Posts Tagged ‘steampunk how-to’

Today we welcome Brenda Sue of B’sue Boutiques who’s jewelry supply store not only has everything you need to make neat Steampunk jewelry, but she also has loads of instructional videos for people like me who love to make things, but in all honesty can’t craft their way out of a cardboard box. 
STEAMPUNK JEWELRY MADE SIMPLE:  Breaking It Down to Cogs and Gears
By B’Sue
Love the Steampunk lifestyle?   Well as this blog has aptly demonstrated, you need the right glad (or perhaps ‘mad’) rags for your look!   And as every fashionista knows—whatever style genre he/she chooses—you need the right accessories.   Jewelry come first for me!   And the fact is, you can learn to make your own Steampunk jewelry, thus reflecting your own perfect Steampunk sensibilities.
Check out this sweet Steampunk pendant I made:
Gotta tell you, there are no hard techniques involved in this piece.   Let me tell you how!  I started with a luggage tag pendant made in the Victorian style, available here:  http://www.bsueboutiques.com/shop/index.php?keywords=fig39   
As this piece is raw brass, you’ll want to patina it.  One fast way is simply to clean the brass by washing in hot, soapy water…all raw brass comes with traces of machine oil on it, so gotta do it.    Dry completely, then torch it.   All you need it is a little creme brulee torch and a soldering block.   Torch it til it gets toasty or turns dark.   OR, you can try my vinegar/salt/patina method, which you can watch me do at YouTube right here:
When you have achieved the color you want on the brass, simply seal it with Renaissance Wax.  Then you will want to add your embellishments.   I added a pie crust bezel from the Bezels, Mounts and Frames section of our website, found here: http://www.bsueboutiques.com/bezels_mounts_frames.shtml    This is a great bezel to build with as it is textural and deep.  Into it, I glued a vintage soda cap, upside down, with the cork still in it.  
Into that cap, I poured a bit of mixed ICE RESIN.   For tips on working with Ice Resin, check out this video:
I also inlaid a circlet ring found at our website, as well as a tiny propeller.  These propellers REALLY SPIN!
The trick is to pour only enough resin to inlay the bottom of the propeller so that it still spins.  This one does!
The actual pendant is available at B’sue Boutiques right here:
How would you finish it?  Would you turn it around and dangle something from the hole and make it a heavy, cool looking brooch?   Or would you make it a necklace by adding beads, leather thong, old cord and maybe even safety pin or garter clip connectors?
Here’s a funky Steampunk necklace I made with our Steampunk components from B’sue Boutiques and scrabble tiles:
Come on over to B’sue Boutiques and check the place out!  We have a large, comprehensive Steampunk Jewelry Making Section broken down into watch parts, cogs and wheels, wings, keys, and all the components you need—-easy to find! http://www.bsueboutiques.com  
And…here is a very popular video we made at You Tube that will demonstrate how to make an easy Steampunk ring: 
Another master of  Steampunk jewelry making is Harry Wood of OSCAR CROW: http://www.etsy.com/shop/oscarcrow   Visit Harry for great ideas and great ready-made jewelry at low prices.   Here is a very cool pectoral he made recently:
And for more Steampunk Eye Candy, why not visit our Steampunk Gallery?   These are pieces shared with me by visitors to my B’sue Boutiques Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bsue-Boutiques/123052674404364, and entered into an archived album at the B’sue Boutiques website.
I hope you feel enabled and inspired…..because who knows?  Maybe YOU are the next radical Steampunk jewelry designer!  Soon they may be beating a path to YOUR door!
~Brenda Sue/B’sue Boutiques

Read Full Post »

Thanks for all your great suggestions on my previous post.  So, I decided that the first accessory I’d make for my Steampunk Princess costume would be a raygun.

I started with a little mini Nerf gun.  It’s about 6 inches long and was about $3.  I’ve never done anything like this before.  I also spent more money on paint then on the gun itself.

Since, it is a formal raygun, and orange clashes with my ballgown, the first thing I did was paint the whole thing with gold acrylic paint and take off the black hook. I obsessed a lot over  painting it.  I think I may have over-painted parts of it trying to make it perfect.

I painted it with another coat, mostly trying to cover the raised writing, which didn’t work very well.  Also, I probably should have waited until the first coat dried completely, but I got impatient.  Next, I added accents with metallic golden-brown paint.  I also painted the foam bullets which didn’t turn out to be that good of an idea, especially since by painting it, the gun became unusable anyway.

