Ideas for making a great Steampunk costume

(even if you’re just throwing it together)


steampunk trio 2


Holy crazy, batman! It’s been quite some time since I’ve delivered a post for you all. My apologies! To make it up to you all, I’m sharing a post about a topic I haven’t yet covered at all: Steampunk!


My soon-to-be-roommate and I decided to completely geek it up the other weekend and visit two awesome themed faire-type events:

  1. Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville, Florida. I’ve been to a few of these, and I had even performed at this one last year for a weekend. It was great times. Perhaps I’ll do a Ren Faire post someday :)
  2. Steampunk Industrial Show in Mt Dora, Florida. I had never been to one, and have never attempted to make any Steampunk garb, but we were up for the challenge!  Special thanks to my friends from the awesome Celtic folk duo Jig to a Milestone for posting about it!


What in the world is Steampunk anyway?


According to Google:

steampunk definition google


According to Urban Dictionary:

steampunk definition urban dictionary


Or as US young fiction author Caitlin Kittredge put it:

“It’s sort of Victorian-industrial, but with more whimsy and fewer orphans…”


When thinking about Steampunk fashion, where do I start?


Wikipedia give the following blurb about Steampunk fashion. I’m altering it to be a slightly easier to read list format for you all:


Steampunk fashion has no set guidelines but tends to synthesize modern styles with influences from the Victorian era. This may include:

  • bustles
  • corsets
  • gowns
  • petticoats
  • suits with waistcoats
  • coats
  • top hats
  • tailcoats
  • spats
  • military-inspired garments

Steampunk-influenced outfits are usually accented with several technological and “period” accessories:

  • timepieces
  • parasols
  • flying/driving goggles
  • ray guns.

Modern accessories like cell phones or music players can be found in steampunk outfits, after being modified to give them the appearance of Victorian-made objects.

Post-apocalyptic elements [can also be included], such as

  • gas masks
  • ragged clothing
  • tribal motifs



So then, effective Steampunk. Guidelines. Standby. and Go:

1. Choose a time-period

The easiest way to look like you’re really trying to do Steampunk is to give it some Victorian influences.

The national garment cutter book of diagrams (1888) via



Ladies, choose a shirt with lace, a slightly ruffed collar, a big skirt, or add a bustle to your garb. I made one quite quickly using an old window covering I had, safety pins, and cool-looking buttons:

make a steampunk bustle

Make an easy bustle: This sun-bleached window covering was doubled over and pinned with the safety pins on the inside and a button on the outside. Gathered into 2 layers and using a standard belt to hold it to the body. No sewing needed!

steampunk garb fire faerie


Other victorian female costume inspirations:


Gents- wear a waistcoat and a jacket, a coat with tails, or a top hat.

I cannot credit this, but would love to if you know the origin!


Steampunk need not be JUST for English-folk. Granted, it is most popular in the realms of British culture, but Steampunk characters can also be from plenty of other countries. The American Wild West is a popular alternative.  Visit this page for multicultural Steampunk ideas.



1. b. OR Choose a character

There are some great ideas for superheroes, disney princesses, fictional characters, and the like.


A friend of mine made a Steampunk Duffman (Simpsons) costume! It was pretty rad.

steampunk duffman



We had fun taking photos where Duffman was being useless but looking cool, and the ladies were “doing all the work” (err- driving the ship, and navigating… or something).

steampunk trio


Want some other inspiration for steampunk characters?

Steampunk Batman and Ivy


Star Wars steampunk! Source: Steampunk Fashion


Steampunk Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter

Steampunk Cyberman. Doctor Who via kyoob on etsy

Steampunk Disney


It need not be a specific character, either!  Try brainstorming ideas for a steampunk pirate, ballerina, ringmaster, US president, playboy bunny, zombie … the options are endless!


Use one of these ideas or come up with your own! Use some of the ideas presented here and do a little bit of research if you need help brainstorming. Feel free to write me and I’ll help you out too! I’d love to see a steampunk version of Winnie the Pooh, Inspector Gadget, Madonna, or Captain Planet for example. Why not?

