I’m always on the lookout for beautiful Steampunk inspired accessories. Sometimes the price for these accessories can be too much for my wallet. That’s when a trip to the hardware store, some feathers and $10 can turn into a fun accessory for a night on the town.

Here’s a quick and affordable way to take a plain headband and Steampunk it out:

Some materials you can use include washers and bolts from a hardware store, clock cogs, feathers, ribbon, and sparkly jewels. While at the hardware store check out their decorative latch section. It can yield some pretty cool latches that will be useful when adding feathers. Total cost of materials can vary but if you use coupons at craft stores and watch for sales you can keep it down to around $10.

Materials are subject to interpretation.
Materials are subject to interpretation.

First step is to wrap the headband in ribbon. You can find a wide variety of ribbons at your local crafts store like Michaels or Jo-Anns. To keep in Steampunk theme stick to fall or metallic colors such as rust, burgundy, copper, brass, or gold. You could even get away with an earth tone like dark browns or olive green as long as you have complimentary colors that will play off it and still look industrial.

To wrap the headband dab some super glue on the end of your ribbon and glue it to the inside of one side. Once the glue has dried then wrap the ribbon upwards along the headband giving it even spacing. Keep the ribbon as taught as possible but sometimes it will not lay evenly so work with it as best you can.  Once you reach the other end of the head band wrap the ribbon once back upward and glue it on the inside. The edge may bubble a little but hopefully the ends of the headband will be partially hidden behind your ears and hair.

Its like a copper coated candy cane.
Its like a copper coated candy cane.

Next, grab some various sized washers and clock pieces. Clock cogs and gears can be found once again at a craft store either in the clock or jewelry section. These particular ones I found at Michael’s in their jewelry section which contains a line of charms and accessories that are steampunk inspired. If you plan on purchasing at Michael’s grab their forty percent off coupons and try to make multiple trips. It seems like a pain but it will save you in the long run.

 Misc gears, cogs and washers

 

Play around with the various shapes that you have to create a grouping of cogs and washers that will adhere together fairly easily and that’s aesthetically striking. This may take you awhile, especially if you are like me and are creatively indecisive. Once you get the pattern laid out superglue them all together starting with the base pieces and build up.

A shadow lurks above. Oh wait, thats me.
A shadow lurks above. Oh wait, thats me.

Next take the box latch that you found and wedge it underneath one of the ribbon wraps. Dab a bit of superglue under it so it will hold and fold the latch over to hide the hinge. Next superglue your cog masterpiece next to it and hold firmly while the glue dries.

 Cog and latch headband

After everything has dried it’s just a matter of decoration. Take some small stick on jewels and attach them randomly to the cog pieces. You can go big with bright-colored jewels or you can make them more subtle and small. Once again its all about playing around with it to find that perfect balance.

Shiny.
Shiny.

Last step is optional and that is adding feathers. Most feathers you find at a craft store will do just fine but if you are looking for something more exotic or big check out websites geared for taxidermy. Trust me, I Googled it.

Once you have selected the feathers you are going to use, lift the latch on the headband and super glue the quills of the feathers underneath it. Once that glue dries dab the underside of the latch and lay it over the top of the quills. Press firmly until everything has dried. The latch acts as a great cover up for the quills of the feathers but you could also tuck them into one of the ribbon wraps. That method just takes longer and depending on the ribbon could show the bumps of the quills underneath.

Completed HeadbandDSCN0113 DSCN0114

 

Now you are complete. Total cost of the headband? $10 in materials. You can go further with this idea and add some chain or more cogs and gears to the other side. But if you just want a fun headband to wear on a night out this will glimmer with geek pride.

 

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Laurel Way
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Laurel Way

Ooooh a vintage bowler hat can be tricky, mainly because they are so slick on their own. I would suggest adding a pair of steampunk googles to the front of the brim or or a thick ribbon around the base. The ribbon can also serve to hold some vintage playing cards if you are looking for that 19th century London Hustler vibe.