Monday, July 11, 2011

Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm

Since the charm swap is in full swing (we now have 45 people playing along!!) I thought it would be fun to start sharing more charm ideas here and there to spark your creativity!

I have been waiting to share these charms with you now for weeks...Remember back a few months ago I told you I bought a couple boxes of vintage tv/radio vacuum tubes at an auction we went to?  Well here is one of the projects I've been playing around with....

Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charms!

Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm 001


Vacuum Tube (any shape/size)
Wire (pretty heavy)
Wire working tools


1. Snip off a piece of wire approx. 12-14" in length.

2. Use your round pliers to make a circle near the center of the wire.   I usually fold the wire in half and wrap it around my pliers. 

Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm 003

3. Slip the circle over the little nubbin on the vacuum tube and gently fold the two tails down around the body of the tube.

Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm 005

4. Now wrap and twist the wire in interesting shapes around the body of the tube....  This is totally a free form type of art.  Just experiment, play and have fun.  Sometimes I add little curly-ques, other times I add waves, just do what feels good.

Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm 006

5. When you reach the end of the tube, bend each of the tails so they join in the center among all of the little metal pins. 
Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm 007

6. Create a loop with these tails and knot any extra wire under the loop. 

Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm 008

And here are a few variations of this charm using different colors of wire and of course different wire designs.   I really love creating these charms because no two will ever be the same.  For me the wire at times seems to take on a life of it's own and just goes where it pleases.  I think that's what makes these charms so much fun!

Of course you could hang all sorts of other charms, watch bits, gears, etc. from the loop but this gives you a nice starting point.
Steampunk Vacuum Tube Charm 009

I will be making some of these for the charm swap but I thought it would be fun to give away a few of the Vacuum Tubes so one of you Inky readers could give them a try yourself!

So if you'd like to win a few tubes for yourself simply leave a comment and a way to contact you. 
You have until 7-25-11 to enter to win!

Good Luck Friends!!


  1. Oh, those tubes look very fun!

  2. What a neat idea!!


  3. Wow! What a cool idea! I love coming to your blog and getting new ideas and inspirations!

  4. What a fantastic idea, they look really cool.

  5. This is a great idea,I like this kind of founds to use it in my stamping projects!

  6. great idea! would love to give it a try!

  7. Now these look interesting! Throw my name into the draw please!

  8. These scream steampunk! Thanks for sharing!

  9. These are so cool. What a great idea.

  10. These are awesome!!! Now to figure out where to get some of the vacuum tubes???

  11. love the tubes! my dad used to fix TVs, so I may need to poke around his garage!

  12. wow, that is where to find vacuum tubes.....

  13. Those are just to darn cute. Would love to win one. Thank you for the chance :)

  14. I love this idea. These tubes are inspirational and perfect charms. Of course, they would make great steampunk accessories, too.

    My e-mail is on my blog profile and here: hfsolutions at juno dot com

  15. Roni -

    I love what you've done with those tubes! Its amazing how far we have actually come in such a short time. Glass tubes replaced by circuit boards, and who thought that those tubes would become jewelry - LOL!

    Elaine Allen

  16. Way cool. I'd probably bust the dang thing trying to wrap the wre.

  17. How cool, roni!!

    Hope all is well. :)

    Love ya + Miss ya much!

  18. yep...these are way cool! toss my name in please...luv that eatery too!

  19. I just found your blog. Awesome and fun ideas. I'm going to keep looking "back". :) Tamara W

  20. Would love to win some of these tubes to play with. Looks like fun!You blog is too fun.
    debbi g

  21. Love, love, love it. You are always coming up with such cool ideas. Thanks for all the inspiration.
    Jackie in Alaska

  22. Thanks for the giveaway and love the idea!

  23. I came to your blog today from a post on SCS about your EASY Envelopes. Your blog is wonderful! I certainly will be back! LOVE your Vacuum Tube Charms - thanks for the exciting inspiration. Can't wait to try both of these ideas and more I got from you blog today!!!!

  24. I think those tubes would be a lot of fun to play with! I could use them in one of Tim's configuration boxes.Thanks for the chance!

  25. Oh my I hope that I'll find some here in Sweden but winning here will be the best =)

  26. These are so cool! I'm always buying odd things at auctions too and then repurposing them in assemblages of one sort or another. Love the idea of creating charms with these tinier pieces. Now I'm going to look at some of my stashed items with a new idea! Thanks for the chance to win some of these! Anne, yourmainestamper

  27. Very cool!! I'd love to play with these...esp now since my 16-yr old GD is into steampunk!! She's experimenting with me now! Thanks for the great ideas too!!

    cmetully at

  28. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Please keep up the effective work.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!