- Arts and Design
How To Make Artwork Out Of Junk
Making Art Out Of Odds & Ends....
I'm sure you've heard the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure!" Everyone has their own sentimental items that they cherish. Items that have a really deep meaning to us, items that wouldn't have the same feeling to someone else. Someone who, not knowing the history, only sees the item for face value, as just a thing.
But, what about all those items we see as possible junk? You know the miscellaneous items I'm talking about, everyone has them. We all keep them in a drawer that we so eloquently call, the junk drawer! Maybe there are a few items in there of use or value, but a lot of those other things, we'll never end up using! Like that piece of plastic that goes to who knows what? and has been sitting in there for ages.
Well, here's a great idea I came up with, to incorporate all those odds and ends. Making artwork in the form of a sculpture, using all those little, and even big, pieces of nothingness. In this article I'll show you a couple of my pieces of art I've made and even show you one I put together just recently.
Spring has sprung! With Spring cleaning in full swing, now's the time to go through all those items you've put off and who knows, maybe you'll find some golden treasure!
*All the pictures on this page are my own. All right reserved & all that jazz!
Treasure Hunting Through The Junk Drawer
*There's a picture of what our junk drawer looks like. In all actuality, my family & I just recently moved so we don't have a junk drawer built up yet. So, to showcase a junk drawer, I had to clear out a kitchen drawer(which is where almost everyone's junk drawer is usually located, in a kitchen) just so I could fill it up with junk I have and take a picture to use for this page.
Don't worry! That drawer has been put back to normal - housing our plastic freezer & sandwich bags, as well as other similar items, like aluminum foil and saran wrap. I can't guarantee that we won't end up having a junk drawer in this house too. It's inevitable! lol All it takes is for someone to conveniently place an item in a drawer(an item that has no immediate use), and before you know it.....it's full of odds & ends. Just make sure you don't turn into a hoarder in the process!
Those items, that I filled that drawer with, are only a small amount of the items I have in bags and boxes that I will be using for the project I recently did, as well as future ones.
Drawer Organizers on Amazon
Are you ready to get your drawers more organized? Amazon has you covered with drawer organizers.
I actually own a drawer organizer, much like this one down below & I love it!
Drawer organizers are great! No more, with everything just rolling around with everything else, in the drawer.
Picture it, you open the drawer and everything is nice and neatly sitting in each compartmentalized section that you last saw it! Is that heaven or what? lol
Spring cleaning means cleaning any and everything that needs work - maybe your junk drawers or even any of your other drawers that need organizing.
Also, organizing better isn't just for Spring cleaning, it's for anytime of the year. Cleaning up all that clutter means more productivity and less time finding the things you need, that are buried under everything else.
The First Time The Light Bulb Came On!
The first art piece I made was sometime around 2005 or so. I was going through some old stuff and came across an old film type Kodak camera(that I hadn't used in probably 10 years) and the design of it has always piqued my interest because it looks like an alien spaceship, right out of the famous book, "The War of the Worlds". The camera happened to be in the same area as some other cool looking items and I thought, "what if I put them all together?", why not make something awesome!
That's how this next creation was born.....I call it a Spider Tank!..........
My Spider Tank!
How cool is that? I think it's awesome looking! It could use some more sculpting though, especially in the form of paint. I also used too much glue when I made that and definitely learned from that mistake. (The other art piece I talk about making, on this page, looks really cool too!)
That Spider Tank I made, is not the one I'll be showing step by step on this page. I made another piece of art recently, different from this one, that I'll be talking about. But if you're curious what went into the making of the Spider Tank....here are the items I used, broken down into sections.......
For the body:
An old Kodak Camera,
a cd player car tape adapter.
as well as a cd player car cigarette lighter adapter(the end that plugs into the cigarette lighter),
half of a gold pen,
a piece of an old flashlight(specifically the tube that held batteries),
and a broken plate hanger.
The Spider Tank would've been so much more epic if the flash part worked, because I could've just popped some batteries into it and just hit the flash button! But alas! The flash part was broken, which worked out better because I had to put a weapon piece into the battery compartment - which meant breaking it.
Even more epic!....if the whole camera worked still, I would've tried to add things to it without ruining its picture taking ability because that would be monstrously epic! to be able to take pictures with it, looking the way it would.
To put that Spider Tank together, and even the new piece of art I made, I used something similar to this next item/tool.........
