelet clasped, I get the tape out…tape the one end to your wrist so that holds it still! This is much nicer! ;o)

  13. Thank you Rena for the tip and tutorial. This is a great idea, they are great to give as a free gift to my website customers.

  14. How clever! I will definitely be making one of these for myself and include one with a bracelet purchase. Thank you for sharing!!!

  15. Great tutorial, Rena. Thanks so much. These would make a great freebie with purchase. I can see some great conversations starting over questions about what exactly this little gizmo is used for!

  16. Jean Foggo Simon says:

    Thanks for sharing. I have been asked many times where to get “one”, and I send them across the hall to another lady who sells manufactured one for $12.00!! So kind of you to share and now I can make my own, but no where for that price. I always thought that was a ridiculous price for something so inexpensive. Love the idea! Include as “Gift with purchase” or $1 – $2 works for me.

  17. Wow what a great idea.
    I will make me one for myself right away,
    I always struggle with my bracelets. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing

  18. I’m so thrilled that you all like this project so well! Thank you so much for the lovely comments.

    I honestly often used to avoid wearing bracelets because I didn’t feel like taking the time to struggle with getting the clasp fastened one-handed.

    This little gadget made the difference for me!

    How would I price these? Well, they’d make a lovely customer freebie – especially if someone purchases multiple bracelets or one of your more expensive bracelets.

    Or to sell as impulse purchases, I’d probably price them in the $3 to $5 range.

    And be sure to have a “tester” bracelet fastening tool out for people to experiment with when you do events! It may also lead to extra bracelet sales (after all, they’ll have to try on one of your bracelets in order to play with the fastener!).

    I’d love to hear your experiences and further tips for these after you’ve made some!

    And I think Cat has a great idea for making them in different sizes for different size hands. I have long hands and fingers, so the size I made in the tutorial may be a bit too long for someone who has more petite hands.

  19. SusanV says:

    This is brilliant! Anything you have that will make your customers stay longer at your booth will increase sales. You know they will HAVE to try it!

    I am all for a couple of dollars each or free with bracelet purchase. I am loving this site more every day. I have yet to visit that I have not taken away a seriously useful idea.

  20. This is a great tutorial. Going to pin it!

  21. Thank you so much for sharing, I absolutely love this newsletter; I learn so much.

  22. This is a great design! Thanks for posting. I made a quick one tonight with a lighter gauge and it worked perfectly. Planning to find a spool of 16 gauge and make some for my upcoming show. Easy to demo and I’m sure it will be a great selling tool.

  23. Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of using it as value added. Sell it for a few dollars, but when a customer asks for a discount or hesitates, offer them a free tool to close the sale.

    By the way, years ago I sold a tennis bracelet to a friend and fellow vendor. When she got home her husband was asleep. In the morning, she woke up to him looking at her oddly. He then asked her why she had gone to bed with nothing on but a bracelet… She couldn’t get it off by herself!

    We have laughed about that for years. I think I will give her one of these tools for the fun of it :-)
    Ann at Animalcoin.com

  24. Thank you all so much!

    My Mom was just saying that she can imagine a lady trying out one of these fastener tools at your booth, realizing how well it solves the problem of putting on a bracelet, and then buying a dozen as gifts (for friends, sisters, daughters, nieces, co-workers, child’s teacher, etc.)

    Susan, you’re right, they’ll have to test it out if you leave a sample bracelet fastener sitting out. Especially the husbands / boyfriends of ladies at your booth, right?

    I can imagine the guys will love the tool aspect of it and encourage their ladies to get a bracelet or two so the fastener tool can accompany them home! :)

    Bear Chick, I’m so glad to hear about your experience with making a practice one, and that it worked so well for you!

    Ann, love your story! LOL! She’ll love the bracelet fastener gift coming from you! :)

  25. Deb Procter says:

    Wonderful!! Can’t wait to make one for myself, & I think they will be a very popular item with my customers!

  26. WOW! Thanks SO much for this! Such a simple idea, easy to make and I’m betting these will sell like hotcakes! I personally have a heck of a time getting my own bracelets on, even with toggles (which should be easier), they slip off my wrist a few times before I can get them latched!

    I’m going to get some wire right away and make a bunch of these up for upcoming shows! At the low cost to make, they could be sold at minimal cost, or for someone making a substantial purchase, even be tossed into the bag as a gift.

    Thank you also, Rena, for allowing us to use your script. You are so generous with your knowledge and tips – this is so much appreciated!

  27. Rena, you are amazing! I was literally thinking the other day about how I should make these, as I would like to have one for me, and sell some as well.

