Introduction: DIY Cufflinks

Picture of DIY Cufflinks

What better way to show a brother you care then by making custom cufflinks for each of his eight groomsmen. Each will receive cufflinks unique to their personality. No special tools are required and materials are well within reason.

So to get started, this is how to make the backings.

Step 1: Rivets Repurposed

Picture of Rivets Repurposed

The backings are made out of clothing rivets. Each is composed of 3 pieces, the button side, the anchor side, and a short section of coat hanger wire to join them. Solder keeps it all together. I got these and all my other materials at the hardware store.

Now that we know how to make the backings, lets move on to the business side of the cuff links.

Step 2: One Likes Rasta Music

Picture of One Likes Rasta Music

Materials: 16 gage steel wire, 22 gage sheet metal, polymer clay.

I made these cuff links by taking wire and shaping a square and a spiral. I then soldered them onto a piece of sheet metal. Next I filed the wire flat and polished it. I filled the recesses with polymer clay the same colors as Rasta and baked it in the oven.

Step 3: Another Likes His Corvette

Picture of Another Likes His Corvette

Materials: 22 gage sheet metal, 18 gage brass.

I cut a Chevy symbol out of brass and chamfered the edges with a file. I then soldered it on to a piece of sheet metal, cut out the excess and continued to file in the Chevy shape.

Step 4: Another Likes Dasani Water

Picture of Another Likes Dasani Water

Materials: 3/8 carriage bolt, photo paper.

This I made by turning a bolt in my drill press and filing until it looked like a bottle. I used a printed bottle for size reference. After I polished it I printed out the label on photo paper and super glued it on. I used an engraver to texture the cap. 

Step 5: Another Likes Dirt Bikes and Snow Boarding

Picture of Another Likes Dirt Bikes and Snow Boarding

Materials: 16 gage wire, 18 gage brass.

First I formed the goggle frame with pliers. I then made it into a curved shape by striking it with the head of a carriage bolt. I used the same process to dome out a piece of brass. I then soldered them together and filed the wire flat. A small piece of brass covers the seam to the wire.

Step 6: Another Likes Firearms

Picture of Another Likes Firearms

Materials: Shell casings, coat hanger.

To make these I pressed shell casings on a socket bit and then used a pipe cutter to cut the primer section off. I then filed the backs flat and soldered them together with a piece of curved coat hanger wire. The lettering is filled in with paint pen. The photos are from ".223 ammo pin" but the idea is the same.

Step 7: Another Likes DJ Tiesto

Picture of Another Likes DJ Tiesto

Material: 2 nickels, DVDR compact disk, photo paper, hot glue.

I first printed out the symbol. Then I separated the layers to a DVDR and removed the silvering with packing tape. I placed some hot glue on a piece of DVDR, placed the paper, added more glue, and then pushed on another piece of DVDR. I double stick taped the piece onto a socket bit and used 100 grit sand paper and a razor blade to shave it to size while spinning it in my drill press. I used epoxy putty to set in to the nickels which are made same way as in “vintage locket” and "polished granite pendant". At the right angle the cuff links are iridescent.

Step 8: Another Likes Basketball

Picture of Another Likes Basketball

Materials: 2 pennies pre-1983. Paper clips for embossing.

I made these basket balls by embossing pennies with paperclips. The paper clips were shaped to match the curves of a basket ball and them hammered onto the pennies. The relief lines are filled with paint pen.

Step 9: Another Likes Xbox

Picture of Another Likes Xbox

Materials: 2 nickels, polymer clay.

I hammered out the detail on two nickels and super glued the photo image of Xbox controllers onto the them. I then used a center punch to mark where I would drill. I drilled out the holes, and shaped and polished the controllers with rotary bits. I filled in the holed with polymer clay and baked them.

Step 10: But How Did You???

Picture of But How Did You???

Typically this would have been 8 different instructables. Consequently, I shortened the instructions dramatically to keep the length reasonable.