A Hot Glue Gun!!! - The Most Essential Item Needed For These Projects
I put everything together with that last piece of artwork, and the recent one, using a hot glue gun. I've always had a love for hot glue guns even before shop class in school. Shop class made them even cooler to use too! We made some pretty cool stuff in shop class when I was in school..... boats to race, they had to float and go fast.... cars to race, they had to be aerodynamic and stay held together. There were a number of things we made in shop class and they all were pretty much held together by glue from hot glue guns.
Glue guns can get pretty hot so don't touch the tip of the gun or top vented parts. Just grab a hold of the handle and the trigger and you're good to go! Remember to plug in the hot glue gun about 15 minutes or so, before you want to use it, and with the glue already in it, so that it gets warmed up and ready, for when you are. Don't leave the glue gun unattended, especially if kids and animals are around and don't leave it just sitting there, powered on, for awhile without using it. The glue will burn and you also don't want to risk there being a fire.
Here's a really great idea for a glue gun!
It's nice and big! The trigger is even big enough for all your fingers, or most of them considering what size your hands are.
*The older hot glue guns had really small triggers that you could only get 2 fingers on, if you were lucky.
This glue gun also has a removable wire stand, whereas the older ones had them built into it so you couldn't get it out of the way if you had to squeeze the gun into a tight spot.
It's good to have your glue gun standing, when not in immediate gluing use, by way of the metal stand because otherwise you're laying it down on something problematic.
If the gun is laying down, while on, the glue might leak out the top and onto whatever you lay it on or even heat up the item you lay it on which also isn't good!
This hot glue gun, by Surebonder is a great buy and the customer reviews also say so!
Have You Ever Used A Glue Gun?
What to Make? - First Things First....
The first thing you want to do is go through all the pieces/items you have in your junk drawer, boxes or where ever you keep all that miscellaneous treasure trove of blah. You can either go through it in whatever location it is or grab it all, like the drawer, and dump it all out on a table, or the floor(like what I did in that picture up above). Sift through the stuff and think what you could make....don't forget to say "hmmmm?" lol
The first thing you need to think of also, is what the body is going to be. Maybe a bottle, plastic or glass? something wooden? It's completely up to you - Whatever vision you have!
In this case, with my recent project, I was going to use a, kind of big, plastic water bottle but, I had to use it for something else. It would've worked perfect too! I decided to go with an empty Pringles can! Yum! I love Pringles! The most recent flavor I've been munching on is Pizza-licious! Have a snack while you're making your next (You're name goes here!) masterpiece!
Now, you just have to pick out what items you want to use, along with your main body piece and set it all aside. Don't take away or put away all the other stuff until you're done with the project because you might decide to use something else from the pile, while you're making your piece.
My Mystery Artwork
Step By Step.....
Ok, so I thought I'd make the piece I'm working on, a mystery, so you can watch it being made, rather than showing the finished product and then showing you how I made it.
The only thing I'll say is, that it's going to be an Alien Robot Spaceship!
Let's get started.......
Putting Together The Rocket Boosters
I couldn't find my hot glue gun so I had to borrow my mom's pink one. It works like a charm!
For the project, I already had the art piece idea in mind, before I started. The art piece is going to be an alien robot spaceship, not like a flying saucer but more of a NASA type spaceship design but, with alien & robot parts.
The first items I'm using are empty water bottles, 3 of them. First I have to glue them together so they can be rocket boosters, to go on the main ship hull part.
Rocket Boosters Finished!
The rocket boosters are now complete!
All 3 bottles are glued together.
Now I just have to glue them to the Pringles Can I'm using as the main spaceship body.
With a real spaceship, obviously, the rockets would break off as it climbs into space but, these ones are stuck on by glue and aren't going anywhere!
Rocket Boosters Connect....
When gluing things together, make sure you check where it should be glued, by putting the objects on each other first, because some areas might not need glue or you might even put glue on a spot that doesn't touch the other item and you've wasted glue.
In this case, the bottles had a lot of grooves and some areas that don't touch the pringles can so that saved some glue.
Pringles Potato Chips! on Amazon
Pringles are probably my most favorite potato chips. They've been my go to chips for a long time. When I was a teenager, my best friend & I used to make late night trips to the nearby grocery store to pick up munchies and Pringles were almost always grabbed!
Pringles Potato Chips comes in many different flavors. I love them all!
The recent one's I've been eating are the pizza flavored ones. They're the same ones I used the tube for, to make this glue gun, junk drawer, artwork project with.
This package of Pringles from Amazon is a variety pack, full of all the different flavors Pringles offers. Which works out great because if you've never tried them you can check each one and find what ones you like.
Maybe you need some energy fuel like I did, for doing this recent craft.....
