DIY Cufflinks

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Introduction: DIY Cufflinks

Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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???

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.

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    114 Discussions

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

    These are freaking awesome mate! Kudos to you

    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!

    1 reply

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

    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?

    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

    1 reply

    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?

    Are those for sale

    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.

    1 reply

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

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

    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.

    1 reply

    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.

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

    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!