The Secret Behind My USB Earrings – REVEALED!

I wear an 8GB USB flash drive on each ear as earrings. I have for years, and they always get a lot of attention – at tech conferences, sure, but I mean everywhere. In the elevator in my office building, on the train, at social events, you name it.

My favorite is when people ask me if they’re real. I don’t even know where I would go to buy *fake* USB drives, but that question comes up a lot.

Today, I’m going to reveal the secret to creating these fabulously functional fashion accessories.

It’s very technical, so I hope you’re ready. Okay, here goes…




 Yep – that’s really all there is to it.

I wish I could claim credit for some elaborate, maniacal process that I cleverly innovated, but I really just put french hooks on flash drives. Sorry. 🙁

I use the HP V220W USB Flash Drive available from Amazon.Com or Staples. Price varies based on storage size, but for these particular models, prices have dropped considerably over the past few years. An 8GB drive used to cost $40, and now you can get a 32GB for $30 (or 64GB for $18) or less, so make sure you don’t pay too much. (Speaking of, I think it’s time for an upgrade.)

You can use whatever flash drive you like, of course, provided it has a little hole that you can slip a french hook onto. I picked this particular drive because it has a sleek, silver metallic design, and looks pretty.  I use jewelers pliers to put the french hooks on, but plain old needle-nose will work. You can pick up a bag of french hooks from your local craft store, or order those on Amazon.Com too.

If you were particularly evil, you could buy a pair of these, or do something like this. If you’re slightly less evil, you could set them up with portable apps or throw a portable NES emulator on it and take your favorite 8-bit games to go. I usually keep a Mountain Lion install image and NEStopia on one and currently have FireCore Seas0nPass on the other, but it varies.

You could paint them, pick drives that are more or less obvious as drives, bedazzle that shit, whatever makes you happy.

Obvious Note: Earrings get lost and hardware sometimes fails. Do NOT store any personally identifiable or sensitive data on these, and do not keep data on these that you don’t have backed up somewhere else. I mean, fucking *duh*, but I have to say it.

They’re cool looking and very practical, and they’ve saved our ass in client meetings more than once (usually because of some Mac vs PC issue on the large display), but I would never have imagined how many conversations would spark from them when I first started wearing them. I wear mine every day, and every day someone new notices them and comments.


They also make great gifts, so next time you’re stumped for something creative and fun where you can say “I made this for you!” to your loved one, now you have something.

Short link to this page is:

Yeah, slow news day.

If you decide to make these and do something cool with the drives, please do share in the comments!

  • ttitus

    I noticed you wearing these a while back. Very cool indeed! Reminds me of when I used to carry around a stick of RAM or a BNC terminator ( on my keychain.

  • I took some 555 timer chips, cut and sanded the legs down, epoxied an earring back on them, and wear them in my ear. Picture at

  • Mel

    You can get “fake” USB drives as samples from companies which do personalised ones — they’ll usually send out the cases without the chips. Mostly with A.N. Other random company’s logo on them, and you wouldn’t get two that matched… which might or not be an issue.

    But if you’re wearing them anyway, they might as well be useful 😉

  • I had a slightly different take on this idea: