Steampunk Christmas

Design Idea CAE5 Necklace and Earring
by Barbara van Look, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Take a little Tim Burton, add a dash of Nicola Tesla and a dollop of Charles Dickens. Top it off with a splash of Girl Genius. Patina well.

It's the Christmas Jules Verne could have had.

Steampunk Christmas Steampunk for the Holidays

Steampunk-themed jewelry and fashion accessories are still popular (and probably always will be), especially for parties and celebrations. (Steampunk weddings, Offbeat Bride shows us, are still, uhm, hot.) Why should the holidays be any different?

(Pro tip: They're not.)

But how are savvy steampunks making the holidays suit their style?

Steampunk Santa and the Christmas Squid

From snowflakes made of old-fashioned clock hands to garlands made of springs and gear components, steampunk décor for the winter holidays can be as ornate as you want to make it:
  • Gears
    Gears, whether salvaged from actual watches or larger pieces created for the market, are the best-known signpost for everything steampunk. You don't have to use metal gears, either! We've seen Christmas tree ornaments cut from leather, then given a metallic finish and patinaed using Swellegant™, Gilders Paste® or mica powder--we've even seen them cut from ultra-thin mica sheet for a sepia-toned Victorian look.

Snowflake Beads and Components

Snowflake Beads and Components

Steampunk Components

Steampunk Components

  • Springs
    Another element in the mechanical look of steampunk, springs are ultra-easy to make. For smaller springs (a great way to replace standard ornament hooks), the Coiling Gizmo® is ideal. Larger pieces may require the Foredom® flex shaft and larger metal rods.
  • Cephalopods
    Nobody is entirely sure how or why, but the octopus and the squid are deeply embedded steampunk icons. (There are suggestions involving Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu, plus the curvilinear shapes of Art Nouveau, but no real proof.) In any case, cephalopods are fascinating and mysterious creatures who look great in a top hat, so adding them as ornaments, creating octopi garlands or squid tinsel, and adorable polymer clay décor is an easy winner.
Cord Coils

Cord Coils

  • Airships, Zeppelins, Dirigibles and Hot Air Balloons
    In the late 1700s, the first hot air balloonists (calling themselves "aerialists" or "aeronauts"), lifted themselves, their wives, their family pets, their children and paying guests into the air. The technology was adapted to warfare, to exploration and finally to commercial use. A rigid frame was added to the rugby ball-shaped balloon to create the rigid airship or dirigible. (An airship without a rigid frame is called a blimp, like that of Goodyear® fame.) One famous inventor of rigid airships was Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin--so now you know where the word came from!

    The loss of the Hindenburg put an end to commercial use of the airship in our universe. However, in the world of steampunk, the airship era never ended. Hot air balloon-styled seed bead ornaments, plus Santa-themed dirigibles, are a steampunk staple for the holidays.
Brass Beads and Components

Brass Beads and Components

  • Brass
    Frequently shown bright and polished, it's the metal du jour of steampunk. But many of the Victorian Age's industrial metals are popular: cast iron, copper and bronze, especially. Metal clays, flat components, metal sheet and other supplies mean you can make whatever you need. And, as with the gears, patinas can be part of the metal experience.
  • Cameos, Pocket Watches, Lockets and Other Victoriana
    Did we mention Victorian? As one of the earliest defining style characteristics of steampunk, the Victorian aesthetic is part of the look. So add cameos, pocket watches, lockets, black wirework and other Victoriana to embellish home, tree--and caroler! You can fill them with vintage pictures or printed crafting paper, cover them with waterslide transfers, decorate with polymer clay and more.
You don't have to leave behind your favorite style for the holiday season--give your Santa a steampunk makeover and be ready for a squid-powered Christmas!

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