How to Make a Steampunk Hat

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How to Make a Steampunk Hat

The Senior Library has been the venue for some great activities recently, all based around the steampunk genre. These included:

  • a steampunk display
  • steampunk hats made from gaffer tape
  • steampunk goggles
  • steampunk clocks made from recycled objects
  • steampunk hot air balloon science
  • a very funny steampunk tea-duel between teachers and students

Because we wanted to introduce a casual makerspace into the Senior Library, we decided the steampunk genre was a natural bridge between books and making. The heroes in steampunk books were always makers, always tinkering and creating as Victorian era science progressed with steam-powered machines, rather than with electronics and computer chips: hence the term “tinkerable technologies.”

Our first activity was to create a steampunk hat made from gaffer tape, hot glue and paint. While there are a lot of instructions on the internet for making steampunk hats, we decided that this was the one we would use: DIY Duct Tape Steampunk Top Hat.

Using another hat as a mold, gaffer tape was wrapped around the hat, sticky side out, and then back again, sticky side in. This was repeated with the crown and the brim, and then the two parts were taped together. Next, a hot glue gun was used to create lines and dots, the hats were painted and decorated. Gold paint was added to the glue dots, which resulted in these amazing hats looking very realistically like pieces of old leather riveted together by creative tinkerers.

Next on the agenda was a pair of steampunk goggles to go on the hat, made entirely from items sourced from Reverse Garbage.  (Instructions can be found here:  Similarly, the Year 7 & 8 boys were encouraged to create steampunk clocks from bits and pieces found at Reverse Garbage.

Those boys who participated had a great time, and one of the hats was even worn by the Tiffen Master at our student/teacher tea duel!