Search This Blog

January 31, 2014

Free Tutorial: Wire Heart Clasp

This tutorial will show you how to make the heart clasp from the infinity link bracelet project pictured above. This is a beginner level wire project, but it may take you a few tries to get the heart to be the size and shape you want.

Make several until you have the what you need for the project. Then hold on to the practice ones. You will always find a project that needs a little love, which is the perfect project to use the extra wire heart clasps.

The techniques used for the wire heart clasp are how to make an open wire loophow to smooth wire ends, and optionally, how to hammer and tumble your jewelry.  As part of this tutorial, you will learn to shape the wire with your round nose pliers or stepped mandrel pliers.

You will need the following tools and supplies. 
These are optional if you want to hammer and tumble to finish the clasp:
**Making a purchase using the links above may result in a small commission for me at no cost to you.

measuring piece of 18 gauge wire

1.  Cut a piece of wire for your heart clasp and file the ends smooth using the emery board or file.

Each of these clasps use about 2.5 inches or 65 mm of 18 gauge copper wire.  Using a longer piece of wire and trimming the excess may be easier when you first learn how to make this project. The wire length will also determine the finished size of the heart clasp.  The clasp dimensions are about 15 mm x 15 mm or 5/8 x 5/8 inches. 

If you are making a larger clasp, you may need to use 16g wire.  It will be harder to form the heart shape, but the thicker wire will help make a clasp that will not bend out of shape.

I like to use ParaWire copper based craft wire that comes in a variety of colors. The link is to an article about ParaWire.

Piece of wire held in middle by round nose jewelry pliers

2.   Grasp your wire in the middle with your round nose pliers.  You can just eyeball it - but you can measure it if you want. It seems the wire heart comes out a little off center no matter what - but that gives it handmade charm.

wire bent into a U shape around round nose pleirs

3.  Bend the wire ends towards each other around the tip of the round nose pliers to make a U shape.

wire loop on round nose pliers

4.  Continue wrapping one wire around the pliers until you have crossed the wires and formed a loop.  The crossed wires make a little more than a right angle.  

This is the top of the heart, so you want to make sure there is a V formed by the crossed wires. If you push the wires so they are straight, the top of your heart will be flat.

wire grasped by round nose pliers above the loop to bend a curve

5.  Grasp one side of the wire with the thickest part of your round nose pliers right next to the loop.  You are going to start to gently bend the wire over the barrel to make the top curve of the heart.  You can also use mandrel pliers for this step.

6.  Curve the wire a little at a time, then slide the pliers further away from the center loop and keep bending slightly until you have a gentle curve.  

If you wrap the wire tightly around the barrel, the curve will be too sharp.  It is easier to make little adjustments and this helps create a smooth curve.

7.  Once you have half of the heart formed, repeat the same process with the other wire.  Make gently bends around the round nose pliers to form the other half of the heart.

8.  Ta da... It's getting there!

9.  Continue to make adjustments until you have a heart shape.  Try to join the wires so one wire is slightly longer than the other.  The longer wire is where you make the loop to join the clasp to the jewelry.

10.  Using your round nose pliers, turn a simple loop on the longer end of the wire.

11.  Bend out the other end of the wire ever so slightly to form a catch.  This will help guide the jump ring into the clasp when it is part of jewelry. Use emery board nail files and buffers to smooth the wire end.

A final step is to tidy up the shape of you clasp.

I use these Three Step Wire Looping Round Nose Pliers 5mm, 7mm, 10mm.  They have a small  jaw that fits perfectly to help smooth the round shape at the top of the heart.

If you don't have pliers like this, you can use any stiff round item of similar size, like the top of a pen.

12.  Your clasp is done!  But it may not be ready to use yet...  

To strengthen the clasp, the wire may need to be work hardened.  You can do that by lightly hammering the wire on a bench block or anvil or by putting the clasp in a tumbler with stainless steel shot. Sometimes the wire hardens enough from the process of bending it, but the light hammering can be decorative as well as hardening.

Now add your clasp to something fabulous!  In this case, it's the infinity link chain I made the other day.

Are you looking for more wire heart themed jewelry making projects?  Try these:
How to Make a Heart Shape Wire Frame for Beading or Wire Wrapping
Make Four Heart Shaped Beading Frames at Once
Heart Shaped Bead and Wire Jewelry Design DIY
DIY Beaded Wire Heart Necklace

Never miss a project...

Get notified of my new posts by email, twitter, on facebook, or whatever other social media you like to use.

Follow the appropriate link and you'll get wire and jewelry projects delivered direct when they are posted.

By email: You can sign up by providing your email and you will be notified of new blog posts plus special offers.

By liking my page on Facebook: Lisa Yang Jewelry on Facebook

By following me on Pinterest: Lisa Yang Jewelry on Pinterest

By subscribing on YouTube:  Lisa Yang Jewelry on YouTube

And Instagram: @lisayangjewelry


  1. Perfectly timed to the upcoming holiday, Lisa! I just made a bracelet with this clasp in sterling silver for a good friend. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Great tutorial!
    -Amelia at

  3. Thank You Lisa, for a great tutorial.
    (((HUGS))) Halina in Australia

  4. TremorsToTreasures JewelryOctober 04, 2016

    Really nice tutorial. Thank you!

  5. If I'm using 16g copper wire instead of 18g, should I try using more than 2 3/8" of wire to make the heart clasp. I'm having a hard time making it look like a heart.

    1. Yes, when you are using thicker wire, you will need a larger piece and may even need to make the finished piece a little bigger. 16g copper is probably a little more difficult to bend smoothly, but I'll bet it will work with some practice.

  6. Thanks so much for all your help and your teaching skills for free..I have been trying to learn on my own and have had a pretty hard time with everything but I know now that I can have your help and I really appreciate it. Much love from megan in new mexico

  7. This so cute! Thank You!