I got my first taste of technology luxury when I went to the Chanel store on Maiden Lane here in SF back in March and purchased a tiny silver cellphone trinket strap. It cost me $170 but at the time it was worth it for the mere idea that I could own something Chanel besides a lipstick. The silver strap is attached with a black string that you can attach to the phone. It has a square pendant that bears the famous CC logo. The strap itself almost works just like a bracelet. Since I’m a woman and don’t put my phone in my pocket, it worked well when I needed to walk around with my phone so I didn’t just drop it on the floor.
Cellphone trinkets are slowly coming into the US market. It is pretty HOT in Japan right now where any Tokyo girl could have about 3-4 things hanging and dangling off her phone. But if you aren’t into Hello Kitty or any of those cutesy characters, there is a more affordable alternative. As I started to use my phone more with the attached Chanel strap, I realized that this was something I could totally make myself. Women make jewelry all the time, why not cellphone jewelry? I headed down to Beyond Beads, a complete DIY bead shop on Howard Street in search of a mission to make a few prototype trinkets, which I will show you how to make yourself today.
I used my existing strap and the Japanese trinkets I had as a guide as to what kind of materials I would need. I’ve never made jewelry before and I figured it couldn’t be so hard for something small. It’s just a few chains, claps, beads, and the usual deal. I took complete stock of the store, which had everything in fashion according to the last few spring and summer issues of Vogue magazine that I have read. Lots of wood, turquoise, and just beautiful colors surrounded me. I grabbed the little tray to put my beads in and proceeded to walk carefully around the store so that I wouldn’t bump into anyone with a tray or knock into any of the displays containing “hanks” (not tom, rather, hanks are a cluster of beads on a long string).
I decided to start with getting some silver chains. To my surprise, they were not expensive at all. The average was about $1.50 - $2.50 per feet. I was designing by eye here so I just took about 3 chains I thought would look cute. I perused all over and found small enough beads that would look good as trinkets and not be bulky or heavy. I got the necessary clasps, clamps, hooks that I needed. And let me say, there are sooooo many teeny tiny little things that are there. It was confusing, but finally I succumbed to asking the lady behind the counter. I didn’t know what to call the little silver chain holders so I had to show the lady my strap. “Oh, you need clamps!” she exclaimed. Clamps! Riiigght. Now I could get started.
In total I bought this:
3 rose quartz beads
1 natural brown stone
3 silver chains with different styles (1 feet long each)
1 yard of black silk string
1 plastic bag of straight pins
1 plastic bag of circular rings
2 metal claps (to “hook” onto your phone)
4 silver clamps
2 silver large clamps
Total Amount: $15.79
I trinket from missing earring
1 silver bracelet style cellphone strap
1 trinket style dangly accessory
1 larger pair of pliers (didn’t use this much as the regular small pliers)
1 pair of small craft scissors
Cutting pad to work on (protects the table and also keeps the tiny things from slipping.
30 min (give or take) per cellphone accessory depending on how complex you want your design to be. Takes only 5-10 min for existing earring.
You can see the sequence of step by step photos up on my flickr photo set.
Making a Trinket from an Existing Earring
How many times have you lost one earring, only to have a bunch of orphan earrings in your jewelry box? Instead of throwing them away, you can recycle them into other things, like a trinket for your phone. If the look of the earring itself doesn’t look right for your phone, you can go a little further and just extract all the beads. In my example earring, I used a Kris Nations earring, a hip jewelry line run by my good friends, Kris and Kim. Since the look of the earring fit the cellphone look I wanted to achieve, it was easy to make this work.
1) Remove the earring hook
2) Place all the contents of the earring in a circular ring.
3) Then attach the ring to the metal hook.
(Took about 5 mins)
One tip: Make sure when you purchase the little hooks that they are the right fit for your phone.
Making a Silver Bracelet Style Cellphone Strap
I though the brown stone worked well with the season’s bohemian look of browns and wood, allusions to that Boho style of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. I could and probably should have gotten a gold tone for the strap, but I wear more silver in the summer. I wanted something minimal, yet bold so I kept it to one dramatic large stone.
1) Start with the stone and insert 2 small circular clamps in the existing hole of the large stone. The ones I got fit in nice and tight but you can also add a little bit of glue to the clamps before you insert it in.
2) Then add 1 circular ring to each end while looping in the larger clamps.
3) Here’s where a steady hand comes to play. On one end, measure out the silver chain and make sure that when it is “folded” that the actual loop size created is what you want to fit around your wrist. If it isn’t, adjust it with a cut as necessary. With the chain folded in half, lay the two ends of the silver chain to rest inside the clamp. Take your pliers while carefully holding it all together and clamp down on one side and then the other. If its easier, you can do this step before you insert it into the circular ring attached to the bead.
4) Next take the piece of black satin string and cut it to size. This string should be significantly smaller than the length of your chain. Do the same clamping as you did for step 3, only you can extend out the ends of the string past the clamp. After you have clamped down on the string, tie a knot at the other end and trim the excess. (You can also add a bit of glue here if you want.) The string is just a way for you to attach the strap to the phone. You could even also try using those black elastic rubber bands for ponytails for this.
5) Your strap is done! To put it on your phone, loop in the black string through the hole on the cellphone and then loop through the contents of the strap through the string.
Making a Dangly Trinket
Ok so you don’t like bracelets, a more delicate approach for smaller phones is doing a little dangling trinket. I chose some rose quartz that have a nice soft pink and work well with the silver. I thought I could design something stylish with some tiered layers of stones on the chain with some strands of chains in between.
1) First, for each of the 3 beads, insert a silver straight pin through the hole. The pins head should flush to the bottom of the bead.
2) Cut off the excess straight pin for each of the 3 beads, about an inch from the top of the bead.
3) Using your pliers, bend the pin toward the bead till you form a little loop.
4) Now take the silver chain and cut 3 cascading lengths. Since this chain actually has a chain-link pattern, it’s easy to see the break off and cut off the pieces.
5) With the left over chain, cut them to varying lengths as well to make it a nice layered piece.
6) Now take 1 circular ring, and start by attaching the longest chain with one bead.
7) Alternate this with a single chain.
8) Next go with the mid-length chain and bead and repeat steps 6 and 7 till you have finished all the chains.
9) Now attach the circular ring to a large metal clasp and clamp the ring tight with your pliers.
It really is THIS easy. You can follow the steps above as a base model and add to them to make your own creations. Make a few to match your outfits or make it a dazzling one with bling for a night on the town. It can also be a great gift that you can make for your friends.