How to Create Steampunk Artifacts from Household Items

Steampunk crafts from household items

Are you a fan of the fascinating world of steampunk? Do you want to bring the charm of this genre into your own home? Look no further! In this ultimate guide, we will show you how to transform ordinary household items into extraordinary steampunk artifacts. Get ready to unleash your creativity and embark on a journey of DIY steampunk crafting!

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that combines 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery with aesthetics and a touch of fantasy. By repurposing household items and incorporating materials like metal parts, paints, and embellishments, you can create your own unique steampunk creations right at home. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets of making steampunk items from the comfort of your own workshop!

Key Takeaways:

  • Steampunk is a genre that blends science fiction, history, and fantasy.
  • You can create steampunk artifacts by repurposing household items.
  • Metal parts, paints, and embellishments are essential materials for steampunk projects.
  • Steampunk crafting allows you to unleash your creativity and add a touch of mystery to your home decor.
  • With a few simple steps, you can transform ordinary items into extraordinary steampunk creations.

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is a fascinating sub-genre of science fiction or science fantasy that combines technology and aesthetics inspired by the 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. It takes inspiration from the British Victorian era and the “Wild West” period in America, offering a unique blend of mechanical parts, fantasy elements, and old futuristic design. Steampunk works often include hot air balloons, light bulbs, wings, pipes, and other industrial and grunge elements.

In the world of steampunk, the Victorian era serves as the backdrop, but with a twist. It imagines a parallel universe where technological advancements in steam-powered machinery continued to evolve, resulting in a fantastical world of mechanical wonders. This aesthetic is defined by a fusion of ornate Victorian elegance and gritty industrial machinery, creating a unique visual style that captures the imagination.

The steampunk style is not limited to literature or visual arts; it has expanded to influence fashion, furniture, video games, and even music. It has become a subculture that embraces creativity, craftsmanship, and individuality. Steampunk enthusiasts often immerse themselves in the intricate details of the Victorian era, incorporating gears, cogs, brass, leather, and other vintage elements into their creations.

Victorian Era Influence

The Victorian era, known for its elaborate fashion, grand architecture, and technological advancements, provides the foundation for the steampunk style. It is an era synonymous with innovation, exploration, and a sense of wonder. By combining the aesthetics of this era with futuristic technology and industrial elements, steampunk captures a sense of nostalgia while embracing the potential of what could have been.

Industrial Machinery

One of the defining features of steampunk is its fascination with industrial machinery. With its focus on steam power, brass gears, copper pipes, and intricate mechanical details, steampunk art and design showcase a love for the inner workings of machines. Whether it’s a retro-futuristic airship or a steam-powered robot, the presence of industrial machinery is a key element that sets steampunk apart.

Types of Steampunk Projects

Steampunk extends beyond crafts and DIY to various other fields like fashion, furniture, video games, and music. For the purpose of this guide, we will focus on mixed media projects that include canvases, home decor items, altered items, mini albums, and scrapbook layouts. These projects allow you to fully explore and express your creativity while incorporating steampunk elements.

Mixed Media Canvases

Mixed media canvases are a popular choice among steampunk enthusiasts. They provide a large and versatile surface to experiment with different techniques and materials. You can layer paints, textures, papers, and embellishments to create a visually stunning piece of art. Whether you’re depicting a steampunk cityscape or a whimsical airship, mixed media canvases offer endless possibilities for creativity.

Home Decor Items

Steampunk-inspired home decor items can add a touch of vintage charm and industrial elegance to any space. You can transform ordinary objects like lamps, clocks, or picture frames into steampunk masterpieces. Incorporate gears, cogs, and vintage elements to give these items a unique and eye-catching steampunk aesthetic. Display them in your living room, study, or even bedroom to create a truly immersive steampunk atmosphere.

Altered Items

Altered items are everyday objects that have been repurposed and transformed into steampunk treasures. It could be an old book turned into a secret compartment, a vintage suitcase embellished with gears and keys, or a jewelry box adorned with clock parts. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Altered items allow you to give new life to forgotten objects while adding a touch of steampunk flair.

Mini Albums and Scrapbook Layouts

Mini albums and scrapbook layouts are perfect for preserving your steampunk memories or creating themed journals. Use vintage photos, ephemera, and steampunk-inspired papers to design unique and personalized albums. Add gears, clock hands, and other metal embellishments to enhance the steampunk theme. These projects allow you to combine your love for steampunk with your passion for documenting precious moments.

steampunk crafts

Types of Steampunk Projects Description
Mixed Media Canvases Large canvases that allow for experimentation with various techniques and materials, creating visually stunning steampunk art.
Home Decor Items Transforming ordinary objects like lamps, clocks, and picture frames into steampunk masterpieces for unique and immersive home decor.
Altered Items Repurposing everyday objects into steampunk treasures through creative embellishments and transformations.
Mini Albums and Scrapbook Layouts Preserving steampunk memories and creating themed journals using vintage photos, papers, and steampunk-inspired embellishments.

