Alexa from House of Cach has awesome style and now owns this crazy Ringgg with the phone jack still attached. House of Cach sells these crazy studded leather cuffs and a lot of other blinged out accessories at SoWa in Boston.
Tag Archives: ringgg
Make Something Awesome!
My favorite part of making Ringggs is explaining to people how they’re made and watching as they register the familiar material that they’re holding in their hand. Then we have a conversation about how cool it is to transform something old and discarded into something new and beautiful.
It starts with a plentiful and mostly obsolete material: coiled telephone cord. And a lot of it.
Telephone cord is recyclable. However, the amount of copper inside coiled phone cord is so small, it’s barely worth the energy to separate it. And I think this is a better solution anyway!
I get these cords everywhere! I have friends at recycling centers who will save them for me. I’ve gotten cords from many universities in Boston. Also: thrift shops, yard sales, FreeCycle and, straight up, the trash.
First, I cut the cords into smaller, Ringgg-sized coils. This part is fun because I find endless combinations of bright colors on the inside.
Most follow the standard: black, red, green and yellow seen above. But some are clear, some striated, some matte. Then there are crazy tropical colors, neutral pastels, 80s neons, sparkly copper… pretty much everything you see on my blog. (check out here and here and my shop here)
The rubber is stripped off of both sides, leaving one coil of sheathing intact in the middle to serve as an adjustable ring band. Wrap the band under one finger…
…Pull and twist the wires and VOILA! You’re ready to wear your Ringgg!
The curliness from the telephone cord is permanently fixed in the Ringgg, making it fun to play with, but durable. It’s like having a tiny interactive sculpture on your finger.
And that’s how it’s made! Awesome, right?
*Just a note: I’m posting this ‘how it’s made’ as a kind of Open Source technology. Feel free to learn from my ideas, to make a Ringgg for yourself or your friend, and to draw inspiration for your own DIY upcycle projects.
It would be awesome if you don’t steal my original idea and try to sell it. This is my baby, and I’m really proud of it. If you’d like to sell Ringggs, contact me for wholesale or a license agreement. Don’t be that guy.
Check out the Original Ringgg Collection here.
Shortly after launching Ringgg, I started experimenting with new materials and came up with these blinged out beauties featuring Czech glass beads in bold colors and geometric cuts.
They’re so fancy looking!
Not sure where the idea for these came from, but I was playing a whole lot of Bejeweled around that time… hmmmm
These sparkly Ringggs are so fun and I just love how they catch the light and the attention of people passing by. Ringggs with bling from the Spring/Summer 2012 collection are on Etsy here.
Used Telephone Wire: Design Project
In February 2012, I first launched Ringgg on Etsy. This design project has roots in my art school days when I made sculptures from parallel cable wires and other discarded materials from the IT department.
So I had a big bag full of used coiled telephone cords left over that were collecting dust in my closet. Telephone cords can be recycled, but the minute amount of copper that is captured is barely worth the process.
Weeks of cutting rubber and stripping wire and it came to me that the materials were perfectly suited for making repurposed rings. Several iterations later, I had an elegant and simple solution and thus Ringgg was born.
The most surprising thing about these old wires is the large breadth of colors used throughout the history of telephone cordage. Contemporary wires are grey and white. Boring.
But back in the 80s, a creative engineer somewhere decided to go heavy on the neons and by the 90s we have some pretty awesome color combinations including lime green and magenta. The 2000s introduced clear coated copper (so futuristic) and variations on that theme.
People always ask me about my business cards – the front is minimal and informative, the back is abstract decorative. The bold graphic on the back is the initial attention-grabber, and then with the pretty part out of the way, the front can remain clean and simple with easy to find contact info.
Yet the two sides seem to fit together a little too well. And here’s where my training in process art comes in handy… I love telling people about these little secrets that I embed in my designs. Their eyes light up when they discover another layer to the object which isn’t at first obvious.
So, here’s the photo on the front of the card:
… now let’s zoom in…
Do you see it? It’s so simple, it borders on downright laziness.
Also, the three colors on the ‘ggg’ of Ringgg are just color picked from this same photo. Yay!
Wanna learn how to make this homemade jewelry display?? Read on!
In February of this year (2012), I launched a project called Ringgg and it has been really fun! Everything under the Ringgg brand is made from reused coiled telephone cord from tag sales and Goodwill and recycle centers. And I started an etsy store and all that, but I have deep roots in craft shows and wanted to get back to that.
So I needed a display and I just wasn’t finding anything that worked for me. I want the look to be clean and white and design-y. Think apple store but lower tech ;)
I love love love making things, so I just decided to make it myself!
I went to Urban Ore in Berkeley to get some supplies. I was thinking wooden frame, painted white, with dowels to hold the ringggs. I couldn’t believe it when I ran smack into these:
How perfect! Two halves of a shipping crate, each measuring roughly 22″ x 22″ x 8″ deep. (Seriously, do this. My display breaks down and folds together into it’s own shipping crate. So much win.)
Next, I sketched what I wanted – a frame inside the boxes with diagonal dowels. Let me pause here to suggest: Never go diagonal. The only reason that this worked is a) I am a perfectionist b) I’m good at problem solving, and c) my boyfriend is a math expert. Here’s what I sent him:
I started by sanding off anything that could potentially splinter. Being sure, of course, to follow the clothing recommendation on the back of the sandpaper… haha!
I taped off the edges of the crates. I wanted the entire inside to be white and the outside to retain the raw wood. Then I primed and painted two coats of just slightly off-white semi-gloss.
Easy part done! While that was drying I pulled out my trusty mitre saw and got to work. I built a simple frame that would fit inside the crate and got to cutting the diagonal dowels. My math was specific to the size of my crates, but if I were to do it again, I make the dowels vertical. So, just cut a bunch of dowels at the exact size of the inside of the frame!
I put my frame together with finishing nails and wood glue and let that dry. Then I laid the dowels inside and marked off where they would hit the frame. I marked the top and bottom of each dowel, found the center of those two marks and brought them down the inside face with a speed square. I also marked the vertical center of the legs of the frame to get little cross marks where I drilled.
You can see from this photo that I left two opposite corners tacked in but not finished. That’s because with the diagonal dowels, I needed to be able to get to the inside with a power drill, so I had to pull the two ‘L’s apart. Not necessary with non-diagonals!
And now for the biggest manual hack I’ve ever done! Using a speed square as a fence, I drilled a 45° angle through each cross mark on the inside of the frame. (Always drill from the inside out)
My sincerest apologies to people who know how to do this correctly! Just working with what I got :)
Final step in frame building is to glue and nail everything together. I used corner vices to hold the 90° angle while I hammered everything together, otherwise it can get a little parallelogram-y…
I didn’t predrill the dowels, just stuck the nails in the frame and then hammered them the rest of the way and into the dowels.
Don’t worry, I didn’t leave all those little nails hanging out everywhere like a fool! A nail setter and some wood putty and a final sanding made everything look beautiful. Last step was to prime and paint and paint again and VOILA!
Looks awesome, right?!
Not going to lie, this was a major undertaking. This thing took me multiple days of work. But here’s a materials list :)
1 x 2 stock (enough to line crates)
4 4″ pine dowels
hand sander and sandpaper (100 grit)
1 qt of primer (water based)
1 qt of off-white acrylic semi-gloss
power drill and small bit
corner vices (2)
a level work surface (similar to the cobble stone of my back patio)
And here’s an instagram shot of the finished display at my first show at SoWa!