Making The Alien Ship Stand!
You'll want your artwork to stand up, unless it's something that you want to lay down. This spaceship needs to stand so I decided on a speaker stand(I have about 10 of these, but only needed 1, which leaves more for any other projects down the road).
Now The Spaceship Has A Leg To Stand On!
When I was putting on the speaker stand, I was like "Oh no!" because I had forgot to think about the fact that the bottles/rocket boosters might be in the way! Thankfully they weren't. There was just enough room.
So be sure and remember that if you make something. Put everything where it needs to be with tape or just put it there and see what conflicts with room or size. The safest way is to break the project down into sections. Go by, the sides or areas of it and figure out what is going on each side.
I usually eyeball thing really well and know whether or not something will fit without checking it, but in this case I actually forgot about the fact that it might be cluttered to the point of adjustment.
*The spaceship is laying down right now, because the weight proportion is off and it tips back. Later on it gets alleviated by other items on the front side, so it stands. Otherwise, I would've put something inside the Pringles can to fix that problem.
Spaceship Arms & Hands!
The next items I've decided on, from my junk drawer/boxes/bags is funny, ingenious and somewhat gross - 2 Toilet Seat Hinges! lol What!?! They're clean! At least I think they are! lol I'm pretty sure I grabbed them off a brand new seat we bought because we had to replace one we had just bought that had cracked, from being cheap. So we had no need to put on the new hinges, when new hinges were already on there for the most recent new one.
I thought how cool would these white plastic hinges be, for arms, for the alien robot spaceship! To be able to grab a hold of asteroids or any celestial body's terrain. To be able to grab onto something if gravity is pulling it away or to even be able to push over our civilization's skyscrapers, when the stereotypical movie alien's human enslavement conquest begins it's reign! lol Hopefully the aliens, if they really exist, are peaceful(I think they are!).
Hey! There I Am!
There I am! Gluing the toilet seat hinges, making them into arms & hands, for the alien robot spaceship!
The best way to glue gun, is on a surface that won't get messed up, or on one that you can! mess up! I'm using one of my trusty piece of cardboards that I've used for many years, one that I've used for many different things(It's easy to see it's wear & tear). I didn't want to get any dabs of glue on the carpet, while using the glue gun, or even when not using the glue gun because glue can seep out of it randomly, when not in use.
Also, another kind of pain when glue gunning is that when a stick starts running out(one that's in the gun already), it will get to the point where the gun trigger mechanism won't be able to feed the rest in. So at anytime, especially then, you have to feed the stick in manually by pushing it with your hand, or by feeding a new stick in, manually pushing a new one through, to make the old one move through.. When you feed any of them in, the glue comes out faster, so be careful of that mess. Eventually you'll get used to using a glue gun and know what's what.
Using Enough Glue..... - Hot Glue Gunning Tips
When using hot glue you kind of want to be quick & snappy about getting the glue on and hurrying to get the glued items together so the glue doesn't dry before you can get it to stick where it needs to go. The glue doesn't take long to dry at all, maybe just 30 seconds for complete dry, 10 or 15 by the time it's feeling first solid. Try not to overuse the glue on something, as well, because otherwise it looks messy and squeezed out from under the glued piece. (Meaning to not use so much glue on each part. You'll get the hang of the idea, on how much to put on)
That picture, up top, is the toilet hinge bottom that's getting glued. I made sure to get every spot that could take glue and to go over the older parts, quicker. With the metal tip of the gun being hot, it will re-melt/re-heat the glue, to be able to be sticky and ready for sticking. That works out great in case the glue you put down had already almost dried and needs to be brought back to life, while you were working the glue onto the other parts of the item.
Hot Glue Guns on eBay
Ebay is a top place online to go to, to check out arts & crafts. You can find some great lot sale type items, specifically bulk items of one kind. So if you need a mess load of a certain type of sticker or beads they've got 'em. They even have hot glue guns.....also! speaking of bulk items, maybe you already have a hot glue gun and you need glue sticks, they have auctions for bulk supplies of glue sticks! You'll never run out of glue during any project, for a long time!
So Far So Good! - Here are 7 photos of what it looks like so far, from 4 angles....Click thumbnail to view full-size
Next up is a cool looking piece. It's a top that was from an energy drink that I bought, back in 2003. It was kind of strange the way they put the energy drink together because the top didn't go back on the energy drink container after you pulled off the seal.
