You read our blog. Which means that you may know about our unending love for the videogame Borderlands 2 (and Borderlands, before it). Well, Ultimate Vault Hunters that we are, we made a DIY Claptrap trash can. Don’t play Borderlands? Read on anyway, and we’ll explain.
THIS is Claptrap (video link). He’s a robot, good at beat-boxing, fancies us his minions, and sends us on missions throughout the Borderlands world of Pandora. He’s pretty useless, but thinks of himself as the hero (and us his side-kicks). Oh, and he’s cute, says Allons-y, and likes breakdancing, thus we like him.
We wanted something Borderlands-themed AND useful for the house, and seeing a step-open trash bin on one of our supply runs lit the ol’ inspiration lightbulb. This project took a couple of days (spread out over a couple of weeks), but in the end we got our own DIY Borderlands Claptrap, so we’re happy. Bonus points for him being a functional trash bin for our geeky home office.
What you’ll need (yes, a lot of supplies. At the bottom of the post we’ll give tips on how to simplify this):
-Step-On Trash Can
-LED Puck Light
-8” Solid Rubber Tire
-PVC pipes and attachments
-Coaxial cable (you could use painted rope/bungee instead)
-Plastic vent cover
-Metallic Spray Paint
-Eyebolts with washers and nuts
-E-6000 / Goop type glue
In the game, Claptrap has been beat up and kicked around and some of his paint has been scratched off. So we first spray-painted the trash bin with metallic spray paint. Don’t be precise, and this step is optional. The reason for the metallic paint being that after we painted on the yellow and white acrylic paint, we sandpapered some of it away and the “metal” peeked through. Here’s the white/yellow paint (we didn’t do the middle part since we knew it would be covered):
Using painters tape, we marked off and painted the different parts of his chassis.
We drilled holes for the arms and the wheel attachment and disassembled the step-open lever (easier than it sounds).
Claptrap’s arms are made out of PVC plumbing pipe and attachments, which we found for cheap at the Habitat-for-Humanity ReStore (<3). Home Depot/Lowes are also good for this, and the PVC is only a few bucks. His hands are made out of cardboard, glued to a pipe attachment. The (optional) forearm wire is a cut-up coaxial cable. We spray painted it all the dark metallic color:
Once dry, we assembled the arms (shown below pre-assembly). The cable was cut and taped to the elbows and wrists, and his hands glued to the end of the arm.
A small piece of PVC pipe attaches the arm to the shoulder and holds poses pretty well.
We got the LED puck light at Harbor Freight (another <3), it rotates and pivots in the socket, mimicking an eye. That was painted blue and glued to the body.
His mouth grill is the underside of a random plastic container which we cut/painted/glued. A piece of cardboard would work instead. The warning sign and blue meter are painted cardboard. The top of his “head” is a plastic vent cover, spray painted and glued to the lid.
Claptrap’s eyebrow and arm/ear flaps are scrap pieces of cardboard (painted black). We attached them with small hinges, glued on with E600. That other little decorative piece shown below is also painted cardboard.
We attached the wheel with eyebolts/bolts/nuts, using the holes we drilled earlier. Finally, the antenna was attached to the lid by making a small incision and pushing the end through.
[High five] “You’ve earned it!”.
This DIY Claptrap’s only two functions are looking cool and being an actual trash receptacle, but he does those well! We may get a cheap little voice box for him as well so he can annoy us with his witticisms as we try to throw things away. We spent about $40 on making him (we already had the spray paint, paint, cardboard, tools). Worth it.
If you want to go a MUCH easier route (though far less detailed), just get the trashcan, LED light, and paint. When Claptrap rests in the game, he tucks his arms and wheel in, so you can just go ahead and say you made a sleeping-Claptrap.
What do you think of him? Like our DIY Wall Mounted Wampa Head, this is a pretty in-your-face piece of geek decor, so we’re planning a few bits of subtle geekery for the next couple of posts.