One of the comments I frequently hear is that people HATE bracelets with toggle clasps.
“I always lose them.”
“They are hard to put on.”
“They fall off so easily!”
I try to educate the women who make these comments about toggles, because they can be beautiful, stay on, and be easy to get on and off if you know a few important pointers.
1. Bracelets with a toggle clasp must fit properly. They cannot be super loose on your wrist, and you will lose them if they are. A bracelet needs to be just slightly larger than your wrist. Too snug and it will be uncomfortable, not to mention hard to put on; too loose and you run a high risk that the bar will slip right out of the ring.
To measure for a bracelet, put a cloth tape measure around your wrist just above (toward your elbow) the bone. Add 1/2-1″ for your bracelet size (depends on the beads you are using – larger circumference beads require a longer bracelet!). My wrist measures 6 1/4″ and a 7 1/4″ bracelet fits me perfectly.
2. Carefully check the toggle bar to ring (or square, triangle, whatever shape you’ve got on the non-bar end). The bar end should extend well beyond the widest part of the ring on both sides…and make sure if you have an oval or rectangle ring that you check the longer side too! (I made a bracelet for a gal, and the bar kept turning and slipping out of the length of the ring!) If the bar isn’t at least a couple of centimeters longer, don’t buy the clasp!
Don’t be fooled by expense, either. I’ve had cheapo toggles that were made well and held up nicely, and then again, have had some very expensive toggles that were worthless becuase of the design.
3. Finally, when designing your bracelet, leave some leeway for a “threader”. The last centimeter or 1/2″ of your bracelet before you finish with the toggle bar should be comprised of small chain, jump rings, seed beads, or other small beads. The idea is that you should be able to “thread” the toggle bar and a bit of the bracelet through the ring to make it easier to put on. With some practice, even the klutziest person (that would be me!) can put on toggles in a second!
Toggles come in some great shapes and designs, so don’t be afraid to use them. I especially like the designs that have a bowed bar (shaped like an upside-down W), like stock SS-TOG20 at ArtBeads.