Monday, 22 October 2012

My Step-By-Step Tutorial for Turning a Nerf Gun STEAMPUNK-Y

Here's what I used to turn a Nerf gun into a really cool Steampunk style gun.  I made it from an idea I saw on Pinterest (yes, those crafts actually DO turn out sometimes!)  Why did I make it?  Well, first it was for our local Comicon, and second.... Halloween :) 

Step 1: Assemble supplies.  Look around your house and go to hardware stores and automotive stores and even the steampunk section of the Halloween store for great ideas!  Remember, anything that looks brass/copper/bronze, Victorian, or glass will probably work.  The goal is to make it look like something from 1899.  Adding dials, watch parts, or flexi piping would be good too (but I didn't want to over-do it, so I'll save those for another project)

 This is 1 Nerf handgun, gorilla glue, small pen LED flashlight, antique hammered bronze spray paint  (make sure it's for plastics) + black acrylic paint, appliance fuses, copper plumbing joints, plumbing clamps,  tube fuses, decorative furniture tacks, and (not pictured because I forgot!) a bag of assorted gears and cogs from a Halloween store.

Step 2: Tape up the areas you don't want to spray paint.  I used green painters tape to cover the silvery parts of my gun, and used an exacto knife to do the detail cutting-away.  The goal was to paint everything that is bright orange, and leave everything else.

I kept the green trigger covered too - wasn't worth the effort to tape that up, and I wanted to the gun to still function as a Nerf gun at the end of it all, so I didn't want to clog it up with paint.

Step 3: Spray paint.  In a well ventilated area, using thin layers.  I think I used about 5 layers, myself.  When it's dry, remove the tape

I didn't worry about the little bits that bled under the tape - I figured it just looks like the 'steel metal' was corroded a bit :)

Step 4: Make it look used, or antiqued.  I drybrushed the black paint over the entire gun to make it look less shiny and new, and added more character and detail to the paint.  I also drybrushed some of the accessories I was adding onto the gun as well, like the copper pipe and the metal ends of the fuses. 

Maybe it's just me, but I thought the green trigger now looked kind of like tarnished copper  (plus I love green, so I left it)

Step 5: Glue on accessories.  I covered up the 'Nerf" symbol with the flashlight, glued one fuse to the very front for a laser effect, added the clamps to the pipes and turned them into 'vents' on the top, and glued the little rods onto the side for a sort of gauge effect (one person thought they might be the 'bullets' too - that's another option I hadn't thought of)  For finishing touches, I glued on the assorted gears in layers, and everywhere there was a screw or little hole on the gun I filled with a decorative tack (first I had to snip off the 'tack' part with wire cutters, so I was left with just the 'head')

Be sure whatever glue you get is good for both metal and plastic bits - the gorilla glue worked fantastic!!

Here's the other side....

And VOILA!  One steampunk gun!  Next challenge.... making a holster for it.... I went to Goodwill, and found a few different leather belts and pretty much just joined them together, wrapping them around themselves, and fashioned a temporary holster from them.  I wasn't 100% happy with it, but it works for now.  I'll be keeping my eyes open for ideas to make a better one... 

Here's the hubs (who's dressed as TRON) and I all ready to go to Comicon - obviously, the rest of my costume needs work! (PS I decorated the hat too :)

So I think the next thing I'll try to make(besides a better holster system) is a BIG gun!  I have one of those Nerf rapid fire guns that sits on a tri-pod.... wouldn't that be cool to make for the hubs?  If I could talk him into being my steampunk sidekick, that is...     

Show me or tell me about your steampunk creations!


  1. I LOVE IT!!!! You're very crafty! I'm not sure I"d have the patience to put this together. :) Good for you!

  2. That looks SICK. it's awesome that you could think of something like this & make it look so awesome. I really like your costume as well!

    1. Thank you! It really wasn't that hard - just time consuming :)

  3. LOOKS SO GOOD! Honestly, I'm a little surprised it turned out so well, as well. But DAMN does it look good! And you, too :)