Safety pin accessories

Designers appear to have reached into their desk drawers for inspiration this spring, pulling out the New Wave accessory du jour: staples, pins, and zippers utilized in a variety of different ways: exposed, in contrast-color, haphazardly applied as trim, or twisted into 3D shapes. Interestingly, the largest zipper manufacturer in the world, YKK, was one of the official sponsors of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC (even the lanyard for the press badge was a zipper). From the staples on Victor & Rolf’s beautifully cut wool jackets to Sex Pistols-style safety pins and cheeky punk jewelry by Tom Binns – thanks to this hot 2009 trend, low is the new high, and the functional…fabulous.

The hardware-heavy, craftsy felt-flower cuff by Marc Jacobs inspired us to staple, zip, and pin our own…here’s how:



Marc jacobs cuff WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
– large piece of stiff black felt (8.5″ x 11″)
– black thread
– decorative thread or staples in gold (check the scrapbooking section of the craft store)
– 1 decorative button
– heavy-duty gold snaps (2 sets)
– gold soutache braided trim
– 1 heavy-duty jacket zipper (black with gold teeth)
– gold safety pins (1 large, 15 small)
– clear, flexible plastic (like from a vinyl tabletop cover)

– snap setting pliers/hammer+die for the snaps
– stapler
– needle
– felt or fabric glue



1. MAKE THE PARTS Cut the felt into 2 abstract, oblong flower “petals” 2 flower “petals”. To make the triangle-shaped petals, cut the plastic into 2 diamond shapes. Cut the zipper into 3 lengths, each piece measuring 10″ long. Fold each length in the center to make a rounded petal shape; secure the inside with 2 gold staples (or hand-sew stitches in decorative thread).

Diy cuff instructions

2. MAKE THE CUFF AND BASE From the felt, cut out the base of your flower parts: a circle measuring approximately 1.25″ in diameter. Then cut a 2″ wide strip that is long enough to go around your wrist plus a 3/4″ for overlap for the snaps. Use snap-setting pliers (like Dritz), or hammer and die to set 2 snaps (and their counterparts) into the ends. Because they are strong, we chose shanked snaps; alternatively, you could use sew-on snaps.

Diy marc jacobs cuff

3. ADD THE EMBELLISHMENT Using a needle and thread, hand-sew your parts onto the felt base. Start with a felt petal, then a zipper petal, then a plastic petal in a corkscrew design; repeat, attaching each new petal on top of the previous one. Wind the braided trim in and out of the petals in a figure-8 pattern, securing in the center with a few stitches. Then hide all of your stitching with a button sewn into the center. Pin safety pins haphazardly around the edge of one of the felt petals; thread 10 smaller pins onto the larger pin and attach. Complete the look by adding yet more staples or decorative thread.

Diy marc jacobs cuff

4. ATTACH BASE TO CUFF Glue felt base to the center of the cuff. Secure further by sewing around edge of the circle base with decorative thread.

To let the cuff rock out on its own, wear with something demure…or do a full-on Marc Jacobs style, with a nipped-in shrunken jacket, mismatched obi belt, super-long denim pencil skirt, and teeny porkpie straw hat set akilter.

Still have questions? Email me at CarlyJCais AT Otherwise, happy DIY-ing!

– Carly J. Cais

(runway photos via

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