Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review: Steampunk Accessories

Steampunk Accessories: 20 Projects to Help You Nail the Style

My adventure into steampunk DIY books continues, this time with more favorable results.  I have to say I am really impressed by this book.  The author seems to have a good grasp not only of the style of steampunk, but the spirit of it as well.

The book begins with some good general information on where to find materials, what to look for, and what tools you may need.  There are some really useful guides to intro jewelry making techniques, how to patina metal, and how to age leather.

Then the book gets into its 20 projects.  A lot of these projects are based on simple jewelry making skills.  There are several jewelry projects and just from looking at these, I've picked up some cool techniques.  (Jewelry making is one of my weaker skill areas, but those skills are so useful in all kinds of steampunk projects.)  There are several projects that use leather or leatherette, though they aren't really "serious" leather working projects.  Several involve printing onto transfer paper and then ironing that onto the leather.  The results look cool, but I'm really wondering how well that process works.

But I have to say that, though some projects are more to my taste than others, I like the look of every project in this book.  Some get me downright excited, like the steampunk luggage tags (so making some), the hat cockade, the utility belt, and the goggles pictured on the cover.  Speaking of those goggles, I'm just impressed they managed to make goggles that are completely different from anything I've seen before.

Really, the creativity and uniqueness of the projects is their strength.  The author didn't just copy things commonly seen in steampunk, but really created their own items.  I also like that these are mostly small accessories that would enhance any steampunk outfit.  Finally, the examples use vintage and one of a kind objects, but the authors emphasize using what you find to make these things your own.

So really, I can't recommend this book enough.  From now on I will recommend Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts to anyone wanting to make the big projects like guns and armor, while recommending this book to people more interesting in jewelry and fashion accessories.

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