Home Archive Craft inspired by the 80’s :: The Kapowder Room Secrets

Craft inspired by the 80’s :: The Kapowder Room Secrets

by Folksy Support

The Kapowder Room Secrets is a fortnightly column in which Konnie Kapow investigates the various themes and styles to be found on Folksy.

I’m very excited about my column this fortnight as I’m looking at The 80s!

thundercats necklace 80's

So much of the fare available on Folksy has been influenced by the decade in which many of us grew up and many others were already grown. To a lot of people (myself included) the 80s doesn’t seem that long ago so it comes as a bit of a shock that early 80s items (and babies) are around or approaching the 30 mark and considered officially vintage! Cripes.

Before we get into what’s available on Folksy, let’s taking a moment to consider what the 80s were all about…

keep calm and spend more 80's

The 80s was a time where more was well, more! Maggie T was PM and Greed is Good was something of a slogan. Mrs Thatcher made it easier to borrow money which meant that many people were able to get a foot on the property ladder as well as the beginning of “credit card culture.” Mass consumerism and a boom in private enterprise meant that the focus turned to the individual rather than the state and individual is a bit of a buzz word when talking about the 80s. Of course, the other side of this was war in the Falklands, race riots, the collapse of industry, the miners’ strike and mass unemployment.

Style too was very much LOOK AT ME and there were various statement fashions around ranging from Yuppies in power suits with massive shoulder pads and rolled up sleeves to New Romantics, Post Punks, Skinheads and everything else in between. Music and idols smacked distinctly of rebellion. A just for fun poll on my blog proclaims Madonna and Michael Jackson joint favourite 80s icons with appearances from Boy George, Mr T, Debbie Harry, Michael J Fox, Timmy Mallet and Robocop!

no moonwalking t-shirt 80's

It’s worth pausing too to consider who the movers and shakers were during this decade. People in their twenties to thirties tend to be the trend setters and influential in as well as influenced by advertising. In the 80s these people will have been born in or around the 1950s and we all love to reminisce about our childhoods (see current 80s revival) hence the strong 50s element to much of the fashion and even some of the music (how’s it going Shakin’ Stevens!?). Rock n Roll was the first popular rebel music after all!

Nothing highlights this more than the Back to the Future trilogy which is for many the epitome of 80s! Furthermore, see Back to the Future III for Steampunk influences.

So let’s get an idea of what Eighties themed items look like?

Several of our talented folksy sellers make 80s themed jewellery or take vintage pieces and make them into something new (upcycling).

retro earrings 80's

Whereas in previous decades, only women of wealth frequently wore jewellery as a symbol of their status By the 80s, the fashion was no longer fine jewellery but costume jewellery. Fashion was very important to the 80s woman and jewellery played a massive part. Think strings of faux pearls, plastic, oversized, brightly coloured geometric shapes or huge jewelled clip on earrings as a staple of the fashionable female! Laura, WooWoo Designs

80's ring

Everything about the time was just bright, bold and over the top. In no other time was hair that big acceptable or neon a fashion must have! Laura, Little Red Star

What are the main materials associated with this genre?

The answer to this question is mostly synthetic but like I said above, many sellers incorporate genuine 80s ‘artefacts’ if you will, to make something new and fabulous. This includes old jewellery as well as nostalgia items such as toys and the good old cassette tape!

cassette tape badge 80s

Cassettes were the leading format around when my music obsession kicked in, big boxes of different coloured tapes….I loved spending hours writing out the song list on the backing and using the little stickers you got with the tape. It all seems so ridiculous now! Especially the idea of using a bic pen to wind the tape back in when your walkman threatened to chew it up! Ash, Cut Copy Create

my little pony necklace 80's

I use Lego, my little pony, strawberry shortcake and the care bears to make up fun pieces of jewellery. It’s a bit nostalgic really but in keeping with the original decade, bright, colourful and fun. Laura, Little Red Star

I use a lot of 80s pieces that I’ve collected over the years, I especially love using clip on earrings from that era and recycling them into rings. Laura, WooWoo Designs

Why do our Folksy sellers think it has become so popular?

I think the 80’s still remain popular because it still permeates so much in today’s world whether it be fashion, music or TV and film. So anyone born after the 80’s seems to still find a lot of what they wear/listen to/watch has its roots in the 80’s. And for the rest of us there’s nothing better that a good ol’ reminisce especially when it’s such a fun one! Ellen, Girl of the 80s desperate dan bracelet

I think there’s something about the rarity now of things like cassettes considering they were the height of fashion then and people have a nostalgia for them. That and they just look cool. Laura, Little Red Star

party rings 80's

So there you have it! The 80s, whether you loved them or hated them are having a revival right here in the online craft emporium that is Folksy and if like me you’re tempted to stick on Born in the USA and dust off your roller skates then I’d start right here on the quest for the perfect outfit!

List of images:

Thundercats Necklace by Kitschen Sink

Keep Calm and Spend More by Hole in my Pocket

‘No Moonwalking’ T Shirt by Retro Without a Cause

Retro Paint Splatter Earrings by CXheap Thrill Seeker

Vintage Purple Gold Trim Ring by WooWoo Designs
Cassette Badge by Cut Copy Create
My Little Pony Necklace by Little Red Star
Desperate Dan Bracelet by Girl of the 80s
Party Ring Heart Pendant by stars & scars

More about our columnist

Konnie Kapow is a superhero card designer on a mission to save the world from dull and namby pamby greeting cards! Her offbeat sense of humour combined with quirky card designs make her shop a popular destination for card shoppers. Konnie lives in Glasgow with her artist husband Mr Kapow! where they can be found collecting rock n’ roll memorabillia and knitting in bed.

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heather aka NiftyKnits March 15, 2011 - 12:47 pm

The 80s…the decade fashion forgot :-)

That decade, for me, was all about my young children so MyLittlePony certainly strikes a chord – as do the Teenage Mutant Turtles “Cowabunga!”

It’s certainly undergoing renewed popularity – my musician son is on tour with 80s legend Tim Booth (remember the band “James”?) next month!

Anna March 15, 2011 - 1:39 pm

Ahhh I HEART the 80s!

Konnie Kapow! March 15, 2011 - 3:00 pm

Tim Booth’s birthday was on the 4th of February, he was in my Folksy Friday! I remeber them well, “Sit Down” was one of my favourite songs for years!

OakGem March 15, 2011 - 3:36 pm

Awesome! Lets bring back the 80’s!

Victoria March 15, 2011 - 5:01 pm

Great article, really enjoyed reading this. I’ve been feeling nostalgic too lately!

Ah the era that taste forgot, its important to remember there were hard times (like there is now) amongst all the good things. Those rose tinted glasses eh!

Lynda Norton March 15, 2011 - 5:12 pm

I love the new romantic fashion, that was me – and those cassettes with the stickers, every Sunday night with the top 40 on the radio.

Might just have to dash off now and put Adam Ant on the CD player:)

Great 80’s items chosen there.


Vic, Careford Creations & Folk of the Forest March 16, 2011 - 6:12 pm

Great article! The ’80s was the best decade by far! So many happy memories. I feel very lucky to have been a kid back then.

The Kapowder Room Secrets:: Geek Chic | Konnie Kapow! June 16, 2011 - 11:27 am

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