How to add clasps to friendship bracelets

I used embroidery floss samples this weekend to make a few friendship bracelets. For the first time, I might add. When I was a kid, shoe pins were all the rage instead of bracelets at my school. I've never made a knotted bracelet before, but since little girls can do it, it would be embarrassing if I couldn't figure it out, right?

Purl Soho's tutorial and taught me everything I needed to know. Check out the gallery here for some amazing work. That site has 23,000 patterns. Holy smokes!

I wanted my bracelets to be easily put on and taken off without having to tie them in the traditional way. None of this "leave it on until it falls off" business. That's probably friendship bracelet blasphemy, but so be it.

I like a more polished finish instead of ratty dangling threads. I went to my local hobby store and got some jewelry clasps which are easy to add.

For wider bracelets (10+ strings), a wide crimp connector can work well. A narrower fold-over crimp-head clasp can also do the job. If your clasp doesn't have an attached jump ring, you might need a couple of those, too. And finally, a lobster clasp or a spring-ring clasp will hook the whole deal together.

To use the wider clamp version, cut the loose threads off both ends of the bracelet.

Add a little glue to hold the threads together at the end and work it in with your fingers. I used Aleene's Tacky Glue. After the glue dries for 5 minutes or so, push the end of the bracelet inside the clamp. Then press the metal closed with a pliers. The clamp has tiny teeth that dig into the thread so it won't come apart.

Use a couple jump rings if needed and add the clasp of your choice.

Or, try a fold-over crimp clasp. Cut the loose threads off your bracelet, leaving about a quarter inch. Roll some glue around with your fingers until the loose threads are twisted together. When the glue is dry, trim off any excess length and insert the end into the clasp. With a pliers, fold over one flap of the clasp, then fold the other on top of it and squeeze. Add the closure of your choice.

You can get these jewelry findings at bead stores or all over in the supplies section.

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