13 June 2006, 00:20 by mark hoekstra

geek chique: how to make cuff links


...just to make sure…

never ever intend to put these cuff links into network-hardware like NICs, switches or whatever ever!... It’s gonna destroy your precious hardware for sure!
(I guess, I didn’t try it…^_^ )

The other day, I had this a weddingparty I was invited to…

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The invitation said ‘black tie’ so that meant I had to get there in my tuxedo (we say ‘smoking’ overhere)

But, when I got dressed for the party I couldn’t find my cuff links... I searched all over the place but to no avail. Sooooo, in the end I decided to make some of my own. After quickly inspecting how I could make these items (which I only use at most once a year) I decided to make some quick with materials every geek should have laying around… I guess… so, this is what I made and how I did it:

First of all:

the problem:

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no cuff links… that’s pretty obvious…

materials needed:

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Your regular network hardware tools… some UTP-plugs, some twisted pair-wire, some crimping pliers and that’s about it…

the actual how to

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When you stripped the cable, fold one pair of the twisted-pair-cable and try, just by looking, to make up how big you want to make the loop that’s going to go through your shirt. My advice, don’t make the loop too big to make sure the cuff link, when finished, is going to sit pretty tight on your shirt…

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When you decided how big you want to make the loop, cut the wire accordingly. Of course, we could make these cuff links with only one wire, but we’re geeks and we like some redundancy eh? Next to that, this way we have a choice in getting some colour to our cuff links…

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Then you untwist the wire a little so you can put it in the plug.

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After you’re done, make sure both loops are about the same length…

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and after that, you can finish it off by crimping your cuff links with your pliers….

...making the counterpart

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start with quite a long piece of wire…

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...fold it once…

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....fold it twice and actually attach it to the other parts we just made… Here I show you with some arrows how I folded the counterpart, to make sure the cuff links stay in the shirt (I tried some different methods here, this proofed succesful but if there are people with better ideas, please drop them in the comments).

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...and we’re done!

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...all dressed up and a perfect subtle way to show your geekiness on weddingparties and the like… (imho of course)

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...once again, the finished product…

DIY trackback
oh dear… ;-)

Oh, and I gave away these cuff links…


  1. Przemek [PL] @ 13 June 2006, 09:39 :

    And again… what can I say! Definitely, you are insane. I think this is the most-geek-style clothing accessory ever. 8-]

  2. Sparky @ 13 June 2006, 11:57 :

    Geek chic ! Too cool !

  3. СИРОЖА @ 13 June 2006, 13:57 :

    Да все вы уебаны

  4. Przemek [PL] @ 13 June 2006, 16:04 :

    I’m not sure… does “уебаны” mean something like “fucked up”?

  5. Chris @ 13 June 2006, 16:25 :

    You HAD to use twisted pair – isn’t the standard UTP? Of course, I don’t think they originally understood that Universal meant “for cufflinks”.

  6. mark @ 13 June 2006, 16:33 :

    @4 …euhm… you think I know? ;-)

    Next to BoingBoing, this is also posted on dump.iof.ru (not sure what kind of site that is), so I guess this commenter came here following a link there...

    @5 I’m not sure what you mean but UTP = unshielded twisted pair, just your regular network cable…

  7. Whatever @ 13 June 2006, 17:02 :

    That’s nice… if you are into the hobo look.

  8. BOK @ 13 June 2006, 17:48 :

    Nice – and now also on digg.com (beside BoingGoing).
    BTW: I got 2 TokenRing-connectors left ;-)

  9. Rutger @ 13 June 2006, 18:13 :

    And if I want some goldplated firewire-cufflinks, can I mailorder them here Mark???

  10. Steve @ 13 June 2006, 18:13 :

    I like them. :)


  11. Фиодор @ 13 June 2006, 18:19 :

    гыы, Сирожа жжот!

  12. Paulie-B @ 13 June 2006, 18:29 :

    GENIUS! PURE GENIUS! I know what I’ll be wearing to my next formal event. Thanks for the tut.

  13. jonny @ 13 June 2006, 18:31 :

    you should sell these. here’s the pitch:

    “Want to make a big impression at DefCon or your next computer conference? Ethernet Connector Cufflinks are the most-geek-style clothing accessory ever? Try them out at your next computer convention. Maybe you might get lucky. How can you go wrong with a little convention booty? Is it nerdy? Yes. Is it geek chic at its finest? Absolutely. Let the crimping begin!”

  14. Tony @ 13 June 2006, 19:27 :

    Very nice and so McGuyver of you.

  15. pj @ 13 June 2006, 19:39 :

    You know, this would be so much cooler with BNC connectors…

  16. trail @ 13 June 2006, 19:50 :

    Mark your totaly crazy and thats what we like about you :) And nice load with 5000 unique visitors in 45 minutes!!

  17. Jay @ 13 June 2006, 19:56 :

    One of the dumbest things ever IMO.

