Steampunk Waterguns

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Okay, quick runthrough for those who never have heard of the word "steampunk." It's a style/movement inspired by the works of Jules Verne, and characterized by clockwork, brass, and of course steam powered apparatuses. This style is amazing, and has been around for quite a while. Go to any con and you're bound to see at least one booth selling steampunk themed items, and tons of cosplay with the theme in mind as well.

This year I decided that I wanted to do a steampunk themed workshop as part of our summer activities series. I wanted the kids to have an easy craft that they could do that had the potential to look (and be) epic, so I decided on a project that embraced the theme but could still be enjoyed by the kids: water guns.

Preparation for this event was a little bit intense, but not nearly as bad as some of the more decorated events we've had. We got these guns from Oriental Trading because they had a unique shape and a very sci-fi look to them. I sanded them down a bit, just enough to give them a texture that the spray paint could latch onto. After sanding them I took them outside and sprayed them with brown, silver, gold, and copper spray paint. As you can see, I left some guns just one color, but others I sprayed with multiple colors to give them a more unique look.

To transform the guns into steampunk creations we gave the children decorations to add to their guns, including watch parts and gears, stickers (all from Oriental Trading again), paint, and whatever other craft supplies we had in our closet.  All of these decorations had to be hot glued onto the guns.

The kids painted first, surprising me with their attention to detail. After their paint dried they would pick decorations to put on, and we would hot glue them wherever they told us to. All it takes is a dab of glue, any more and you'll burn through the plastic of the gun. We had quite a few inventive decorations. One participant even used one of the gears to make a sight. 

After everyone's gun was glued and dried, our participants decided that the next step was pretty logical... I mean, what else would you do with super awesome water guns on a hot day?

Oh, and this was my creation. I plan to keep it around to spray my cat when he's not behaving. 


  1. Such a fun idea. I have to bookmark this to use in the future! I hope to start work on modding a gun this week and I have no clue where to start. Internets to the rescue!

    1. It was a lot of fun, and the kids loved it. And I found all of the info I needed on the internet.

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