Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Geek Chic: Making Jewelry With Resistors & Capacitors

It's the Revenge of the Nerds! Back when I was in high school eons ago (back in the 80s), getting called a nerd or geek was the dating kiss of death.  Taking a lot of AP (advanced placement) classes or excelling in science and math while simultaneously attempting to not be labeled a nerd was a bit of a tightrope walk at times.  But, times have changed and it's suddenly become not only acceptable but chic to like computers, science, and math and to look the "stereotypical" part.  Nerd glasses are considered hot and whole web sites are now devoted to the fun, kitschy items that geeks adore.

My favorites: 

caffeine molecule babydoll t-shirt 
How cute are the molecule t-shirts from Think Geek?  I'm willing to admit that I've got the theobromine, capsaicin, and caffeine babydoll tees. 

blue plush waterbear soft toy
Oh, and try to resist the adorable blue plush waterbears from Giant Microbes.

There are even nerd gatherings all over the world where their motto is "Be There And Be Square".

I think that the success of The Big Bang Theory has helped this trend.  The show ignited the "geeky is cool" trend and that in turn helped make the show an even bigger success.  Who knows how long it will last so, ride the wave while you can!

top 10 network t.v. programs wk of 07-30-12
 Other than Olympic programming, only two network shows were ahead of The Big Bang Theory!

Back in the late 70s and early 80s, my husband repaired electronics.  He kept a sizeable box of new, old stock resistors and capacitors and has toted them around all these years.  Only recently did he pull them out and ask if I could somehow use them in jewelry.  He thought that some of them (resistors) looked like beads with built-in headpins sticking out from both ends.  I played around with them and found that they could be used in exactly the way he suggested; though, some of the larger leads are a bit stiff and require a bit more effort.

Some of the pieces of jewelry that I've made are designed in such a way that one would have to look closely to notice the resistors because they blend in with the coordinating beads.

Multicolor Resistor Earrings

Multicolor Resistors With Beads & Blue Patina Copper Washers

Other items proudly feature larger, more obvious resistors and capacitors complete with printed text facing toward the front.  On some items, I've also played up the industrial aspect of the jewelry by adding other items such as copper washers.  I may decide to add some of these items to my shop...

Earrings (above) and necklace (below) are now added to Libellula Jewelry. 

Brown Upcycled Vintage Resistor Necklace
Resistor Necklace in Shades of Brown

Antiqued Brass Chain w/ Handmade Copper Clasp & Etched Copper Logo Charm
(Back of Necklace)
Antiqued Brass Chain With Handmade Copper Clasp & Etched Logo Charm


  1. I have a few resistors but wasn't sure what to do with them, or if they would be strong enough for wirewrapping. I love your resistor earrings! The colors are wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Alice! I found that even the really tiny ones (leads were approx. 26 g) were strong enough to use for jewelry.

      Let me know if you need more of them because I wasn't kidding when I said that I've got a whole box!

  2. oh, my goodness - how cool are these?
    we are geeky and i was a nerd too... my daughter is currently majoring in biology in college... love the tees - i was sad that i missed 'i love science' over at woot shirts... but will take a look at these!

  3. Replies
    1. Aren't those shirts cute? But, I have a feeling your daughter is going to really love the other t-shirt you got her! ;)