  18. pp @ 13 June 2006, 21:33 :

    Definitely geek, but not chic. Try little gold-plated memory cards… Or better yet, find some real cufflinks.

  19. Sam @ 13 June 2006, 22:35 :

    Neat. Next time grab two rack screws and two rack clips for a different look.

  20. Gorgona @ 13 June 2006, 22:39 :

    Уебаны means FUCKIN’ crazy

  21. mark @ 13 June 2006, 23:24 :

    alright, the digg-story (with 549 diggs in 14 hours) got buried. I wrote a little about that on the blog-post for this project…

    Anyways, no need to digg this, it gets buried right away…

  22. Meredith @ 13 June 2006, 23:24 :

    Wow, does being rude make some of you feel better about yourselves? I think they’re very clever.

  23. Bob @ 13 June 2006, 23:47 :

    The real kicker would be to keep the single pair of wires per cufflink, but instead of jamming them into positions 1 & 8, connect pin 1 to pin 3 and pin 2 to pin 6. Then each cufflink would be a working loopback plug. You know, just in case you needed to check some cabling runs or suspicious ethernet adapters at the event.

  24. Hank @ 14 June 2006, 04:03 :

    That’s some nice geek fashion there. Personally, I’d make them a little more stand out.

  25. чото п @ 14 June 2006, 06:04 :

    чото п

  26. kirson @ 14 June 2006, 06:16 :

    в натури уебаны пендостана

  27. герич @ 14 June 2006, 14:23 :

    смотрите в следующей серии – как сделать стильный галстук из кока-коловой баклашки

  28. Я @ 14 June 2006, 17:09 :

    ну нормально

  29. Steve Pinkston @ 15 June 2006, 08:32 :

    You just made a DDS loopback plug!

  30. Daniel Ross @ 15 June 2006, 12:38 :

    Nice. Reminds me of the time I used a very ancient RAM stick as a tie bar. (Just superglue a very large paperclip to the back, basically).

    Doesn’t work so hot with the newer ones, sadly- they’re wider and shorter, it looks tacky.

  31. David Phillip Oster @ 15 June 2006, 17:15 :

    You should have gone old-school, and used male and female BNC connectors attached to each end of a bit of co-ax. Run the cable through the holes in the shirt cuff, then link the cable to itself.

    Accessorize with a belt braided from three longer pieces of coax with mail and female BNCs on each end.

  32. A. Clucas @ 16 June 2006, 05:09 :

    Yes indeed, that sudden formal event always leaves you wondering where you put your cuff-links last time you used them – two or three years ago…. The last time I needed the tux, I could have really used a pair of these!

  33. pops @ 16 June 2006, 19:31 :

    2BaseT (BNC) or gold plated RJ-45s would shine nicely. Clear RJ-45s are more low key. Need to enhance the color of the wire to make it look metalic. Um, strip it first? If it is silver colored, copper color might distract. Cuff Links are usually chrome or silver, or gold.

  34. Frick @ 17 June 2006, 04:31 :

    Great project it inspired me, thanks

  35. SEM Pro @ 21 June 2006, 20:21 :

    I like your style – this innovation is really cheeky and geeky, but COOL! Instead it pointing out, what about making it to be flat? It will really come alive and ungeeky :)

  36. dirt @ 23 June 2006, 01:07 :

    Is very ugly, i think that can be better.

  37. Thierry Henry @ 23 June 2006, 22:54 :

    I shit myself.

  38. ed @ 26 June 2006, 23:10 :

    Very cool! Totally awesome.

    I gotta make me some of that!

  39. nuntius @ 1 July 2006, 05:39 :

    To all the jerkS! You guys suck! These are cool! Would go nice with my motherboard tie.

    I think angling the jacks to lay flat on the shirt cuff might make for a better look, and you might try coating them with some chrome or gold gloss paint. Maybe a Classic Battlestar Galactica Cylon paint job. The clear seems just a tad washed out from the pics.

    So with some experimentation… you could have multiple styles to choose from.

    Also, I think a black female connector would be cool. Maybe you could hook up at the party? LOL

    Great Idea Dude! I’ll be making me a few pair!

  40. Ivan @ 22 July 2006, 08:17 :

    Que buena idea, ja!.

  41. euro dollars @ 29 July 2006, 18:04 :

    Nice guestbook ;) Good luck! qq5tt1ww4rr2ee3

  42. baseacid @ 13 August 2006, 22:09 :

    Completely genius idea. I will be trying that at home

  43. Ellie @ 14 August 2006, 20:53 :

    Me perdi algo?

  44. Jim @ 11 September 2006, 01:39 :

    Aff yer heid, my man! Keep up the good work.

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  46. smartfox.us @ 10 October 2006, 02:23 :

    That is cool. I will have to try that at the next computer security confrence. I have a link about making up bnc connectors maybe I will try it with them. LOL

  47. zer0punk @ 13 November 2006, 21:25 :

    This is cool. I wish that I had found this before the phreaknic con. I would have made some…

  48. jjjeez @ 21 November 2006, 00:47 :

    For next time, you could try doing something with USB sticks, no only functional, but oh so stylish!

