Steampunk Style Picture Frame

Introduction: Steampunk Style Picture Frame

I have been wanting to try something with a Steampunk Style. I find this genre to be fascinating.

I started with a picture frame I purchased at Target. I brought it home and removed Glaze, Mat and Backing Board.

After I removed all of the delicate parts and set them to the side in a safe place I laid the wooden frame on my cement driveway and used a five pound hand sledge to hammer in different shapes. I used an old circular saw blade, and other scrap pieces of metal I had laying around the garage, then used a rattle can of gloss black paint to fill in all the abrasions I put in it. After it dried I used both eighty and 120 grit sand paper to remove the gloss and take the factory finish to the wood grain in places around the edges. Then I used some old motor oil as a stain for the cleanly sanded areas. It was cheap, and worked very nicely to age the wood.

The copper is half inch inside diameter that I purchased at The Home Depot, cut with an inexpensive tube cutter. I had six 90 degree angle, two long radius 90 degree angles and two 45 angles. I cut all of the pieces to length and silver soldered them together with a hand held torch, flux, and silver solder.  This part I used scrap metal as a thermo conductor and basic bar clamps to clamp it into place on my wooden workbench top.

Next, and I found this to be the most difficult part of the entire build, was running two 22 gauge wires through each of the copper tubes. After many attempts with pipe cleaners string and wire, I put a knot in the end of a piece of nylon cord and used my air compressor to force the cord through the tube. I then used electrical tape to secure the two wires to the cord and really had to work at getting them all through the assembly.

I purchased, from Radio Shak two five mm white leds, one SPST submini toggle switch and a two-AA battery holder and wired them all in parallel.

The photo I took of two power plants that share a river in Rockdale Illinois, I used COREL photo/paint to convert it to grey scale and e-mailed it to my local Wallgreens to have it printed.

After I had all the parts I mounted the copper tube to the frame with copper straps, and used a mix of vinegar and ammonia to patina the copper for the aged look.

This is my first Instructable, I hope you enjoyed this and I hope I did this properly. Thanks !

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

3rd Annual Make It Stick Contest

Participated in the
3rd Annual Make It Stick Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Toys and Games Challenge

      Toys and Games Challenge
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge

    3 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Very cool. I bought some themed postcards and any frame will not do. This will. Thanks!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It's really nice looking. Well done. I have always wanted to do something Steampunk myself. It looks like fun. Again, nice work.