Made in moments, cufflinks are a stylish finishing touch - and they're not just for men! By Robert Lomas
Although they're mainly worn by men, cufflinks can add an unusual decorative finishing touch to women's shirt-cuffs too.
You can buy cufflink barrels the blank metal pieces - in a variety of materials, from stainless steel to silver plated. They can be circular or square, flat or recessed. Their size is based on the diameter of the larger disc and can be anything from 11mm to 18mm. Find them in jewellery-making or bead shops.
Choosing what to stick on to the barrel is the fun part. Glass beads are ideal but you can also use other items such as badges and bottle tops, and what you choose can be made of materials including glass, ceramic, wood, plastic, rubber and metal.
Strong contact adhesive (make sure it's suitable for the material you're using)
Make sure that the cufflink barrel is clean and dry. Large beads may get snagged on sleeves as you take them on or off, and could even be pulled off the barrel.
Apply the adhesive according to manufacturer's instructions. Be careful not to get glue on areas of the cufflink barrels and the bead that will be visible once dry.
Leave your cufflinks in a safe place to dry. You may need to prop them up while it dries.
Once dry polish your cufflinks with a soft damp cloth and then finish with a dry cloth. If you used silver barrels use silver polish for a great effect.
Cufflinks first appeared during the reign of the French King Louis XIV when shirt sleeves began to be fastened with boutons de manchette or sleeve buttons. These were usually coloured glass buttons joined by a short chain. By the 18th century cufflinks had become more ornate, made of precious metals and adorned with jewels.
Shirt cuffs with cufflinks can be worn 'kissing' - with the ends pinched together - or barrel-style with one end overlapping the other. Kissing cuffs is more usual.