Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wearing Cuffs - in Public!

We put this photo on Instagram the other day, and just as people have often commented on Jean's bakelite, a number of people commented on Valerie's Frida cuffs.

So we thought we'd show you how to make your own.

Here's the secret:

Yup, they were socks in a former life.  Just use a sharp scissor to cut off the elastic cuff at the top (or don't - see below), and cut a straight line across the bottom of the design.  In the photo above, it looks like the cut was angled, but it's just the structure of the heel that gives it that appearance.  Make a simple straight cut.

But you don't have to stop at Frida cuffs.  How about van Gogh matching Starry Night socks and cuffs (this time with the elastic top left on)?  Valerie has minimal sewing skills, little patience, and a growing acceptance for imperfections.  Some of our readers might see the uneven edges and say "I could fix that easily."  Then you should do that!  Perfect them!  But you will find that little unraveling occurs (or we could say raveling - why do they mean exactly the same thing?), so if you're afraid the socks will soon wind up as a pile of acrylic thread, stop worrying about that.  Unless you have a kitten or puppy in the house.

You could have matching Mondrian socks and cuffs.  These made a brief and understated appearance in this blog post.  Neuromas in her feet stopped Valerie from wearing socks most of the time (no elastic constricting the nerves in the feet, please), but curiously did not prevent her from buying socks.  Making cuffs was something of an outgrowth of having socks in the drawers and not wanting to waste them.

Valerie's sentimental favorites are her Marilyn Monroe cuffs, with Andy Warhol's telltale bad registration.  On the left are cotton socks; the cuffs on the right are what's left of a pair of lycra leggings.

Long time readers might remember that Valerie broke her wrist in 2011 (while wrestling identical twin albino alligators for an Animal Planet segment), and because the cast material repelled ink, she cut up her leggings and made a tres chic cast cover, seen below at a museum opening.

So get a pair of socks and make your own cuffs.  All we ask is that when your friends ooooh and aaaaah over them you tell them who you stole the idea from.  Send them a link to this post!

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Jean's 2¢: Who knew there were different versions of Frida Kahlo socks? Valerie's pair with bright red background has a perky looking Frida facing front. This pair below by Sock Smith features a much more serious Frida in a red scarf, earrings and flowered headdress with a monkey perched on her right shoulder. The blue floral background is offset by a red trim at the cuff, toe and heel.

The same image of Frida and her monkey also appears on yellow socks with purple toes and heels. The color of her scarf and flowers switched from red to purple. Vagaries in the printing and in sock texture create small variations.  Jean thinks Frida and the monkey on the yellow pair look happier than the monkey on the blue pair. You be the judge.


  1. Love the cuffs and where, oh where, do you buy those great socks – Fridas, especially? Yes, yellow Frida looks happier than blue Frida. The monkey too.
    Vancouver Barbara

  2. Love you ladies, your blog, this article, the cuffs and last but not least: love Frida.

    You're so creative, cool and fun! Thanks.

  3. Thank you for sharing so priceless secrets!!!!

  4. Oh very fun! I'm going to do it.....thank you!