For people who enjoy crafts, Steampunk is a dream come true. Unlike many other fashion styles or hobbies, the creative bounds of Steampunk are limitless.
Brass, leather, metal and antiques collide together in astoundingly complex projects to produce retro-futuristic clothing, accessories, vehicles, computers and much more.
For those who don't want go so far as soldering or metal etching, these DIY projects below are an accessible and very cool way into the crafting and building life of a hardcore Steampunk fan.
1. Time Distorting Device
Time travel is an amazing conceot for any Steampunk fanatic. So rather than build a time machine, why not build a simple, handheld time travel device? It's the cell phone of time traveling technology!
1. This elaborate mechanism is in fact a simple art project involving pieces of wood and leather.
2. Glue circular layers together and mount upon a card, cardboard, and metal odds and ends.
3. Get some special Metal spray paint, car spray paint does the job! With a little paint and creative imagination, it convincingly comes together.
4. Once you have it done you can get a wooden box to keep it safely inside. Decorate it as you wish.
Enjoy this time distorting device responsibly, and don't go killing your ancestors!
2. Custom Candle Holders
For the less mechanistically inclined, these candleholders are easy to make and will lend that throwback golden glow to your Steampunk home.
1. Track down some decorative keys and sheets of retro tissue paper. Use a good glue to apply the sheets to votive glasses.
2. Coat the tissue paper to strengthen its surface.
3. Add a key to each glass with black paper cord. Add a dab of hot glue to the back of each key to make it stick.
4. Enjoy the beautiful Steampunk inspired home decor. You can find most of the materials at online Steampunk crafts shops. The entire project should cost only about $20.
3. Retro Headphones
For music lovers out there, these headphones are a real pleasure to make and use. What looks like simple pair of vintage headphones are actually the clever combination of the style elements of older headphones with the speakers of a new set.
1. Visit local thrift or antique shops to track down a pair of older headphones with a great look. Western Electric, Newcomb and Crosley are a few brands to look for.
2. Pick up a pair of cheap new headphones.
3. Break out a simple tool kit to disassemble the vintage pair's ear cups, then remove the speakers and wires from the modern set.
4. Transplant the modern elements into the vintage headphones, using the modern pair's foam cups to cushion the inside of the older pair's ear cups.
4. Ruffle Cuffs
Ruffle cuffs are like catnip for Steampunk and Goth girls, and with good reason: they add flair – and flare – to any outfit. Make these easy cuffs by creating ruffled fabric strips of two different sizes either by gathering the fabric by hand or using a ruffler foot with your sewing machine.
1. Line up the smaller fabric strip against the larger along the gathered edge and sew them together.
2. Flip the piece over so the smaller strip is on bottom, and sew a piece of bias binding over the stitching used to create the ruffle. Take care not to sew the smaller strip while you do this.
3. Wrap the ruffle around your wrist and secure it with the D-rings.
To make ruffles with a sewing machine, check out this short tutorial on how to do so.
5. Steampunk Airship Goggles
Iconic Steampunk goggles are a surprisingly easy Steampunk accessory to craft. Leather, metal rings, a plumbing coupler, plastic sheeting, and a couple other odds and ends are all you need.
1. The cut-off threads of a cheap plumbing coupler from a home supply store become the lens holders, while the actual lenses are cut-to-size rings of plastic sheeting.
2. Creative use of leather adds dimension to the lens holders and forms the headband;
3. The headband is finished with metal rings and a simple buckle in back.
4. Voila! A new pair of awesome Steampunk goggles.
These are a few handful possibilities for beginning and intermediate Steampunk crafting enthusiasts. Now we want to hear from you.
Have you ever taken on a DIY project, and how did it come out? What stylish Steampunk gadget would you love to have or build? Comment below.