Hi I'm Skyler, and I'm into crafts, sewing, baking, and other domestic intrigue!

DIY Steampunk Costumes

For our trip to GenCon we decided to make our own steampunk costumes. We wanted to do them well enough so that we didn’t look pathetic, but we also didn’t want to spend very much money. Pretty much everything was handmade or thrifted. Why steampunk? Well, we wanted to dress up, but we wanted to do something that we could all do so that we didn’t end up as the dysfunctional family of the Flash, a tavern maid, and a baby Yoda. Also, Brian likes steampunk, so there.

The star was definitely Ada, everybody wanted a picture of The Steampunk Baby!
I made her dress using my onesie dress tutorial, but added an extra ruffle to the bottom. Then I just handsewed on three buttons to the onesie.
The baby goggles and just a headband made of some knit fabric from an old t-shirt (I didn’t follow my headband tutorial exactly, but close enough that you get the idea). We then painted some caps from milk cartons and hot glued them on. Done.
Then for her shoes I used a pattern from the Baby Times book. They are pretty much the easiest and cheapest things ever to make, you just need one piece of felt and some ribbon. They look super adorable, but Ada hates shoes and socks, so she didn’t wear them long, unfortunately.
The ensemble would not have been the success it was without the steam powered stroller.
We picked up this little horror at a thrift store for a few bucks.
We took off the seat and gave it a healthy dose of spray paint. We did a black base coat before we did the bronze so that it we didn’t have any electric blue shining through. Brian went though and put a little shiny silver on all the little rivets and then painted the wheels black.
We traced the old fabric seat and made a new one out of lightweight broadcloth. We spray painted the clips and made new straps out of this weird fabric belt stuff. We also wrapped the handles and footrest in cheap pleather that we attached with heaping dollops of hot glue.
We whipped up a little fabric bag that velcroed on to the bottom of the stroller. We also made some silly little “pistons” out of dowels and wrapped some garden wire we had lying around around them to look like springs.
As a last minute addition, we attached an exhaust pipe to the bag, which really made the stroller look fun and more steampunkian. We used two cheap elbow pipes from the store and hot glued them into the position we wanted. Then Brian drilled some tiny holes in the base and I hand stitched it to the bag. It’s also tied with a cord to the back to help it stand up.
Our diaper bag was just an old bowling ball bag that we got from the thrift store and added a strap to. I also hot glued this weird medallion thing to it to give it some personality.
Then the goggles. I can’t take any credit for these, Brian did them all. He made up the design and used pretty much only yogurt containers and cheap pleather.
 He cut the heads off of screws and then glued them on.
He wanted to make them fit comfortably without having to adjust them, so he added hidden elastic inside that wide brown strip there. He is quite the genius when comfort is involved.
Our costumes weren’t really complete without our freaking awesome pistols. As kids, my siblings and I were never allowed to have toy guns (squirt or nerf), so having one as part of my costume was a taboo that made my inner child squirm with guilt and delight!
Brian made both of these using some blocks of maple (the white one) and purpleheart (the purple one) that he cut out. We both worked together with rasps, files, saws, and sandpaper to make the handles, and the rest is just parts from the thrift/home improvement store. He made up the design, but based it on some antique saws that he has. Here’s Brian’s pistol (the claw is a mystery from that portion of the thrift store labeled “Bric a Brac”)
My pistol
Here’s Brian in all his glory. He picked up the shirt at a thrift store and altered the collar so that it was rounded and then starched and ironed it to his liking. He already had the hat and the bow tie which he made (and wears to work). He made the pants using a pattern and then attached suspenders (which he also made) to them. The vest (which isn’t in this picture) he already made from a pattern that he made up several Halloweens ago. He’s a handsome devil.
Here’s me! I made the skirt and coat (which isn’t in this picture) from a pattern and I already owned the corset (which I know is weird, but whatever). The skirt has about 1 million pleats at the bottom, which took awhile, but looks good and makes it really fun to wear (twirling anyone?). I picked up the belt from a thrift store and I already owned the necklace (a gift from my brother) that I spray painted (sorry Connor).
Don’t we look smashing?


  1. Love the costumes….you make it look so easy to do!

    • I’m glad you like the costumes, they were a lot of fun to make, and really not very hard to pull together! I love having an excuse to dress up!

  2. I have two boys who would love to dress up Steampunk for Halloween (and one who would probably like to for Comicon as well!!). I like the idea of make your own goggles…I also hate to buy cheap things for Halloween. How exactly did your partner make them? I don’t quite get the yogurt container bit. Costumes are great. nicole

    • So the yogurt containers are just plastic yoplait containers that have had the bottoms cut off. He spray painted them and then glued fake leather and screw heads to them. Honestly, I don’t know how he made them looks so good!

  3. Do you mind if I ask what fabric you used for her onesie dress? I’d like to make on for my daughter and don’t know what to use.

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