Introduction: How to Make a Steampunk Jellyfish Bottle

This is my Steampunk inspired jellyfish in a bottle.

Step 1: Jellyfish in a Bottle: the Plan

So I saw a how to make a jellyfish in a bottle toy for children. The website is http://bhoomplay.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/diy_jellyfish_eng/. I like her jellyfish more than mine because I didn’t spend enough time to make it look good, but I wanted to give the whole project a steampunk feel. I have attached my plan of how to cut the plastic for the jellyfish and how I planned to make my bottle look. Two of the photos are of the supplies you will need to make it look just like mine, but I would recommend decorating it with your own style to make it really yours. The supplies you will need are as follows:

1.    Plastic bag (choose one that is real thin and either white or clear for the best look)

2.    String (I would use a thinner string than the one I used)

3.    Food coloring

4.    Scissors

5.    A bottle (this is all about how you want it to look, and no I used a bottle I already finished)

6.    Glue (choose a type that will bond the materials you are joining)

7.    A topper* (my Icarus came from a chess set I got in Greece)

8.    Copper and Brass wire*

9.    A upholstery nail* (just what I used to hide where the wire goes into the cap)

10.Small brass screws* x3

11.Jewelry chain with clasp*

12.Brass sheet* (thin enough to bend easily but thick enough not to wrinkle)

13.Tin snips (to cut the brass, but to be honest mine was thin enough to use scissors)

14.Wire cutter

15.Needle nose pliers

16.Black paint*

17.Soldering iron

18.Solder wire

19.Flux

Items with a * by them are things I used to decorate my bottle. The Iphone in the photo was for size reference.

Step 2: Jellyfish in a Bottle: the Construction

Making the jellyfish is fairly easy. Cut a circle in the plastic. I think a good length for R2 is the height of the water level in the bottle. This length will allow the tentacles to hang low but not touch the bottom. The radius of the inner circle controls the jellyfish head size, with the dotted line being where you will tie it. Tie the head of the jellyfish off with string. You need to leave it loose enough to fill it with water. I used a straw when tying the head because the opening of my bottle was very small so I would need to fill it after I got it in the bottle. When cutting the tentacles I made some curly and some strait to add to the visual look of it. Next I stuck the jellyfish in the bottle and filled the head with air first, then some water. After the straw was out I put some water in the bottle to the level I wanted and added a drop of blue food coloring.  The photo shown is about half way after I used some brass and copper wire to make a collar for the bottle.

Step 3: Jellyfish in a Bottle: the Decoration

Now for the fun part which is also the longest. I started decorating the bottle by adding the Greek statue to the top. It had some felt on the bottom I had to cut off first, and then I filed down the bottom to make a good bonding surface. I used liquid nails glue to stick the statue to the cap. My next addition was the copper wire that I bent to follow the lines of the statue and the cap. I used the pliers to shape the wire and drilled a hole in the base of the statue, the side of the cap, and the middle or an upholstery nail that I broke the point off. I then secured the whole thing with glue.

At this point I will address the important point of adapting the original plan during implementation. You may have noticed on my plan drawing some decorative studs up on the neck of the bottle. I was going to use the upholstery nails to decorate the neck, but found they didn’t fit well to the curve of the bottle so I dropped them. I also started drawing an interesting label for the bottle but cut it because it would block too much of the view of the jellyfish. Editing your design is NOT failure. Not adapting to reality is.

I continued the decoration of the cap with three bras screws that I put in the cap. I even rapped some excess copper wire around one of the screws. I used some glue to make sure they wouldn’t fall out. I had already added the collar to the bottle but I became worried that the gap on the brass wire would expand and drop the bottle. To secure the collar I soldered the two ends of the brass wire together. This step is optional and would be the most advanced step in the process.

The final decorative part that I added was some brass wings with a raven cameo on it. I used my paper template to insure I had the right size and location. I copied the template onto my brass sheet with a sharpie. After I cut the parts out (in three pieces to make it wrap better), I put the three pieces on a piece of tape. I used the tape to keep each part in its relative position. I added glue to the back of the wings and put it on the bottle. I used more tape wrapped the whole brass addition in tape to keep the parts flush to the bottle as it dried.

After it dried I mixed black paint with water to make a wash and painted it over the wings. After a few seconds I wiped the wing with a paper towel to give the wings an aged look. The last step was to paint the raven cameo onto the shield portion of the wings.

Step 4: Jellyfish in a Bottle: the Product

I hope you enjoyed my instructable. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments so I can answer for everyone. I have included two pictures of the bottle backlit.

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