Love recycled art? Learn how to turn old household stuff including kitchen gadgets into adorable robots with this excerpt from the new book, Assembled.
For more, also see these top picks for creative garden books.
This content from Assembled: Transform Everyday Objects Into Robots
Edited by Eszter Karpati
is used with permission from Quarto Publishing Group USA who also provided a review copy of this book.
Attention Robot & Garden Junk Fans
To be clear, the robots are art, not electronic robots to make your dinner or walk your dog. Just good old-fashioned junk art.
The book features the creations of numerous artists.
There are 23 ‘robot recipes’ showing the final product along with all of the parts and pieces used (not assembled and assembled). The actual how-tos for attaching pieces together are not detailed in great depth, but, if you can drill holes and glue stuff, you’re pretty much set.
I’d recommend the book both as a (small-size) coffee table book of charming robots, and as a resource for creating your own robots, creatures, and critters from household stuff. The ideas are clever and adorable.
Universal Tool Guy Robot Recipe
- 30 x 15 cm (12 x 6 in)
- 0.5 kg (1 lb 2 oz)
- 1 vintage cocktail shaker
- 1 red clock gear
- 1 “4-in-1” screwdriver badge
- 1 box end wrench
- 1 can opener
- 1 small wrench from child’s toy toolkit
- 1 stretchy strap
- 1 red bottle top
- 1 3-legged base (provenance unknown)
- 6 screws
- 2 bolts
- 2 nuts
- Assorted washers
- Epoxy glue
- Drill Press
I made this little guy when I realized that I hadn’t actually made a traditional “robot” before. My pieces were more android-human or animal forms. Universal Tool Guy is all bot. The tool guy theme just evolved as I pulled pieces together to use for him. His name was easy to pick at that point. To me, he is the friendly carpenter who will do whatever you ask with a smile, and loves his work. But when the whistle blows, he’s popping a beer with his buddies and kicking back. He came together pretty quickly for me, and he’s one of my favourites because of his big, happy smile.
Gather all of your found parts together – for Tool Guy I sourced these from garage sales, second-hand (thrift) shops and my own workshop – and start with the cocktail shaker, which forms his body and head. Drill a small hole in an old red bottle top, use a drop of epoxy to fix the clock gear on top to make his hat and, in turn, glue this to the lid of the cocktail shaker. Attach his eyes, each made by stacking and gluing three washers of different sizes together, by screwing them to the front of the shaker lid.
For Tool Guy’s mismatched arms, drill a hole in each side of the cocktail shaker and take the box end wrench and can opener – both of which already have a hole to use for assembly – and fix one to each side with a nut and a bolt. Screw the badge into his chest to wear as a medallion and wind the stretchy strap around his body for his tool belt.
Finally, set him in his “legs” with some epoxy glue and slip the child’s tool kit wrench into his belt for easy reaching. Assembly should take no more than an hour and a half once all of the pieces have been chosen and collected.
This is another one of the projects in the book. Amy has a shop here on Etsy if you would like to see more of her art. Can you recognize the parts she used? So charming!
Get the BookCLICK HERE
If you make your own robot, please send me a picture!
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