  49. CrystallineTulip @ 21 November 2006, 13:26 :

    I love this! I’ll be making a pair for my husband ASAP. For those once-a-year events, why spend so much money on something so easy to make??? Thanks for the totally cute idea!

  50. bryan @ 28 November 2006, 21:39 :

    This even insults my sense of taste, and that’s saying a lot. I can also think of zero times in the past 11 years of networking where I’ve needed any sort of loopback plug for ethernet or DS1.

  51. markie @ 3 December 2006, 22:42 :

    >This even insults my sense of taste, and that’s saying a lot

    well, that says a whole lot, anonymous bryan, as we all know you’re our reference in taste!

    >I can also think of zero times in the past 11 years of networking where I’ve needed any sort of loopback plug for ethernet or DS1.

    Well, than it’s a good thing these aren’t loopback plugs, right? *^_^*

  52. JR-Fire @ 7 February 2007, 12:30 :

    this is such a cool idea! I’ll definately make some for my dad! He’s gona love them.
    I only wish girls wore toxidos:(

  53. Testerzyj @ 8 April 2007, 07:53 :

    Hellospi – this is just a testing, don’t worry about it

  54. mediashark @ 20 April 2007, 08:13 :

    I am a girl and I collect and wear cufflinks. The only challenge is to find blouses to match them.

    These cufflinks are great!

  55. pieterp @ 15 May 2007, 19:42 :

    just made myself some, you are a life saver!!

  56. Rob @ 19 May 2007, 10:39 :

    These are awesome! I was looking for a way to make geeky cufflinks but ended up getting some of the keyboard ones at www.acornstudios.ca . Yours are more fun though

  57. PizDoff @ 30 May 2007, 00:26 :

    Haha that’s great!

  58. Xboxfan @ 2 June 2007, 13:18 :

    wow!! gosh u are just soooo insane…. now thats a perfect Geeky accessory :)

  59. Ernest @ 30 July 2007, 07:40 :


    A geek will never be invited in a black tie party.

    And a black tie party requires STUDS on the shirt front.

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  61. mschenck @ 21 August 2007, 17:22 :

    So these new buy from store cat-5e cables now come with velcro straps, and I only bought because I had to move for a job before I could fully “move”.

    Anyways, my girlfriend loves to use the 6 foot cross-over as a belt, just wrap around X number of times and strap down ;)

  62. rupinder @ 4 September 2007, 08:27 :

    Cuff link Boxes and Jewelry Boxes made from High quality wood. A Great gift to present on any occasion.

  63. Mina @ 1 November 2007, 03:26 :

    You know what I fund a HUGE turn-on. Geeks. Their intelligence (as shown in your making of these cufflinks) puts them in a higher league than the rest of the men , they’re usually very creative which leads to them beind interesting and spontaneous and I just love the geeks. That’s why I married a geek… and they make the best husbands too. I would adore a man who attends a wedding as my partner wearing those cufflinks!! Hooray for geeks;)

  64. jordan @ 3 December 2007, 15:22 :

    i hate this who wants to go around in something like this its completely stupid if you get a better thing out to make ill write you again but for right now you suck bad

  65. Ann @ 28 November 2008, 11:09 :

    Ha Ha Nice Idea…

    Some thing different…

    Another Source if Cufflinks is http://www.supercuffs.com/

  66. Betsy Scruggs @ 20 January 2009, 03:53 :

    We got unique groomsmen gifts and cufflinks from groomsmen.com. Another good place for cufflinks is cufflinksdepot.com – unless of course you are a diy’er and can make those cat5 into a pair!

  67. Carlos @ 10 June 2009, 15:20 :

    This is gay…

    maybe if you color them gold or something they might work.

    but just like that they are just gay…

    YOu could have just used staples…

  68. Amadameus @ 29 September 2009, 08:56 :

    Very nice! Any ideas on what to do with an old stick of 64MB RAM? A keychain is the first thing that comes to mind, but that seems so obvious…

  69. Eric @ 6 December 2009, 22:28 :

    I love this idea but i think the back might look better and stay better if you made it RJ 10 to and RJ 45 in the front. then you can use 2 twisted pairs connecting them directly or make interlocking loops

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  71. battery @ 4 September 2010, 09:28 :

    I can also think of zero times in the past 11 years of networking where I’ve needed any sort of loopback plug for ethernet or DS1.

  72. vakantie turkije @ 7 September 2010, 10:49 :

    Thanks you

  73. moncler enfant @ 19 December 2010, 04:19 :

    Grande. Merci.

As mentioned in the Message from Mark's family this site has been made static. This means that it will be no longer possible to comment on his ideas and projects, but that we all can continue to cherish his creativity.

             you can find all of my projects overhere