Robot Frankenstein assemblage from thrifted junk

Happy (almost) Halloween from Robot Frankenstein.

Robot Frankenstein assemblage holding a jack-o-lantern.

I created him in my underground laboratory after developing a secret technique to impart life to non-living matter. Bwahaha.

In other words, I whipped him up in my basement craft room out of a bunch of thrifted junk. 不

Robot Frankenstein parts

Parts for Robot Frankenstein: an aluminum bucket, canister, and lid; two silver cabinet pulls; and a pair of shelf brackets from Ikea.

Here’s what I started with:

  • One small aluminum pail (head)
  • One aluminum canister (body)
  • One aluminum canister lid (jaw)
  • Two Ikea Ekby Bjarnum shelf brackets (legs)
  • Two cabinet pulls (arms)
  • Miscellaneous bolts, nuts and washers
  • Fiberglass screening (hair)

Making Robot Frankenstein

I got the idea to make Robot Frankenstein after I found the aluminum bucket, which, flipped upside down, looked to me like a blocky head with the spout being the nose. Then I found the canister lid that was the same diameter as the bucket, and I realized that if I stacked it under the bucket, it would create a jaw/mouth for the blocky head.

The head and jaw of Robot Frankenstein

To attach the bucket head to the canister lid jaw, I drilled two holes through each …

Drilling holes into the lid

… and bolted a hinge through the holes.

Attaching a hinge to the lid/jaw and the pail/body

The hinge kept the two pieces connected while also allowing me access to the inside of Frank’s head during the rest of the building process.

Next, I drilled holes into the sides of the head …

Drilling holes into the side of Robot Frankenstein's head where bolts will be attached.

… and screwed some rusty bolts into the holes.

Robot Frankenstein with rusty bolts attached to the sides of his head

Now would have been a good time to attach Frank’s eyes if I knew what I was going to use for them. But since I didn’t, I started working on his body.

Frankenstein’s body

I was going to use the canister as Frank’s body and two cabinet pulls for his arms. To attach the pieces together, I drilled holes into the side of the canister …

Drilling a hole into the canister that will be Robot Frankenstein's body

.. and screwed the pulls into place with a bolt.

The assemblage with cabinet pull arms attached to the canister body

Next, I drilled a hole into the bottom of the canister (or the top of Frank’s body, depending on how you look at it).

Hole drilled into the bottom of the canister in order to attach it to other pieces of the assemblage

Then I ran a bolt through the hole in the canister/body and through a pre-existing hole in the lid/jaw, securing it with a nut.

Robot Frankenstein's body attached to his jaw with a bolt

You can see what Frank was looking like once his head was attached to his body in the photo below.

Robot Frankenstein with his head attached to his body

Making Frank mobile

To attach Frank’s torso to his legs, I drilled a couple of holes through the lid/jaw and canister/body …

Drilling holes prior to attaching the shelf bracket legs to the canister/body and lid/jaw

… and also through the center of each of the shelf brackets/legs.

Drilling holes into the Ikea shelf brackets which will become Robot Frankenstein's legs

Then I placed the shelf brackets inside the canister and lined up the holes …

The Ekby Bjarnum shelf bracket legs placed inside the canister where they will be attached with nuts and bolts

… running bolts through them and securing them with nuts.

Tightening a nut onto a bolt that is holding the legs to the body

With the legs attached, my little creation was really starting to look like a Robot Frankenstein.

Robot Frankenstein almost completed: his head, body, arms and legs are attached.

A Frankenstein-ian face

I raided my husband’s hardware stash to find pieces to use for Frank’s eyes.

Washers, nuts and bolts that will become eyes for Robot Frankenstein

To attach them, I drilled holes into the front of Frank’s head.

Drilling holes into Robot Frankenstein's head where his eyes will be attached

Then I stacked the hardware pieces and screwed them into place.

Closeup of Robot Frankenstein's face

Next, I found a sawtooth hanger to make a scar with, attaching it with tiny screws.

Adding a sawtooth hanger scar to Frank's head

Here’s what his scar looked like:

Frank's head with its sawtooth hanger scar

Putting hair on his head

Finally, I decided Frank needed hair. After racking my brain to come up with an industrial material that would match Frank’s character, I decided on window screening.

Sadly, I didn’t have any on hand, so I had to go out to a real store (as opposed to a thrift store) and pay retail for it. Ugh. As a general rule, I try to use only secondhand materials when making junk assemblages, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

A roll of fiberglass vent screening which will be used as hair for Robot Frankenstein

To turn the screening into hair, I traced around the top of Frank’s head onto the mesh fabric, cut out the circle I had traced, and adhered it to the bucket with matte Mod Podge.

Attaching screening onto the top of Robot Frankenstein's head

Then I cut off a long narrow strip of the screening and clipped triangle shapes into it.

Cutting triangle shapes into a strip of screening

I adhered the strip around the circumference of Frank’s head with Mod Podge.

Attaching the strip of screening to the head of Robot Frankenstein

Here he is with his hair attached:

Robot Frankenstein -- almost complete. He just needs his serial number.

I liked how he looked, but I thought he needed a little something extra yet — like an ID badge or serial number attached to his chest. So I dug through my crafts stash until I found the leftover numbers from the hardware organizer makeover I did last summer.

metal number tags

I made Frank number 31 in honor of Halloween.

Robot Frankenstein with a number 31 badge glued to his chest cavity

He’s quite a handsome fellow, isn’t he? I debated if I should paint him green, but in the end, I decided I liked him just as he was.

Robot Frankenstein assemblage

He’s a little bit robot, a little bit monster — and completely his own man. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.


20 Replies to “Robot Frankenstein assemblage from thrifted junk”

  1. I think Robot Frankenstein is perfect. I especially like the hair, the scar and the 31 ID badge, very inventive.

    1. Thanks! Initially my plan was to use a little piece of metal strapping for the scar, but the roll of it that my husband used to have hanging on a peg in his workshop had disappeared. The picture hanger was Plan B. In hindsight, I think the picture hanger was a better option. The sawtooth edge really looks like a jagged scar.

  2. I never leave comments on blogs (I know I should) – but I just had to let you know how much I enjoy your blog, your off-kilter and very funny writing, and your flights of creative fancy! I appreciate your sharing it with the less-ambitious masses like me. Thx!

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