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Unread 08-04-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
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Low Budget, Teen Steampunk Ideas?

I am a 13 yr old boy, and I really want to do a Steampunk Cosplay. Problem is, I've never done a cosplay before
My questions are, how do I start? Has anyone aided someone my age in making a cosplay? Anything I should know?
Thank y'all!

P.S. I already have a pretty kickass Steampunk Nerf gun
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Unread 08-05-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
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Try looking in to thrift stores and finding clothing that looks close to victorian that you could maybe mod to look better.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 12:48 AM   #3
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Like Spaz said, hit up thrift shops and see what you can find.

Before you go though, look at steampunk pictures, decide what you want your character to do (this will help you decided what kind of clothing to look for), and then make a list so you can stay focused on finding what you need. Thrift shops can be overwhelming, but if you have an idea of what you are looking for, you might be able to stay on track a bit better.
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Unread 08-17-2012, 10:38 PM   #4
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I know what these guys are talking about. I'm 14 year old girl and thrift stores are the best place to get stuff. Get reference photos so you know what you need like brown shorts or white dress shirt etc. You might even find something there and build around it. I found i giant thermometer shaped like a stopwatch so I became the white rabbit from alice in wonderland with a steampunk twist of course You can ask family and friends to help but since being a teen you tend to be on a budget so check your recycling and use pop cans or something if you need some metal.
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Unread 11-25-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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One of the other ways to go as far as props is to go to a cheap store (5 Below/Dollar Tree ect) and find a water gun with a design you like then paint it the brass/metal colors that would match your costume. You'd have a very cheap prop.

What I try to do is build on my costume a little bit every year, while keeping the base of it the same. The first year I used cloths I already have (and use for work). The collared shirt, brown vest, and slacks were all pieces I already owned. At my first show I picked up the fez that's become my trademark. Then a year later at another show I bought a bunch of pins/military medals. (Which you should be able to find at a Halloween/Costume store) I took the medals off of the ribbons and then added pieces I thought would be more "steampunk". Just to avoid the issues of looking like real medals. Gears/Old Pewter Charms/ect. This is where your own creativity with things really can shine. One of my items is a Tetris Block another is a charm from a band, one is a gear with an old Dollar coin that was found at my first Steampunk event on it.

Halloween hit that next year and I found lots of cheap (and LOW quality) Steampunk bits in the costume/Halloween stores. Most of these items are junk but I've found some to be cheap and worthwhile. The goggles that I wear on my fez were a five dollar find at a Halloween store. Unless asked by a photographer I wouldn't wear them on my eyes. But they're a nice look on a hat.

At the most recent show I was at I picked up a higher end prop because I'd been saving for one for a while. So I can't say everything on my costume is cheap. But pick it up bit by bit. Steampunk is if nothing else a personal expression. Your costume should be constantly evolving as you have more access to items you like and want to be part of your costume.

Right now I'm trying to find a way to get a brass chain to attach a dagger I found to a belt. And my biggest project attached to Steampunk is I want to get a good pair of brown boots for the outfit in time for the next show. And I started this costume something like 3 years ago now.

TLR: Keep an eye out for items to use. Don't rush "finishing" the costume. Because it will NEVER be finished.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 08:06 AM   #6
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I have just started my steampunk cosplay. I went to a convention recently that had some wonderfuly cheap iteams like hair pins and even a pocket watch. But the majority of my get up came from thrift stores and some bits I got a faire. I hope to display my hunter/explorer/what ever she is at my next con.
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Unread 11-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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Come up with a design and try to stick with it. I bought some items that I thought would look good but when I put my costume together they just didn't work.

Along with the thrift stores, look on E-Bay (with parents permission of course). The pocket watch you can get at the con for $40.00 is often available for $20.00 on line.

vampricyode: I bought some pocket watch chains on e-bay. They might work for your knife. If one chain is not long enough, buy two and hook them together. Thats how my pocket watch got a full fob lengh.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 09:34 AM   #8
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Are there any living history units around you? Family friendly prefered. They may have unit members that have grown out of old pieces. If your large for your age, they may have adult sizes that are really worn. When it comes to the uniforms it can get costly. Also, check your local theater group. Maybe they have cast-off costumes for sale.

Edit: Try American Victorian Costume in Early Photographs by Piscilla Harris Dalrymple. A nice overview for Men, Women and children throughout the Victorian Era. If you can sew there are several good pattern companies.
Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs had better get used to it.
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Last edited by Ororo Monroe : 11-29-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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Unread 11-30-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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Yep, thrift stores can be your best friend. Most of my steampunk ensembles have at least an item or two scrounged up from the local Goodwill or DAV.

I'm not as familiar with men's clothing, but I looked at the basic shapes and designs of Victorian women's clothing and I just keep an eye out for items that work. For women's clothing, I've discovered that high-collared, loose-sleeved blouses and granny boots from the 1980's tend to work very well into a lot of steampunk costumes, and long, loose skirts can be worn under a bustle or pulled up into a bustle shape.

The same theory should be the same for men's clothing... get familiar with the style of shirts, vests, jackets, or pants you'd like to incorporate and keep an eye out for them. What style you're looking for will vary based on your personal aesthetic and the type of costume you're creating. Is it a down-and-dirty airship mechanic, or a wealthy aristocrat?

Like Ororo mentioned, our local university's theater department has an annual surplus costume sale that can be an awesome place to get discount pieces. You might give any schools or theatre companies in your area a call to see if they do something similar.
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Unread 12-03-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Just ran across a book that might help. Steampunk: Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos by Thomas Willeford. It has a chapter on the art of scavenging (antique, junk and flea markets), how to dissect a cuckoo clock for parts, and making a electro gun out of a lamp. Another reference source. Look at the book Textile Designs: Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period and http://www.reproductionfabrics.com/
Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs had better get used to it.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 03:50 AM   #11
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Not to be that guy, but you must be older than 13 to be a member
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Unread 12-09-2012, 05:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Volnixshin View Post
Not to be that guy, but you must be older than 13 to be a member
Good to know. The info is still good.
Women and cats will do as they please. Men and dogs had better get used to it.
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Unread 01-10-2013, 09:58 AM   #13
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This last November, I went to a Steampunk convention in Madison. Being a 17 year old girl and BROKE, I had to work with what I had. The only items I purchased brand new specifically for Steampunk were my goggles (gotten at the Pawstar booth at an anime con), my bowler hat ($17 at Fanplusfriend), and my antler and cameo brooch.

Of course, being a seasoned Ren Faire worker, I have the advantage of already possessing several punk-able skirts as well as a LOVELY underbust corset. But most of my costume was pieced together from pieces of my lolita get-ups, ren costumes, mother's clothing, and things I just already owned.

Don't be afraid to shop around. Even brand new, as long as you're buying in pieces, Steampunk doesn't have to be expensive. If I gathered all of my Steampunk costumes together in one places and tallied the prices, it would probably come to well over $700, but that's almost entirely made up of things I already owned - swing dresses worn with petticoats and waistcoats, my freshman prom dress that I altered. My main suggestion is that you shouldn't try to do it all at once. If you're in a thrift store, maybe not even looking, and happen to see a lovely vest or a nice looking shirt, grab it. You may not have anything to wear it with YET, but eventually, you will, and it will pull together, and you will look dashing.
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