Steampunk is an instantly recognizable sci-fi style that can easily be put together from scratch with accessories – if you know what to look for! In this article, we look at what makes an item ‘steampunk’. We explain how you can make a DIY steampunk outfit without spending a cent and list all the accessories a steampunk would wear.
Steampunk accessories lean on the fashion of the 1800s with a sci-fi twist, our top ten accessories that will complete your steampunk look are:
- Steampunk Goggles
- Aviator sunglasses
- Top hat
- Walking stick or cane
- Bowler hat
- Wrist cuff
- Pistol belt
What makes an accessory steampunk?
Steampunk accessories take influence from common items that a person from the victorian era might have worn.
The items that count as an accessory could be something that an everyday person would use – such as a top hat, a cane, a ruff, or a gothic necklace. The style also leans on the various professions and subcultures of the era. For example military costumes, accessories, and weapons. Members of the aristocracy whose grand outfits will include steampunk accessories such as wigs, canes, and monocles.
Gothic ‘vampire’ accessories straight from Bram Stoker’s novel creep into the genre of steampunk, such as fangs and capes. While the Burlesque fashion of the nineteenth century makes for perfect accessories, items such as masquerade masks and long gloves will build out that steampunk look.
How to make DIY steampunk accessories
There are plenty of ways to create DIY accessories without spending any money. We found this comprehensive list of 30 DIY steampunk accessories that will give you a free way to build out your steampunk look.
Top 3 steampunk DIY accessory hacks:
A DIY steampunk hat can be created with just a few items, tie black lace around the outside of the hat and decorate it with feathers and chains. Or you can really go to town like the creation below!
Steampunk goggles can be quickly made by taking a pair of standard goggles, painting them gold gluing plastic studs in a circle around the frame. Cut some cogs out from gold paper and add these to finish the look.
Leather gloves can be easily customized with gems, chains, cogs, or any other typical steampunk design.
The complete list of Steampunk accessories:
This list is an A-Z directory of accessories that we believe create a typical steampunk style. If we have missed anything we would love you to let us know! You can just contact us and we will add your suggestion to the list.
Armor is worn on the shoulder, typically covering the top half of the arm or all the way down to the wrist as a sleeve
Bandanas with steampunk patterns such as cogs, watches, or metal pipes
Bracelets the more unique or customized the better, leather is the most common material decorated with metal
Brooch of the victorian era with an elaborate steampunk finish, cogs, and chains work well
Buckle think studs, cogs, anything steampunk
Butcher’s Apron would look great if customized with blood, vials of potions, or a fake cleaver!
Capes and cloaks ideally black or brown with a gothic look
Corsets are an uncomfortable part of everyday victorian fashion
Compass will help you navigate the world of steampunk
Cuffs could be made of leather and studded, or lacy and frilly
Cufflinks will add a hint of class, decorated with cogs and pocket watches is a common look
Earings with a vintage victorian vibe, long and dangly!
Eye patch hints of prior battles
Fan with lace material, easy to customize
Garter for the burlesque vibe, somewhere to store your hip flask, weapon, or bullets
Gloves lacy or leather with the fingers missing
Goggles are THE steampunk accessory
Guns complete the military look
Hats top hats, bowler hats, and military-style all work well
Headbands with black lace are easy to customize
Holsters to keep the customized gun
Keys that are large and hooked to a loop
Lanterns will illuminate the room
Leather belts are a must and all the better when studded
Leather bag with a chain or cog customization
Masquerade masks create a sense of mystery!
Monocle is the iconic victorian gentleman’s accessory
Necklaces can be accessories with a timepiece or gothic cross
Parasol with lacy trims
Pipe for a sherlock holmes vibe
Pocket watch is a must for any victorian needing to know what time the airship departs
Rings of a victorian style or customized metal with a cog pattern
Sunglasses even going up to the 1930s style with leather sides can work
Victorian choker with a gothic lace vibe, including a pendant will complete the look
What makes Jewelry steampunk
With many of the items on our list being jewelry, let’s take a look at what makes an item of jewelry stand out as steampunk. Given the world of steampunk has one foot in the victorian era, victorian jewelry is the starting point for this style. If you add in the classic steampunk elements such as cogs, wires, gears, and pocket watches you have created steampunk jewelry.
The final word on Steampunk accessories
There are a vast amount of accessory ideas out there for anyone looking to create a steampunk look. Any accessory from the victorian era can be customized to fit the steampunk, cosplay, or gothic theme.
Most of the items on our list are available from thrift stores or eBay and you may even have items around the house that can be repurposed as an accessory.
To DIY an accessory with a steampunk vibe try spray painting it in steampunk colors – such as brown or black. Add a metallic finish like gold and stick on typical steampunk finishes such as cogs, chains, studs, or feathers.
John Francis is a lifelong Sci-fi fan who met Matilda at a Steampunk event and was immediately enraptured by the community. John’s favorite Steampunk-inspired game is The Chaos Engine on the Sega Genesis.