McLees Jewelry Design MultiStrand Clasp

I’ve had quite a few readers contact me the past few years asking for advice on how to effectively layer necklaces without getting them all tangled up.  I’m here to share a solution to that question. I can’t even recall exactly how I first became (virtually) acquainted with Nancy McLees, but it’s likely through my Jewelry Fashion Tips Facebook page. (If you haven’t “liked” it, be sure to, as there’s 1-2 tantalizing images a day!) Nancy is the the designer and patent-holder of the MultiStrand Clasp, which allows you to create your own layered combination, with only one clasp. I was able to try it out recently, with some strands of pearls and aquamarines, made by Nancy. With this clasp, you can hang various numbers of strands, in different combinations. This example has five strands on the clasp.

nancy mclees multistrand clasp
Here’s what Nancy had to say about her invention.

Tell me about how you originally came up with the idea for the MultiStrand Clasp.

The concept of the MultiStrand Clasp began with my gorgeous five-strand necklace of graduated cultured pearls. I rarely wore them, and I thought that if they could somehow come off the clasp, and were “singles” I could wear any number of them together, and free them from a life of darkness!

When I finally came up with the design for the MultiStrand Clasp I realized how it opened up a new way of creating beautiful interchangeable necklaces to wear everyday! My fabulous pearls were free, and the “necklace du jour” is now a part of the “stacking” revolution in the jewelry world!


The five strands of pearls on the MultiStrand Clasp
The five strands of pearls on the MultiStrand Clasp

The strands that work on your clasp have a (jump) ring on each end, as opposed to a typical necklace, which has a ring and a clasp at either end. Is there a way to transform regular necklaces to work on your clasp?

Yes, you can transform or convert most of your necklaces that use a traditional lever clasp (spring ring clasp and lobster claw clasp) and ring. This can be done by adding a closed jump ring to the clasp side, and a split ring to the ring side. These are available at craft and bead stores.

Traditional pearl clasps are not so easily converted…However, if you haven’t had your pearls restrung in a while (or since Grandma wore them), this is a great time to think about having them become a fabulous, versatile part of your wardrobe! They can be stacked with other pearls, chains, and colored beads and gemstones…and all designed by you for whatever you are wearing that day!

So often I will go into shops I frequent, and the girls say, “So, what did you put together today?” It makes them smile…and me too!


This shows traditional necklaces converted to work with the clasp.
This shows traditional necklaces converted to work with the clasp.

You have finished necklaces for sale on your website. Do you ever take custom orders?

I love designing custom pieces! Nothing makes me happier than a client who has a necklace they need made new. Often they will hand me a sack of broken assorted strands of vintage beads, several generations of loose pearls, or a bag of of beads they purchased at a bead show (they were going to learn how to string them) and well….they’re still in the baggy with the receipt!

Bridal is another area of design work that I do and love. Brides and bridesmaids are happy people who want to have fun and look fabulous! Often, the bride has given a great deal of thought about her wedding day, and how it all should look!

I am happy to work long distance (with help from photos and a tape measure).

The world of “stacking” has been easy for rings and bracelets. Not so for the necklace! Too many clasps on the back of the neck bunching, and tangling is not a good thing. The MultiStrand Clasp is the solution for liberating your beautiful necklaces, and I would love to help!

I often wonder if Coco Chanel would have thought this was cool idea… I hope so…


Here's an example of a custom order.
Here’s an example of a custom order.


A different combination of strands.
A different combination of strands.

JK Findings, who manufactures the MultiStrand Clasp, created a helpful video to show you how the clasp works. (By the way, if you’re reading this on an RSS feed, and it looks like a black box, just click through to the actual blog post to see the video.)

I’ve enjoyed seeing this invention at work, and I’m going to give it a try with some of my own necklaces. If you’d like to find out more, then visit her website. Thanks, Nancy!

mclees multistrand clasp