Tag Archives: musical instrument jewelry

Preservation Hall Jazz Band NOLA

Creative Inspiration from New Orleans

In our last blog post we suggested some ways to nurture your creative spirit.  I (Carolyn) took our advice and tried #15 last week.  I took a trip to New Orleans with my husband.  It’s impossible to spend time in that city and not feel creatively inspired.  They have the best of my favorite forms of creativity:  food, art and music.

On Monday night, after a day of exploring the Garden District and French Quarter, we visited Preservation Hall, an all ages historic jazz club in the French Quarter.  The music was amazing and I fully enjoyed it but by then I was a little creatively distracted; imagining all pieces of jewelry I could make from the instruments that the musicians were playing.  So the first chance I had when I got home I made a few new things.

I have thinking about how to use a piano key for a while.  I started off with the idea of making earrings but I ended up with a necklace.  Isn’t that always how the creative process works?  You never know what the end result will be.  You can find this necklace on our website by clicking here.

Piano key "before" picture.

Piano key “before” picture.

Cutting piano key with scroll saw.

Cutting piano key with scroll saw.

Sanding piano key with disc sander.

Sanding piano key with disc sander.

Cutting piano key into smaller pieces with scroll saw.

Cutting piano key into smaller pieces with scroll saw.

Piano Key Necklace

This is what emerged from the dust – a piano key necklace

Piano Key Necklace

Piano Key Necklace












The trombone player at Preservation Hall was amazing.  His trombone caught my eye and I was thinking about making a necklace with it.  This is what emerged today.  You can find these earrings on our website in silver by clicking here and in gold by clicking here.


Trombone “before” picture.

Cutting the trombone with my Dremel

The first cut.

Cutting the trombone down to size using my trusty Dremel.

Cutting the trombone using my trusty Dremel.

Sanding metal isn't for the faint of heart or for gloveless fingers.

Sanding metal isn’t for the faint of heart or for gloveless fingers.

My drill press making drilling holes for the ear wires quick and easy.

My drill press makes drilling holes for the ear wires quick and easy.

Trombone Earrings

Trombone Earrings













Finally, the upright bass.  I’ve been eyeing the tuning pegs for some time now.  Little did I know that they are extremely difficult to cut and virtually impossible to drill a hole through.  This is what I ended up with after several broken drill bits and a bruised pride.  You can find this necklace on our website by clicking here.

Upright Bass scroll and pegs.

Upright Bass scroll and pegs.

I could unscrew the tuning peg so I had to cut it off using my Dremel.

I couldn’t unscrew the tuning peg so I had to cut it off using my Dremel.

The end result - necklace made from bass peg.

The end result – necklace made from bass peg.







We also have other jazz band inspired jewelry available on our website made from drums, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets and more.  Check out our Band of Angels Musical Instrument Jewelry Collection by clicking here.

It’s important to note that no working instruments were harmed in the making of this jewelry. We only use instruments that have been deemed irreparable by experts.  A portion of the proceeds from all of our musical instrument jewelry collection goes directly to Band of Angels KC, an organization who collects, repairs and distributes instruments to kids in need who would like to participate in band and orchestra programs.  Our donations, specifically, are used to send kids in need to music camp.  We are very proud to work with this amazing organization.

We had such a wonderful time in New Orleans and appreciated every second of our visit.  We hope that you find a magical place that inspires you this summer whether it be in your back yard or somewhere far away.


A Behind the Scenes Peek at the Making of Drum Cymbal Earrings

Kristi & I rarely make jewelry for ourselves.  I guess it’s a hazard of any “maker” occupation.  We are so busy creating for others that we forget to make ourselves new jewelry.   I made Kristi drum cymbal earrings a few weeks ago and admire how pretty they look every time she wears them.  Today I decided that I need a pair of earrings for myself.

Welcome to my workshop.  It’s not fancy but it’s bright and functional.  It’s my favorite place to spend my days.


After some experimentation I’ve found that my Dremel is the best tool to use when cutting the cymbal.


Sanding pieces of metal this small is tricky. I can’t wear gloves because the piece of cymbal is too small to grip. It gets VERY hot so patience is required.


I love my drill press so much. For projects like this it is so fast & easy!


I decided against beads so I just needed to add the ear wires.


What do you think?

What do you think?

Stay tuned – next week we’ll give you a behind the scenes look at Kristi’s workspace.

Have a great week friends!



Please Vote For Us in KC Source Links Battle of the Brands!

We are competing in KC Source Links Battle of the Brands.  The competition is fierce so we would really appreciate your vote in the Microenterprise Brand Category.  It only takes a second and doesn’t require account set-up. Votes must be entered by Thursday February 25th at 4pm. You can vote for us by clicking here.  Thank you to those of you who take the time to vote.  We appreciate your support!


This competition is the icing on the cake of a fabulous February for us here at Hang Ups in KC.  We have so much to celebrate and wanted to share all the good stuff that’s been coming our way with you.

  • At the beginning of the month we were featured on Better Kansas City, a morning show on KCTV3.   They focused on how Hang Ups in KC came to be as well as our non-profit partnerships.  If you’d like to watch the segment click here.

Better Kansas City

Hang Ups at Nelson Atkins

  • A pair of our saxophone cuff links made it to the 2016 Grammy Awards thanks to saxophonist George Shelby who performed during the Lionel Richie tribute.  George was kind enough to take photos and share them with us.

George Shelby Hang Ups Cuff Links 2 George Shelby Hang Ups Cufflinks

Thank you for taking the time to vote for us in Battle of the Brands.  We are so grateful for each and every one of you.  Have a wonderful final week of February!