Steampunk Project Materials

When it comes to creating steampunk artifacts, having the right materials is essential to achieve that authentic industrial aesthetic. Here are some key materials that you’ll need for your steampunk projects:

  1. Metal parts: These can be sourced from craft stores or found in old items like clocks, jewelry, and zippers. They add a touch of mechanical charm to your creations.
  2. Acrylic mediums: Gesso and gel medium are used for priming surfaces, creating texture, and attaching metal parts. They provide a strong base for your project.
  3. Paints and sprays: Industrial and metallic colors like brown, bronze, gold, and black are commonly used in steampunk projects. These paints help bring your artifacts to life.
  4. Texture mediums: Texture mediums like crackle paste and texture gel can add depth and dimension to your projects. They create the appearance of weathered and worn surfaces.
  5. Papers and embellishments: Use patterned papers and embellishments like chipboard or metal pieces to enhance the steampunk look. They add intricate details and visual interest to your creations.

With these materials in your arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your steampunk crafting journey. Get ready to transform ordinary items into extraordinary works of art!

Table: Essential Steampunk Project Materials

Materials Usage
Metal parts Provide a mechanical charm and aesthetic to your projects
Acrylic mediums (gesso, gel medium) Primers and adhesives for attaching metal parts and creating texture
Paints and sprays Add color and depth to your steampunk creations
Texture mediums (crackle paste, texture gel) Create weathered and worn surfaces for an authentic look
Papers and embellishments Enhance your projects with intricate details and visual interest

Where to Get Supplies for a Steampunk Project

Creating steampunk projects requires the right materials and embellishments to achieve that perfect blend of Victorian-era aesthetics and industrial machinery. If you’re wondering where to find supplies for your steampunk creations, look no further! Here are some great places to source the metal parts and unique items you need:

1. Online Stores

Online platforms like Etsy offer a wide range of steampunk supplies, including metal parts, clock gears, and vintage jewelry pieces. Browse through various sellers and find the perfect items to add that authentic steampunk touch to your projects. With just a few clicks, you can have the supplies delivered right to your doorstep.

2. Local Workshops

Explore your local crafting and DIY workshops as they often stock a variety of supplies for different artistic genres. Some workshops may specialize in steampunk creations, offering a selection of metal parts, gears, and other unique items. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the workshop owners or attend their events to discover hidden treasures for your steampunk projects.

3. Watchmakers

Watchmakers and repair shops can be a surprising source of steampunk supplies. These professionals often have old, broken watches and clocks that are no longer in use. These timepieces contain intricate gears, screws, and other components that can be repurposed for your steampunk creations. Don’t forget to ask the watchmakers if they have any spare parts or items you can purchase.

4. Garage Sales and Flea Markets

Garage sales and flea markets are treasure troves for steampunk enthusiasts. You never know what unique metal parts or vintage items you might stumble upon. From antique keys, rusted chains, to old machinery, these places offer a wide range of items that can bring your steampunk projects to life. Be prepared to spend some time exploring and bargaining for the best deals.

Remember, the key to finding supplies for your steampunk projects is to think outside the box and explore unconventional sources. Online stores, local workshops, watchmakers, garage sales, and flea markets all offer opportunities to discover hidden gems that will add authenticity and character to your creations. So put on your goggles, embark on a thrilling hunt, and let your imagination run wild in the world of steampunk!

where to buy metal parts for steampunk projects

Elements of a Steampunk Project

When it comes to creating a captivating steampunk project, there are several key elements that you should consider. These elements will help you achieve the distinctive aesthetic and atmosphere that is characteristic of the steampunk genre.

Focal Point

A focal point is an essential aspect of any steampunk project. It serves as the central focus and draws the viewer’s attention. The focal point can be a vintage photograph, an antique object, or even a carefully chosen image that evokes the essence of steampunk. By selecting a captivating focal point, you can create a strong visual impact and set the tone for the entire project.


Layers are a fundamental element of steampunk projects. By incorporating multiple layers, you add depth and dimension to your creation. This can be achieved through the use of textured papers, metal embellishments, gears, cogs, and other mechanical elements. Layers not only enhance the visual appeal of the project but also contribute to the overall steampunk aesthetic.

Color Palette

The color palette plays a crucial role in capturing the essence of steampunk. Industrial and metallic colors like brown, bronze, gold, and black are commonly used, as they evoke the look and feel of machinery and Victorian-era design. Additionally, incorporating rust and oxidization colors such as green and teal can add an authentic touch and further enhance the vintage and industrial vibe.

