We are continuing our adventure with the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium for dolls! Up today is the DIY for the steampunk industrial shelving and artwork! I have really come to love working with cpvc. Once the shelving design was complete, I had these shelves constructed in no time at all. The inspiration for these pipe shelves came from the eatery, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, in Orlando , Florida. My daughters and I were amazed at all of the steampunk décor at this emporium and wanted to create a doll version!
Below you can see the pictures we took and used as inspiration for our steampunk shelving. The walls of the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium are covered in this beautiful gold pipes that create shelves which are full of sweets, gears, clocks, and cameras. The metallic colors of copper, gold, silver, and bronze dance throughout this space.
These pictures were not only used for inspiration on creating the shelving, but also the artwork which sits on our shelves. More info is coming below…
Supplies needed for the Steampunk Industrial Doll Shelves: (For a printable version of these instructions see here:Steampunk Industrial Shelving Directions
- CPVC 1/2″ (I purchased the smaller pieces from Lowe’s. I believe I used 6 two-foot pieces. CPVC is almond in color)
- CPVC cutter. I have a Rigid Cutter.
- Glue. I used Weldwood Contact Cement.
- Birch Plywood plaques 1/4x4x12″. I purchased mine from Michaels. You will need 3 plaques per shelf. These were great to use because the were already cut to size needed. You will need to remove sticker tag and give a slight sanding with a fine grade sandpaper.
- Paint and stain of choice
I didn’t want to spend time with acetone and sanding to remove the black markings from the CPVC so I decided to use a flat white primer before using my gold paint. I used two thin coats of Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch 2x Ultra Cover in Flat White. I used two think coats of Rust-oleum Universal Metallic in Pure Gold. I already had black wood stain so I used that for the wood plaques; Minwax PolyShades in Classic Black Satin.
Parts per shelf:
- CPVC 10-1/2″ x4
- CPVC 4-1/4″ x6
- CPVC 4″ x4
- CPVC 3-1/2″ x8
- CPVC 2″ x4
- CPVC 1″ x4
- Elbow (corner) x4
- End Caps x4
- T x16
- Wood Plaques 1/4x4x12″ x3
Assemble as pictured below. Make sure the middle three Ts face inward.
The CPVC pieces will have small protrusions as pictured below. Try to position those pieces so those protrusions face inside your construction and are less visible.
Repeat steps for opposite shelf leg.
Add your 4-1/4″ piece to attach shelving legs to each other. Repeat this entire series to steps.
Use the 10-1/4″ piece of CPVC to bridge together the two shelving sides. Lightly sand wood plaques. Don’t get frustrated, this next step goes fast…take each section apart and add glue. When using Weldbond glue, attach pieces together immediately after putting glue on one of the ends; do not wait. When reattaching pieces make sure each is pressed in firmly and in exact position. Make sure shelves are level. Glue will make the construction very sturdy.
Next paint shelving to desired colors. I did not permanently attach the wood plaques to the pipes. The plaques are simply resting in place. You could use E6000 glue to permanently adhere in place. My concern with making it permanent was that my daughters may want to repaint the shelves for use in something else at a later time.
Now it’s time to decorate these shelves! All of the steampunk images were found on internet searches. I love the image of the dirigible…just like in the storyline with Penelope and Jacques of the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium!
We recycled the gold foil from real chocolate coins and the bronze foil from Rolo’s to create mini circle candies as pictured above in the inspiration pics. We wrapped the foil around wood beads and displayed in a vase.
One of my favorite steampunk creations was this gear artwork! I already had a collection of gears and keys from Tim Holtz, found at Michaels. The clocks were an Amazon buy. I created a base from foam board and glued in place with E6000. I did have to have patience with this project; I had to hold each piece in place until the glue set.
All of the cake stands were made from mini candle holders and wood circle disks. They were painted in copper, gold, and silver.
All of the picture frames were made from foam board. I cut an angled piece and glued behind each square to give each frame a slight tilt. Aleene’s Turbo Tacky Glue was used. I used Elmer’s Xtreme Glue Stick to glue steampunk images to the frames.
I used foam board to hold up the gears. These are Tim Holtz gears found at Michaels. I cut a small piece of foam board and with an Xacto knife gut a small slit into the top and pushed the gear down until it held in place. I did not glue these down; they were sturdy on their own.
See here for more information on the other posts in this series: Toothsome Chocolate Emporium for Dolls!
A huge thank you goes to KeLibu Designs and Miniature Sweet for sponsoring this series!
Wow! Fabulous! thank you for the tutorial.
You are so very welcome! 🙂
Gail Orr says
OK, so I had a few problems making the shelving units. They were very hard to put together. I used Contact Cement as you suggested and when I tried to put them back together (I dry fitted first) I had to pound and pound on them to get them to fit tight. The glue was eating the pipe and making everything gooey, (which I think is exactly what it is supposed to do). I did wait until the glue was dry on both sides as they advise, but it didn’t matter. Some of the joints cracked while trying to get them tight. One can see how far they have to go when you look through one of the other holes of the T fittings. Eventually, I got one done and primed. The priming did not completely cover the lettering even with 2 coats, so I will sand my next one and maybe use a different type of glue. I have not painted them gold yet, I ran out of time.
I used canvas stretched over hardboard for the shelving and spray painted them black. My Michael’s is an hour drive away and I only go there once in a while. I found these painters’ canvases that were exactly the right size (4 x 12)at Dollar Tree (Canada). I think they will hold the weight of the items on the shelves. We shall see.
But I love my shelf unit. It is so cute.
So sorry you had difficulties with the glue. I have never had any issues with Weldbond. I’m not exactly sure on the wait times, but I have always brushed a little glue on and attached pieces right away. As far as the primer goes, that depends on how heavy your coat is. I did have a faint view of lettering even after the primer, that went away after gold paint was used. Primer was used just to cover enough of the black lettering and to create a good seal for gold paint to attach too. Best of luck! I can’t wait to see your finished product. 🙂
Patti Uphoff says
My husband is very knowledgeable about all things construction. Being married for 45 years I have learn a lot too. We did not even know 1/4”pipe was available . Still learning everyday assuming it came from Lowe’s?? 1/2” is a little big in my thinking but made do.
The CPVC is still 1/2 inch…the plastic is just thinner, giving it a smaller appearance than the standard PVC 1/2 inch. I agree, the standard PVC 1/2″ pipe is a little big for doll crafts.
Steampunk Addie says
I told Momma to make this for Me, but She said She can’t. Stupid neuropathy.