June 12, 2009 - 36 comments

DIY within a DIY: Tom Binns “Get Real” Necklace



Ah, Tom Binns! I love his designs so so much, but like... well, pretty much everything these days, I can't afford them. So his tongue-in-cheek "Get Real" collection gave me faith and a really good laugh.

His laminated magazine collage jewels were a call to arms for the DIY set, and I was ready & packing heat... or an x-acto knife. The original Tom Binns versions sell for $200-ish at Collette, and I like to think even that price was Tom's own little inside joke. Good one, Tom...

What You'll Need/What You'll Do:

  • Magazines (Vogue or an old ELLE Accessories work great)
  • X-acto Knife
  • Scotch Tape or Spray Adhesive
  • One trip to Kinkos
  • Closure (silk cord, string, safety pin, velcro, whatever)
  1. Cut out your favorite jewels. My thought process was "Oooh, shiny!"
  2. Get creative. Collage them together, forming a 'U' or 'O' shape, trying it on as you go, and using tape or adhesive to hold together until you laminate.
  3. Optional: make a color photocopy if you want to make more of the same.
  4. Laminate ($1/sheet at Kinkos).
  5. Cut out again, fasten, and voila!

This project also works great with just one "pendant" strung on a string, or safety pinned as a brooch. Soooo many possibilities that will make flipping through repetitive jewelry ads way more interesting. I've already started on a few more and, if you're interested, I might put some (including this one) up on Etsy.


tombinnsdiy2[tom binns images via style.com]

Published by: Jazzi in DIY


June 12, 2009 at 7:40 pm

This is so crafty (and funny)! And I love your updated header! Total cuteness.

June 12, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Sheer brilliance! It’s so clever it’s crazy! Thanks for all the wonderful advice and insight you’ve given me on your blog!

Baby Sinead
June 12, 2009 at 7:57 pm

This is awesome! No paper cuts when wearing?

June 12, 2009 at 7:59 pm

@Nubby & @Vivian Thank you!!!

@babysinead – nope! just avoid sharp cuts. i didn’t even cut myself with the x-acto! lol

June 12, 2009 at 8:32 pm

this is too clever! im going to be up all night ripping pages from old elle mags!

June 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm

thats such a cute idea!

June 12, 2009 at 10:11 pm

I love your new header!!

Joy d.
June 13, 2009 at 2:56 am

This is fantastic. Thank you for this.

Jaka Merriman
June 13, 2009 at 3:31 am

How cool is that?! Collage is *my* medium, so I’ll have to give this a shot. Site update looks fab, too!

June 13, 2009 at 7:31 am

such a cute idea! i’ve been following your blog for some time now and i love the new header! thanks for all of the advice and industry stories. would you ever consider completing a questionnaire or interview for my blog? it’s fairly new so check it out, http://www.erica-ec.blogspot.com and feel free to be in touch at erica.cupido@hotmail.com. all the best!

June 13, 2009 at 7:33 am

so clever! i love this idea!

June 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm

Holy rad!

June 13, 2009 at 6:53 pm

This is brilliant, an inspiring DIY! Tom Binn’s work reminds me of Octavia Cook, a New Zealand jeweler – she did a similar collection a few years ago using laminated images of cameo brooches & pearls. I love them both.

June 15, 2009 at 10:34 am

amazing! maybe a year ago hanna saw some dude wearing an LV necklace that he cut out of W around his neck. She asked him what was up and he said he could never afford it and this would good enough for now.

I might have to put this together myself, it also reminds me of that digital pixely diamond collection kanye blogged about forever ago.

June 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm


I used to do this when I was little for my MOM, but I would tape them on her.


June 16, 2009 at 8:23 am

WOW such a cute idea I’m going to try it….ahem my job has a laminator :| a he he eh

June 19, 2009 at 11:34 am

LOVE this! So, so creative! I saw the link on Gala Darling. I’ll be linking in my Daily DIY as well. I’m loving your site!

June 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

I am totally loveing this!

(But just a heads up: I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to sell images cut out of magizines since they’re protected under copyright laws. same as anything else.)

June 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm

oops…ignore that “e” lol

June 20, 2009 at 1:20 am

Been doing this with my daughter for years! Cool.

The Simitopian
June 21, 2009 at 1:33 am

hehe. Love it. This process could be applied so many ways! And I’m thinking brooches, hairclips…..Fun!

June 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm

This is GENIUS!!!!!!!!!! I love this. You rock girl….

July 2, 2009 at 2:15 am


July 13, 2009 at 11:46 am

This brings me to an idea:…

July 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Sometimes it’s really that simple, isn’t it? I feel a little stupid for not thinking of this myself/earlier, though.

August 26, 2009 at 8:05 pm

i’m all for DIY for yourself, but not selling them for money- that’s just plain stealing someone else’s idea to make money. plus its copyright infringement

Jazzi M
August 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm

hey C –

I totally respect your opinion, but just wanted to be clear that even if i did decide to sell these (which i decided not to, mostly because I don’t feel like making them haha) it is not copyright infringement upon tom binns… i get what you’re trying to say, but tom binns is also using copyrighted images from magazines and the idea of laminating them into a necklace (as evinced by the above commenters) is not unique, nor a copyrighted design.

just wanted to respond to that. and i love tom binns, pretty sure his and my efforts are totally tongue in cheek. but if anyone real wants to cry foul, direct your attention to the $200 original ;)

December 3, 2009 at 9:30 am

Just in reference to the whole copyright thing.
The images in magazines are usually stock and therefore up for sale. If you are an avid magazine reader you will see the same images turn up in multiple magazines. (Not so much the photoshoots, but the other images)
while, yes, tim originally hacked up his magazines at random. before selling the necklace, copyrights for every single image used would have been purchased, perhaps explaining part of the cost (although clearly not all of it :) )

I just thought this should be cleared up just in case anyone was considering selling something along these lines.
It isn’t a risk I would take. while the chance of Advance publications (who publish vogue, among other magazines) stumbling across the sale and recognizing the image, then going to the effort of suing you are amazingly slim.

But the owner of the image is not advance publications often they are small stock companies who may consider it worth the effort because selling images so people can use them for commerical reasons IS their business. you’ve just skipped the part where you pay them. The cost that you would have to pay to use this type of stock image in a commerical sense is WAY more that what anything you would sell would be worth. Chances are the cost of the image is the least they would charge you.

February 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm

i LOVEEEE this..i cant sleep and after I send this out..im going and ripping out all my jewelry ads. i was hoping when i got an exacto knife it would get more use then just shredding jeans. now it definitely will. your blog is wonderfully fabulous and im so glad i came across it.

July 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm


Custom and buckles for men
August 19, 2011 at 2:06 am

Very interesting post its look very beautiful.

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