Steampunk clothing tutorial

Written by anne baley
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Steampunk clothing tutorial
Gears are an integral part of many steampunk costumes. (gears collection #2. isolated image by Stasys Eidiejus from

If you cross Victorian fashion from the late 19th century with science fiction and modern technology, you have steampunk style. People who are steampunk hobbyists create costumes and go to conventions in character. They take modern advances such as computers, artificial limbs and communications devices and give them Victorian styling with brass, gears and luxurious materials. Create your own steampunk character and costume by first investigating the genre and deciding what kind of character you want to be. From scientist and inventor to fancily dressed dandy, there is a large range of steampunk types to create.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Find vintage or vintage-looking clothing to begin your outfit. Most steampunk enthusiasts agree that the best way to create your character is to begin with the fabric and then embellish it. In many cases, the clothing determines the mood of your costume, whether it's an elaborate brocade vest or a long ruffled skirt. Study Victorian photographs and drawings to find a style you enjoy and find clothing pieces to match.

  2. 2

    Shop thrift stores, hardware stores and flea markets to find your raw materials. Steampunk style is a combination of styles, and many of the ingredients you need will be in very odd places. Collect gears, wire, brass pieces, leather and anything small and industrial looking.

  3. 3

    Take ordinary objects and convert them to steampunk style. Cover an ink pen with foil, copper wire coils and silver bits. Take welding goggles and convert them by painting the rims in copper paint. Use exotic bits of wood, gears and wires to make jewellery, hair pieces and accessories. Embellish everything, and leave nothing looking modern.

  4. 4

    Create your costume in any colour scheme, but stay away from modern neons. Ignore advice that all steampunk must be brown or black. Steampunk is whatever you make it. If it could have existed in the Victorian era, it's a viable addition to a steampunk costume.

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