November 4, 2013

DIYers Guide to Hardware

My local hardware store is the best. Not only is it around the corner and alongside all my major needs (coffee, groceries, grilled cheese), but it's just the right size. Small, but not too small. We're talking "Can I help you?" the moment you want in, every single time, with no risk of getting lost in mega-store aisles for miles.  In that spirit of handiness (and an upcoming DIY!), I put together a guide to some basic hardware supplies that I've seen creatively used in DIY projects. Consider it your cheat sheet for the next time you waltz into your hardware store, knowing exactly what you're looking for. Enjoy! (More details after the jump).

Hex Nuts: We don't even need to discuss the DIY potential of this one, right? I mean, that bracelet that started it all.
Corner Braces and L Brackets: Make great necklaces, like this past project, and (wink, wink) perhaps a new DIY coming up.
Compression Sleeves: I love how this are available in a range of sizes (teeny tiny to upwards of an inch) and look like cool beads. The highlight of this popular Thanks, I Made it DIY hardware bracelet project.
Copper couplings: These parts, from the plumbing section, are perfect for adding a faux-rose gold touch to necklace. (Easiest DIY necklace ever using these here)
S hooks: These great connectors for wrapped rope bracelets, and there are usually tons of pretty colors of nylon rope at the hardware store.
Wing nut: Adds fun flair to a bracelet or necklace, like this project from Martha Stewart.
Washers: I've talked about Annie Alber's before, but her classic necklace (tutorial here from Chic Steals) using these disks is a hardware jewelry classic.

Really, the possibilities for creating fun jewelry and accessories with supplies from the hardware stores are endless, I can't even begin to scratch the surface. You can start by checking out past TIMI projects, and happy making!


  1. I am taking a trip to the hardware shop! Your ideas are amazing and it all makes sense with your tutorials! Samantha

  2. i've been meaning to get a little experimental with some of these items for jewelry making myself!! thanks for the roundup, especially for labeling them with their names so i know what i'm looking for :)

  3. Love hardware DIYs, and can't wait to see what you have coming!
    xo ~ Lia | Smart n Snazzy

  4. Great round up! Looks like I need to pop into my adorably local hardware store around the corner SOON!


  5. Amazing info/inspo compilation thanks Erin!!

  6. Your hardware store sounds just like mine! I LOVE my local one, the people are so helpful and they don't seem annoyed at all that I browse the hardware parts every two days with wild questions. :)


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