    A local bead store was selling fancy-shmancy ones for $12 and I thought that was ridiculous, plus they were using these alligator clips that looked like they might mar delicate jewelry.

    This is PERFECT! and Thank you so much for offering to let people sell them, that is seriously the coolest thing I’ve seen all week :)
    Wishing you continued success!

  28. Thank you so much for this!! I’ve had days when I’ve not been able to wear a certain piece of jewellery just because I couldn’t get it fastened. Definitely going to make one of these :)

  29. Pauline says:

    Thank you so much for this terrific idea. Although my hands don’t work very well, I do make jewelry everyday. Good therapy! I will be doing my first home party later this month with a second only 2 weeks later. I can’t wait to make this for myself and also to sell. Anyone have suggestions on price and packaging that they would like to share? Thanks Again!!!

  30. Genius. I have so much trouble putting on clasped bracelets to take pics for tutorials lol. Kudos!

  31. Tamara says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Today I went out to the hardware store to get some 16-gauge wire. What was available there was galvanized steel, so I got that. I figure it’ll cost 12 cents for each one.

    I need to get some made up right away because I’m meeting the lady I sell wholesale to on Fri. and I already emailed her about these. She was very excited! I made one up tonight, and it looks good. I decided to add a little headpin with 3 pewter glass pearls and tiny spacers (the pearls are a very similar color to the wire, so it has an elegant look, but I’ll probably use different ones at different times). I attached it to the ring, and so that it doesn’t come off, I closed the ring by hooking it around the straight part of the wire rather than it just meeting.

    My husband was kind enough to run off some copies of the instructions for me (thank you so much for those, Rena!), so I’ll cut them apart and include one with the tool in a long but fairly narrow ziplock bag. I have some on hand and I think they’ll work.

    I think I’m going to charge 4.00 to my wholesale customer (the first one I sell will pay for the 50 feet of wire). I would charge less if I hadn’t decorated it a bit, but I think it adds a nice little jewelry touch to it, and if someone wants to buy one as a gift for somebody it’s a little prettier. I suppose you could have some plain a little cheaper, and some decorated for those who want that.

    I’m also having Easter dinner at my place on Friday, and my son’s girlfriend and her mother, and my elderly mother-in-law are all going to be there, so I want to have a few on hand to give to them as well.

    I need to get making more!

  32. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing your directions.

  33. AWESOME! Oh what a great idea! I’m always dropping my bracelets, frustrated, and then just plain mad when I can’t get them fastened! This is no only a time saver, but a marriage saver!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing such a marvelous idea! Great directions!
    Blessings, Doni

  34. You’ve gotten some great kudos and feedback on this handy little tool. I’m going to be making one for a friend who recently had hand surgery, hoping that it will be very useful.

    Loved that you gave the written directions for using it and would like to ask your permission to also copy the top photo of it being used. This might aid those that are directionally challenged. It’s so clarifying!

    What do you think? If not, I’ll try making one.

    Thanks so much, Rena.

    Lynda

  35. I’m so glad to know how helpful this gadget is for everyone! Thank you for your nice feedback!

    Tamara, I love your innovation of adding the decorative dangle – a lot of people will love that special touch. Thanks for adding that great idea!

    What a nice gift idea for your friend after hand surgery, Lynda – she’ll love your thoughtfulness.

    And yes, you’re welcome to use my image of the bracelet fastener in action – thanks for asking! And if you use the image anywhere online, I’d love to have a link back to Jewelry Making Journal! Thanks! :)

  36. Thanks for such a great blog. YOu always have the best tutorials!

  37. I hit both Lowe’s and Michael’s today, and neither had brass wire, so rather than run around more, I ordered some from one of my favorite Etsians, (Dave at JustWire.etsy.com) and can’t wait to get started!

    I also LOVE the idea of decorating this just a bit. I even thought a good way to use up some extra small beads might be to wire some on to the one side (nearest the “ring”) with Artistic Wire or the like. Also love the above suggestion of the headpin “dangle” on the ring.

    This tool design is so wonderfully simple, and if we can figure out some neat ways to embellish it, it might go for a buck or two more.

    So we already have two ideas for “beading up” this wonderful gadget. Would anyone else like to share more ideas? I can’t wait to get started! Thank you again Rena! You are a “GEM”!

  38. You are a genius. I have a couple of bracelets that I always need my husband’s help to fasten and this is a must make! Thanks for sharing!!

  39. Wonderful, Rena! What a fabulous tutorial, with such great pics and instructions. I know it was a lot of work to put together – thanks much, I love it!

  40. What a fabulous idea and tool Rena. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I will definitely make some of these.

