Beaded toggle bars are easy to make. Even if you don’t know the peyote stitch that well.
One thing I suggest. Do resist the temptation to continue from your beadwork directly to the toggle bar. Always end your current thread. And start with a fresh thread to connect the toggle bar.
- you make a mistake on placement and need to undo it
- bar is too large or too small and you want to remake it
- need to change the number of beads leading to the bar
- etc, etc.
If you had continued with the same thread as your beadwork, you could possibly ruin your item trying to make these changes. Been there. Done that.
This is what works for me. And I have tried various combinations of seed beads/rows.
Using 8/0 seed beads, gauge how many you will need. I have tried 14, 16, 18 and 20 seed beads. Peyote for 4 rows. Meaning when you count the beads at the top and bottom, you count 4.
Instructions for Beaded Toggle Bar
String 20 seed beads. I used size 8/0. Add a bead stopper.
Beginning on the end opposite the bead stopper, working upward, start adding beads.
Continue adding beads/rows until you have 4 beads at the top and 4 beads at the bottom.
Pinch the beadwork together between your fingers. I used a metal clip to illustrate the folding of the beads.
Begin to sew the sides together.
Zip up the sides by sewing into ONLY the high beads. Those sticking out further. Go from one side to the other, going upward. I like to reinforce the beadwork by going up and down the entire length of the toggle bar with the working thread. Also going up and back down with the tail thread. Try to come out of the same seed bead with both threads. CUT BOTH THREADS.
This is how your beaded toggle bar should look after sewing the sides together.
Once finished, one last thing to do. Insert a piece of inexpensive wire. Artistic Wire, I think mine is called.
Push it through the toggle bar almost to the end. Cut wire, file any burrs, now push the rest of the way. This extra step strengthens your toggle bar. The wire is in tight enough, no need to worry about it coming out. (You could sew a tiny 11/0 seed bead on the ends.)
Connect toggle bar to your beadwork.
You decide how many seed beads are needed to comfortably go through the other end of your clasp.
OK. Now go get your bead stash and try making this toggle bar. And pocket the money you would normally spend buying commercial clasps. Enjoy!!
- Fireline beading thread
- size 10 or 12 beading needle
- 8/0 seed beads
- 2″ piece of 20 gauge Artistic Wire
- bead stopper
- wire cutter
If you need help with the peyote stitching part, see my blog’s sidebar under Tutorials. Lots of help links there.