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June 28, 2010

DIY: Nuts Are the New Beads

I was in my father’s basement storage room a few days ago and found myself staring for a good minute at the shelf where the spare nuts and bolts and washers were kept. Except, I didn’t see spare hardware; I saw shiny metallic objects with holes I could put thread through; I saw beads! I’ve always wanted to experiment with beading, and this seemed like a fun place to start.
potential sartorial treasures in my dad’s bodega

Partly inspired by Baartmans and Siegel’s jet-beaded collar and that Prada collection where they did bags decorated with nuts and bolts (Fall 2007), the process for this DIY project flooded my brain in a flash. I could almost see the finished product while staring at those repurposed plastic soda bottles filled with hardware knick-knacks.

This white dress shirt wasn’t getting as much wear as the other more well-made white dress shirts in my closet. However, it had a collar stiff enough to withstand solid metal beading.
white shirt from Zara
I used an assortment of nuts and washers of varying shapes and sizes, and for a touch of Filipino pride, bright copper five-centavo coins as accent pieces.
I started beading the outline of the collar, doing a running stitch along the border, adding a bead on every stitch. I tried not to put any identical beads beside each other, and made sure to lock the stitch every so often to prevent the entire beadwork from coming off in case a thread breaks.
I then filled in the spaces and added two to three stitches per nut/washer to secure everything in place.
Took a little breather here, but it was almost done. I tried to place the prettier beads up front. I love rusty rectangular one and the round one with the star cutout.
And here it is, my obra maestra:
shirt collar encrusted with steel and brass nuts, washers, and Philippine five-centavo coins
Here it is worn:
Ray-Ban sunglasses, Jil Sander for Uniqlo coat, DIY shirt with a nut-washer-and-coin-encrusted collar, tailor-made trousers, Club Monaco ring, NDC shoes
This might have been the most technically challenging of my DIY projects yet, and the shirt wouldn’t have turned out the same if not for the aid of Maricel and her deft hands. But seeing this result after all that effort leaves me doubly pleased. If I were launching a collection today, this shirt may very well be the star of my finishing look.


  • Prêt à Porter P
    June 28th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    well done

  • lei ann
    June 28th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    i love your DIYs & this one is just brilliant in its simplicity! can't wait to try it out…i may also have some 5 centavo coins hanging around…hahaha ;)

  • ergyerg
    June 28th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Looks amazing! I love it and i want to try it out now :)
    Great post.

  • Gon
    June 28th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Brilliant! Lovely idea and i love the way it looks on you in the last picture ;D!

    You go Iz!

  • Taj
    June 28th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    that is so effing AWESOME!!! I'm so doing this!!

  • Tom
    June 28th, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Your best DIY to date. I love the Philippine centavo detail.

  • Russell
    June 28th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    You are too good!

  • Isabel
    June 28th, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Insanely awesome.

  • elizar33
    June 28th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    this is amazing!!!!

  • chauss
    June 28th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    utterly fabulous, my frined!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    xo chauss

  • MuseMono
    June 28th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    wow that took real passion and effort to stitch. You are so creative! I love the look. Oh your tailored pants look so perfect! Name me the tailor! lol

  • Izzy
    June 28th, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    thanks for your kind words, everyone.

    Musemono: my tailor http://www.thedandyproject.com/2009/02/dandy-project-guide-to-getting-things.html

  • Camie
    June 29th, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Izzy, I love it! :)

  • Hard Liquor, Soft Holes
    June 29th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    SO GOOD.

  • Anonymous
    June 30th, 2010 at 5:30 am

    I love the outcome! The thing about your DIY creations is that they look chic and not tacky. There are people who attempt to DIY but the result is tacky.

    I am a fan!


  • Rosanna
    June 30th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    this is awesome :D love how the shirt turned out!!!

  • Kathy G
    July 1st, 2010 at 9:40 am

    That is amazing! I recently saw a necklace made with a ribbon strung through washers and thought I may give that a try.

  • Noelle Chantal
    July 2nd, 2010 at 1:26 am

    you are so brilliant as always, Izzy! :)

  • Mat
    July 2nd, 2010 at 4:22 am

    this is the best one i've seen izzy! i do love all the paint ones but this just looks so damn on-it, like what you could make a business on.

    you made a super job of it

  • thischicksgotstyle
    July 2nd, 2010 at 7:42 am

    this is SO GOOD :D

  • austin
    July 2nd, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    love you.

  • Hapsical
    July 5th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    this is SO GOOD, as always!

  • editor of that blog
    July 7th, 2010 at 12:13 am

    In London 2 weeks ago, I stopped in front of a hardware store that was closed (curses to Sundays!), looked in the window and literally drooled!
    love what you did here.

  • Aaron Christian
    July 12th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    This is an amazing look. Love the fact that your promote fashion for what i believe it is. Creativity, now just about price and trends.

  • inkarlcerating
    July 13th, 2010 at 8:34 am

    omg… omg i admire u

  • Susie
    July 14th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    dear izzy,

    thank you for the kind comment on our blog. it made my day!

    actually, mike just showed me your blog for the first time last night, and i'm in awe at the creativity and playfulness of your style. this diy in particular quite wonderful.

  • Chip
    July 26th, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    fuuuuuck and he does it again

  • julio
    September 14th, 2010 at 8:04 am


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