  41. Sharon says:

    Triple wow! This really solves a problem for me. I truly appreciate the tutorial & your sharing of this great tool.

  42. Hi Rena, GREAT project, I know I could use one of these instead of fiddling! Wonderful to “meet” you and thanks for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday, hope to see some more jewelry projects from you!

  43. AWESOME!
    WONDERFUL!
    I have several bracelets that I do not wear because I cannot fasten them.
    You’re a life-saver!!
    I love the other ideas of decorating them as well.

  44. This is such a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing.
    CAS

  45. There were too many comments to read but they all say GREAT! and I agree. I
    made some rough specimens and will continue with some better ones. Now that we have the plan you can patent it.

  46. Rena, This is a great idea and thanks for sharing this tutorial. I do make lots of bracelet and even when I am wearing it I wonder what would be the most convenient and beautiful clasp for this. This solves my problem. Now I can make custom toggle clasps to go with the bracelet and keep or offer this device. The addition to this though, like adding beads in different comments are also very thoughful. Thank you again. I like this new site too, Rena. Take care. Dita. Also I am going to tweet this one.

  47. I made one of these just recently, out of 14 gauge brass wire (Ouch!) that was too hard for anything else. It worked wonderfully. I tested it over and over again while I was killing time at a show and a fellow jewelry artists noticed it.

    She knew it was yours, Rena!

    We’re both making them for our next shows as an add on or freebie with a more expensive bracelet.

    Thank you

  48. Jane Blancher says:

    Brilliant! I keep several on hand in my booth. (I found that the ‘hook’ end doesn’t need to be any longer than just enough to hook the jump ring, thus saving wire.) They have *made sales for me already! Price? If they ask, I respond with, “Just whatever you want to give me!” That way I don’t feel like I’m gouging them for every dollar I can. Otherwise they are free with the bracelet as a complimentary gift. Customers LOVE freebies. I always make sure I give something away at every sale… usually to kids. Last week I gave away my first attempt at a braided bracelet. It was nice but not quite up to saleable status, so I gave it to a little girl. She was so excited! Also, kids shop on a very limited budget, so I try to give them a price break. When they are trying to decide between a couple different items, I’ll offer them a good deal if they buy both items. It delights them and keeps my merchandise moving. Plus, they bring back their friends!

  49. I just found this and I love it. Saw a different kind with the alligator clips, but didn’t like it. Normally I use toggle clasps that I can clasp myself.

    I want to try it and a few packaging ideas for a show in November. Love the ideas you gave.

    Thanks so much.

  50. I just found this website today and have already found so many wonderful tips and ideas. I can’t wait to get started on these! I love bracelets for myself and have been collecting my own jewelry for years before I started making and selling. I can’t wait to make one for myself as I hardly get to wear my lovely bracelets because my spouse leaves in the morning before I even get up so I have no one to put them on me! Will be decorating some as well for sales!

  51. That is such a great tool. I was adding linked chain to the ends of my bracelets that could be held by the fingers against the palm. But then you’ve got this long linked chain dangling from the bracelet and it was still a little struggle. This is a MUCH better solution.

  52. This is an absolute gem! I will not only make it for myself and potential customers, I shall be sharing it on my blog! Thanks Rena for a super idea. Pearl

  53. Thank you. I have and elderly friend who loves wearing her bracelets and this will help her sooo very much.

  54. I finally sat down & made them today – have had the wire for months!!! OH WOW! I embellished mine with beads, beautiful! Easy to make and handy, too! Sent one to mom for Mother’s day! Thank you, Rena!!

  55. Oh, my gosh, if this isn’t the handiest thing I’ve seen in a long long time! The first person I’m going to gift with one of these is myself!

  56. Thanks for a brilliant idea… my Mum has Rheumatoid Arthritis and cannot fasten bracelets because of it, hopefully making one of these may help her. Thanks again.. :-)

  57. Cynthia Townsend says:

    This is wonderful ! I have needed something like this for a long time. I will make some also. Gifts, or to sell, great ideas. thank you so much

  58. PhyllisC says:

    Thanks for the Awesome Tutorial!!! Over the weekend I made several, showed to a couple of friends, NOW I have NONE, and have to make more! LOL. I also stitched up some “cases” like small eyeglass holders, and the “uniqueness” ( lol) of it all is just too much!!! :) Also added a bead or charm. BTW, sold them for $3.00 including case, and no one batted an eye, and these are jewelry people too! Will have to make more for upcoming show; hope they go as well!! I had a little challenge with keeping the 16 gauge wire straight, but used my nylon pliers to pull the wire, and it’s straight NOW!

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