I hope all the pictures are helpful however, if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Thanks for viewing.


matthewtweedie (author)2016-07-25

I like that Cufflinks

alliancelimo (author)2016-07-14


YahwehsAnointed (author)2016-05-03

you are gifted....awesome

darrenah (author)2016-03-01

These are really great! Makes me wish I knew more people who'd wear them.

jeves1 (author)2016-02-13

These are freaking awesome mate! Kudos to you

NerdyGirl79 (author)2015-09-24

I'm just starting my project now. Unfortunately I don't have any soldering equipment lying around. I used gorilla super glue instead to hold the two pieces together. Haven't used any of my metal skills since high school-not gonna risk my fingers re-learning that skill set. I'm using shrink dink sheets to make my designs. Hopefully when I get them done I can post a picture of it.

Wish me luck!

Mrballeng (author)NerdyGirl792015-10-03

Make sure you post pictures. I can't wait to see what you make.

MenachemL (author)2015-07-02

I also want to make beer bottles. Did you use a regular bolt? What did you polish it with?

MenachemL (author)2015-07-02

Wow these look awesome! Great job! Very ingenious and impressive!

I was thinking of making links for my brothers birthday. I wanted to make simple circles or squares with a picture in it. I'll use photo paper, and glue it on, then put a frame. But is there a way to gloss the top?

NerdyGirl79 (author)2015-05-07

What size of rivets did you use? I've got a few left over from another craft I did. I was thinking of making a pair of cufflinks for my brother in law's birthday

Mrballeng (author)NerdyGirl792015-05-08

I think they were 3/8". They have to be able to slip through the button hole.

The Prickly Potato (author)2015-03-26

They look beautiful! Amazing work.

Speffeddude (author)2014-11-02

I never knew what one could do with coins! This was truly inspirational. Just one question; how does someone like a certain brand of water so much that they earn specific cuff links for it?

eblake (author)2014-08-08

Are those for sale

natepwarren (author)2014-03-14

Just curious, but what is the diameter of the rivets you used? I found some in very large batches, but I only have a few French Cuffs shirts. I want to make some that are universal for the brothers in my Lodge.

Mrballeng (author)natepwarren2014-03-18

I bought mine individually at Ace Hardware. I think they were 1/2". Great idea to make them for your Lodge Brothers.

robbi1 (author)2014-02-20

all of them are so cool!!! any ideas for a fire fighter?

Mathius (author)2013-12-05

What type of solder are you using? I've never seen anyone solder "black iron" before. I've soldered galvanized using muriac acid as a flux. The acid mixes with the zinc to create a perfect agent to bond the solder, but I've never seen it done with bare steel yet other than actual brazing or welding. I'm also not real clear on how the backs work.

Mrballeng (author)Mathius2013-12-06

It's lead free silver solder. It's in the plumbing section at any home improvement store. I've used it to solder copper, brass, zinc, steel, nickel, and bronze.

Blakeney (author)2013-09-22

This is genius - if you're not already doing so, you have a brilliant future ahead in men's jewelry! Gorgeous stuff.

ceetran (author)2013-07-29

I don't think I've felt the need to comment on any other instructable before but I loved yours so much! The amount of detail and just how perfect the cufflinks look. And I admire all of the materials that you used - like the copper pennies for the basketballs. So great!

Mrballeng (author)ceetran2013-07-29

Thanks! Comments like yours male all the effort worth while. Glad you like them.

SanneLaurenssen (author)2013-07-24

WOW, unbelievable!
I just learned to solder electronics (little circuit board) from my boyfriend, is that similar to soldering the rivets? If I want to make these as a surprise for him I can't ask for help on that part :)

Maybe I have to ask my question differently :) Could I use a 'normal' soldering iron to do this or do I need to buy the fire-breething kind I see in your pictures :D

A fire torch is the best way to do it. A soldering iron would be very difficult if not impossible.

