Thursday, July 21, 2016

Craftin' Makes Me Feel Good: DIY Holtzmann Necklace From Ghostbusters

If you're as smitten with Holtzmann from Ghostbusters as I am, then odds are you've thought about getting your paws on that rockin' necklace of hers:

Quick Confession: I must admit, once I (finally) realized her necklace wasn't a nerdy Uranium reference, but rather a literal "screw U," I was a little sad. I'm not really a fan of insults as fashion statements. Never have been. 


Then the Leslie Jones Twitter thing happened. 

And you guys, I got pretty mad.

And I realized: Holtzmann's necklace is directed at the haters. At every racist troll, at every patronizing fanboy gatekeeper. By wearing this necklace, we're not only supporting badass women, we're standing up for our fandom. Think we're fake geek girls? Think women can't be funny? Think allowing a new generation into the fandom is ruining your childhood? Then, hey, dude: READ THE NECKLACE.

So, yeah, that's when I made this:

It's not screen accurate by any means, but I kind of love the idea of putting your own spin on it. 

In fact, I made a second version that's slightly smaller - and even less screen-accurate - but I like it even better:
And this smaller version is the easier one to make!

So let's make some necklaces.

First, head to the hardware store and pick these up:

Those were the biggest split key rings they had, and I grabbed two sizes of sheet metal machine screws: 2 inches and 2.5 inches. (Make sure they're stainless steel, not zinc; zinc has a blueish cast that won't match the rings.)

Once you decide which length of screw you like (HEYOOOO), work it into the split ring like this:

It helps to turn the screw to get it into place. The ring will be more than tight enough to hold it, no adhesive needed.

The "U" is the tricky part, but you have a LOT of options. Here are some of the things I tried:

Starting from the left, that's 1) thick cut aluminum [requires power tools, not recommended], 2) thin aluminum flashing, 3) thin cardboard (ie a cereal box) covered in metal tape, and 4) a store-bought scrapbook letter, spray painted silver.

If you're aiming for screen-accurate, then my favorite is the aluminum flashing. It's thin enough to cut with scissors, has a nice clean edge, and looks convincingly metallic because, y'know, it's metal.

Flashing can be found at any hardware store, but you have to buy a roll of it - so if you don't have any lying around the garage, just cut up a soda can instead.


 Cut our your U, then glue in place with super glue or E-6000.

(I free-handed mine, but you can also print a large version of your favorite font to use as a template.)

Check it out, the split ring looks surprisingly cool from the side:

Next find a chunky O ring to thread an equally chunky chain through, and you're ALMOST done.

I say "almost," because you'll quickly discover the split ring wants to slide around, so your U leans to the side.  To combat this, I scored a few notches into the top of the split ring:

This roughs up the metal so the ring doesn't slide as easily.

If it still gives you trouble, though, add a drop of superglue to that roughed-up patch and glue the O ring in place. Easy peasy.

If you prefer my scrapbook letter option, here's the package to look for:

I got this pack at JoAnn's for about $3 with a coupon - and there are 4 Us, so you can make multiples.

Hit the U with a blast of chrome spray paint (or paint with liquid silver or Rub n' Buff), attach with super glue or E-6000, and voila:

I like this U because it's thicker than the aluminum, so it looks more substantial from the side.

However, the aluminum could be a bit more sturdy and weather proof. So your call.

Ah, but wait! 


Remember how I said it'd be cool if we all put our own spin on this design? Well here's one more option made by my friend Briana:

Those are just two pieces: a U-type shackle, glued on top of a linch pin.

(And I spent WAY too long figuring out the proper names for those, so be sure to use them at the hardware store like it's NBD, k?)

I especially love the shackle for the U. Here's what to look for in the hardware section:

That top bar unscrews.

(Briana is an amazing cosplayer, btw, and is putting together a Holtzmann cosplay you'll definitely want to see - so be sure to follow her on Instagram or FB!)

 I'll end with more beauty shots of my two versions, so you can decide which one you like better:

And hey, if you do make your own, remember to share pics on the Epbot FB page so the rest of us can shower you with praise, adoration, envy, etc.

