Don’t Buy DIY: Tom Binns Safety Pin Rhinestone Earrings

Tom Binns is one haute designer who’s been refashioning the way we look at “precious jewelry.” Pieces from his safety pin collection from last year popped up in just about every fashion mag on the planet – and there’s been some cool DIY tutorials for his safety pin necklace (bracelet, in the case of this tute) but earrings there have not been. In fact, the Tom Binns earrings from this collection were notoriously difficult to buy anywhere…leading me to DIY my own. (Well, I would have DIY’d them anyway, since I’m such a cheapskate and like to put my own stamp on things…)

Here’s how (for my version):

You need:
-med-size or small-sized safety pins (I used black)
-pearls (faux, of course!)
-silvertone eyepins
-8″ rhinestone chain (med size rhinestones) (you can scavenge this from a piece of jewelry you already have, or something found at a thrift store, Forever21, or even by the yard from Joann Fabrics)
-8″ rhinestone chain (small size rhinestones)
-oversized rhinestone post earrings with drops below them (scavenged from an ugly pair of F21 earrings)…I know, the original earrings use french hooks, but I wanted a more glitzy, drippy effect to mine
-silvertone jumprings

1. Remove the dangly earring part from your rhinestone earring posts, since we’ll only be using the top.

2. Cut each of your rhinestone chains in half.

3. Pair up one med rhinestone chain length and one small. Thread halfway through a silver jumpring, and attach the jumpring to the earring post drop loop. Each chain will sort of dribble on either side of the jumpring as your earring dangles.
DIY Tom Binns safety pins earrings
4. Using pliers, thread an eyepin through a pearl, cut, bend and loop around the end so the pearl is suspended between two loops. Repeat for each pearl.

5. Using small jumprings, connect the pearl eyepin loops you just made, creating a teardrop shape.

6. Attach teardrop of pearls to main jumpring from Step #3.

7. Randomly pin safety pins throughout the cascade of pearls and rhinestone chain, making sure that the pins will prevent the rhinestone chains from slithering up through the large main jumpring and falling out of your earring.

As you can see, my earrings a bit heavy, so I’ll probably switch out the backs to the comfort acrylic backs that have a larger pad to prevent the whole thing ripping from my earlobe because of the huge weight of them. I also haven’t snipped off the ends of the rhinestone chain where the connector loops were – I’m that lazy!

I feel like a punky Russian princess! Thank you Mr. Binns for such great inspiration!

Happy DIY’ing!


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DIY Patriotic Punky Iron-On Transfer Safety Pin Tank

I’ve been DIY’ing my heart out over here – and I meant to post this on the 4th of July, but as usual, I’m behind. So here it is, this safety-pinned tank, inspired by one I saw in a Japanese mag of yore:

You need:
*1 white tank top (2×1 rib)
*40 black small safety pins
*20 silver medium safety pins
*2 soft-feel iron-on transfers (I chose a black eagle, not because I wanted to, but because they were the only black iron-ons at the store. Jo-Ann’s, I curse you!!)

Easy peasy. Use a seam ripper and blunt scissors to slash one of the shoulder-straps in the center. Pin the slash and around the neckline of the tank with the black safety pins, haphazardly, crossing them over, etc. Add some silver ones for visual interest (I folded down and scrunched the other side too, just for the helluvit.) Transfer both iron-ons following the directions. Hand-wash. Or never wash. Whichever.

Punk? Yup. Patriotic? Kind of – not intentionally. But I thought it appropo for the 4th, so that’s what I wore.:-)

Hope you guys had a happy 4th! (That is, if you celebrate US holidays…;-)



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DIY Cutout Skully T-Shirt (like Pleasure Principle and Barak)

I’ve been hankering after a cutout skull tee since I saw some in last year’s S-Cawaii Magazine [Japanese] from the brand Barak (nothing to do with Prez Obama, I assure you). Trendy Tokyo girls wearing pastel-colored lightweight tees with skull-shaped cutouts over striped tees? Lovely!

(And ironically, Childhood Flames posted her own DIY cutout skull tee inspired by a Pleasure Principle shirt a few months later that had the blogosphere all agog.) How did I go about making mine? (Okay, I know, it’s kind self-explanatory, but…keep reading…)

Regardless of who was first and all that rubbish (likely Barak ripped it off from Pleasure Principle, though they probably took it from the cutout skully tees from the 80’s that just about every hair metal band had back then…), I decided to make my own Barak-style tee, with two el cheapo tees from Target (the striped one, incidentally, is not sewn from striped fabric…the fabric was actually screenprinted with a striped pattern and then sewn together. Like that was cheaper for the manufacturers than actually sourcing a black-and-white stretch striped fabric. Sheesh.) Though I’m technically a Medium, I bought a large for my skully tee, so it will be loose enough to drape over the second layer. Here is the skull that I drew for my pattern:

If you’d like to use these drawings as a pattern for your own T-shirt, right-click on each above [or control-click if you don’t have a 2-button mouse] to save each drawing, and print out landscape format on TWO 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper.  Alternatively, you can just print out the entire PDF pattern + instructions here.

Line up each paper under your tissue-wight tee…

…trace the outlines lightly with sewing chalk or a fabric pen…

…and cut with fabric scissors!

Couldn’t be easier!

I also tried layering the Skully Tee over a black t-shirt for a more Gothic look, and a white tank for a summery ensemble. You could also try with just a bra if you’re daring!

Have fun cutting and slicing, and Happy DIY’ing!


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