Monday, January 5, 2015

Mini Steampunk Nutcrackers & [sob] Packing Up Christmas

It's been pretty quiet over here as I shake off the post-Christmas blahs, but I'm looking forward to finishing up some old projects (Claptrap, anyone?) and starting at least one big new one. [mysterious eyebrow waggle]

'Til then, here are the finished steampunk nutcracker ornaments I mentioned last week on Facebook:

This was a quick project, so I'm bummed I didn't get them done before Christmas for our steampunk tree. I started with this bare wood set, which was about $5 from the craft store:

I glued thin strips of card stock around the heads for goggle straps:

... then used a hole punch to make a bunch of tiny "goggles" out of thin craft foam. Glued those on, plus some metal gears for decoration:

I bent the gears to match the curves of the hats, and for the one on the staff I used a craft knife to slice a small notch in the wood for the gear tooth to sit in.

Spray primed in black:

 (John added the eye hooks to the tops for hangers.)

Then I sprayed them metallic copper, with brushed-on gold leaf accents:

I think the paint finish could be a little more interesting, so maybe I'll revisit them next year. (Maybe some black aging? Or copper patina? Hmm.)

Saturday night John and I packed up all the Christmas stuff (BOO), and with his help we were done in just two hours - not counting shrink-wrapping the two trees. (The trees took another hour, but only because we ran out of shrink wrap. :D)

We store everything in a small closet in the back of our garage, and since I get so many questions about it, I snapped a few pics:

 Yep, it's all in there.

There's a small recess to the right, so there's more room in there than you might think:

The new cauldron made it a tighter squeeze than usual, so it all goes right up to the ceiling. Yessir, John is a master of Storage Tetris.

Welp, I hope the new year is treating you guys well so far. Here's to lots of new projects, new friends, and new fandoms to geek out over!


  1. For a moment in that last photo I thought you actually had storage boxes labelled with 'Epbot' and I was about to be like 'Jen like I know you're mega-crafty but that's too far'...
    ...then I realised it was the watermark and thought 'I need another cup of tea'.

  2. Next time you use copper paint - base coat in RED. This makes the copper stand out as copper and not rose gold. The black base coat will dull down the copper. You can age with the black afterwards. And don't do what I did and use copper powder in a clear coat....too darn many layers.

  3. Saw the shrink wrapped trees.... immediately thought Shelob's lair :)

  4. My hubby is a master of storage tetris too. And car tetris. He managed to fit a family size tent, complete camping gear (sleeping bags, matresses, table, chairs, pots, pans, stove, a mini fridge, water and food for two weeks) and four people into a Mazda 2.

  5. I'd maybe go for a patina of some sort. You have enough done that if you experimented you might find that one treatment might look better than another. And I dig the shrink wrapped trees, and I appreciate the photo! I've always wondered what it looks like in your closet.... ;-)

  6. I like how they looked with the black spray colour before the copper. They looked kinda sooty then, maybe you could accent with silver but in my opinion the black looks best.

  7. I bet you two pack a mean dishwasher.

  8. Ugh, I have post-Christmas blahs, too, and I don't even like Christmas half as much as you to, Jen, so I can't imagine how hard it must've hit you. If my holiday decorations were as cool as yours, I would've left mine up all the way through January just to ease the pain, heh.

    Your holiday storage closet is pretty awesome, but yeah, it does look like a giant spider wrapped up you and John, and stuck you guys in there. Creepy.

    What the heck are two of those nutcrackers holding, and why does whatever it is look so sex-toyish? I think you need to pry their dildos out of their naughty hands and give them ray guns instead. For the rest, they look great.

    Can't wait to see more Claptrap and looking forward to the big new secret project, too. Eeeeeeee! What will it be?! So exciting!


  9. Those trees remind me of the Supernatural episode with the Spider creature! Creepy!

  10. That's Zen Master level of storage Tetris. Impressive! There is a family in my town that has such a collection of Christmas decorations that they donate decorated trees to the libraries and local businesses. They get to make gorgeous trees all over town and then collect their stuff when the season is over.

  11. Maybe give the nutcrackers some moustaches/beards for a more 'Victorian' look? or some little waistcoats? Loved your trees!

  12. Mmm, copper patina. Also, I totally stole your shrink wrap idea for one of our mini-trees, and it was AWESOME. I'm going to try and convince DH to give it a whirl with our big tree next year (after we buy a new one!).


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