Steampunk Tailor

For a virtual Steampunk summer class by RISD, we were tasked with making different costume pieces and props for a steampunk character. I decided to go with a tailor because I have seen cool versions online, and it seems to fit me. Our projects were embellishing goggles, making bracers, and making 1-2 other props based on your character. We were also challenged to use everyday objects and containers and to be creative with recyclable materials.

MaterialsPlastic goggles, plastic gears, candle wicks, felt, plastic visor, paper clip, pins, plastic jars, foam core, EVA Foam (10 mm, 2mm), bottle cap, cord, lacrosse ball, PVC pipe, paint brush handle, modeling foam
Date Complete8/14/20
ProjectClass - RSID Steampunk Class


For the goggles, I started with a pair I got off of Amazon. I decided to paint the base brown and the rims gold to start. Then to have them themed to the character, I added a fake magnifying glass and a small pin cushion. The magnifying glass is made out of a piece of visor plastic leftover from my Mandalorian helmet, a plastic gear, and a bent paper clip to hold it up. The pincushion is made out of felt and is put at the top of the eye so the pins would stick out, making it look like eyelashes. I then wanted to do something more with the nose piece. I remembered I had some unused candle wicks from my mother that I decided to use for that. For finishing touches, I also painted the buckles and added gears to the side.

Next were the bracers. They are made out of small plastic jars that were glued together. That seam is covered by the gold-painted foam in the middle. What I put on the bracers was based on what I think my character would need. So I added another pincushion, this time made of foam. There is also a box containing small sticky notes on the same bracer. On the other bracer, there is a place to put sewing needles made of felt, and the top of a milk jar used as a clock. There is also a spot for a pen. Everything was painted brown, gold, or silver to match the theme I created with the goggles, and a lot of gears were added. I also added some more candle wicks on the ends with the groves of the twist cap. There are paper clips sticking out with lacing threaded between them to be able to wear them.

To decide what props I wanted to make, I made a design of the whole character and came up with ideas then. I came up with a lot, but the ones that seemed to be able to be made in the time of the class were the cane and the mask. The mask is made of foam and was sewn and painted. The cane is meant to look like a sewing pin. The middle is PVC pipe, the tip is the handle of a paintbrush so that I could get the point of the pin, and the ball is an old lacrosse ball with foam dragon heads made of modeling foam.

What I would change:
I don’t think I would change anything I have because I like how it looks, but I do want to continue adding to this costume, so maybe it will look like my final vision one day.