If my memory serves me correct, the energy drink was expensive too, around $8-$10.(I can't remember what it was called) I was working in a bakery at that time, all overnight shifts. So I would get some energy drinks to really wake me up. In the long run, they're most definitely not good for you health-wise, and they were undoubtedly not good for my health either! Remember....Everything in moderation! Limit your sugar & caffeine intake! It's absolutely imperative!
So anyway, I really liked that top that came with it and kept it so I could use it for something cool down the road....It looks like I've made it down that road, now let's sharpen up this spaceship with a cool nose capsule, rocket top!
Another Helpful Glue Gunning Tip
Another pain when glue gunning is that you need to put something, that doesn't sit or lay how you need it, onto or in something so you can put glue on it. If you're someone who has a workshop vice, then you're golden. Otherwise you'll have to be creative and come up with some way, or something, to hold your piece. I was going to try holding it between my knees or thighs but then I'd run the risk of getting glue on my pants.
I was able to put the energy drink top into a nearby box full of "junk"(or should I say treasure!) and get the job done.
Glue Gun Stuff on YouTube
There are a lot of different projects you can do with your hot glue gun - Youtube has a plethora of videos to check out if you want to make some cool stuff!
Looking More Like A Spaceship.....
That looks pretty darn cool to me! It looks more like a spaceship now! Let's see if we can make it look really cool with this next item......
Giving The Alien Robot Spaceship An Eye!
This next piece is awesome! It's a door peephole! My brothers and I each had one installed on our bedroom doors, growing up.
They're pretty cool to look through, as you can see by the next photos....
I took some pictures through it......
Looking Through A Doorhole Peephole....
Those doorhole peephole's are fun! The objects are distorted and give them a really interesting look when someone or something walks by.
Can you see the alien robot spaceship? and the glue gun?
When Not Using A Glue Gun....
There was no need to use the glue gun on the peephole. I just cut a hole into the Pringles can with a box cutter and slid the looking glass through. That way I can still take the peephole piece out whenever I want. Also, so I don't waste glue. Win! Win!
I decided to improvise the cutting, rather than get it accurate. If I really wanted to be accurate, I could have traced the ring of the peephole on a piece of paper, cut it out and then held it against the round shaped surface of the Pringles can and cut the hole. Helpful hints o'plenty!
The Way It Looks Now.....
The alien robot spaceship turned out great! I decided to stop there. I'll eventually add more to it - probably some paint, or....black & silver duct tape is what I was thinking. I think it's looks phenomenal!
Posing With My New Masterpiece! - The Alien Robot Spaceship!
I'm extremely happy at how well it came out! It's got all the basic elements I wanted it to have. I had 99% of the project figured out before starting it. The only thing I didn't think about adding, beforehand, was the peephole to go on it. I also left some things out of it that I had originally planned because I think they might not go, but who knows, I might think of a cool addition another time.
I really hope you enjoyed reading about this project! Also, I hope it gave you a great idea for a piece of art you could put together. I have so much more junk drawer type, odds & ends, stuff to use for any future art I make. I'm sure you have some too, unless you happen to be someone who throws away(or hopefully recycles!) the miscellaneous tidbits that lay around your house - in drawers, boxes or bags. Maybe you might want to start saving that stuff so you can make something out of it. Plus, maybe you threw something away that you weren't supposed to and wished you hadn't? Just try to think about saving the stuff next time....just be careful you don't become a hoarder, especially with the whole cat aspect! Good lord!
Make Your Masterpiece Today!
Do Aliens Exist?
Do aliens exist? Do you think they stand for peace? Should they show themselves already? Wouldn't it make the world usher in a new era of enlightenment, ending greed & pollution if they came to tell us we need to fix the problems that are destroying this world?
You know if they showed up, people would be scared and there would be some genius(sarcasm!) who would try to attack or destroy them, out of fear, with no basis of proof that they mean us harm, unless they start blowing things up or move toward an agenda of enslavement......ok, you get the idea.....so the question is.....
Do You Believe That Aliens Exist?
Do Aliens Exist?
Speaking of space ships, robots & aliens...
Have you seen the new Star Wars Teaser Trailer that came out recently?
The New Star Wars Teaser Trailer!!!
What about the spoof trailer?
Someone made a hilarious spoof trailer, using the teaser trailer & putting tons of new footage in it like George Lucas did with his movies lol! I thought it was hilarious!
Take a look at it...
The Funny George Lucas Version Spoof Star Wars Teaser Trailer!
Thank you for taking the time to check out this cool arts & crafts idea I came up with.
Have you ever put things together like this?
Does it interest you?
Are you going to make your own masterpiece now too?
If you use a glue gun, what are some fun things you use it for?