It all started with a quandary about what Jenine was going to use her corset for. Perhaps something steampunk? But what?
I then suggested steampunk Disney as I knew that Jen, along with everyone else in our little chat group, was a Disnerd. It sounded like such a fun idea that more people from our group decided to jump in on it. What a great group cosplay idea!
For my Disney character I chose Belle. She’s always been one of my favorites. I started out extremely ambitious wanting to make everything on my costume. The first set of goggles I made turned out relatively okay, albeit a bit bulky. However, I did not realize that Gorilla Glue expanded so much and ultimately I ended up scrapping those goggles. The elements from Belle that I really wanted to capture in my costume were the rose, and the hand mirror the beast gives her. So I started with my necklace. I got the supplies I needed from Michael’s. I used a metallic rose as the center charm, a little hand mirror as a side charm, and large and small gears on the other side. These were attached to a brass chain with jump rings.
The next thing I made was my hat. I had watched a few YouTube videos about steampunk top hats but this was the one that I drew the most inspiration from:
Instead of using cardboard and fabric, I used craft foam. After assembling the hat I painted the foam using a stippling effect with gold and copper paints. Once dry, I wrapped the hat in my ribbon of choice and glued on some steampunk decorations such as feathers, a clock, another metallic rose, and some gears. I also added rivets around the brim. One thing that I should have done looking back now is insert a ribbon inside the hat and cut holes then pull the ribbon through so I could tie it around my head…I wasn’t really thinking there. I had thought about gluing on barrettes and attaching it that way, but they would not stay on. Instead I glued some elastic band and hoped for the best. It held up relatively okay but the elastic band was so stretchy that the hat kept slipping down and eventually I broke it…lesson learned. I also bought a $1 antique looking hand mirror from the Dollar Tree. It was originally a really fake shiny silver color so I painted it gold and glued my remaining metallic rose and a couple gears to the back of it. Voila! Steampunk hand mirror!
Next came the hard part: the dress! I have very minimal sewing skills. This was not something I felt I could handle on my own so I enlisted my mom to help me. We have no fabric stores around where I live. The fabric section that they do have at Walmart leaves a lot to be desired. So I bought a curtain. It was the perfect shade of yellowy gold I was looking for and already lined! So mom made me a dress!
I decided I had neither the time nor the money to craft the additional items needed for my cosplay so I found them cheaply enough on Amazon.
Simple sinch-belt corset for $2.99 USD
Steampunk goggles (I glued gears on them) for $3.78 USD
Steampunk fingerless gloves (the color gloves I received were not as brown as pictured, more of a rust color) for $4.55 USD
To complete my outfit I used some patchwork brown boots I already had, some wrist cuffs, and repurposed the wig I wore the previous year as Lady Loki. I simply tied up the sides and pinned them into a half bun and tied a gold ribbon around it. I looked up several YouTube steampunk makeup tutorials and drew inspiration from bits and pieces of each one. My eye makeup represented the metallics that play a heavy role in steampunk with a deep brown at my outer corner, a copper in the center eyelid, and gold on the inner corner. I finished off the look with some dramatic eyeliner, lashes, and lip color. I was pretty happy with the results, though if I had to choose again I probably would have chosen a slightly more yellowy gold than I did for the dress as it took some people a little longer to realize who I was.
Now, Roni goes on to explain the process behind her Merida costume:
When we were starting our plans for our cosplay, I had a really tough time choosing a character. Ultimately, as a fellow independent and curly-haired gal, I chose Merida. I ordered the majority of my things through Amazon including
forest green leggings for $17.99,
Steampunk goggles for $14.99,
Nerf Rebelle Bow for $12.95,
and my Wig for $18.59.
I borrowed my corset which I believe is from Amazon, and used some booties I already owned. I also went to Hobby Lobby where I purchased two yards of forest green linen which was used for her sleeves and covering a portion of an existing tank top I had. My lovely friend Gabby, @labriebelle, used the light weight flannel material I purchased at Hobby Lobby to make my bustle. Check out these crazy photos of her doing a “mock-up”! #TalentMuch?!
I also purchased some faux leather upholstery material and Victorian looking buttons for my arm guards and boot covers. Using brass and copper spray paint, and loose gears the bow morphed into a steampunk weapon worthy of Merida. Below are a few photos of my cos making. I crazily managed to pull everything together in a little over a week.
I also used the spray paint for the $4 candle lantern, as well. After much experimentation on how to make a wisp, I used a blue LED, flashing ring and tinsel to create the wispy effect in the lantern. Overall I estimate I spent about $40 at Hobby Lobby. The day of our cosplay, Jaime helped me change my eyebrows to red using concealer and lip liner pencil. This is one of my first big cosplays and I was really glad I did it!
And Jenine describes the process in making her goggles for Jasmine:
During our trip to San Diego, I was Steampunk Princess Jasmine. And what speaks steampunk more than goggles? So I started researching where most people would turn to: YouTube. There I found a video with potential! It was labelled as “Easy Steampunk Goggle Tutorial”. How hard can that be? It was titled “easy” after all. After watching the video a couple times, I started gathering the needed materials: craft foam, glue, paint, gears, clear cellophane (I found an unused sheet protector and used that instead of cellophane), and any other accessories to decorate (I used thumbtacks that had the double foldable ends like in duotangs). Most of these materials were found at the Michael’s Arts and Crafts store and the Duotang thumbtacks were found at Staples (an office supply store). I followed the video step by step, and voila! A newbie at steampunk who created something so simple with an elaborate-esque look! The rest of the costume, I made myself with the help of my friend Christina, using my comfiest pair of yoga pants, the corset and a bra as my pattern to make the top and pants for Jasmine.
End Result: Jen had some leftover fabric from her costume, so she used it to make a head strap and glued it onto the middle portion (bridge) of the goggles.
And Rachel talks about how Minnie Mouse joined the group:
Cosplaying doesn’t always go according to plan and in the case of Steampunk Tinkerbell, well let’s just say she got stuck in Neverland. So a little mouse decided to crash the princess party instead. Minnie was dressed to impress. A red sleeveless cowl-neck top, white tennis skort, and strappy yellow heels, and a set of ears with her signature polka-dot bow of course, completed her jaunt around sunny San Diego. But the pièce de résistance had to be the adorable nose. It truly is amazing what liquid eyeliner can do in the hands of a professional artiste. Thank you, Smashbox and Miss Roni ❤
Even though Rachel was not dressed steampunk style, she still fit right in with our happy little Disney group.
If you’d like to check out the rest of our steampunk Disney group, keep an eye out for our RT: Fashion Cosplay post! There you have it, nerds! Until next time, stay nerdy my friends!
~Jaime, Roni, Jenine, and Rachel!