1. c. OR Choose a mythological creature

My friend and I hinted at the fae with our costumes seeing as we both wore wings. Together we decided we were ice and fire, or sun and moon… or something like that… yeah….

steampunk wings


Let’s take a closer look at my wings (the brown owl-feather ones) :

steampunk wings and bustle close

Cool, eh? You may never suspect that I found these at Party City around halloween time, though you can shop their wings online year-round. I did absolutely nothing to them; that center diamon-jewel thing was part of them from the get-go! The only catch is that they aren’t too fantastically made, so the feathers fall out after a few uses, but that’s where I got the feather for my hat!


Pan, Unicorn, Merfolk, Centaurs, Faeries/Fairies, Narwhals… There are a lot of options. Why do the fae need technology when perhaps they can do it all with magic? Because it’s fun. And they’re Tesla fans. I don’t know. Go ask the good folk.


The joy with being a mythological character is you can always say that something you’re wearing (or doing) is just, uh… magic! uh.. yeah- that’s it.  It gives a bit more freedom.



2. Add technology!

Ideally, one wouldn’t just glue gears to something and call it steampunk (not that I’m above that… check out my home-made mini top hat below).

steampunk hat


One of the coolest things about steampunk is the idea of technological innovation.


A friend of mine made these amazing wings below. Yes, they opened and unfurled as well. Pretty darn cool I must say! (though, he did say they got heavy after a while… The prices one pays to look awesome). He does this stuff professionally, so feel free to contact him for commissions.

steampunk working wings



You can go buy some of your own on Etsy (via someone I don’t know, but they sure look great):

TGTstudios on Etsy


Another gent at the event wore this backpack of gadgetry.

steampunk backpack


It’s quite popular to turn old nerf or play guns into Steampunk guns:


There’s a pretty good tutorial on painting your own gun here


I made one too- you can see it hanging from my belt below:

steampunk girlies


When in doubt, just remember- What Would Tesla Do?

What would Tesla do

What would Tesla do? Yes, this is seriously a shirt you can buy from



3. Accessorize!

Pocket watches, jewelry, goggles, top hats, spats, collars… there are so many ways to accessorize!  Rather than write a whole lot of words and lists, I’m providing you an array of photographical inspiration:


The Ultimate Steampunk for Men Etsy


Yet another photo Im not able to credit. Please let me know if you can help give credit!



Steampunk costume and garb ideas. tree of life. jewelry. diy.

This is a tree of life pendant I made with standard jewelry wire and some gears I found at Michaels. The structure was made from a shower curtain ring!



via poppenkraal on etsy


kvodesign at etsy


black steampunk top hat

I made this mini top hat out of foam! If I get requests for it, perhaps I’ll do a DIY post someday….


DesignsByFriston on Etsy




4. …. But What about….?


Still have concerns? – Don’t worry- it’s all about having fun and making the attempt!

Don’t have the “right shoes”? – If you can, wear simple black heels, boots, or dress shoes.  If you can, make spats to go with them.  If you’re stuck with just tennis shoes/sneakers (depending on where you’re from), don’t let that keep you from trying on the rest of it! If anyone is judging you, they need better things to do with their life!

Not sure where to even start/this is overwhelming?  Take a breath, wear a buttoned shirt and pants, or a suit if you can. Add a waistcoat. Or a coat with tails. Get a long skirt and add safety pins to bustle it up a little.

**If you’re going to a steampunk event, there are usually vendors! Wear something simple and plan on adding to it throughout the day! Easy-peasy.**

But my friend says I NEED such-and-such to be steampunk!  No, you don’t “need” anything to be steampunk. Even what I’ve written is just a bunch of ideas to help inspire. The guidelines are very wibbly-wobbly, so don’t fret. Try it out! You may just surprise yourself.

