Posted December 29, 2011on:
Holiday decorations take-down-ing getting you down? Winter is just beginning, so why not decorate your home with paper snowflakes? It was all the rage when I was a kid in the 80’s.
Into Steampunk? create yourself some steampunk gear snowflakes! I call ’em GearFlakes. They are easy to make, require zero fancy tools, and you can have a lot of fun setting them up in geared patterns on your window. Let the whole neighborhood know a steampunk geek lives here! You don’t even need a compass. or a protractor. I promise. It’s six way symmetry steampunk awesome.
What’s this you say? you want step by step instructions? Today, and today only, your wish is my command!
two bowls, one larger than the other (Or I suppose you could use a compass, if you really, really wanted to)
here are my bowls. There is a big bowl and a small bowl, so I can have big gears and little ones. From experience I’ve learned this works better if you only have two or three sizes, instead of making each gearflake a different size. Flip the bowls over, and trace ’em on some paper.
Now cut out your traced circles. See? Didn’t I tell you this was easy?
and fold ’em in half.
This next step is the trickiest part of the whole thing. Think origami, and fold each half moon into thirds. Wanna get out your protractor and be all exact? Go for it. I fudged it.
If you were to unfold these, you’d see the original circle is divided into six (hopefully even) wedges.
Let’s draw in the “teeth” of the gear:
And draw in the rest of the pattern:
Here are the patterns I drew on the rest of my wedged circles:
I seriously suggest using a pencil, by the way. If you don’t trust your sketching skills, use a compass (or a pencil and a piece of string) to make the guide circles.
Next, cut them out:
Hey, that one on the bottom totally looks like a Viking helmet with a crowny thing!
Let’s unfold them and see what we’ve got:
Super shiny table plus white paper makes for a ton of glare, who knew?
much better. The viking helmet looking thing turned out most like a gear, and the one on the left sort of kind of looks like a snowflake. You can have all sorts of fun making fun patterns on your window or on the wall. The first time I made these I made like 20 of them, it was a blast! I’d used a compass, and tried to be all smart and show-offy, so I made every gearflake a different size. When I tried to piece them together on the wall in a fun pattern, they looked weird. So now I only do two different sizes, and the end result seems more aesthetically pleasing.
And there you have it, how to make steampunk gearflakes, no steam-powered machinery required. I did once try to make these with steam-powered scissors. but the scissors ended up gaining sentience and it ended very badly. I’m still banned from buying pressure gauges at the hardware store.