How to make Steampunk jewelry?
Steampunk jewelry is cogs,gears and antique watch parts the style commonly starts out with a Victorian or Edwardian influence. Steampunk jewelry is different in the majority is handmade which make`s it so intimate to the maker alot of the time the jewellrey is unique and there is no two same pieces in the world. Imagine a world where conventional technology and equipment is not available you need to make things yourself with what you can get your hand ons. The piece will evolve as you make it, commonly the end product different from what you imagined in the start . This basic intimate connection to the jewelry means the maker will find they romanticize over their Steampunk jewellrey more than any other conventionally molded made clobber.
Steampunk jewellrey is bold and brash or subtle and delicate you can wear for a extravagant wedding or to the office everyday. There is alot of sturdy metals such as brass, copper, and tin as well as naked gears and cogs. Materials you can use can be varied from wood, metal to leather and gold slight scuffs or damage can add to the overlook in the case of watch movements.
Steampunk fans like things that work so jewelry is usually functional with a purpose in use like a compass or pocket watch. Keys are another main fascination alongside the octopus and locomotive, anything branded with these motifs can be considered Steampunk and a nod to the aesthetic. We list the whole range below delving into all styles and corners of the jewellrey world. We are even going to show you how to make your own DIY handmade jewellrey like a actual Steampunk junkie mad scientist so if ever you need to manufacture your own for you, others, or to sell in the looming inevitable dystopian future, you will be ready. See below for steampunk jewelry ideas.
How to make Steampunk watch jewelry guide:
Watch movements are popular as well as watch parts. These can be formed into any type of jewellrey whether that be necklace, bracelet or cufflinks. You will often regularly see things that are broken being the centerpiece of Steampunk jewellrey. It is common to see old obsolete pocket watch movements with some wear and tear or simple findings like vials full of upcycled discarded watch parts.
For your first own handmade watch movement jewellrey, I would advise using a jewellrey kit they can be found on Etsy or through a google search. Kits bring together all the parts you need to make the jewellrey piece you just need to find the metal `Epoxy` glue. The Epoxy glue comes in two parts that when you want to use and glue you mix them together, this is easily learnt and instructions will come with the glue also.
How to make mechanical watch movement cufflinks it is easy - don`t buy - make!
Locating the right findings can be tricky if you do not know the jewellrey landscape. You can delve deeper into watch parts supply on Etsy and the web later to find different blank designs in varying quantities to suit your skill level at crafting once your beyond a beginner. Once you have `bezels`,`blanks` or also known in search as `Round Cabochon Pendant Base` followed with the size` the most common sizes are 10 mm - 25mm round - match them with the watch movement size that come in the following sizes:
Pocket watch movements are the biggest and range in size from:
25.40 mm - 48.26 mm
Great for brooches and being the center piece of a jewelry piece.
DIY handmade Steampunk jewellrey
Take your watch movement if the clock face plate is attached still using the pliers take of the clock face by pulling bending the edge so the pliers can grasp the face and then completely pull it off.
Then you will need to take of any screws or spikes that could cut or pierce someones hand. Take these off so the movement is smooth and ready to push into the bezel and set into place anything sticking out use the pliers to bend and twist off. Remember to keep all the bits you take of the new watch movement so you have a supply of of parts to upcycle later or you could even sell these bits on on ebay or etsy to other steampunk jewelrey lovers to use in their own jewellrey inspired by your designs.The great thing is as you buy more watch movements the bits that fall off are actually stock for other jewellrey. You can put the parts and upcycle them into vials as shown below.
Now take the bezel add a small amount of epoxy glue after it is mixed as shown in the video above using gloves then push the watch movement minus any sticky outer bits into the bezel apply pressure till set with pliers. Some are tighter than others to push in the movement. Leave to set for 15mins.
Once the watch movement is set in the bezel you can use the jump ring to attache it to the blank chain the pliers will come in handy here again to bend the jump ring out of it`s circular form at the crack, it can then be pushed into the chain link and bent to close it.
Clean the finished bezel and movement, dispose of the gloves safely
Finish the jewellrey of by placing it in a steampunk jewellrey box you can get plain boxses but a niche themed box will impress far more. My personal favorite are treasure chest jewellrey boxes shown. Find your own on ebay to buy in bulk or Etsy always place the jewellrey in a organza bag if possible.
Once you have made your first piece of jewellrey and see how easy it is the world is your oyster look for inspiration on Ebay, Etsy, Pinterest and Instagram.
Make what ever you like, go online look for websites making movement jewellrey there is alot out there. At local flea markets or Steampunk events around the country US and UK you may find someone making their own and selling it.
The best place to find your first blanks or findings is Etsy once you have worked out how to make the jewellrey you can buy bulk amounts from Aliexpress this is a site most Etsy sellers buy their blanks at a expert level.
Maybe when you have figured out how to make several of the jewellrey styles you can start your own Steampunk Etsy shop like a true resourceful steampunk trader. Make no piece the same or take custom orders from steampunk fans desperate for your gear. Alot of makers add gems to the movement face or charms like a dragon fly which looks beautiful.
Bringing the motifs together makes for a more interesting piece over all pointing more specifically to steampunk and a certain area of the genre; skull and crossbones points to steampunk pirates, the octopus to steampunk nautical and 100 leagues under the sea and so on.
If the person you are making the jewellrey for has a particular love of a particular area of steampunk add the corresponding charm, to the movement.. As you become more expert you will be able to add more charms talking to the relevant fans specific interests. Popular charms given below.
