Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Steampunk Flux Capacitor Pin

I don't want to post any big spoilers for our Dragon*Con costumes quite yet, but here's a fun little jewelry project I put together that I'll be wearing:

I started with this LED flux capacitor pin I received from Team Fox at MegaCon:

I also grabbed an old watch a reader sent me for parts, and...well, took it apart:

I scratched off the tacky "quartz" and brand name from the center of the watch face with a fine blade, and then painstakingly cut and placed tiny watch gears to fit inside the outline. I also used copper foil to accent the edges.

In that photo you can see the small square filigree piece I cut into four sections. I used these to accent the edges of the capacitor pin, which I'd also edged with copper foil:

I enlisted John's help to drill two holes into the metal watch face, and then used some fine gold chain and O-rings to hang the face from the pin itself:

And yes, the watch still works! Pretty handy.

The final accent piece on top is actually a flattened brad with an O-ring on top. John said it reminded him of a propeller. I just think it looks vaguely art deco.

The best part is that exposed gear on the back, though. I added it to the twist-on cap behind the pin which turns the lights on. This allows me to easily turn the pin on and off while wearing it.

To demonstrate, here's a little video I shot with my brand new iPhone (woot!):

That's my first new phone in eight years. Needless to say, it's a pretty dramatic upgrade from my old beat-up Cingular brick phone. (Plus, I sense more videos in my future!)

Oh, and sorry for those yucky night pictures. That's what I get for crafting at 3AM! For that last shot I tried the milk jug technique someone once mentioned for shooting jewelry, though, and I think it turned out pretty well, don't you?

(To try it yourself, just cut out the bottom of an old water or milk gallon. Trim the top back for your camera lens to stick through, set it on a white sheet of paper, and violá! Instant miniature photo studio!)

Stay tuned for more great photos and tutorials! [Hint: My raygun is finished! And she's beeeeaaauuutiful.]


  1. Un-freaking-believable. Seriously!

  2. 4 words:


    This 'mod' is just the coolest & I'm not really into Steampunk. I'm in awe of your skills.

  3. I need a picture or diagram of this instant mini camera studio because I cannot understand what parts should go where... please.

  4. That is way too cool. I'm not worthy!

  5. Very cool! I jalf expected the clock to go backwards or something when the flux capacitor was on :) You need to get the craftgawker iPhone app- I love it and I think you would really enjoy it too! Have fun at the Con!

  6. I NEED A FLUX-CAPACITOR PIN!!! I mean I want one in the worst way :/ Have fun at the 'Con and post lots of pics please!

  7. Now if only the flux capacitor worked! : )

  8. I may not get to see you at Dragon Con, but at least we get to see part of your costume up close. Have fun!

  9. I am in awe of your mad crafting skills. I would love to see how the milk jug camera studio works, too. I can see how it improved the lighting in the last photo.

  10. Jen, please show us this magic milk jug technique of which you speak! Also, have you SEEN Shirt.Woot yet today? (a la Chandler Bing) It has your name written all over it! And it's shiny to boot!

  11. I LOVE LOVE this pin!! Also, Yay for iPhones!!!! You will not regret getting the app Instagram! I just love it so much and think you will do b/c you can put all sorts of filters on pictures that you take. Trust me. It is incredible. (pretend like I said that like Napoleon Dynamite - old reference but I don't care!)

  12. You just made my night! My friends tease me about my Cingular phone that is 7 or 8 years old. It's dying a slow death, so this weekend at some point I'm hoping to go phone shopping to upgrade. If you hung onto yours for 8 years, then I am not such a nutcase for hanging on to mine.

    Love your cool pin,btw. I'm trying to decide if I can make it to Dragon.con this weekend. It would be fantastic to go!

  13. Can't believe I'm the first to say this- it's like a high-tech steampunked time turner!


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