Halloween Steampunk DIY Costume Bits

Halloween is the holiday for Makers, as it gives us ample opportunities to express our creative side by making costumes decorations, and all the clever bits that go with them.

Over the years, I’ve blogged about a few Steampunk DIY projects that I’ve taken on. Here they are all in one place:

DIY Steampunk Medal

Steampunk Weekend DIY

DIY Steampunk Plasma Pistol

Quick DIY Plastic Steampunk Pistol Mod

DIY Steampunk Eyewear

Good luck with these suggestions. If you have any questions, ask away! There’s only a few more days until Halloween though, so get a move on. Or start planning (and Making) for next year.


DIY Steampunk Medal


A steampunk outfit is really made by its accessories.  They at once evoke the Victorian era that typifies the time frame of much of Steampunk culture, as well as adding bits of interest to your outfit.  And no matter what manner of steampunk outfit you wear, you can always think up a reason why your character has been awarded a medal.

I’ve got a few medals that I’ve bought over time.  My airship wings are one of my favorites, as is the George V cap badge from the Royal Engineers that I turned into a pin.  (I know, not strictly Steampunk era, but close!)  But I wanted something unique. Continue reading

On the Fifth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the fifth day of Steampunk Christmas,

My true love gave to me:

Five Brassy Things.

ring  brooch passages boxchoker

Dr. Brassy’s things, to be particular. Dr. Brassy Steamington is an artist and maker in San Luis Obispo, California.  From her website, you can click through to her etsy store as well as her blog.  She is generous in her blog in showing the techniques that she uses to make her creations.

And her creations are quite wonderful.  One of her original concepts are Sightmares which simultaneously delight and scare me. They are a great embodiment the steampunk idea of a mysterious otherworldly creature breaking through into our world.


On the Fourth Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Third Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the Second Day of Steampunk Christmas…

On the First Day of Steampunk Christmas…

Halloween: The Holiday for Makers

Almost a decade ago now, my block decided to go all out for Halloween and to decorate to the max for the Trick or Treaters. And it has worked–we typically get 400-500 kids come by. It was also the beginning of my now yearly October making spree.

The first year, we decorated as mad scientists–not a big stretch since my wife and I are both chemists, and let’s just say I had a lot of labware hanging around.  A large glass beaker of rats spinning around, a jello brain, and some black lights to make the flasks of potions glow were all it took. Oh, and I was dressed up in lab coat and crazy mad scientist hair.

The next few years we modified the mad scientist theme into “Alien Autopsy”.  Continue reading

Quick DIY Plastic Steampunk Pistol Mod

Yikes!  Halloween is less than three weeks away and I haven’t even started on my steampunk costume yet.

If this is you, fear not.  It’s not impossible to make a passable steampunk pistol prop in only a couple of days.  A few years ago, my son wanted to dress steampunk for Maker Faire.  We put together a reasonable outfit (He already owned goggles…), but he wanted a pistol to top it off, and Maker Faire was only a few days away.

Fortunately, I had found this water pistol recently at a dollar store.

Water pistol before...

Water pistol before…

I know.  I’m sorry–the colors are not so tear-inducing in real life, but close. I will show you how to change this garish monstrosity into a steampunk pistol.  If you look past the eye-throbbing colors, you can see that this pistol actually has pretty good details molded into it–a water tank (the large red bit), fins, a smaller tank, tubing, rivets, etc.  So, I lucked out and found one that was easily adaptable to begin with. If you’ve got the time, look around at dollar stores, thrift shops, flea markets, second-rate toy stores, etc., for a pistol you can imagine as steampunk–with a little work.  If not, just about anything can be  made to look steampunk–or at least, more steampunk–with judicious application of paint. Continue reading

DIY Steampunk Eyewear

Steampunk culture is very closely aligned to the Maker and DIY Movements.  Because let’s face it:  we’re recreating a past that never existed. We have to make our own artifacts.  More importantly, steampunks love to talk about their creations and I’ve found them almost universally very generous in giving advise and help to newcomers trying to make their own steampunk gear.

In that spirit, let me share two of my early steampunk creations which happen to both be eyewear–a tricked out pair of  jeweler’s loupes and a pair of goggles. Continue reading