Introduction: How to Make Figurines From Leftover Project Parts

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Hi it´s that guy from MAYER MAKES

Every Tinkerer, Maker, Crafter and so on has leftovers.

Thats a fact.

Leftovers can be just anything, sometimes those parts fit in future projects sometimes you store them, some are usefull for others, so you pass them on.

But there are leftovers, that will not fit any purpose in a reasonable time.

So do you let them bite the dust, or do you have embraced the true MAKER-SPIRIT and will to give those leftovers a third or fourth life?

The last option for any leftover parts (not depending on its type) is using it not in its original funtion or hacked version but for its look in sculpting, crafting, modelmaking,etc.

  • The ugliest rusty screw can be the perfect match for your newest steampunk statuete.
  • A scratched up piece of scrap plastik can be the shield of you interprentation of godess "JUSTICIA"
  • Old bulky resistors with crazy values, will not fit your current arduino project but they could make great legs for the project you are about to see in this instructable.

I have mostly leftover parts from scavanged electronics, hunted down via dumpster diving, but you can do similar projects with any leftovers regardless of their type.

A figurine doesn´t have to be made of wood, metal or plastic pieces of paper and fabric can get their third life as puppet or paper mache.

You can turn junk into desirable collectibles inspired by your favorite movies.

Often a little waste reducing quick build, can turn into a great meaningfull arts project, you would be surprised how many great masterpieces in history started that way.

Head on to step 1 to get started

Step 1: Gathering Parts

The first thing you have to do is just sorting your stuff into parts for later use and parts you clearly won´t use in the near future (maybe never) and junk.

It´s the junk and the NEVER-USE-PARTS that matter most.

So get a sturdy box (or make one on your own --> nice woodworking exercise)


But where to start?

When you finish a project what do you do next?

Of course:

  • Test your project
  • Write a great Instructable on your project (HINT, HINT)
  • Display it

thats it!

But you should add two steps!

  • Put the leftover usable parts in their respective bins for later use.
  • Put the "interesting junk in your NOW-JUNK-BUT-SOON-FIGURINE-STUFF-BOX

Of course you don´t have to collect every snippsle of paper, fabric and wire but you should collect interesting shaped things, scavenged electronics, and colorfull things according to your taste and prefered look.

  • Shiny copper, rusty steel and glass are precious raw components for Steampunk-projects.
  • Bright magazine papers, colourfull wires and pieces of fabric can be the start of your first scrapbook.
  • resistors capacitators and valves (electron tubes) could form a terrifying spider figurine.... you will see in the next step.

Step 2: Assembling

Assembling or sculpting your figurine is the most tricky part of this instructable.

There is no recipe that will always work, but I can provide some basic guidelines.

There are two main aproaches to this task:

1. Plan your build

This is the best aproach for poseable figurines and Toys.

Is there any object you would like to form, anything that you would like to have, like a spaceship, a creepy teddybear, the anti-barbie, a celebrity-bust or a theme you would like to cover?

Spread your precious junk on the table in front of you and look at it, is there any shape that kind of fits your plan?

Look for cool colour combinations and matching shapes.

Can you stick parts together and it looks like something you desire?

You can turn junk into desirable collectibles inspired by your favorite movies.

2. Let your creativity soar

Just don´t think about anything, it´s about the fun in glueing, soldering and sticking stuff together.

Grab varoius pieces and start forming something, after some time you might dig some colour scemes textures and shapes. Build on that and add stuff according to your feelings, act kind of simmilar to the planing method, but don´t stick to anything just follow your intuition. This method often leads to great pieces of art that transport the feelings of the creator.

3. Combine both aproaches.

There are no rules, only your taste matters.

I´m kind of the number three guy.

Watch the attached video to see how I built a figurine from leftover electronics titled "TK15 Soviet Spider"

My figurine started with the 2nd (creative) methode but quickly evolved into a planed build

and I followed it up with another simpler figurine.

These simple Junk-figurine projects can be the stress relief you desperately need while beeing overwhelmed by your current big scale main project.

Step 3: Take Photos and Enjoy

Enjoy your creativity, take photos and show off your figurine

And soon you will get ideas for future figurines in the moment you put another piece of "JUNK" in your


I have attached a lot of photos of my Soviet spider.

Watch the Video in Step #2 to learn why I chose that name for it.

Thanks for reading

and submit your Ideas for figurines and other Stuff made from leftovers!

I would love to see your figurines!

Visit my Youtube Channel to see more stuff I have built and stay tuned by subscribing to

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