How To: The Nuts and Bolts of Steampunk: Using the Right Screws for the Job

Let me start out by saying that Steampunk isn't about being historically accurate, and that everything I'm about to tell you is entirely optional. That said, let's take a look at the history of screws! What many people don't realize is that before we had metal screws, wooden screws were in wide use for things like wine and oil presses. Generally, the invention of the screw is attributed to Archimedes in the 3rd century BC. That was a long, long time ago. Metal screws and even screwdrivers hav...

Steampunk's Rising Popularity: How to Take Advantage of the Hottest 'New' Trend

As practically the entire Steampunk world knows by now, IBM has predicted that Steampunk will be the big new trend from 2013 to 2015. They based this prediction on their computers, which sift through broad swathes of the internet in order to see patterns that may help commercial industries. According to them, Steampunk has been on the rise for the last few years, and they predict that it will explode into peak popularity within the next two years. But what does that mean and how will it impac...

How To: Hey, America—You're Drinking Your Tea Wrong!

Tea has been around for thousands of years, and as a result, tons of customs and ceremonies have sprung up around its consumption. Some cultures take their tea plain, while others put things in it. Sometimes there are special tea-holding vessels, other times not. Maybe there will even be special foods meant to be eaten with tea. However, in America, our appreciation of tea has waned. For many, iced tea is their biggest source of tea consumption, and it's imbibed with no ceremony whatsoever in...

How To: The Complete Guide on How to Build a Crystal Radio—Plus How They Work

There's a lot that goes into making a nice crystal radio set, so this is going to have to be broken down into two parts. The first part is the actual making of a functional radio, and the second part is making the whole arrangement look nice. In this part, I'm actually going to tell you more than just how to make a crystal radio, but I'm also going to explain how and why they work. Crystal radios are pretty Steampunk in and of themselves, since they were first developed in the late 19th centu...

How To: Prepare and Present a Panel at a Steampunk Convention

If you've been to a convention of any sort before, you know that there are good and bad panels, and that their inherent goodness or badness often has little to do with the actual content being discussed. That's because giving a panel is a skill that not everyone has. However, it is a skill that everyone could have! In this article, I'll tell you how to give a good panel on practically any subject. Image by Shannon Cottrell

How To: Survive and Thrive in the Victorian Era

I don't know how many of you had this experience in your youth, but when I was a kid, I used to actively think about what would happen if I suddenly woke up in a fantasy land, or were to pass through a portal into another space and time. I knew it wouldn't really happen, but when you're a kid, these can be important issues to you. So I slept with my glasses on every night, just in case. Photo from George Pal's The Time Machine.

How To: 7 Things Every Steampunk Should Know for Making It Through Airport Security Stress-Free

There was recently a case that came to national attention where a gentleman was arrested at an airport for having a watch that looked like a bomb, among other things. As it came out, the watch was, in fact, not a bomb, and the man was just an artist who was probably trying to make a statement of some sort. Well, that message was lost amongst the hail of people shouting that either he had been stupid for bringing that watch on the plane and so deserved to be arrested, or that it's a free count...

Movember Mustaching Tips: How to Grow, Curl, and Care for a Handlebar

I've had a handlebar mustache for about five years now, and I've learned a lot over those years about how to grow and care for it. I will now share all of that information with you! Hopefully this will encourage you to grow one for Movember! The first thing I want to address right now is that I do not use wax on a daily basis. I kind of hate using wax, but I still do it on occasion. I shall teach you my secrets, starting from the beginning!

How To: Steampunk Yourself for Halloween in 10 Minutes or Less

As you know, it's impossible to be a Steampunk without a pair of goggles. In fact, there are entire communities dedicated to judging other Steampunks based solely on their goggles. A Steampunk without goggles is like Samson without his hair, or a duck without a beak—totally powerless. As I'm sure you also know, the right pair of goggles can instantly render any outfit Steampunk, no matter what it looks like.

How To: Make a Super-Simple Steampunk iPad Case Out of Leather

I chose to make this a Steampunk iPad case, but you can change the details and make it look as modern as you'd like. As I said earlier, Steampunks probably shouldn't buy iPhones or iPads, but if you're going to get one, you may as well make it look cool, right? The iPad pictured below was borrowed from a friend of mine, though I should add that this design will easily work with tablet computers of any variety, Apple, Android, or otherwise.

Steampunk Spray Painting: How to Make Almost Anything Look Like Metal

What I'm going to do in this tutorial is, as the title implies, teach you how to make nearly anything look like metal. This can especially come in handy in Steampunk, as most of us don't have the ability to machine brass. We do, however, have access to wood, PVC, and spray paint. Not to mention that, as a costumer, I can speak from personal experience when I say that things made of brass are really, really, really heavy!

How To: Print Your Emails in Style with This Steampunk Tape "Ticker Machine"

Last year, Instructables user Horatius.Steam created Dr. Brain, a small computer connected to a model brain that can tell stories and have Skype conversations. But one thing it couldn't do was print, so to solve that problem, he came up with this awesome Steampunk "Ticker Machine". A wooden base and glass dome make up the housing for a thermal printer, and the driver is hidden in a paper tube that's painted to look like wood. A slot at the bottom feeds the paper out from under the dome and a ...

How To: Steampunk Your Next Party with the Elixirator, a Truly Exquisite DIY Robotic Bartender

So, you want to throw a steampunk party and you have almost everything in place—your steampunk persona and iPhone are ready to go, and you've even got your own steampunk straight razor. What's missing? The Elixirator, that's what. The Elixirator is a steampunk cocktail-making machine by Botronics that can hold four different ingredients and mix up to ten drinks. It has a Picaxe microcontroller for a brain and was built using a lot of pieces from thrift shops. It has a plasma globe at the top ...

How To: Create a Steampunk Persona

Before I really get into this article, it's important to note that you do not need a Steampunk persona (or "steamsona") in order to be a Steampunk, or wear Steampunk clothes. Some people like to pretend to be a different person when dressed up in Steampunk clothing, but that is entirely optional, and only to be done if it appeals to you. That said, even if you aren't actually acting as your character, it may still be helpful to have one in mind when putting together an outfit. Personally, I'v...

How To: Eat for Free at DragonCon 2012

If you're like me, you've already spent a ton of money on your costumes, your badge, and your hotel room, and now you're looking for ways to cut costs. There are all kinds of ways to save money at DragonCon, but many of them involve violating the rules in some way, such as not buying a badge, sleeping on the floor in a hallway somewhere, etc. However, the one thing you can do that is totally not against the rules is eat for free. It requires a little self-discipline and a willingness to eat w...

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