DIY Punk Tom Binns style safety pin & skull necklace

Like many others, I’m entranced by Tom Binn’s jewellery which fuses a punk aesthetic with high couture for a unique finish.

Fab, right? But it costs over 600 pounds!!

Some of the best DIY’s I’ve seen on this are from Monoxious  and the letter CH, but hell, just get googling and you can find more. Here is mine:

Cobweb top – Alice Auaa
Corset – Gallery Serpentine
Sequin Skirt – Sportsgirl

What You’ll Need

1. A necklace – I chose one with multi strands of chains so I could get a chaotic, layered effect

2. Skulls, beads, charms, chains, maybe little bones…and safety pins! Raid your jewellery drawer and craft cupboard – you never know what you’ll find.

What To Do

1. Have a good look at your chain and work out where to put your various elements. I decided to only use the chunkier chains in my necklace for the bulky skull beads etc.

2. Start placing the beads and charms, attaching by means of safety pins or existing link chains, and take off again if they don’t work.

3. At a certain point you’ll need to affix your chain necklace to something that will keep it steady while you add more beads, chains etc…Otherwise the little beads may end up on the wrong side when being worn. I discovered this was happening with my little bones especially. I used a foam mannequin head and stuck pins through a couple of the chain loops at the back to hold it firm.

4. Keep going, adding and subtracting elements as you see fit. In my case, I took off the skull earrings as I felt they looked a bit tacky, and added more skull beads in various sizes instead…and more safety pins! (I had to rush up to the dollar shop for more, heh).

5. Try the necklace on, to see if the effect when worn is what you’re after. And make a bracelet to match, while you’re there! (Toyah Wilcox/Siouxsie make-up entirely optional)

(And, erm, take out the trash before you take a photo, OK? You’d THINK hubby would’ve noticed that before he took the pic – sigh…..)

There are lots of other exciting things you can do with safety pins and chains – why not pick your fave designer and attempt a DIY? This blog Brook & Lyn took a Moschino jacket and copied it using lots of tiny gold safety pins around the collar.

For myself, I’m eyeing off Balmain’s latest military jackets that have chains adorning each buttonhole and frogging, and the dress completely covered in fine gold chain. Hmm, gonna need a whole lotta chain…..

Have you DIY’d anything with safety pins? What would you like to make, if you did?

DIY leopard strappy spats

I saw this picture in a magazine, and decided I wanted to DIY something similar.  I really liked the way the black additional piece buckled over the white shoe, to make it something more creative (although I suspect it was attached to the leggings).  It’s not exactly a spat, because spats cover the whole foot, so I’ve called my invention “strappy spats” instead.
I decided I’d do my own version – but in leopard print!

How did I do it?
1. I got a piece of paper and started copying the basic shape.
Then I started cutting it out (as you can see, above).  I cut 2 pieces of the shape and sticky-taped them together in the middle – this way, I could adjust the pieces when on my foot to get a better fit.
2. Then I tried the shape on, to see how it fit my foot.
Where it was a bit big, I’d overlap the pieces of paper and tape them.  If the ankle straps or the under the foot flaps aren’t in the right position, amend them or get new bits of paper and change the shape/angle. I eventually made the straps from a separate piece of paper to get the angle right on my ankle.
You’ll get the best fit if you keep making little snips here and there, and taping to fit your foot as you go. You may have to undo the tape at one ‘seam’ to get it off your foot again, so use tape that can unstick easily. 
3. When I was satisfied my paper template was pretty much correct, I grabbed my material.
Cue my gorgeous leopard print cowhide!
I got mine in Tokyo, where at Okadaya and Tokyu Hands you can easily get leather goods. In Sydney you can go to Birdsall Leather & Craft, or google for one in your city. If you’re vegan or prefer not to wear leather, then PVC or vinyl is for you – try material shops.
4. Having taken the paper template off my foot (snipping it down the back to get it off), I flattened it out, placed it on the leather and traced around it.
5. I then turned the template over and traced one for the other foot. The template isn’t totally symmetrical, because your foot isn’t – hence the need for a mirror image.
6. Then it’s time to cut them out. You end up with something like this.
Except that in this picture I’ve already put the laces in.
7. I simply grabbed my hole punch…
punched a hole in the end of each ankle strap, grabbed my elastic lace
and threaded it through the holes, like so
8. Then I just tied the ends round my ankle like this (as modelled by my lovely water bottle, heh). You can tie it into a bow to make it prettier, and tying a knot at each end stops the laces from coming through the holes once they’re threaded.
9. After this, you can either :-
* sew a strip of elastic to each of the bottom flaps (to go under the sole of your foot)
* sew some velcro to each side to likewise stick together when under your foot
* be really lazy and just tuck the ends under your foot (not good for going out though)
And VOILA!! Strappy spats!!
Then, I tried them out with a variety of my shoes to see which looked best!
Check the instep and the outstep to see if it looks OK.
One with; one without. See how the strappy spat jazzes up the shoe? Under or over the straps can work equally well.
How about on my spiky wedges, or EGL crown shoes?
They even work with my strappy silver babies
…and my super high teal platforms
See? Fashion forward or what?
I’m next going to make some little leopard clip ons for the front of the shoes, to tie it all in and make the design more coherent.
Then, of course, theres the handbag to overhaul…
Anyway, as I run off and try some more DIY ideas out, won’t you give this one a try? And if you like it, be sure to tweet, StumbleUpon, show some Bloglovin’ or whatever. Thanks!!

How To Make a Felt Pillbox Hat (part 2)

Here is part 2 of How To Make a Felt Pillbox Hat. Part 1 is here.


The result:

How To Make A Felt Pillbox Hat (part 1)

Ever wanted to know how a felt pillbox is made?

Below is a video showing me making a small cocktail or pillbox hat, using felt, a hatblock and a steamer.  I show how to stretch the wool over the block.  After steaming and blocking, I pin the wool to the block to keep its shape while it dries, then trim off the excess. Here is where part 1 ends.

In part 2 we get to stiffening, strengthening, decorating the hat and adding attachments such as elastic or combs to affix the hat to the head.


Part 2 of making a felt pillbox hat is here.

Cocktail hats, mini-hats and where to get the materials

Who doesn’t love a little cocktail hat or mini hat?

Well, actually there are a few; mainly those who are scared of hats in general. But can I say these are just the easiest to wear, can flatter all face types…and are better than just wearing a woosy fascinator!

A cocktail hat may be a classic pillbox, possibly a small dish hat, maybe even a mini bowler or tophat. It is something small and dainty enough to perch on your head on a jaunty angle – natch!


Since I’m currently working on a DIY video on blocking a cocktail hat or pillbox out of felt, I thought it might be timely to first list a few suppliers.

You may recall my DIY Embellished Headband post, in which I used a flat felt. I’m likewise going to be using wool felt in some upcoming hat projects.

The felt I use in the upcoming video is from a supplier called B&M; Felt, which I found at  Finders Keepers last month. You can buy the felt in either 2mm, 3mm or 5mm thickness, and in various sized squares or by the metre. I bought a few squares in a fuchsia colour called Lloyd, and a green called Apple, but there are many others.

They specifically deal in felt, but for overall millinery supplies, you may want to go to the specialists. Here are some Australian ones,  but just google ‘Millinery supplies’ to find some in your own country and town.

Milliners Workshop (aka SA Brown)
De Lew Designs
Torb & Reiner
C J Preston

For feathers as well as some millinery supplies:

General craft supplies:

I’ll list more specialty suppliers, such as for diamantes or leather, as I come to them in the DIY’s. I hope you stick around and check them out!