Every year our church has a Harvest Festival, which includes a chili cook-off, entertainment, trunk-or-treat, and costumes! I love costumes and thought this year it would be fun to dress in a steampunk style and decorate the "trunk" of our van to match. In case you don't know what steampunk is, here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.
So basically, I like to think of steampunk as Victorian Sci-fi, i.e. really fun costumes! Of course a trip to the thrift store was in order. As luck would have it, I discovered a local thrift store had already gathered steampunk inspired clothing and decorations and made a whole display from them. Plus, it was half off women's clothing that day, so I got my jacket, black velveteen vest, and crushed velvet skirt all for $7!
I found a lace skirt at another thrift store. Add that to the hat, belt, jewelry, boots, and victorian blouse I already had and I was well on my to completing my costume.
The victorian era blouse with the lace collar was just what this costume needed.
My pocket watch necklace originally made its appearance on my blog back in January of 2012. It was the perfect accessory for this outfit. The other necklace and wristwatch that I wore on my belt was already in my stash.
I just gathered and pinned the skirt up in the front to showcase the lace skirt underneath.
Of course, no steampunk outfit would be complete without the goggles! I found a pair of green glasses with kaleidoscope lenses at a thrift store for 25¢. I cut the sides down with my Dremel and drilled a couple of holes in each side so that I could attach some strapping.
But first, I painted them gold and then layered on some copper and black metallic paint to distress them. I super glued earrings to the side for decoration and used leather lacing to secure my straps.
I picked up a jewelers loupe at Harbor Freight for a few dollars and clipped it in place.
My husband and I like to match (or maybe its me that likes to match), either way it was time to work on his costume. I picked up some welding goggles at Harbor Freight and got to work. After taking them apart, I first sprayed them with a plastic primer hoping that it would make the spray paint adhere better. Even so, the gold and silver spray paint crinkled up, but it was perfect for what I wanted. Using a scrunched up piece of plastic wrap, I dabbed on copper, silver, and black metallic paints for a distressed effect.
I added some strapping and placed it on his top hat.
I found a lone knee pad at a thrift store and thought it would be perfect for his shoulder. It basically got the same paint treatment as the other gadgets. I added some straps and a buckle and he wore the pad on his shoulder with the straps going around his chest and back.
My husband is a good sport about dressing up, but it always helps to sweeten the deal if there are weapons involved. In fact, we have been a gangster and flapper, pirates, a mediaeval knight and maiden, and Indiana Jones characters, to name a few...all involve weapons! So this year it was no different. Our futuristic steampunk weapons are in reality a squirt gun and toy gun that were worked over by a paint brush.
I used the same metallic paints as I did with the goggles. I didn't worry too much about getting everything perfect considering they've probably been through a few battles already!
For the trunk-or-treat, we decorated our van in the same theme. I rounded up things I had at home, and picked up a couple of things at the thrift stores. My son had a plasma light that added some electric fun to the scene. I also downloaded some vintage film footage of the industrial age and had it playing on the laptop. To complete the whole feeling, we blasted Electro Swing music from the speakers...its a rather catchy genre of music!
The old dictionary was turned to the page featuring gears. I highlighted the entry with this fun hands-free magnifying glass.
It was a fun style to dress in and made for a fun evening of food, entertainment, and handing out lots of candy!
I like to link to these great parties!