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August 15, 2010

DIY: The Matchbox Car Bracelet (That Transforms into a Necklace!)

I was once again bitten by the DIY bug a few weekends ago and decided to make a bracelet out of die-cast matchbox cars.
my loot from the toy store I had not visited in years
I wish I could claim full ownership of the idea, but it belongs to this one lovely lady shot by Dam Style, which is, coincidentally, owned by the authors of that Fashion Blog book. Hers was colorful; I, on the other hand, decided to infuse my love for non-color into this piece:
One white car in a sea of black: When I was growing up, my father had a fondness for white automobiles. While all the neighbors went through their lipstick red car and nasty golden-beige car phases, we were always the family with the white car. Now, living in downtown New York where guys’s wrists are commonly decked in leather jewelry and vintage Casio timepieces, I’m the guy with the toy cars strung around his wrist.
Here’s how I made it:
Using a pair of pliers, I forcibly pried the wheels and axles off the cars to get them ready to be strung together.
I then threaded them with clear elastic beading cord (available at any crafts/jewelry supplies store), knotted the ends together, and brushed the knots with clear nail polish to seal them.
And here it is worn, the lone white car becoming the focal jewel of the piece.
It is quite a beauty, but I’ll be honest and say that this bracelet is not the most wearable of DIY pieces, the heavy metal combined with the embossed plastic bottoms making for quite an uncomfortable wearing experience.
What it is, however, is easy to put together and dismantle, so, for dinner that night, I elected to break the cord and string three of the cars through black cotton rope and turn it into a necklace:
The combination of coloring-book elephants and toy cars made for an outfit that reeked of a longing for boyhood.
DIY matchbox necklace, Paul Smith shirt, Topman belt, Cheap Monday jeans, vintage lace-ups
I always say the best pieces of jewelry are made out of common household items. Those you can break apart and put back together, even better!
EDIT: The original idea for the matchbox car comes from Alter Ego by Erika Walton. Check out their site and their Facebook page.


  • Chip
    August 16th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    you are too damn good

    FUCKKKKKK so creative

  • Anonymous
    August 16th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I think the necklace looks better. :D Nice idea. Whoever thought of it.

  • Caroline
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    That is so cool :D both the necklace and cuff look great.

  • Robert
    August 16th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I like the bracelet idea! That really is creative. Not sure about the other applications

  • elizar33
    August 16th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    love it as a necklace!

    will try this definitely!

  • The Shady Chronicles of P and D
    August 18th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Genius! And that elephant print is so quirky-cool.

  • Giancinephile
    August 19th, 2010 at 2:18 am

    Really lovin' the playfulness going on here, Izzy!! !! ;)

  • Mat
    August 24th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    that certainly does make some heavy duty bracelet action, well worth it though

  • Russell
    August 27th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    I made a version of the bracelet with red and blue trucks and el caminos; definitely heavy and semi-uncomfortable (would a thin rabbit fur lining under it be too decadent and ridiculous?) but god help me I felt like a threat.

    Thanks for keeping dandyism fun!

  • Izzy
    August 27th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Russell: I'm very pleased you went out and tried the project on your own. Rabbit fur is never too decadent!

  • Yen Sid
    September 19th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    never destroy toys :( u should try to figure out another way of crafting such a bracelet without destroying/removing parts.

  • jasmina
    December 1st, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Hey! so did you know that "Dam Style" blog actually got there idea from the brand that originally came up with the car bracelet, Alter Ego By Erika Walton… We love your creativeness of DIY, its a lot of hard work and fun!
    We recycle all toys from the 50's-90's and decorate them with fine gems, vintage beads, pearls and crystals! Alter Ego By Erika Walton is sold in over 200 stores around the world, famous stores such as Comme Des Garcons, Patricia Fields and Irregular Choice carry the line! Top fashion magazines have featured the line and celebs wear it! Please check it out at ALTEREGOJEWELRY.COM and http://www.facebook.com/AlterEgobyErikaWalton and give original credit! We love your blog! Stay Fabulous!

  • Izzy
    December 1st, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Jasmina: Thanks for the heads up. Just edited the post!

  • jasmina
    December 1st, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you for the edit! Just to let you know, we're offering free shipping codes the whole month of December. Just "like" us on http://www.facebook.com/AlterEgobyErikaWalton and presto!
    Please keep in touch we love your blog!
    Happy Holidays!

  • Joset
    December 4th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    that is so awesome.

    look at all the matchbox cars in this commercial, i think they used thousands.


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