Buckle Up: Nintendo Nostalgia Meets Fashion

Adapt this tutorial on creating a belt buckle from a Nintendo console and re-purpose your own vintage favorites.

Last edited: 10/28/2019

Have you ever had one of those silly days? You know what I'm talking about; a day where everything is fun and silly and totally creative. On a recent silly day I was in a meeting with a coworker. I don't recall how the conversation began, but somehow we started talking about the show Big Bang Theory and all the cool belt buckles one of the characters wears. My coworker said that he "would totally wear" a belt buckle made out of a Nintendo game controller. But not just any controller, it had to be the iconic NES controller. Without even thinking about it, I piped up and said "Hey! I'll make one for you!" The conversation got sillier and the ideas got bigger. And before I knew it, I had volunteered to make not one, but TWO belt buckles—one for my coworker and one for his son.

About a week later, a couple of controllers showed up on my desk! I squealed to myself, "This is going to be so much FUN!"

A new, never-been-used NES controller is like a gift from the patron saint of geeks.

A new, never-been-used NES controller is like a gift from the patron saint of geeks.

What started out as a silly conversation turned into a fun side project!

Jealous? Dying to make your own Nintendo game controller belt buckle? Here's the quick scoop on how to put one of these together:

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  1. Remove the back panel from the controller. Once that's off, remove the control board, but not the buttons—those need to stay in.
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  2. For the controller buttons to still feel operational, the control board needs to stay in place. To do this, carefully clip away the wires to remove the cord. Place the board back into the controller.
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  3. Find the center of the back and mark it. This will help center the buckle back.
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  4. Lay a buckle back onto the center of the controller and mark where the openings are.
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  5. Use a drill bit (in a flex shaft or hand drill) and drill holes at the markings made in step 4.
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  6. Take two machinist bolts and pass them through the holes in buckle back and the controller back.
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  7. Use nuts on the inside of the controller to keep the bolts in place. Add a dab of glue (5-minute epoxy or JetSet adhesive) to the end of the bolts for a bit of extra security.
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  8. Reunite the controller back and the front and use the original screws to connect it all back together. Snap the buckle onto a convertible belt and there you have it—an awesome handmade gift for the gamer geek in your life.

Think of all the gadgets that can be re-purposed into something wearable. Now I'm trying to figure out how to make a remote control into a wearable AND usable bracelet! What are you going to make?