By focusing on these key elements – the focal point, layers, and color palette – you can create steampunk projects that are visually captivating and embody the spirit of this unique genre. So, gather your materials, let your imagination run wild, and embark on your own steampunk adventure.

steampunk project essentials

How to Give Embellishments a Steampunk Look

If you’re looking to add a steampunk touch to your DIY projects, you can easily enhance non-metal or non-steampunk embellishments with a few creative techniques. By incorporating coloring, adding themed shapes, and creating rust effects, you can transform ordinary embellishments into captivating steampunk accents.


Coloring is a fantastic way to bring steampunk vibes to your embellishments. Consider using metallic or acrylic paints in shades like bronze, gold, and black to match the industrial color palette commonly associated with steampunk. By applying these paints to your embellishments, you can achieve a weathered, aged look that adds depth and character to your projects.

Adding Themed Shapes

Themed shapes such as cogwheels, nuts, and bolts are iconic elements of steampunk design. Incorporating these shapes into your embellishments can instantly give them a steampunk aesthetic. Look for small metal or plastic shapes in craft stores or online shops, and attach them to your embellishments using strong glue or adhesive. These added details will bring a sense of authenticity and mechanical flair to your creations.

Rust Effects

To create a rustic, weathered appearance on your embellishments, you can use rust effects. Rust paste or faux rust paints can be applied to your embellishments to simulate the look of oxidized metal. Apply the rust effect sparingly, focusing on areas where natural wear and tear would occur. The resulting rusty texture will add a touch of vintage charm and steampunk authenticity to your projects.

By applying these techniques, you can easily transform any non-metal or non-steampunk embellishments into stunning steampunk accents that elevate your DIY projects to a whole new level. Embrace your creativity and experiment with different colors, shapes, and textures to achieve the desired steampunk aesthetic. With these simple enhancements, you’ll be able to breathe life into your creations and capture the essence of the steampunk genre.

Enhancing Embellishments for Steampunk Projects

Table: Steampunk Embellishment Enhancement Techniques

Technique Description
Coloring Using metallic or acrylic paints to match the industrial steampunk color palette.
Adding Themed Shapes Incorporating cogwheels, nuts, and bolts to enhance the mechanical steampunk theme.
Rust Effects Applying rust paste or faux rust paints to create a weathered, vintage appearance.

Experiment with these techniques and combine them creatively to achieve unique and captivating steampunk embellishments for your next project. Let your imagination soar as you bring a touch of mystery and wonder to your DIY creations.


Steampunk crafting is the perfect blend of creativity, imagination, and mystery. With DIY steampunk projects, you can transform ordinary household items into extraordinary steampunk artifacts that will leave everyone in awe. From unique home decor pieces to stunning art installations, the possibilities are endless.

By understanding the key elements of a steampunk project and having the right materials at hand, you can embark on a journey filled with wonder and excitement. Let your imagination run wild as you incorporate industrial and metallic colors, create fascinating focal points, and layer various elements to add depth to your creations.

Whether you’re a seasoned steampunk enthusiast or just discovering this captivating genre, crafting your own steampunk masterpieces will bring a touch of magic to your home. The combination of vintage aesthetics and futuristic elements will create a truly unique decor that is sure to spark conversations and amaze your guests. So, grab your tools, dive into the world of steampunk, and let your artistic genius shine!


Can I create steampunk artifacts from household items?

Yes, you can transform everyday household items into unique steampunk creations using materials like metal parts, acrylic mediums, paints, sprays, texture mediums, papers, and embellishments.

What is steampunk?

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that combines technology and aesthetics inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. It often features elements of mechanical parts, fantasy, and old futuristic and Victorian elements.

What types of projects can I create in steampunk style?

Steampunk extends beyond crafts and DIY to various other fields like fashion, furniture, video games, and music. In this guide, we will focus on mixed media projects such as canvases, home decor items, altered items, mini albums, and scrapbook layouts.

What materials do I need for steampunk projects?

The key materials for steampunk projects include metal parts (sourced from craft stores or found in old items), acrylic mediums (like gesso and gel medium), paints, sprays, texture mediums, papers, and embellishments (such as chipboard or metal pieces).

Where can I find metal parts for steampunk projects?

You can find metal parts for steampunk projects in craft stores, home improvement stores, and online platforms like Etsy. For unique and vintage items, you can explore industrial workshops, factories, watchmakers, garage sales, and flea markets.

What are the elements of a steampunk project?

When creating a steampunk project, consider the color palette (industrial and metallic colors, rust and oxidization colors), the focal point (vintage photo, image, or object), and layers (adding depth and dimension).

How can I give non-steampunk embellishments a steampunk look?

You can color them using metallic or acrylic paints, add themed shapes like cogwheels or nuts and bolts, and use rust paste to create a rusty effect.

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