Thanks! Maybe we'll have to buy new tools then, oh no! ;)

Thank you!

Elemental Dragon (author)2013-07-05

You, sir, are an artist.

lordhamington (author)2013-07-01

How did you curve and polish the penny

Mrballeng (author)lordhamington2013-07-02

That instructable is here

tomsmac (author)2013-06-02

the zinc pennies are annoying ...but they come in handy for pouring cufflinks.I might make an instructable for that.Your instructables are very inspiring!

Mrballeng (author)tomsmac2013-06-02

Hey! Thanks a lot!

piro285 (author)2013-01-31

i must say awesome work! how ever i really wanted to see the spiderman cufflink work in the group picture ;)

duncangallimore (author)2013-01-25

This is absolutely brilliant - what ideas! What creativity! What talent! Love your designs, and the professional quality you've finished them to, out of such humble sources.

Schober (author)2012-11-11

Expert use of a penny. Never would've thought of that.

petalee (author)2012-10-30

This is really cool, i might try doing the xbox controller one (mainly because of my limited resources) :)

greenjedi (author)2012-10-20

You are a genius!

chance1234 (author)2012-03-05

Many thanks for posting not just this but all your other tutorials too. Your video on soldering was also very excellent.

Here is a picture of some colt 45 cufflinks I made inspired by your tutorials. A couple of problems I came across when doing this were the following.

The first was ensuring the shells were cut down to the same depth, I was wondering how you you ensured that you cut the exact same size each time ?

The second one was with the soldering, I seems to have developed some red spots on the underside of the shell, would this be a sign of hitting the brass too much ?



Mrballeng (author)chance12342012-03-07

Those look slick! Great job. Cutting shells equally is a game of measuring and comparing. It takes practice to train you eye to see the same thing twice when your cutting two shells (if that makes sense). But don't think that each shell I cut works out as planned. I've ruined plenty. And as far as those pink spots that's oxidized brass. Use a little less heat. You can buff that right off. Thanks for posting a picture. I feel like if I were to zoom out a little I"d see Doc Holiday twirling his other revolver.

ThatKnottyguy (author)2012-02-27

You my friend, are amazing.
You are my favorite author by a mile on instructables.
I love what you do, just keep on posting, I suscribed.
You are the best!

Mrballeng (author)ThatKnottyguy2012-02-28


getoffamycloud (author)2012-01-08

I don't really understand the rivet pictures.
The rivet is permanently closed, isn't it?

Mrballeng (author)getoffamycloud2012-01-13

The rivet would normally be placed through a hole and mushroomed out to secure it in. These rivets are left as they are out of the box.

Jeff-of-all-trades (author)2012-01-04

Here are the cufflinks that I made using a similar method to your water bottles. They were a gift for a friend in memory of his recently departed bachelorhood (a.k.a. marriage).

I did purchase backings, since my several attempts at using industrial rivets did not come out as nicely as your backings with clothing rivets.

Thanks for the inspiration!

You did an awesome job! Your bottle detail is great. I bet they we're a hit! Thanks for posting a photo.

ewilhelm (author)2011-12-25

Picture of me modeling the robot cufflinks you made are attached! I wore these during a presentation on community to Autodesk's CEO to illustrate just how special our community is.

Mrballeng (author)ewilhelm2011-12-25

This is great! What an honor. I'm glad they were of use to you. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

wanna beco (author)2011-12-18

ok, why pre 83 pennies?

Mrballeng (author)wanna beco2011-12-19

Those are solid copper while pennies made after are zinc coated with copper.

wanna beco (author)2011-12-18

you're a freakin genius dude. I looked at that bottle and wondered how the heck you did it. When I saw I never would have guessed. I am a big collector of cuff links and I am single hand-idly trying to bring them back into fashion. You're designs are some of the best i've seen.

About This Instructable



Bio: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
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