Making steampunk using cloth forms is a lot of fun. First you gather all kinks of "stuff" such as metal beads, wind-up gears, chains, old keys pins and reproduction gears. Finally you can gather household "stuff" to personalize the item such as old forks, spoons, knives, bottle caps, wine cords, pop cans, safety pins and the list goes on and on and on!
I use a strong woven fabric for the fish shapes (google fish shapes for ideas). Sew the fish, turn and stuff the form firmly. Then gesso the form (I like to use Black Gesso) so that the paint does not soak into the fabric. Once the gesso is dry, go to town with painting the fish using acrylic paints. My fish are about 8" long and about 5-6" high but you can make them as large or small as you like.
I knew that I was making the three fish for three special young teenage boys so I gathered items to personalize each one. I used inexpensive "Great Canadian Dollar Store" craft glue (called Premium Craft Glue) to glue on the pieces. I also used pins, nails, safety pins, and brads to affix the items. Once the glue dries, the pieces are very secure. White craft glue will work as well. I do not like to use the glue gun as it tends to come off easily once the glue dries.
Fish #1-Colourful Golfer:
For the first young lad I gathered golf tees, a small basketball charm, and a small golf-cart charm along with the bottle caps, gears chains and bright acrylic paints (he loves wearing bright colours). "Neon, the Golfer Fish" turned out great:
Fish #3 - Computer Circuit Fish:
For the final fish the young man is into all things computer so I gathered my old computer board and cut it up! I also used wires to reproduce his mohawk hairdo and finally a guitar charm: (Notice that I used an Angel Fish shape)
I love the final look of all three fish. They are about 8" long by 5-6" high and can hang anywhere in the teenager's rooms.
The fish eyes were fun to make:
1. I used wine cork which I sliced to about 1/8" thick;
2. then use a photocopy of an eye, colour it with pencil crayons and/or markers
3. Cut out the eye to fit the cork and glue on
4. Let the glue dry and then use shiny mod-podge to add a sheen
Below is one shape of a fabric fish that is sewn and ready to stuff (I used polyester stuffing)
Please do try to make some fish (or birds, or cats) and then steampunk them using your bits and pieces that you must have lying around the house-what fun!