Introduction: Gangsta Geek Cardboard Bling Rings

What does it take to get some Maker cred around here? At least look like one with some nifty DIY gangsta geek bling. Let's say "alleged" gangsta geek. And "Son, pull your pants up your waist, up, way up like Urkel. No one wants to see your drawers."

I know someone out there is wanting to make their own OMG LOL bling ring. LIKE ME.

DISCLAIMER: Gang activity is not suggested nor condoned unless you are part of a group with stated and accomplished goals of social redeeming value. Of course, never ask about the family business.

Step 1: Tis the Gift to Be Simple...

You will need:


Fine grit sandpaper.



Riches beyond your wildest imagination...

A pair of scissors and pencil/straightedge might help too.

Reuse that thin sheet of cardboard that comes packed in new shirts or underwear. Oh yeah, ask your mom for it then.  You can also use the cardboard from an empty box of cereal. 

Any paper glue will do.  I had bought a bottle of  "Tacky Glue". It seems a little bit thicker than regular white school glues and seems to set up a bit faster giving a better tack for crafting.  I guess I will use this stuff instead of my yellow carpenters glue which will take off a layer of skin when it gets dried on your fingers.

I was going to run out to the craft store but the brat said she had a set of faux stick on jewels(rhinestones in various colors and sizes) to spare from her stash of scrapbooking supplies. Use something like that to bedazzle your work.

For paint, I had my metallic gold and silver acrylic paints.  The better metallics are solvent based or from a spray can. They even have a "rub and buff" metallic wax type finish available.  Real gold and silver leaf is overkill. With my water based acrylics I could work indoors. 

I also "borrowed" a gelled fabric paint to use for the 3-dimensional effect on outlining and detail on the rings.

Step 2: Lord of the Rings...

Since the ring is made entirely of cardboard, you have to form your own rings.

First, if your cardboard has a glossy smooth or printed on side, scuff that up with sandpaper.  It will help the glue adhere.

Take a strip about 1/2 inch to  3/4 inch wide to make your ring.

Drag the strip over a table edge to get it to curl up.

Do a test fit around your finger to get the size.

Apply glue along the inside of the strip and roll up into a tube.

Pull to take out the slack and press to make sure all the surfaces are touching. Round it out.

You can clamp in place with tape or hold with a paperclip until the glue sets and holds.

Put aside, preferably overnight to let it dry completely.  

When dry, burnish the edges smooth or sand away the the rough spots.  Fill any gaps and coat with a layer of glue to give it a smooth look.

For the bigger bling, I will be gluing together two rings so that you wear it across two fingers.  I guess if you keep on adding more, you will end up with something that looks like brass knuckles.  Leave that to the professionals.

Step 3: The Other Ring Part...

Since these are so easy to make, you will probably end up making several designs.

My first one is a Bitcoin coin.

Cut out and stack several cardboard disks. Glue laminate them together to get a thick coin blank.

To get that edge detail on a coin, I glued pieces of toothpicks together on the edge. Just snap off to the length needed with your fingers. I should have placed them a little bit apart as the paint later will fill in between the cracks and end up losing the detail texture.

Wait till it dries and sand off the excess toothpick parts.

Sketch out your design for words on a piece that you have checked will be the right size for your bling ring.

Block out where you will cut out.  You do not have to cut each letter out.

Cut several pieces using the first one as a template.

Glue laminate together for a thick piece as a base for your faceplate.

Step 4: 3D Printing...

You can probably make a batch of O0glue.  Add some cornstarch to thicken up your regular glue and pipe that out like cake decoration.

I already had thickened fabric paint which conveniently came in a needle-tip applicator bottle.

Paint the outline of your letters or details on your ring tops.

A second application may be necessary to build up the height of the 3D paint.

Let that dry completely.

Step 5: Assembly Time...

Glue the ring tops to the corresponding rings.

Paint in the desired color.

You will probably need two or three coats of paint. The first coat will be the primer for sticking to glossy surfaces.

Although I had used glow-in-the-dark fabric paint for the outlining, the opaque metallic paint rendered any effect from that inoperable. I guess you could make a cool glow-in-the-dark or UV-reactive version though.

Step 6: Bling, Bling, Bling...

Bedazzzle with faux jewels.

I did not have a bag of small diamonds to encrust the lettering.  I guess you could adhere some glass microballons or photoreflective spheres for that blinding look at night though. I still have about 24.999 lbs of that 80 grit glass microbead sandblasting media left over from my avalanche disk.  Try with normal glitter for sparkles.

Other things you can put on your bling ring.








Green Lantern logo, wait...that's just geeky

One of each element from the Periodic Table

Symbol of any currency



and various other corporate logos

Wear with geek pride! Nerds with attitude.

Maybe I should work on some cardboard grillz next.
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