Steampunk Projects

Looking for Steampunk projects to make? This birdhouse is made from a plastic bottle and odds and ends from the junk drawer.


Age: Adult

Difficulty: Easy

Time scale: 2 out of 5

steampunk-birdhouse

Supplies:

  • plastic beads
  • scissors
  • knife
  • black felt pen
  • Metallic paints: Gold, copper and brown
  • Black primer spray paint
  • sea sponge
  • Plastic bottle (liquid calcium)
  • Super glue
  • small gears
  • small pipe with connectors
  • large washers
  • brass plumbing parts
  • bottom from light bulb
  • brooch
  • medium grit sandpaper
  • clear spray sealer

This supply list will vary depending on what you have in your junk drawer. Each piece will be different because no one will have the exact same supplies. I like saving odds and ends but did not have any preconceived notion as to what exactly I was going use to make this. It was easier for me to just start gathering up some junk and go from there.

Here are some other ideas on what you can use to make steampunk projects:

  • clock and watch pieces
  • leather straps
  • screws/nails/bolts/nuts
  • grommets
  • vintage jewelry
  • aluminum foil
  • wire
  • keys
  • gears
  • zippers
  • buttons
  • snaps from jeans
  • springs
  • wire from clothespins
  • beads
  • washers
  • ends of old pens
  • chain
  • pop can tabs
  • copper pipe
  • plumbing parts
  • valves

How to Make Steampunk Projects

Take the label off and wash and dry a plastic calcium bottle. If you don't have a bottle like this, you can use any other plastic container that you find interesting.

Use a medium grit sandpaper to rough up the outside of the bottle.

Use a knife to poke a hole about half way down, on the front of the bottle.

Use-calcium-container-to-make-birdhouse

Use a black felt pen around this, to mark out a circle, that is about an inch across. Cut this out using scissors.

Spray paint with black primer. When dry, sponge on a bit of gold metallic paint. After drying, apply copper paint and then some metallic brown. Leave some of the black showing through in places.

Sand the paint off where you will be applying glue. Pieces will hold better if you glue them to an unpainted surface.

Use super glue to add washers, gears and do dads here and there. I know, not very specific. This project will just come together, if you just start fiddling. 

Use super glue to attach a large washer around the circle that you cut out on the front of the bottle.

I wanted to add a wonky looking chimney on my birdhouse. There was going to be a problem with weight distribution.

Large-washer-for-opening

To counter balance this, I added brass fittings to the top of the bottle, that sat down over the cap. If you don't have anything on hand to use for this, you may have to weight the bottom. This will help keep the bottle from being too tippy. 

Metal-pieces-for-top-of-container

The chimney is made from small pieces of pipe and some connectors that had been saved, after dismantling some piece of something. I have had it in a plastic drawer for so long, I can't remember what it is off of.

Originally, I was going to add a piece for the perch on the front of the birdhouse. It was going to be too heavy. Instead, I used the bottom piece from a light bulb.

The plastic bottle is quite lightweight so keep in mind that heavy items can either help stabilize it or completely throw it off balance, depending on where they are attached.

Add beads around the bottom and top edges of the bottle.

After you have your birdhouse decorated up how you like it, spray with 3 coats of a clear sealer. If it is going outside, you will have to put a really good urethane on it.

I'm not sure what kind of bird wants to live in this but I'm sure there must be one out there somewhere. Maybe a cuckoo bird? 

Now I am off to dig through my junk drawer, so I can find supplies to make more steampunk projects.


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