Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Christmas in July - #2 - Steampunk-ish Vacuum Tube Snowmen Ornaments

Christmas in July #2
Vacuum Tube Snowmen Ornaments
I say "Steampunk - ish" because some Steampunk purists don't think that vacuum tubes were around in the Victorian age (1837-1901) but in all actuality they have been around since BEFORE the Victorian era....
"The earliest forms of such tubes appeared in the late 17th century. However, it was not until the 1850s that sufficient technology existed to produce sophisticated versions of such tubes. This technology included efficient vacuum pumps, advanced glassblowing techniques, and the Ruhmkorff induction coil."    Taken from the History of Vacuum Tubes @ About.com - Inventors
So, I think they more than qualify so I'm calling them Steampunk ;)
Anyway, I started off with a couple different vacuum tubes - a small one and a medium sized one.  The first thing I did with the small one was to bend two of the wires over for hanging purposes later.

I pounced on white paint over the entire small tube and let it dry.

For the larger tube I taped off a section right under the plastic base and near the center of the glass tube it's self.

I then dabbed the ink in the exposed area in the center.

Here's what it looked like after I removed the tape.

I wanted to use a bit of Dresden Trim on the medium size one but I wanted it a bit more Christmas-y than just the plain gold so I used my Spectrum Noir Marker to color it red.

I then drew on the faces, applied the trim and a bit of multi color twine on the small one.

I used a bit of antiqued wire to make hangers for each ~
The larger tube has a round stud in the center about the size of a pencil so I wound some wire around a pencil and formed a loop at the top.  I pulled the spiral loop off the pencil, slid it on the stud and glued it in place.

For the smaller tube I took a piece of wire, made 2 jump rings ~ one for each of the bent loops and then made a connector to bring them both together in the center...the upside down "U" looking thing.

And they're all ready to use!

Where to find VACUUM TUBES?
People often ask where I find these tubes for a reasonable price...
I found mine at a large flea market BUT I had to buy the whole box to get a good deal.
(he was asking 2.00 a piece if you bought them individually)
I have tons of them so I use them a lot for artsy fun because I love the Steampunk look but also because they are so easy to work with and very versatile. 
Now I do sell them in my Etsy store fairly cheap (compared to other places I've seen) but I don't want you to feel like you have to buy them from me...  I'm just puttin' it out there incase you can't find them elsewhere.


  1. Roni,
    Your frosty little friends are too cute for words! I am so glad that I purchased a bunch from your store so that I can create my nostalgic Frosty family. Just the other day I told my sister about the amazing price that you offer your tubes for in your store. My sister was telling me that she can't find one for under five dollars in her area so she was very impressed by your tubes and and your entire Etsy store. Another loyal follower was born!
    Thank you for always brightening my day!
    Kathy J.

  2. Wowowow, what a great idea. These are amazing little pieces, Roni

  3. How cute are those!! Love them.
    Mansfield, MA

  4. wow!!!!! nice blog what a cute vacuum tube of such a great festival of Christmas these design of bulb will be liked by everyone if you want to buy these kind of vacuum tube then i know about the company from where u can easily get it ......... More Info


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