Steampunk craft tutorial: Make a steampunk wreath

How about making a spring wreath, steampunk style? After posting our Steampunk Photo Cube a few months ago, I promised another steampunk craft project, and today is the day. Designer Kathleen George is sharing her tutorial for a Steampunk Songbird Wreath and authors Jennifer & Kitty O’Neil are sharing a copy of their new book Steampunk Chic.

make a steampunk spring wreath

Steampunk Songbird Wreath by Kathleen George.

If you like mixed media art and Victorian or vintage style, and tinkering with old watches, gears, jewelry parts, keys, hardware, and other found items, then steampunk style is for you. Here’s what authors Jennifer & Kitty have to say about steampunk: “It’s watch faces, keys and gears spun together with crystals, silk and lace . . . Steampunk Chic is the union of antique technology with Victorian charm and elegance.”

In today’s wreath tutorial, corrugated metallic paper mimics metal, and gives this wreath a hint of industrial chic. A mix of found objects and purchased scrapbook embellishments add Victorian flare. Use our wreath for your inspiration, and then mix & match what you have on hand, and shop yard sales and flea market for more fun finds. Half the fun is making it yours!

To make a Steampunk Songbird Wreath, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam: 12” x 1” wreath
  • Corrugated paper: Silver E-flute and Riptide (purchased from PaperArts.com)
  • Scrapbook embellishments: gears, locks, keys, charms, watch faces, Victorian images, paper roses, etc.
  • Other embellishments: washers, buttons, bead chain light pull
  • Various adhesives: Paper paste; craft pins; brads; small flat head nails; glue dots
  • Tools needed: Exacto knife; pin tool or large darning needle; palette knife or narrow putty knife; small sharp paper scissors

For the Steampunk Songbird, you will need:

  • 3” faux bird
  • Acrylic craft paint: warm tan; silver
  • Crackle medium
  • Tooling metal
  • Watch gears
  • Silver corrugated paper, scraps

To make a Steampunk Songbird Wreath:

DIY steampunk style wreath

Use your own finds and favorites to add steampunk flare to this springtime wreath.

1. Trace the wreath on the reverse side of the fluted corrugated paper. Cut 1” strips of corrugated paper and cover the outside and inside edges of the wreath. Glue and pin paper strips to edges of the wreath. Glue and pin paper to the front of the wreath. Place a book on top of the wreath and let dry.

2. Cut out ½” strips of Riptide embossed paper. Score lightly down the center length of each strip using an Exacto knife and a straight edge. Score the paper just deep enough so that it can be crisply folded; do not cut all the way through.

3. Fold the paper strip in half, and make small snips every ¼” along the open edge. Fit strip along the inside and outside edge of the wreath, pinning and gluing in place.

4. Cut out three triangle shapes from the corrugated paper and attach to the wreath using finishing nails. (Hint: If needed, make starter holes in the paper using a needle tool or large darning needle.)

5. Arrange your various embellishments and finds on the wreath. Mix, match and overlap the different elements till you like the arrangement. Depending on the item, attach embellishments to the wreath with paste, glue dots, nails, brads and pins.

make steampunk crafts

Kathleen altered a faux bird to give it steampunk style.

To make a Steampunk Songbird:

1. Paint the bird warm tan, brushing on paint in the direction of the feathers. Let paint dry.

2. Read manufacturer’s instructions for applying the crackle medium. Brush on a thick coat of crackle medium. After specified dry time, brush on silver metallic paint. Let dry.

3. Cut out a wing and crown feathers from tooling metal. Emboss with gears, buttons or other dimensional items. Glue on wings. Fold a 3/16” tab in the base of the head feathers and glue tab to top of bird’s head.

4. Decorate wing with small gears.

5. Cut three long, thin tail feathers from embossed paper. Glue to bird.

6. Glue bird to top of wreath.

7. Adhere beaded chain to top of the bird’s beak; thread chain down and around the gears, pinning in place as needed. Attach ornament at end of chain.

Win the book steampunk chic

Win a signed copy of this book Steampunk Chic!

At the CHA Show in January, I met with Jennifer & Kitty O’Neil, authors of the book Steampunk Chic. When I mentioned how much Crafts ‘n Coffee readers like steampunk-style crafts, they gave me a signed copy of their book for a giveaway!

You’ll find so much inspiration in Steampunk Chic, along with a dozen different projects with step-by-step instructions. The O’Neils, who are known for their flea market prowess, will show you how to mix and match gears, keys, postage stamps, buttons, and other ephemera to create your own funky, vintage yet modern home décor.

For your chance to win, leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite crafting trend is right now – is it steampunk? Or is it something else? Leave your comment by next Friday, March 30. (I’m keeping this giveaway simple, because I have a very busy week planned for Crafts ‘n Coffee next week . . . ).

UPDATE: Kathy Jones, you’re the winner of Steampunk Chic! Please contact me by noon on Friday. Thank you!

(This giveaway is now closed.)

Happy crafting!

Sharon

This entry was posted in Craft Tutorial, Giveaways, Home Decor, Mixed Media, Paper Crafts, Spring Crafts, Wreaths and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Steampunk craft tutorial: Make a steampunk wreath

  1. Peach Lee says:

    Yes, I love the Victorian Mish Mash of Steampunk and find it extremely intriguing. I have started collecting/creating metal artifacts and Collage Photos to design my first piece! I have been studying the Steampunk arts and origins for months now. I love any kind of bird theme…I own birds, go birding as well as paint and craft birds. They are definitely one of my fave subject matters! I think this wreath and bird project will appeal to a broad audience and perhaps draw crafters towards the Steampunk Style they would not otherwise consider! xOx Peach

  2. texasbarb says:

    Just recently, I’ve fallen in love with steampunk. I don’t have much, yet, in my stash but it’s growing. I love the songbird…just too cute! I really want to give her a try. Thanks for sharing

  3. Andrea says:

    I love Steampunk but haven’t attempted anything as big as your wreath which is just to die for.
    Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win a copy of the Steampunk Chic.

    • Sharon says:

      Many thanks to all of you ladies for stopping in, leaving comments, and sharing your memories. I’m really enjoying what you all have to say! Thank you for taking the time to comment. Sharon

  4. Janice says:

    Love the birdhouse on the front cover of the book, such a fun idea!

  5. Birgit says:

    I really like the idea of a steampunk spring wreath — it’s something new and fresh! Thus it is perfect for the spirit of spring, too. :)

    So what’s my favorite crafting trend? I am not sure if I follow trends at all. I see some things — as this steampunk wreath — and get inspired, but I don’t really follow a certain trend, I guess.

    Thanks for the chance to win this awesome book.

    Happy spring,
    Birgit

  6. studiorose says:

    I’ve “dabbled” in Steampunk, though it’s not something I’m particularly good at! I’m in love with that bird, though – it has my crafty mind a-whirl with ideas.

  7. Love this wreath. I think it could also be used for a pendant and use some of those teeny tiny watch pieces around the “o” of the pendant. Love your design. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of your book!

  8. I pinned this! I think the same type of design could use some of those tiny watch pieces to create a pendant. By varying the background of the “O” it could really be outstanding! Steampunk stuff is so creative and so much fun. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your design book!

    Teri

  9. Gloria L. says:

    Anything with clocks, gears, or numbers gets my vote!

  10. Sherry Yeager says:

    I have never heard of the convention either. I am just getting into this. Is there a book on it? Where do you get it?

  11. Michele says:

    I have fallen in love with Steampunk! I so want to make something creative like your beautiful wreath. While I dream of a plan, I scour the second-hand stores in my area searching for items to use….
    Your wreath is a treasure!

  12. I am just learning about Steampunk and this wreath is really cute. Thank you for the inspiration. I am going to pin this. :)

  13. Kathy Jones says:

    Sharon, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful and unique project.
    I must admit, I have been a fan of Steampunk long before there was a trend complete with its own set of followers. I can remember the first time I saw the Mad Max movies and Thunderdome, now I am aging myself, but I was enthrolled by the combination of so many eras that ultimately you saw something unique yet familiar which allowed the object to have its own stylized flair

    Much of my artistic focus is definitely Mixed Media. Once again, i do believe that my family had a head start on this style also long before it had its name. Growing up, we did not have a lot of money, but what we did have was a collection of great imaginations. My Mom would take us to thrift store and allow us to pick out an item or two, but the challenge was to make it into something else. Before you knew it, we were using all of the various mediums that we had on hand as we experimented on textures and application. Before you knew it, lampshades became purses, small wooden boxes became doll houses and the rest of the treasures became the foundation for my love and passion. Now of course, I like to make sure that everthing I make from jewelry, to canvas art and collage has a bit of the unexpected that draws the viewer in to take a closer look.

  14. iamvics says:

    I love steampunk. At the moment, I’m into the spring/Easter crafting. Hmmm, wonder about a steampunk bunny? LOL

  15. Debra Lee says:

    Right now I’m into making stuffed animals!

  16. Lisa M says:

    What a great wreath. I guess my style is a bit of everything. Since I never figured out one style I like it seems my crafting is a bit of everything that interests me. Got to have lots of fun creating. :)

  17. nangy says:

    My 9 year old granddaughter loves steampunk anything!! If I had known years ago that steampunk would have been so popular I would have cleaned out my junk drawer and turned it into a cash drawer! HA!HA!HA! I am into crocheting and sewing right now,but my crafting mood changes daily.Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. maria eads says:

    I guess I didn’t really know there where trends until recently. Steampunk is pretty cool.

  19. Wow!! What a great give away. I enjoy playing with steam punk now, and a few other things. Always have a couple of things going at the same time. I love the steam punk weath-Fantastic!!!!

  20. Jeannie (blue) says:

    I just pinned this! What a cool & unique wreath. While I haven’t tried it yet, I love the steampunk look. (And I hope the mustache trend passes quickly. lol.)

  21. Ellen H says:

    I always love steampunk, but I think I’m really into ALL the spring-themed crafts right now, and I definitely think it’s becoming a trend! Warmer weather is here!

  22. m-a says:

    Right now, I’m sewing some purses and clothes for this summer. But I have steampunk projects who are waiting for me!

  23. Sar Tann says:

    HAHAHA Actually it is Steampunk. I pretty much love everything Steampunk and have been interested since it was in it’s infancy.

    Over Easter weekend (Thur-Sat ) My family and I are going to Steampunk convention.

    My family does this every yearl. We actually work a booth along with several others to raise money for various areas in Children’s hospitals in our area. Ever event our group chooses a different dept at children’s so everyone at one time or another can benefit.

    We got started in this as my son has a rare congenital disorder called Distal Arthrogryposis as well as severe Scoliosis . He receives surgery every 6 months for his Scoliosis and has something called a VEPTR. We also work other conventions, book signings for authors etc to raise money. We all have a wonderful time and its a great/VERY fun way to spend time as a family. :) Thank you. :)

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Sar, You are a fan, indeed. I’ve never even heard of Steampunk conventions! I hope this is a highly successful event for you and you’re able to continue funding the good works at the hospitals. All the best to you and your family. Sharon

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