Fans have been coming up with ways to show their loyalty for decades, from homemade button badges to customised T-shirts and fanzine runs printed in stealth on the office photocopier. The DIY revolution happening over at online marketplaces like Etsy and Folksy has taken fan crafts to bizarre new levels of ingenuity, obsession and, in many cases, utter madness. Stitches are being crossed in the shape of famous rappers, bunting is being cut to spell out unsavoury song lyrics and toys are being stuffed in places the build-a-bear workshop would definitely not condone. Welcome to the world of unofficial merch on the DIY craft marketplace. Here are 15 of the best.
Drake’s head on a balloon
Inject some swag into your next birthday bash by filling the room with these pimped up Drizzy balloons. Get Puff Daddy to help you blow ‘em all up, lay out the mini sausage rolls, then get down to ‘Hotline Bling’ with the man himself watching over you from his inflatable latex ivory castle.
No doubt this is right at the top of Blue Ivy Carter’s Christmas list. Beyonce circa ‘Single Ladies’ meets Arnie in The Terminator. All courtesy of Gappy Gobs, who has also puffed up mini versions of John Lennon, Snoop Dogg, Einstein, Freddy Mercury and some Pugs for good measure.
David Bowie plate
With her range of altered antique plates, Dirty Lola is offering you a one way ticket to that Come Dine With Me prize. Microwave a pizza, hell, order a takeaway. Your dinner guests will be so overwhelmed at a chance to eat dinner off Bowie’s head, you’ll be able to get away with spam.
Lana Del Rey shrine candle
It’s news to us, but apparently the build-your-own rock shrine is a booming craze. There’s plenty of sellers and candles to peruse. Rad Rarities offer Saint Dave Grohl, the entire cast of Clueless or Lil Wayne, enduring pillar of trust and honesty that he is. We’ve gone for a waxed up Lana. Long may she protect us.
Dork Disco multiple badges
Morrissey with a cat on his head, Kurt Cobain adorned with a life affirming ‘come as you are’, Dork Disco’s illustrated badges are pretty ace. Sure, they’re never going to outdo your vintage button badge collection, but they’ll definitely add some chic to your lapel. Especially if you sack off all the musicians on offer and just opt for her Dot Cotton badge instead. Pure class.
Wu Tang Clan gold ring and bottle opener
Forget that multi-function pocket knife. The next time you get stranded in the wilderness there’s only one gadget you’ll need to survive: a gold Wu Tang Clan ring that’s also, wait for it, a bottle opener. Bear Grylls lasted 40 days and 40 nights on one of these.
Some might say, when it gets too dark in your front room you should definitely maybe turn on your handmade Oasis lamp. UK designer Rob Hume started out making clocks for his mates (as you do) before launching The Records Ticking in 2013. Arctic Monkeys, Stone Roses and The Beatles lamps and clocks are all available. Or upload your favourite piece of cover art and Rob will make you a custom design.
Taylor Swift doll
Candidly Charlie has worked out that the best way to craft your way into your favourite pop star’s heart is to recreate them in terrifying doll form. With her constant look of surprise and barely malleable limbs, this Taylor Swift doll will look perfect perched on the shelf opposite your bed. Watching over you as you sleep. Comforting.
Bob Dylan print
Concepcion Studios create beautiful, minimal interpretations of classic artists and tour posters. With bold block colours and muted hues, they’ve already worked directly with Muse and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Stooges and Beyonce patches
The makers over at Bruised Tongue are crafting badges and patches that take it right back to the glorious days of scruzzed up punk customisation. From pin badges that flip the bird to neat patches that reference everything from The Stooges ‘Gimme Danger’ to Beyonce’s phonetically correct pronunciation of surfboard.
Radiohead’s OK Computer as books
The brilliant prints by Standard Designs combine two great loves – music and a bookshelf full of nerdy-looking paperbacks that we’ll be getting round to reading ‘eventually.’ This ‘OK Computer’ set is the intellect’s print of choice. Apparently ‘Climbing Up The Walls’ is a really life-affirming read, full of joy and hope for the future.
Rapid Nail Grohl
If Dave Grohl can get on stage with a broken leg, sit in a giant throne and shred out all the classics, he can sure as hell fix your broken nails.
White Stripes clock
Despite the fact that vinyl sales are on the ever increasing up, there are still plenty of records out there that deserve to be deleted from history. Instead of climbing your local mountain and throwing each unwanted record into the sky like a life affirming death frisbee, follow the ingenious footsteps of High5Design and get carving. The designs on his Etsy shop are beautiful and intricate – from The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine to The White Stripes’ Jack and Meg.
Led Zeppelin miniature room
With these miniature rock rooms created by Belina Miniatures you can squint longingly into the studios of the greats like the tiny voyeuristic fly that you are. With all the mini guitars and classic LPs scattered over the floor, it’s like Alice and Wonderland went on a ‘Drink Me’ bender with Keith Richards.
Kanye West cross stitch
If you thought cross stitch was a Nan-only zone, you’re very wrong indeed. Etsy offers a veritable feast of DIY punk patterns and handmade hipster wall hangings. Like this Kanye West inspired design. Kanye is after all, a man who likes to try new things. He’s already barged his way into the world of fashion so it makes perfect, logical sense that a limited edition run of cross stitch patterns will be next on his list. You heard it here first.