How to Make a Steampunk Utility Belt
Steampunk utility belt: the place to carry your Tools of Awesome–or to just hang onto some spare change. Whatevs. No matter what you choose to store, you’re gonna look STEAMPUNK-TASTIC wearing it.
Now this part of the costume is easy. Like so easy I feel guilty devoting an entire post to it…so I made some silly graphics for you.
To make your steampunk utility belt, you only need a few things, all of which can be found at your local thrift store. Don’t spend much–seriously! This should be CHEAP (I think I spent a total of $4).
1. You’re gonna start by cutting apart that leather purse. We just want the pockets, so go ahead and shred until you’ve managed to separate the cargo pockets from the rest of the bag. Also, go ahead and snip off 2 pieces from the strap–make sure the pieces are as long as the 2 x width of your belt. So, fore example, my belt was about 1.5 inches wide, so I cut 3-inch pieces off the purse strap.
2. Now you need safety pins. About 4 of them should do. We need to take our 2 pieces of purse strap and fasten them to the back of the cargo pockets like so:
3. Now all you have to do is slide the belt through the straps, and TA-DA! You’re almost finished!
4. Now comes the easiest and final step: adding embellishments! Like with my steampunk goggles, I went simple. I only added some brass buttons on the cargo pockets (found at the thrift store), a chain locket (found at Wal-mart), and a spray-painted Lego octopus.
Mission Accomplished: Steampunk Utility Belt Complete!
Here are some links to other great belt ideas (all courtesy of the fantastic steampunk resource, steampuk fashion):
Gail Carriger’s insta-belt (yeah, the author of Soulless!)
Another DIY creation (from Finland!)
A detailed step-by-step guide for the well-equiped steampunker:
You tell me: Would you ever make a steampunk utility belt? If so, would you add/change anything?
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February 23, 2011 @ 9:18 am
WANT ONE. NOW.
February 23, 2011 @ 10:51 am
OOOH, let me know if you make one!
February 23, 2011 @ 9:28 am
Such a fun idea! And, gorgeous pics! (I accidentally clicked my way to the official photographer’s page!)
February 23, 2011 @ 10:52 am
Thanks! One of these steampunk author photos will wind up on the back of THE SPIRIT-HUNTERS. 🙂
February 23, 2011 @ 10:19 am
I CAN ACTUALLY MAKE THIS. Or I could if there were thrift stores in Japan. But! There might be something at the big 100 yen shops (like dollar stores) in the bigger cities. I WANTS TO TRY. At some point. (Wow, that’s not see-sawing at all.)
February 23, 2011 @ 10:53 am
No thrifts stores in Germany either — it’s FRUSTRATING. I like buying, ya know, normal stuff at thrift stores too… 😛 I had to put all this together when I was in the States. Seriously, within like 3 minutes of walking in the store, I had everything I needed for $5. It was RIDICULOUS. And AMAZING.
February 23, 2011 @ 11:05 am
Zomigod. I need me one of those! You know, for all those Victoriana-themed adventures I go on… *shifty eyes*. Yes, this is completely justified, Bank Balance…
February 23, 2011 @ 12:12 pm
::singing:: It was only $5…. And about 10 minutes of work…. Yoooouuu knoooow yooouuuu waaaant ooooonnnne.
February 23, 2011 @ 1:46 pm
I’m so in love with the octopus. Adorable!
February 23, 2011 @ 1:49 pm
I know, isn’t it CUTE? I love octopus designs, and when I found those in my Lego stash, I was like, “JACKPOT!”
February 23, 2011 @ 2:31 pm
You are so crafty! My steampunkified preschooler is going to be awesome…if I can find a belt small enough. LOL
One day, he’s going to grow up and hate me for this, isn’t he? 😛
February 23, 2011 @ 2:40 pm
Either he’ll hate you, or you’ll be starting a lifelong steampunk obsession. 😉
February 23, 2011 @ 4:00 pm
Susan- I am loving these photos of you in all your steampunkery. You are way too cool!!!
February 23, 2011 @ 4:17 pm
Thanks, Katharine! I’ll admit that playing dress-up was suuuuuper fun!
February 23, 2011 @ 10:29 pm
Love these – so much fun. Really enjoying your blog and can’t wait for THE SPIRIT-HUNTERS!
February 23, 2011 @ 10:34 pm
AWWW, what a REALLY sweet thing to say! Gosh, you just made my night! 😀 😀
February 23, 2011 @ 10:45 pm
Ahaha, I love the little sidenotes in your pictures “You can also see the safety pins!” “This is dangerous.” That second one is too funny!
