Slide lock clasps (or "slide clasps") are ready-made findings that are great for finishing the ends of peyote stitch cuff bracelets. They're available in a variety of lengths to accommodate various bracelet widths. In this tutorial, I walk through the process of attaching a one-inch long slide clasp to a bracelet made using the free zig zag peyote pattern.
Tip: Slide clasps are also used to make multi-strand strung-bead bracelets. You can string beads on beading wire and attach them to the rings on the clasps using jump rings.
Please click on any image in this tutorial for a full-size view.
1. Gather Your Materials
Most importantly, you'll need a slide clasp that is approximately the same width, or slightly more narrow than, your bracelet band. Shorter clasps have fewer metal rings than longer clasps. For the example bracelet, I used a clasp with four rings, which means that I'll need to make four beaded loops on each end of the band.
To attach the clasp, you'll need the same essential beadweaving supplies that you used to make your bracelet band, including seed or cylinder beads (such as Delicas) to make the tiny beaded loops.
2. Position the Thread for the First End Loop
This technique uses beaded end loops that attach directly to metal rings on the clasp. You can use the existing thread tails at the ends of your bracelet band, if they are long enough.
If you're able to plan for your clasp before you start beading, I recommend leaving a two-foot long tail of thread at the beginning of the pattern. You should also have about two feet, at minimum, of thread left at the end of your beadwork when you finish the pattern.
If your thread tails are too short, weave them into the beadwork and trim them off. Then add a new length of thread (about three feet long) to one end of the band.
Weave through the peyote stitch beadwork, and bring the needle out through a high bead in the place where you want to make the first loop. Lie the clasp next to the end of your beadwork to help you select this location. You won't always be able to center your clasp perfectly on your band, but you can come very close if you're careful.
3. Make the First Loop
Pick up four beads (I used the same size 11/0 Delicas from the pattern) and pass through the first metal ring on the clasp from front to back.
Pass again through the bead that your thread currently exits at the end of the bracelet band (I'll call this the "base bead"), and pull the thread taut.
Pass through all four beads in the loop, and through the base bead, a total of two more times to strengthen the loop. Pull the thread tight when you finish.
Tip: Take your time when attaching your clasp. After spending hours making the band, you'll want to avoid introducing mistakes.
4. Reposition the Needle
Weave through the beadwork and bring the needle out through a high bead in the place you want to make the second loop. When you hold up the clasp to determine the second loop's placement, make sure that the clasp does not spin around and cause your first loop to twist.
5. Complete the Rest of the Loops
Make the second loop exactly the same way you made the first: bring the needle out in the same direction, string four beads, and pass front-to-back through the second metal ring on the clasp. Pass through the entire loop two more times to make it extra secure.
Weave through the beadwork to make the third loop, and then the fourth. Weave-in and end the thread, switching direction several times so that the thread is secure.
Related video: How to Weave-In Beading Thread
6. Align the Clasp With the Other End of the Bracelet Band
If necessary, start a new thread on the other end of your bracelet band (if you do not have a long thread tail to use).
Align the latched clasp next to this end of the bracelet to help you decide where to make the first beaded loop.
7. Make Loops and Attach the Clasp to This End
Make loops to attach the clasp here the same way you did on the first end of the bracelet. Always bring the thread out through a high bead in the same direction, pass front-to-back through each metal ring, and keep the thread pulled tight.
After the first or second loop, feel free to unlatch the clasp to make it easier to maneuver the needle through the loops.