But I don’t have anything ready/I cannot sew! My friend and I (below) are both seamstresses (ok, ok… *She* is a seamstress. I just sew things). And neither of us really planned our costumes. We didn’t buy patterns from Joann’s, we didn’t break out the sewing machines, we just used items we had and added pins and magic to help make it all come together:

steampunk girls inside



Need more inspiration?? Check out these films/books:

Jules Verne’s Around The World In 80 Days and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Baron Munchausen

Alice In Wonderland

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Back to the Future III

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Return to Oz

Wild Wild West

Sherlock Holmes



The Golden Compass



Also, I do a lot of research on things- do feel free to utilize the research I’ve already done!

Check out (or follow) my Pinterest Steampunk folder

Or just check me out on Pinterest (there’s plenty more things than steampunk on there! Most recently- viking research!)




I truly hope this post has given you some insight on where to start when coming up with your own steampunk garb/persona. Please comment below and share your own makings!

steampunk girls


Want to check out more geeky things?


Click here to see ideas for throwing a thor’s giving (instead of thanksgiving)

thorsgiving instead of thanksgiving


Click here to check out our Geeky British Party and get ideas for throwing your own!

Sir Francis BACON!!!  tee hee!

Sir Francis BACON!!!
tee hee!


  • Have you made any cool steampunk garb? Share it below!
Share Button

Hobbit Graduation Card

Has anyone else tried finding a decent graduation card for someone this year? … I looked & have come to the conclusion: GRADUATION CARDS ARE BORING.


Rather than fork out my money for a lackluster symbol of my congratulations, I decided to MAKE a graduation card for a special graduate I know.


tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card

also, this post is out in time for you all to celebrate


Geek Pride Day (May 25)


Geek Pride Day is an initiative to promote Geek culture, cosplay, and the like.  So go forth and celebrate time travel, wear your one ring, drink your butterbeer, daydream, assemble!, read a book, fight some crime, and for all of these shenanigans: may the force be with you.


May 25th was chosen as the date in order to commemorate the first Star Wars release (some people even consider this day “Star Wars Day” over May the 4th), though it also shares a date with references from the Discworld series as well as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.


Click here to learn more about Geek Pride Day



Hobbit Lord of the Rings card home made


Oh right, back to the graduation card….


This was written/drawn with ink and quill (yes, olde-style dipped ink), though you could do it with a pen or a sharpie even…. just try it!


I cannot draw.  Seriously.  This is about as good as it gets (I cannot even draw a straight line), so I had to choose an idea for a card that would fit with my level of drawing ability and my geek knowledge.


I also love to age paper whenever I can (look forward to a post later on coffee/tea staining… though if you request it, I can expedite it!), so I purchased blank cards from Michaels and aged them, let them dry, then drew on them with the ink via quill.


map of middle earth


One of my first ideas for the inside of the card was to mention something along the lines of :  You’ve defeated SMOG Graduate School! Now you can return to the Shire real life! Huzzah!


Then I decided I could find some cool Sindarin (one of the Tolkien Elvish languages) phrase of sorts to add to the inside, so I did!


Had I the time, I would have written the message in Sindarin letters, but alas.


tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card Sindarin Elvish


Elvish Sindarin phrase


If you’d like some Sindarin / Elvish phrase ideas, click here.



I also wanted the envelope to match and hint at the Tolkien Middle Earth Map.  It worked, of course- he knew that it was Tolkien-esque :)

LOTR envelope style idea



And once again, the final product:

tolkien hobbit LOTR graduation hand made card


I hope this helps to inspire you to do something fun and geeky today!  Enjoy, fellow muggles!


Want another geeky idea?  How about making some Geeky Cupcakes!  Featuring Star Wars and Superheroes!

Or perhaps you want to learn about another random holiday?


  • What did you do to celebrate Geek Pride Day?
Share Button

Make your own boutonniere

seriously… it’s not that difficult.  The hardest part is using living items and keeping them alive until the date of the event :)



ok… perhaps I lied.  The most difficult part for me was picking the super glue off my fingers…. but that’s because I made a stupid move…

DIY you can make your own boutonniere


Research through some boutonnieres on the interwebs to get ideas.  Do you want fresh flowers?  feathers? herbs or plants? something different altogether?