Easy + cheap = MADE FOR ME. I’m such a cheapskate, I might even be sad about cutting up that purse with cargo pockets. But I think I need one of those belts. For holding nerf guns and whatnot, no? 😀
February 23, 2011 @ 10:47 pm
Hahaha — YEAH. Too many safety pins. I was a pointy pronged HAZARD.
And you most DEFINITELY need a utility belt. Not just for nerf guns, but for pencils, house keys, cell-phone, zombie-mace, etc. 😉
February 24, 2011 @ 6:29 am
These look so, so awesome! Definitely too crafty for me to make (I have zero hand-crafty gene in my genome) but look really amazing.
February 24, 2011 @ 9:49 am
I am half-crafty, half-a total mess. Somehow, the crafty half managed to express itself when I needed it. 😉
February 24, 2011 @ 2:51 pm
the embellishments are nice touches! i especially like the octopus belt buckle. you seem to be well equipped. hmmm, is one of the pockets for snacks? and i wonder what kind of snacks would be in a steampunk world.
February 24, 2011 @ 3:42 pm
Definitely steampunk snacks. Gear-shaped cookies and steamed (hahaha) vegetables.
February 27, 2011 @ 6:02 am
Would I ever? I’m totally going to!
October 17, 2011 @ 7:42 pm
April 5, 2011 @ 1:37 am
i’m TOTALLY gonna make one once the thrift shop up here opens back up! (or the next time i go to Goodwill!) although… i think i’m going to add a couple more pockets and attach them to the belt itself instead of just threading the strap through the hoops. thanks for the help!!! (= very creative!
October 17, 2011 @ 7:42 pm
Yeah, if you’re able to attach them to the belt, go for it! I wanted something fast and dirty. 🙂
October 17, 2011 @ 4:17 pm
I am making one for my son’s Halloween costume. He wants to be a Paleontologist and its next to impossible to “make” you look like one! i plan to add dino skeletons to the outside of the pockets, maybe a ‘window’ on one to show his dino field guide book. thanks so much for this cheap and easy tutorial!
October 17, 2011 @ 7:42 pm
Oooh, dino skeletons! And a window? VERY cool. I wish I’d had that costume as a kid…. 😀
March 20, 2012 @ 7:46 pm
I was just about to sit down with a bolt of pleather and start making a belt for a sort of steampunk/rave comic book hero costume, figured I would do a google search and behold! My afternoon is mine again! AND I have an excuse to go to a thrift store! I’ll send pictures when I do the shoot 🙂
May 25, 2012 @ 3:29 am
Yes, I would make one. Probably will BE making one soon. But I would have put a back on the pockets in order to make it actually functional–why carry a purse if you have a utility belt?
June 20, 2012 @ 7:01 am
Brilliant! Thanks for sharing, I was SO overthinking this. I love the simplicity it’s superb. Yay!!!
June 20, 2012 @ 2:30 pm
Oh yay! I’m so glad you found this useful. It really took me all of twenty minutes…maybe less to make. 🙂
June 20, 2012 @ 7:03 am
oh and when I first saw the pictures, I was like there is no way you can do that for under $30….
August 31, 2012 @ 2:35 am
You are a genius! I’m going to be combing the thrift stores this weekend for sure. 😀
September 9, 2012 @ 6:28 pm
Love this simple belt design. Turned out great.
October 3, 2013 @ 8:23 pm
i bought a bunch of leather for cheap i am one day gonna try and make one …i am super artistic so maybe it will be a work of art
December 1, 2013 @ 10:01 am
Maria L B
October 12, 2013 @ 4:59 am
WHY ARE YOU THIS AWESOME?! Thanks 🙂
October 25, 2013 @ 7:46 am
I am literally about to cry because this is so easy and I almost just spent $100 on a steampunk belt.
January 7, 2014 @ 11:22 am
I am going to go to the thrift shop when im free and im making this!!!!!!!!!
October 19, 2014 @ 2:37 pm
Thank you for the inspiration. I’ve been gathering bits and bobs for my utility belt, just haven’t gotten to putting it together. This will drive me into the workshop to actually work on it.
February 1, 2015 @ 11:27 am
Thanks for this! I needed a utility belt as part of the costume I wore in a parade tonight as a member of Krewe du Vieux in New Orleans. I followed your directions pretty much to the letter (well, I added in spray painting everything silver), and it turned out great! I got more compliments on the belt than on any other part of the costume, plus it gave me a place to store my throws (fun stuff we hand it to parade viewers – it’s a local tradition). Thanks again so much!
August 17, 2015 @ 4:40 am
If you want to change the color of faux leather cargo pockets, what would you do?
I found cargo pockets from a thirft store purse but they are not the color I want. I was thinking spray paint but is there something better?
December 19, 2015 @ 3:56 am
haha dude you’re awesome! I would have never thought of this