I'm going to level with all of you straight out- I don't know how to make any of our products. I'm just the writer, with no more credits to my name than that. So, by request I was asked to write about making Steampunk Jewelry, and we will simply have to learn together.
All the art and the jewelry is not mine! They are google found works of art mae by others as simple examples.
Okay, so first off you need some supplies, though what you needs depends on what you're making.
For earrings, as a general rule, you will need an earring wire or a stud to work off, whether you make your own is up to you. And from there, it depends on types. Dangling one medium sized (so long as it is lightweight) cog from each ear is perfectly reasonable, as is taking small chains and making small dangling bundles of cogs. Small cogs for things like this are actually sold in crafts stores, but you can buy a lot more pieces online as well (check out our store, we have a good mixed selection of them which would be plenty to get you started) . Sometimes, if you have a design in mind, and this applies for most kinds of jewelry, it's not a bad idea to use felt as a backing to build the design around, especially if you're a novice at this and don't quite know how to make everything hold together. if you don't want the felt, the best bet is something called a jump ring, which is a single link like would be found on a chain, meant just to be used to hold things together. In the picture above, that is what they used below the largest gear, and the smaller ones appear to be held together with wire wrapping, which can be time consuming but is quite sturdy.
For necklaces, the variety is endless, but I can go into some of it. Older lockets, especially ones that are a little rough in conditioned are very easily re-purposed into a gorgeous necklace, with some additions, of course. You can never go wrong with a watch, and it's really not all that uncommon to find them on chains for your neck instead of your waistcoat. Personally, I'm quite a fan of steampunk keys, where the handle of a vintage key has been covered over by gears and cogs, which seems perfectly doable with the right selection of cogs and a hot glue gun. Most of this can be done with hot glue, but you have to be very careful with it, not to make a mess and ruin the effect. Resin can be used, in some cases, like filling a locket with gears and then using resin to make sure they remain in place. Otherwise, the best attachment medium is chains and jump rings, like in the one above, which is a fairly simple DIY Necklace done with gears from the craft store.
Victorian portraits are also really common in steampunk, and are at least fairly accessible. once you have all these pieces the variety is really, nearly endless. Steampunk is all about personal expression, and once you have the parts and pieces together, there is very little that you can't do to express yourself with them. If metal isn't your style? Change it for ribbons or lace. Not a fan of those either? Well, wood is an option, for pendants at least, and plastic can be used if you're able to paint it and need a bit of a cheaper, lighter weight option.
Cuff links and buttons are actually pretty easy ones. Most cuff links that aren't flat can be made flat by removing whatever embellishment is on them. Then, whatever you would like can be glued on, for example, a picture under a glass bead that is used for gardening, like those above. Make sure that if you do anything to the buttons, it can still go through the buttonholes, as well. And watch the weight. Earrings are held on ears, necklaces around your neck, but cuff links and buttons are only supporting fabric, so making them heavy can actually damage the fabric or make your clothes uncomfortable to wear.
Finally, rings. Rings can be just about anything, and you can buy blank ring bases to build into whatever elaborate thing you might want. Attach a locket and fill it with secrets, or a charm that perhaps doesn't work well on a necklace could find a fantastic home on a ring. They can be elegant or bulky, but again, expression is key. Many steampunk rings cover the whole finger, but that gets very detailed and is actually called a sheath, or get into fancy wire or metal work. The results are quite impressive, but not totally possible for everyone who wants to try their hand at it.
Well, that covers most of the basic, and I'm sorry there wasn't more detail. All you really need is an idea and some materials and your jewelry could be something fantastic, I hope to see what unique things you can make!