Steampunk Etch-a-Sketch

Reddit user Halokitty made this sweet, elaborate steampunk Etch-a-Sketch for a Christmas present — I want to get on her Christmas list!

I'm a she, and it was a joint effort between my husband and myself. I'm a video game designer/writer and my husband is an industrial designer.

Nothing on here is hot glued or slapped together. The screen is vaccu-formed to give it that old-timey bulbous look. The outer wood frame is custom built, painted, and wet-sanded to give it that gloss. The inner brass frame was laser cut. All the bits and pieces come from old machines and fittings. Nothing came from Home Depot. Some of the hoses and valves came from a 1902 boiler we just removed from our basement. Everything is made to fit and screwed or bolted in place. We were going for a grown up version of those old activity centers for toddlers- lots of levers and knobs and toggles to mess around with. Also, it still fully functions as an Etch-A-Sketch. Circles, however, are still a pain in the ass.

I called it steampunk because that's the aesthetic we were going for. Plenty of people obviously don't like that style and apparently find it "douchey" and that's fine. I will say I have never seen the film Wild Wild West. Is it steam-powered for reals? No. It's an Etch-A-Sketch. Does it have anything to do with 1970s-80s anti-establishment music? Nope. But Steampunk is still the accepted term. I supposed I could have called it Vintage Futurist Self Contained Clockwork and Valve Powered Mechanical Anachronism.

A steampunk Etch-A-Sketch we made for a friend this Christmas