Introduction: How to Make a Steampunk Hat From Recycled Materials

About: I enjoy repurposing and restoring old furniture and making woodwork projects that are not seen every day. I make most of my projects using wood that is either, recycled,reclaimed and love to repurpose and rest…

I am steampunk mad at the moment and love creating steampunk decor and giving them a mixed media makeover. I recently made a steampunk lamp which turned out beautifully, but I did not have room for both projects. So once complete I combined the two projects to have a steampunk mixed media lamp in the end.

Step 1: Make the Hat

To make the top of the hat you will need some sort of bucket. There is no reason this could not be made using corrugated cardboard. To start I cut up some cardstock and stuck it to the surface using mod Podge. This will form a base for all the layers and a good surface for the embellishments.

Step 2: Add Some Texture

You can use your imagination on this step. I used a few different stencils to add some texture. Put the stencil over the bucket and add some texture paste over the stencil using a spatula. Remove the stencil and wash it straight away. You can repeat this step using all the stencils.

Step 3: Adding More Layers

If you don't have stencils you can use items you find around your home. Here are a few examples of items that I used

  • Mesh from a vegetable sacks
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Christmas beads
  • paper packaging
  • Braid trim tape
  • Burlap fabric
  • Nut &
  • bolts
  • beads
  • old keys
  • broken jewellery

They are no right or wrong ways to glue them on to the hat. And doing a mixed media makeover it does not even need to be tidy. Just randomly cover the hat with bits and bobs

Step 4: Adding Charms to the Hat

I buy bulk charms to do my mixed media projects it works out so much cheaper. There are too many items that I used to decorate this hat to name them all. But I have added images before the hat was painted, zoom in to see what I used. If you see something you like and need more info feel free to comment and I will answer your question. All the clear charms, I made using resin moulds.

Step 5: Making the Brim of the Hat

Draw a large circle on to some cardboard. The brim should be at least 5 cm wider than the hat. I traced around the bucket then added another circle 5 cm larger. Divide your cardboard into a pizza shape using a pencil. Using a craft cut all the way through the inner slices and score the outside lines. This will allow the cardboard to bend without breaking.

Step 6: Cover the Brim

I had some offcuts of fake leather which I used to cover the brim. Using some mod podge or suitable glue attach the leather to the circle. Next, cut slits in the leather and fold it over the cardboard overlapping them like the images provided. Glue them as you go along.

Step 7: Decorate the Brim

You can decorate the brim in the same way you decorated the hat.

Step 8: Add the Brim to the Bucket

I used tacky glue, then folded the pizza slices inside the bucket and taped them down while it dried. In hindsight using a hot glue gun would have been better and much faster.

Step 9: Paint the Hat

Paint the hat black using Gesso, making sure to cover everything. You don't want to see anything but black.

Step 10: Adding the Wax Paste

I used metallic copper wax paste to highlight the elements. To apply the wax you dip the tip of your finger into the wax and run it over the surface of the embellishments. You are not aiming to cover everything, mainly all the raised areas.

Step 11: Highlight Some of the Black

To tone down some of the black you can use a soft brush and the tiniest amount of copper wax paste and gently add a light cover in some areas. I have circled an example in the image. This idea is still to have some black to make the copper wax stand out.

Step 12: Seal the Colours

The wax paste will need at least 12 hours to cure. After 12 hours you can add 2 coats of spray acrylic. This will stop the wax from going dull over time and make the colours really stand out. When I was spraying the hat on a lazy Susan I got the idea to use it as my stand.

Step 13: Make the Stand

I recycled some old cupboard drawer pulls from my stash and used them as legs. I then painted the stand and highlighted it with the copper wax. You can decorate the hat by adding some steampunk goggles and a feather.

Step 14: Combining the Two Project

The hat had a hole in the top for the pipes to go through and screw into the wood. The hat was glued to the wood using a hot glue gun. For more details on this project and to find links to the products used you can use this link. How to make a steampunk hat

Step 15: More DIY Project Ideas

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