While it's certainly tempting — and easy — to purchase pre-made steampunk gear, some may have more of a DIY mindset. For these steampunkers toiling away endlessly in their basements surrounded by steam-powered saws and hand-crank drills, a logical place to search for fashion ideas is the hardware store. For you, we present this list of five hardware items that can help "wratchet" up your steampunk look in no time.
Ah, the humble hose clamp. Perfect for — well — clamping hoses. But these bands of metal can also be great for strapping around the outside of a goggle lens to give it a more industrial look. Once affixed to your steampunk goggles, it provides a handy band from which to clip even more interesting hardware, like small magnifying glasses or a variety of springs. While any old clamps will do, we are particularly fond of this style of hose clamp, with its bright yellow cranking key. Our advice though, is to paint that bit black or silver, as yellow – well, you know.
As this guy over at Instructables shows, you can use sink strainers to create your own set of DIY goggles – with hose clamps, of course. Although in this case, more traditional hose clamps would make the most sense.
In addition to creating goggles this way, you could also hot glue sink strainers to your top hat to make them look like ventilation holes. If you have an inexpensive top hat, you could even cut into it, insert the strainers from the inside and glue them down around the edges.
Any worthwhile steampunk construction – whether it be a cool steampunk ghostblaster or an awesome steampunk time machine – needs a gauge. And if you find that a gauge is a little too heavy for your needs, a thermometer can stand in nicely as well.
Ordinary hardware washers can become pretty extraordinary in the right steampunkers hands. You can string them together to make an industrial-style necklace, add them to hats, goggles or guns for some extra metallic flair or hot glue them along a leather belt to turn an ordinary belt with utility into more of a utility belt. We particularly like this style of washer, as the copper will really sing, and you can come up with some pretty interesting patterns thanks to the different sizes. Alternatively, tooth-lock washers offer a great stand-in for gears.
Stainless Steel Hose
OK, this one is a bit of an outlier, but imagine what you could do with 25-feet of this shiny steel hose. You could cut it down into smaller lengths to create tubes on your blaster; hot glue it all the way up a top hat; double or triple it up to create a belt; wrap it around your neck; or coil up a few lengths, strap them together with a strip of leather and hang it off your belt as a badass steampunk whip. You're welcome.