After that, I added a couple of coats of clear varnish to keep the paint from chipping.

Since it is a formal rayrun, I decided it needed a little something extra.  After all, a lady’s raygun says a lot about her.  Since my clockhand tiara has pearls on it, I decided to buy some self-adhesive pearls.  I added another coat of varnish to help keep the pearls on.

So, there it is, a raygun fit for a princess.  Now, I just need to figure out how to affix it to my wrist.

Read Full Post »

The fabulous Lolita Donna, aka Donna Ricci, proprietress of Clockwork Couture has come to my rescue and put together an amazing post about building a Steampunk wardrobe from the ground up.

Building a Steampunk from the grubby ground up

Creating a Steampunk ensemble requires imagination, ingenuity and creativity. The New Victorian movement is rarely portrayed accurately in movies in the true style of genre. To say that it “Damns the factory but celebrates the machine” is one of the most accurate quotes stemming from the budding subculture. Aristocrats are not fine lords and ladies but rather ship captains, yard bosses and storekeeps. This is the working class Victorian. Creators, inventors, metal smiths, dressmakers, musicians and explorers are the celebrities of the time and with that comes a more practical ensemble.

Figure out who you identify or can lose yourself in. After that, you must create the wardrobe to support it.

Thrift stores can be a great source to find sacrificial items to be altered. Many a prom dress was reinvented into a Victorian Steampunk gown. Do a little research before going in so you can keep an eye out for what makes sense.

If you want to do a period recreation, consignment shops and ebay can be a great source for authentic late 1800’s that is still very wearable. Beware that storage and sun are factors in how well a garment can withstand a soiree. Showcase it knowing that it may be a one shot deal and have a backup (or at the last great underclothes) should it fall away during the night’s revelry.

You can also either commission or buy off the rack at one of the online Steampunk Clothing stores opening up. A helpful salesperson can even guide you to get pieces that support your ideal self.

For ladies, you can never go wrong with a swag-front bustled skirt, ruffle-front blouse, granny boots and great little hat. Do remember your foundation when dressing, utilizing a corset to get the hourglass silhouette of the time. An underbust corset helps create that look while giving you more “breathing room”. Literally.

For men, a true gent can never be without coat and tails and a proper topper. Men’s clothing largely hasn’t changed over the years too terribly much. A pair of dress slacks and shirt will go well under a well tailored frock coat or tuxedo jacket. A bowler or top hat complete a dapper look. Spectacles or a dangling monocle distinguish a literary man from the uneducated worker and a cravat or ascot can cover up an unsightly or non period button up shirt. Don’t be afraid to show some frill. The Victorian gent was the first metrosexual.

Some pointers: Like a towel, a Steamer can never go wrong if he knows where his goggles are. It’s much like a passport, you should have a pair because you just never know what adventure awaits you today. Flights on dirigibles were as common as train rides in our alternate history, and one really does not fancy a bug in the eye.

Every subculture has had it’s ”symbol” as it were. The punks wore anarchy symbols stitched, painted or drawn on clothing and jewelry and the Goths had the ankh. Steampunks unite under the cog to show their avid love for invention, mechanics and time travel. Never be afraid or ashamed to don one.

Not unafraid of social qualms, Steampunk-styled ladies are NOT afraid to show their well fashioned corsets on the OUTSIDE. Cinch up a well curved waist over a skirt and show off 2” of backlacing. I dare you.

Being a celebration of technology, adventure, hopefulness and travel. It’s not uncommon to see the everyday tinkerer strapped into a homebrewed invention or altered object. Perhaps you could make a better pocketwatch or tietack. Perhaps they are both the same thing?

Because many period images were in sepia, many Steampunks have fancied themselves in browns and blacks. Partner that with the working class appreciation, and they tend to shun the acid dyes of the Victorians. This is not to say it’s not allowed, just know with Steampunk, brown is the new black.

Movies to watch for inspiration: Wild, Wild West starring Wil Smith and Kevin Kline, Steamboy (animated), The Prestige, Sherlock Holmes and Firefly. Recommended sounds: The Unextraordinary Gentleman, Tin Hat Trio, Emelie Autumn, and Rasputina.

With your help, we can create a night of Neo-Victorian opulence. A new Utopia with elaborate dress, impeccable manners, renewed chivalry and undeniable kindness. I hope to see you at the celebration.