Happy crafting, everyone!


  1. My friend and I will be cosplaying as Holtzmann and Patty (I was gonna be Abby but the Leslie Jones thing happened so I have switched characters). I already got the safety goggles and was missing the necklace for my friend. THANK YOU!!!

  2. Awesome! So good! "Screw You" necklaces for everyone!

    --Piper P from Washington State

  3. Very cool.

    Actually, you can buy small pieces of flashing, like this:

  4. I am so disheartened by how cruel people are. I'd like to think I have pretty thick skin, but everything (and everyone) seems to just be getting worse and it brings me down. I know people are rallying and standing up for various causes but I just really wish people could be nicer, more understanding...and we wouldn't need to rally so hard.

    That said, I think you did a great job recreating this piece : )

    1. Everything is more extreme online, and since bad news drives page views, the world can seem really dark in front of the monitor. I try to remind myself there is more good than bad out there; sometimes we just have to connect IRL to find it.

    2. Jen,

      Love ya' and have been a fan since before the first Cake Wrecks book.

      On this issue, though, I believe you are misinformed. You may not know the whole story. If you want the whole story, the whole truth, start with this article and click on the links to read the start of the whole thing.

      I think your first inclination to dislike insults as art is correct and am surprised that someone who has always been so ready to accept people, to look for the truth and to learn from others has always been admirable. This time I hope you will do the same.

      L. McKinney

    3. The only reference I can find that "justifies" the whole thing is the articlw you posted. Do you realize that the person who did the attacking is an editor FOR that site? Seems a bit biased.

    4. Never, ever EVER cite Breitbart as justification for ANYTHING unless you want to look like an asshole.

      I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that you don't know who Breitbart is or what the site stands for, but you should know things like that before you post stuff.

    5. That's generous of you, Kate. Considering the screen name of the Breitbart citer is "Space Coast Conservative [dot]com," I am pretty sure he or she is very aware of what Breitbart does.

  5. I'll leave this here for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

    1. Oaft. That was just amazing - didn't think I could love Adam any more but there ya go, I do. Thank you!!

  6. Making a "U" *from* a screw would seem to add a level of punmanship.

  7. Coooooool!

    Going to see Ghostbusters tonight alone. Soooo wish I had a geeky gal pal. Am I seriously going to have to join Facebook to get on that Epbot fan page dealie? UGH!

    I don't know about the Leslie Jones Twitter thing. We just got back from an epic roadtrip and I've been offline for a couple weeks. I think I'd better not even look it up.

    Hey, Jen, so glad you were able to go see Ghostbusters! Jen Yates, kicking anxiety's ass all over town! RAWR!


  8. Michael's has some large metal letter necklace charms on clearance for $.99 and "U"s are one of the least popular letters, so there are still some left! They are brass colored, for a spin version (you can get brass colored key rings and screws too), or you could paint it silver with Testors enamel paint or nail polish.

  9. Hi Jen,
    Please keep posting things that make you happy. I just saw a headline about "police", "unarmed therapist", "autistic client". I couldn't read much past the headline. My son is 5 and autistic...

    So, I came to your blog planning to look at the butterflies, ponies, etc. in your art post and their links. Then I saw this post about crafting to feel good. I'll probably still look at all the ponies, but I'm also going to grab my yarn and start that crocheted tank top I keep looking at the pattern for.

    Don't quit the internet, ok?

  10. I just got back from taking my two teen sons to see the movie and feel like maybe I'm doing something to raise them right because they didn't bat an eye over the butt-kicking smart ladies, or my repeated Kermit-flailing during the movie, and they totally "got" Hemsworth's character. I'm considering a piece of screw you jewelry for my oldest that's on the autism spectrum. I think he'd love it because of the sentiment behind it.

  11. Another cool craft, Jen!

    Can I just say "thank you" for introducing me to Rub-N-Buff?? I just used it for the first time the other day on some pieces for a cosplay I'm working on. I was able to turn a tacky brass clip into a lovely silvery one that matches my costume! I also used it to highlight some details on these awesome steampunk buttons I got off of Etsy.

  12. I ordered yellow lensed vintage motorcycle goggles and jewelers loops to add to them on Saturday after seeing the movie (for the first time, I'm up to three now) and have been looking for a way to make the necklace. Thanks Jen!
    P.S. Nice use of the Pringles can.

  13. Holtzmann is awesome.

    So are you, Jen.

    That is all. :)

  14. In love with shinyJuly 22, 2016 at 8:28 AM

    Seeing it this weekend, first because of your post over it and 2nd bc I like Leslie Jones.

    I now want to make this asap to wear to the show!

  15. It still shocks me, and I guess it shouldn't in the time we live in, that a movie could engender so much vitriol and hate. A movie about slimy ghosts no less, made for entertainment, an escape, to bring laughs. If hate is what you put out into the world, don't be surprised to have hate sent right back your way. If you send love and acceptance into the world, you'll receive love and acceptance in return. So, screw you haters, racists, and bigots. I don't have to listen to your ignorance and your viciousness. I love you Jen for the joy you bring and I love the readers on this site and others like it for the support and good vibes to all in the geeky community.

  16. I love this and I love WHY you did it! I'm not a big fan insulting jewelry, but I like your reasoning and I like the spirit of throwing it back at the haters.

    Go drink your haterade and be sad!! We'll be over here making fly jewelry and having fun :)

  17. Oooohhh, maybe I should use the screw the kept my ankle together for this ... I have been using it to keep all my rejection letters pinned to the wall, but this might be even better. Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. You have to share a picture of that--I would love to see it!

  18. Erm, I don't know what or how Leslie Jones got dog-piled on Twitter. And I bet Twitter just let it happen: I was just reading how some gal, Kassy something or other was getting 100s of death threats, tried to report the abuse, and got banned. So the Twit is pretty ugly.

    But the whole "people don't like the Ghostbusters trailer because (some) "geek girls" are opportunistic frauds, or (some) women aren't funny" is mostly just an evil troll by the awful director of the film Paul wossname (Fig?) trying to guilt people into going to his movie after he screwed up the trailer. And it worked. He started a make-believe war between men and women to save his $$$ investment, because the bad trailer, and the natural scepticism folks have of gimmicky Hollywood reboots looked to tank his project.

    There's so much us-vs-them hatred in the world right now, that this guy ginned up MORE of it, between men and women to sell fracking movie tickets is sickening. And it worked. All the trolls came out of the woodwork for it.

    So, no. I don't think this jewellery is lighting a candle against hatred.

    You're very skilful, and yes, it's a clever visual pun (and appropriate costuming for the character)

    But it's a symbol of corporate greed and cynical Hollywood manipulation of divisiveness for profit.

    1. I disagree. I have a lot of geeky friends and I have had to unfollow a lot of my male friends because it went from "I don't like the trailer" to "WHY ARE THEY RUINING MY CHILDHOOD WITH THEIR FEMINAZI CRAP" so fast it was scary. These are people I know in real life, not just internet people. It got ugly. I nloved Transformers as a kid, cried when Optimus Prime died, had all the toys and I didn't freak out and throw a fit because I hated the movies. Which I did. I thought they were terrible.

  19. Just saw Ghostbusters again for the 3rd time and this time I noticed that at the end, Sigourney Weaver is also wearing the "Screw U" but as a brooch on her labcoat.

  20. Hi, I was wondering where you got your chain? I can't seem to find one chunky enough!

    1. Ooh, I'm afraid I'll be no help; mine came from my stash of vintage chains I bought in bulk at an antique show ages ago. I agree it's hard to find one sufficiently chunky, so you might have to buy a costume jewelry necklace and harvest the chain that way! (I find lots of cheap necklaces with awesome chains, so keep an eye out!)

  21. love your craftiness! Such an awesome necklace. I have yet to see the movie and I agree the Leslie Jones thing was unnecessary and painful. Great piece to show all those haters what they can do!

  22. Nice, we designed it 3.5 years ago though ;-)


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