Steampunk Fashion and Halloween Costumes

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Craftsters are obsessed with steampunk, embracing the style for Halloween costumes and in everyday fashion and accessories.  With Halloween around the corner we’ve rounded up some creative steampunk clothing, jewelry and accessories to help inspire you!

The steampunk style is easily identifiable by the use of clock hands, pocket watches, gears and cogs, steam-powered ships, vintage maps, keys, wings, propellers and Victorian-style textures and materials.

Gold steampunk bracelet with vintage key and propellorsSteampunk Bracelet with Vintage Key and Propellers
Steampunk wings made out of Polymer ClaySteampunk wings made out of Polymer Clay
Steampunk Necklace with Clock and CogsSteampunk Necklace with Clock and Cogs
Quilted Steampunk Netbook or Laptop HolderQuilted Vintage Map Steampunk Netbook or Laptop Holder
Steampunk Netbook Makeover with Gears and CogsNetbook Makeover: Steampunk Computer Edition

Ultimately rooted in neo-Victorianism fashion and fantasy literature, the steampunk style continues to get shaped by cartoons,  comics, science fiction literature and film as well as punk and gothic music and culture.

Steampunk Rocketgirl NeedleworkRocketgirl Steampunk Needlework
My Little Steampunk PonyMy little steampunk pony

Steampunk, as a fashion statement, salvages iconic symbols and materials from the time period when steam-powered engines and other emergent technologies began to automate many aspects of the existing textile, transportation and printing industries.

Steampunk OutfitSteampunk Dress with Corset and Buckles

Gowns, corsets, petticoats, suits, vests and top hats comprise a few classic steampunk get-ups.

Steampunk Outfit with Top Hat, Belt and BootsSteampunk Clothing with Top Hat, Belt and Boots

The style really comes out in the details, which makes this a perfect obsession for Craftsters!

Steampunk Costume Tutorial with PhotosSteampunk Costume Tutorial with Photos

Steampunk fashion accessories include military-inspired pieces like goggles, boots, guns, aviator hats and unusual inventions.

Steampunk Outfit with Goggles and Aviator HatSteampunk Coat, Goggles and Aviator Hat
Steampunk Costume with Flying Invention AccessorySteampunk Costume with Rocket Invention Accessory

On Craftster, upcycling to create unique, one-of-a-kind and budget friendly steampunk pieces is a popular activity.

T-shirt Sleeve Upcycled to Steampunk Spat Styled Wrist Cuff TutorialT-shirt Sleeve Upcycled to Steampunk Spat Styled Wrist Cuff
Handmade Wool Bowl Hat TutorialCloche Hat in Boiled Wool Tutorial

A Lesson: What is Steampunk?

So, what does the “punk” in steampunk stand for?

Steampunk can be seen as a throwback to the industrial revolution when technology like steam-powered engines gradually began to replace manual labor.  At this time, the transition from “man to machine” had a few devastating consequences for the crafting community, in particular weaving and textile workers.

In 1811, a group of unemployed craftsman (and women!) called the “Luddites” began to riot against the very machines that took their jobs.  The Luddites took their frustration to the streets destroying mills, automated mules and spinning machinery, and even facing the British Army in battle.  These types of uprisings, where former workers destroyed the same machinery that replaced their jobs, continued in England during the Swing Riots with agricultural laborers in 1830.

Today, the steampunk style mashes up the old with the new.  Check out this blog post by batgirl for more steampunk costumes and crafts.


Steampunk Project Shout outs: Thanks to Craftster Friends and Community Members for sharing their steampunk projects with us: ehinders, pops, jennieingram, scaramouche, RoaneFaery, azreno, sagaciousblonde, graverobbergirl, rdayk, alvan, CoanTeen, Schnoogles and  Zhad_Squad!

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  1. ehinders says:

    Thanks for including my bracelet in a great steampunk round-up!

  2. Alchamy513 says:

    Wow, thanks for mentioning the ornament swap, we all can’t wait to get started!

  3. pops says:

    wow, thankyou from me as well! ^_^
    i love all these projects <3

  4. Schnoogles says:

    Thanks so much for featuring my jetpack costume from last Halloween! This is my first time being recognized on Craftster.

  5. mamabear says:

    Thanks for providing an articulate explanation of steampunk, complete with great illustrations!

  6. Lins says:

    very big in the scrapbooking world as well,I have just done a steampunk kit myself

  7. Catarina says:

    Seriously, what do I have to do to get the first dress shown. It is gorgeous!

  8. B.Taylor says:

    You INSPIRE me

    Thank You

  9. Lauren says:

    This is beautiful, I had never seen this style clothing! I wish that one day I’ll have the resources to create my own clothes such as these. Maybe one day.

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