Steampunk resin jewellrey
This is another popular way to create steampunk jewellrey using resin and watch parts:
Resin is a wonderful way to capture something suspended, hanging in time. Wonderful and so easy to learn. The resin is a see through liquid that will set hard within minutes when mixed with another, Add watch parts into the resin and you have something beautiful. Read below:
You need to acquire watches that operate by winding them up, not by batteries. Upcycle those leftover from other projects and go to a flea market, auctions, ebay, antique shop`s and look for old watches and take them apart for their bits, just open them up.
Always be vigilant, I have to repeat be `vigilant` always, as a true steampunk apocalypse survivor would be. Where ever you go what ever you do keep your eyes peeled behind them goggles for anything you can use on your next project make it a habit even a way of life and you will get great rewards from your saved parts.
Like they say
`one mans rubbish is another mans treasure`
in the true steampunk universe nothing is more true.
Find your self the right mold which ever takes your fancy shape wise; square, round, star and many other shapes found on Ebay, Amazon,Etsy just search for `resin mold`. Get your self some beginners resin for jewelry making found on Ebay also shown below.
Epoxy resin has a beautiful, crystal clear surface and is therefore ideal for the production of jewelry and a good place to start.
Now you have to make your resin you need to make sure you have enough to fill your mold. Make a visual note of how much you need if you have a shape difficult to measure you can pour the resin in first and pour it out again, If you have a shape easy to measure take the measurements and apply to the resin. The math is straightforward.
2.5 cm x 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm = 15.625 cubic centimeters. A cubic centimeter is equal to a milliliter, so the entire mold holds a little more than 15 mL.
You now need to add the resin to the mold and add the watch parts.
Mix a batch of clear resin ready for the mold and add the watch parts into the mold how you would like them to set. Quickly add the watch parts dipping it in resin first to avoid trapping bubbles underneath.
Now pour in the resin quickly before it sets after mixing.
It is a bit more work but you can have several layers of resin adding the watch parts as you go to give a more 3D feel rather that just one layer.
Tip: If you pour subsequent layers when the previous layer is in the gel phase, you will minimize the lines between layers.
Allow to fully cure before demolding.
To demold, peel the silicone away from the casting. Pouring a little bit of soapy water in the mold also helps with demolding.
To finish this steampunk crafts project you could attach a bead cap with more mixed resin, then hang it from a chain or add keychain fob.
Once again out the finished jewelry into a steampunk jewellrey box and it is ready.
If you want to do some Steampunk jewelry with less sticky fingers and without the addition of glue that can be a little more involved there are lots of jewelry ideas out there that can be done using second hand watch parts and no glue:
You can buy the small gears and cog parts on Ebay, Etsy or Folksky.com from specialized Steampunk sellers or you can save your own for free from the watch movements you take apart for other jewelry as shown above.
Second hand watch parts:
It is a great way to `upcycle` and this is a popular niche in itself. People love to reuse rather than throw out stuff that could be turned into something amazing. Upcycling is about taking something apparently worthless and turning it into something with quality and style such as artistic value.
Take for example a Wine Bottle Candle Chandelier, have a great time drinking the wine then use the left over glasses to create a lovely dangling chandelier as beautiful as those in a manor house. Something that would look perfect in a Steampunk world.
It is so satisfying to recycle something and this is so relevant to the Steampunk universe where you are surviving from what you can rustle up from the deserts, left over cities, travelling market traders and fellow survivors. Making jewelry this way brings me closer to feeling like a true Steampunk gent like in the dystopian novels and nearly rivals the feeling of going to a steampunk event, it is so fun!
One of my favourites is a necklace made of watch parts shown below;
Take a chain necklace blank
and some jump rings
Find watch parts you have saved or bought choose those with holes adequate to attach to the necklace chain with a jump ring.
Mechanical watch parts:
Using the pliers bend the jump rings slightly so you can slide them on the blank at the same time attaching the watch part you want to use. Then bend the jump ring back to its original circle shape to secure the chain and watch part together.
Lastly add in some Steampunk charms using the jump rings; Octupus, skulls, owl all relevant motifs given below.
There you have it a upcycled steampunk watch part necklace, it looks so beautiful through a pair of wonderful goggles.
There are various ways you can reuse your watch parts to make jewelry which is less intensive than creating them from watch movements from the bottom up which requires gluing, gloves, more time etc.
It takes 20mins at the most to put together some jewelry like this if your going to a event and want something to wear or if you are giving it as a gift for a Christmas, birthday or wedding. We even give ours to charity to cheer up terminally ill children.
Handmade steampunk jewellrey ideas:
Some other simple jewelry you can make `no glue` with your left over watch parts below:
Vial of watch parts necklace:
These empty vials can be bought from Ebay or Etsy just fill with parts shown.
Cuff links watch parts with window:
These cufflinks can be bought on Ebay and Etsy they come empty and you simply screw off the tops and fill with the watch parts of your choosing and re screw.
Steampunk watch parts bracelet:
The bracelet blanks are bought on Ebay, Etsy or Aliexpress. Simply attach the watch parts using jump rings.
Popular Steampunk jewelry motifs and charms and where they come from:
Skull and crossbones
Air balloon ship
Airships are popular forms of transport in steampunk stories. Varieties of airships vary widely. One of the main types of airship is known as non-rigid, but such airships are commonly called blimps.
It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his advanced submarine, the Nautilus. During its journey, the Nautilus encountered several giant octopuses that Captain Nemo and his crew fought. Steampunk's fascination with octopuses probably originated from there.