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DIY cogs and gears in steampunk vintage style

DIY Cogs and Gears

Learn how to make vintage looking DIY cogs and gears for hand made cards, scrapbook pages, art journals, steampunk mixed media art etc. Upcycle a cerial box and make magic with acrylic paints. Awsome project for children as well!


- stiff paper or thin cardstock, you can upcycle a cereal box or other packaging material
- decorative edge scissors
- regular scissors
- something that helps you draw circles - a pencil - various punches: I used a star punch (16 mm/ 5/8"), two circle punches (16 mm/ 5/8" and 38 mm/ 1,5", a heart punch (about 26 mm), a standard sized office punch - and a belt punch to make the smallest holes.
- glue stick or craft glue to make layered embellishments
- staples or brads if you want to create more texture - acrylic paints: black, turqoise, metallic copper and qold
- brushes (and a foam dauber)


  1. Start with cutting out and punching all the shapes. If you don't have circle punches, you can make cogwheels using stiff paper that you fold in two. Draw a half circle and cut around it with decorative edge scissors and then cut along the pencil line with regular scissors. If you have circle punches, use the punch first and then cut around the hole with your decorative edge scissors. You'll find a link to a Youtube video tutorial down below. It'll show you step by step how to make all the basic cogs and gears and other embellishments!
    Tutorial: DIY vintage embellishments for cards and crafts
  2. To make layered embellishments, cut out the parts and join them with glue stick or craft glue. You can punch them with a small belt punch or add staples or brads to add more details. To make these lovely star buttons you need a circle punch and a star punch of equal size and leftovers from a regular office punch.
    DIY upcycled embellishments: Vintage button
  3. Paint all the cogs and gears black using black acrylic paint or black gesso. Let dry. Acrylic paints dry very fast.
  4. Add a layer of turqoise with a brush, a sponge dauber or your finger so that you can see black paint through turqoise here and there. Let dry. Dab a little copper paint randomly here and there. Let dry. Apply gold paint all over with your finger or with a dry brush so that it will stick on top of each piece, but the deep parts of layered items are left dark. Add water, if your paints are too opaque.
    DIY metallic embellishments - how to make
    Optionally, you can paint your cogs and gears with just one hue like gold or silver or bronze, if you don't like that distressed vintage look.

Various ideas - Video tutorial

You can create a great variety of cogs and gears in different shapes and sizes, see Youtube video tutorial: DIY Cogs & Gears .

In the following picture you can see various ideas.

DIY cogs and gears - various ideas

How to use DIY cogs and gears

DIY cogs and gears aren't heavy like real metallic embellishments and that makes them easy to use in many projects. They look great in clusters. You don't need special glues to adhere them - just use your glue stick, regular craft glue or foam tape! They can be used in cards, art journals, scrapbooks and various mixed media art projects.

Steampunk time machine scrapbook layout with DIY cogs

Combine them with other embellishments and create something beautiful and unique like this steampunk time machine layout in a scrapbook!


DIY vintage steampunk cogs and gears Make a card:

More card making ideas:

© Auer Media / 2017-11-02