Yours truly,

Captain Donna Ricci of the S.S. Clockwork Caravel


Read Full Post »

The ball at the Riverside Dickens’ Festival is quickly approaching. We recently moved and I can’t find the dress I made (well, my friends made while I watched, lol) for last year’s ball.

My mission: to get a dress, cheap, and Steampunk it, cheap, as quickly as possible so I’d have it in time for the ball.

The caveat: It’s a Dickens’ Ball, not a Steampunk Ball, so I want it to be different and spectactular, but not totally out-of-place.

The problem: I can’t sew worth a lick and am so not crafty.  Also, after our recent move I have no idea where even to find a needle and thread let alone the sewing machine that I haven’t used in six years.

Step 1: I bought a Von Lancelot Costume off ebay for dirt cheap. The only problem was that the one I won was all white. What in the world was I thinking? But it was so much prettier than the other “birthday cake” style dresses in my size, and all the others were outside my budget as was a custom one.  Also, I needed a full on ball gown, not a bustle-stule dress.

Step 2: I asked my friends to help me with very easy ideas and the general consensus involved dye in a contrasting color. I was leaning towards black. Black and white would be very striking, yet would blend in far better than distressing it and putting a corset on top (which would be the easiest.)

Step 3: But then I actually got the dress in the mail. It is beautiful, but the fabric won’t take dye. Also, the dress is all one piece, so it wasn’t like I could do something easy like cut out the underskirt, dye it, and baste it back on with fabric glue and duct tape (yeah, that’s how I roll, lol). I’m very tempted to simply pretend I’m a debutante and wear all white. I’d never seen an all-white Victorian ball gown, but white wasn’t the color du jour for wedding dresses so I might be able to get away with it.

Step 4: I took the dress to the fabric store. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and replace the back panel and underskirt with actual fabric. I obsess over fabric and decide on black brocade. I nearly bought black and gold brocade but decided it would be too busy.  Less is more where I’m concerned.  Less is also easier.  Using my coupons, I buy fabric, ribbons, and giant satin roses. I also buy thread, needles, pins, and a large bottle of fabric glue.

Step 5: I decide to tackle the back of the dress first. Would anyone notice if I simply fabric glued the black brocade over the white satin?

Step 6: I laid out the dress and the brocade out on top of a blanket on the livingroom floor. Gluing the heavy brocade directly to the satin would make the panel really heavy and probably affect the drape of the dress. The panel would have to be to be cut out. I seriously reconsider the sanity of doing this myself. Usually, I either convince my friends to help me or pay someone to sew it for me. Did the sewing machine even make the move?

Step 7: Steeling myself for the possibility of ruining the dress, I cut the back panel off, trying to get as close to the ruffle as possible. If worse comes to worse, I can always bring the dress and fabric to my friend and plead with her to make it right.

Step 8: Using a white crayon, I traced the cut-out panel on the wrong side of the black brocade. Using my husband’s measure tape, I measured 1 inch around for a seam allowance. Then, taking a deep breath, I cut the brocade. Neither my cutting or my lines are straight. When I was an intern, I’d been forbidden to put labels on envelopes because I just can’t make things straight.

Step 9: I hem the fabric with fabric glue, so the brocade won’t fray. My husband wonders what in the word I’m doing and says he thinks he’s found the sewing machine.

Step 10: I’m afraid to fabric glue the back panel on. It’s a ball, with dancing, and well, people’s dresses tear. I have nightmares about the back panel ripping off entirely. Why am I doing this again?

Step 11: I pinned the new back panel on–it’s looking good. The hubby finds the sewing machine.  It takes about two hours to do all this.

Step 12: The hubby didn’t find the power supply. But the sewing machine scares me as visions of ruining the dress swim through my head. I wished I still lived across the hall from people who sew. The idea of calling someone and going over to their house to use their sewing machine just seems like way to much work.

Step 13: I start to hand-sew the back panel on. Several times I consider shoving it into a bag and taking it to someone else and paying them to sew it for me. It takes four hours and the stitches are far from expert, even, or consistent, though I tried to sew over the original seams and make small stitches. Maybe I should reinforce it with fabric glue.

Step 14: I replace the white ribbon in the back with black ribbon. It’s time to go to bed. The front will have to wait for another day. But all-in-all, it’s starting to look pretty.  I might just be able to pull this off.

To be continued…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: