How To Connect Jewelry Clasps with French Coil

Give Your Handmade Jewelry Piece a Professional Touch - Photo Tutorial


I will be using a simple sterling silver hook clasp (above).  You can use any type clasp, as the results come out the same.  Although, if you use this type clasp, please make sure it is in a large size because the smaller sizes tend to be more fragile and unbend if pulled too hard.


You will need these supplies

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Crimp covers (below left).

  • Jewelry glue
    I use G-S Hypo Cement (below right) to seal my knots, which can be bought in many places off the net, just do a search.


  • Silver beads
    I use small, round silver beads as end-beads.

  • Beading needle
    I use a Light Twisted Steel Needle because it is flexible and fits through tiny holes.
    It is the needle of choice for beading pearls, too. It can be bought through the Rio Grande catalog.


  • Beading thread (below left)
    I use 'Stringth Bead Cord' from the Rio Grande catalog (I will refer to it as 'thread').

  • French Coil (below right)
    It comes in silver or gold. I also get it from the Rio Grande catalog.





  • First, pull out approximately 3 feet of thread from spool.  That is for a necklace length, pull less for a bracelet.  Thread it onto the needle and pull needle to the halfway point on the thread so you have 2 threads of equal length.
  • Put a slip knot at the end with both threads, but leave some extra as shown in photo below (you will pull it out later).
  • Note: A slip knot is simply an unfinished 'regular' knot, only you do not pull it all the way through the hole.  Just like tying a shoelace, where you push part of it through and tighten.

Step 1 photo


STEP 2  See NOTE (below) first.

  • Thread 2 small silver beads and bring them down to just above the slip knot.  VERY CAREFULLY (it is very delicate), string the French coil (cut 2 pieces approx 1/2" - 3/4" in length), then string one of the clasp's end-rings.  I keep the clasp hooked together because it's easier to work with, as shown in photo below.
  • You can see two round rings at each end of the hook.  The one with the thread going through it is what the hook goes into from the other end of the necklace or bracelet.
  • The twisted wire needle does bend a little, so be careful with that as well. As seen in photo it has gone through many cycles (but is still usable).

NOTE: Before adding your end-beads, test the inside hole to make sure it is large enough for 2 threads to go through twice.

Step 2 Photo



  • Thread the needle back through the first silver bead nearest French coil.  Keeping other clasp connected also prevents losing it.

Step 3 Photo



  • Pull thread securely (but not too tight) so both sides of the French coil wrap around the clasp and butts against silver bead.

Step 4 Photo



  • Take out the slip knot and tie 1 or 2 knots on top of first silver bead, making sure not to let the other silver bead fall off. Be sure not to tie it too tight, or you might squish the French coil. 

Step 5 Photo


The first knot is securely tied.



  • Thread needle through the 2nd silver bead and pull bead down next to first knot.

Step 6 Photo


STEP 6 (continued)

  • Tie 1 or 2 knots after 2nd silver bead. 

Step 6 Photo



  • Make sure you have something underneath to protect the surface you're working on. For the sake of taking the photo, I had to lay the glue tube down.
  • Hold the glue tube in one hand while holding the knotted clasp end in the other hand, then place a drop of glue around all sides of each knot, then let dry (10-15 min, depending on humidity or dryness in your work space).

Step 7 Photo



  • After glue is dry, the knots will be stiff.  Cut off excess thread as close to the last knot as possible without cutting into the knot.  Be sure not to cut the thread which the needle is on.
  • Then apply another drop of glue to the area that was snipped.  Allow another 10-15 minutes for glue to dry.

Step 8 Photo



  • Start beading.  Make necklace/bracelet as long as you want, but leave 6-8" for knotting clasp at other end. 

Step 9 Photo



  • After last bead is added, thread two silver beads, the French coil, then the clasp's other half. 

Step 10 Photo



  • Thread needle back through first silver bead nearest French coil.  Bring both silver beads and French coil close to your last bead.

Step 11 Photo



  • Pull thread so French coil wraps around the clasp ring and fits snugly against last silver bead. Make sure there is very little space left between silver "end" beads and your last bead strung, but leave just enough room to make your knots.

Step 12 Photo



  • Working backwards, the last silver bead becomes the first.
  • Tie one or two knots after the first silver bead nearest French coil.

Step 13 Photo



  • Thread needle through second silver bead and tie another knot.  Glue around both knots. Allow 10-15 minutes for glue to dry.
  • After glue dries, snip off excess thread and add a touch of glue to the part you snipped. Allow another 10-15 minutes for glue to dry.

Step 14 Photo


FINISHED WITH BEADING & KNOTTING -But it still looks untidy (below).


You can use a crimp bead on your knots, but again, it's still going to look untidy (see photo below).

Here is a gold filigree clasp with crimp beads. Not attractive at all.




  • But you can squeeze a "crimp cover" (below) over the crimp beads, or instead, around your knots as shown below and it will look like another silver bead.
  • Use a needle nose pliers to squeeze the crimp cover until both open sides meet evenly, but be careful not to squeeze too hard.

Step 15 Photo



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