I saw a really nice feather one and thought- hey! I can make that!   I also liked its trim lines and masculine look (I’m not really a fan of the foofie-looking ones).


Choose your ingredients, and place them together to see if you like how they play together.


DIY you can make your own boutonniere


I chose a feather, a piece of fresh rosemary, and this little dual leaf metal thingy I happened to have.   Everything I already had in my random crafty piles somewhere.


A friend who was helping me suggested I add the white pin stripe to the feather.  It just so happened that I had *just* purchased this new set of paint pens for another project…. so I was all ready to make the suggestion happen.


DIY you can make your own boutonniere


Grab your creation at the base of the pretty part; you are now ready to bind it.


If you have floral tape- good for you!  you can securely wrap the base with it (or so I’m told)!

I did NOT have floral tape, so I improvised


WORD TO THE WISE: don’t try to use normal super glue… if you’re anything like me, you’ll get it all over your fingers and spend the rest of the evening trying to pick it off.   Once I was done with the super glue debacle, I used the GEL super glue that I had (I’m sure hot glue would work, but I didn’t use it because I didn’t want to get it everywhere).


DIY you can make your own boutonniere


Once you secure your base, wrap it with a pretty ribbon.  I super glued the last bit of my ribbon on to ensure it would stay.  I also folded the last edge of ribbon under, and ensured the ribbon ended in the back of the boutonniere so as not to have any exposed fraying ends.

DIY you can make your own boutonniere

For the record, my friend held it for this photo… that’s not my manly hand there.


I then held  the ribbon closed with a clothespin (ensuring not to accidentally super glue the clothespin to the newly made bit of awesomeness) and placed the boutonniere in the fridge.  I figured the fridge would help keep the rosemary fresher for longer.


DIY you can make your own boutonniere


I then boxed it in this nice little jewelry gift box for the gifting.


DIY you can make your own boutonniere


Voila!  It’s so much nicer when it’s home made and from the heart…. Remember, your fresh ingredients will not hold up for long, so I recommend making them day of.


Off to a party?  High-Five!



  • Have you ever made one? Post your ideas or creations below!
Share Button

Showerhead cleaning- easy and green!

Do you have an ugly, icky showerhead?

Do you want it cleaned, but don’t really want to do the work to clean it?

Well, read on, fellow muse-friends!! I have the easy (AND ECO-FRIENDLY) solution below!

OH OH!!! Aaaaaand…… ::drumroll:: …. you can do it using items generally found in your kitchen!

Shower cleaning DIY eco friendly and green

It’s spring cleaning time, so I figured I would send you all some eco-friendly inspiration for cleaning your own homes, starting with how to easily clean your showerhead!


My showerhead looked like this:

shower head dirty


shower head icky


… and I don’t like spending a lot of time scrubbing.



What to do??


  • Get some white distilled vinegar.  

    You can buy large containers of it for under $2. Seriously, get the large one.  I will convince you that there are plenty of awesome uses for it!

  • Put some of it in a baggie.

    You’ll need just enough to cover your showerhead (and a baggie large enough to cover your showerhead).  I used maybe 2 cups?

  • Place the baggie over the showerhead.

    I used a rubber band to secure it.

  • Wait 1 hour

    I don’t recommend doing this in the morning when people are about to take showers

  • Remove the baggie.

  • Wipe the showerhead with a cloth or sponge.

  • Voilà!  It’s clean!



shower head baggie

shower head bag vinegar

Also, when I removed the baggie of vinegar, I then used the vinegar for other cleaning duties (e.g. cleaning dish scrubbing tools, A/C drain, and garbage disposal).  Also, vinegar is good for your drain, and just fine for the environment, so no worries about dumping it!



And afterwards

- my showerhead looked shiny and new!

shower head new

shower head shiny



  • Try it for yourself!  And share the outcome below!
Share Button