Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quick Craft: Steampunk Medal

Thanks to some Father's Day clearance I spotted at JoAnn's last week, I was able to make this fun and steamy medal for just a few dollars:

 Ok, so it's both steampunk and a little Harry Potter, with that winged key. That's double the geeky goodness!

(ZOMG - steampunk Harry Potter! Why have I not thought of this as a cosplay option before?!)

This was more of a quick customization craft than anything, because I started with this:

If you have a JoAnn's nearby, check their clearance to see if they still have any of these available. They were 70% off when I bought this one, so it only cost about $1.50. SCORE.

I brought it home and cracked open my charm stash. The key and wing sets are from Wal-Mart:

The gears are thin die-cut metal (or metal coated paper, perhaps?), a gift from Sharyn. Happily I found two that fit inside the circle perfectly, so from there it was just a matter of picking the charm I wanted for the center:

These were my four favorite options for charms. My first choice was the ray gun (an old Cracker Jack charm), but after I snipped off the ring and re-painted it I wasn't happy with the finish. (Drat.) The winged heart is great for a jewelry option, but I wanted mine to be a little more unique, so I went with the winged key.

I snipped off the wing rings, and glued everything down with a gel super glue:

(I also switched to a different key charm.)

To jazz up the top ribbon portion, I used two jewel brads to hang a short length of silver chain:

I just cut a slit in the ribbon with a utility blade to slide the brads through. Super easy.

These are the brads I used, and you can see how I opened them up & snipped the one side on the back. (The ribbon is stained because I was experimenting with painting over the stripes with markers to change the colors. The ink tends to bleed, though, so I just left the ribbon as-is.)

And that's it! There are tons of possibilities with this one, whether you wear it as jewelry or as a cosplay accessory, so just use what you have, and have fun with it!


  1. Love this one!! I really want to see your steampunk potter:)

  2. Please do steampunk Harry Potter. That would be amazing.

  3. Oh, my goodness, that is so cool! I love the look of the ribbon with the gears and charm.

    I'd only heard of steampunk before I started reading your blog, and I'm totally a fan now. One of these days, I'll get crafty and go for it! In the meantime, I get my fix here on Epbot... :)

  4. Really love this and would love to tweet the link but it isn't easily done. Would love it if you would add a "tweet this" button to your posts!

  5. Steampunk Harry Potter you say?

    Found at

    And here's Hermione's time-turner:

    found at GlazedBlackCherry's etsy shop.

  6. !!! Just bought a bunch of clearance craft supplies at Michaels. To do this, exactly. (Working on a steamy costume, for which medals are super necessary. Maybe that's just me.) Now I'm tempted to scrap my plans for the evening and play with glue and knives and pliers...

    You are so bad for me! (In the best way possible. :P)

  7. I've been trying to make these from SCRATCH- do you know how hard it is to find striped ribbon like that? HARD. I may have to wander over to my JoAnn's and see what they have available!

  8. Pigma Micron Pens, available at Joann Fabrics!

    They are archival quality, and do not bleed on most fabrics! They are often used by quilters for shading fabrics and labeling quilts. :)

  9. I hope you don't use my idea for steampunk Luna Lovegood. I have had that idea in my head for AGES!

  10. That's funny because I've been working on a bunch of steampunk medals for the last couple of weeks, including one made with that same medal base. (I bought a few of them on clearance at least a year ago and just got around to decorating it.) It's nothing special, but here's mine.

    I'll eventually be making a blog post on the different methods I'm using to make medals, but am waiting for more ribbon to arrive.

  11. You are so crafty! I just wish I had more time to work on my projects, sometime they stretch out for a couple of weeks. Recently received the latest catalog from my bead supplier and they carry Gilders Paste patina. Thought of you when I saw it. It comes in 8 colors & can be use on wood, metal, ceramics, leather, etc.

  12. Steampunk Harry Potter would be amazing!! I'm currently the assistant director of a production of the Wizard of Oz and my mind immediately went to the medal Oz gives to the Cowardly Lion. I may have to suggest this!

  13. @ Erin - Sure thing, I'll put the "tweet this" button on the list! Thx for letting me know!

    @ Kitty - It's true, that striped ribbon is sooo hard to find. I'd love to make medals from scratch, but that's the sticking point!

    @ Jillian - non-bleeding fabric pens? SWEET. Thx for the tip!

    @ Violet - Awesome - I hope you'll send me a link when you finish that post!

    @SM3 - Gilder's Paste sounds a lot like Rub n' Buff, which we use quite a lot. Fabulous stuff!

  14. Still trying to figure out which potter book.....anyone?

  15. @ tiny p - I used Order of the Phoenix. :) (Would've used Sorcerer's Stone, but we don't have it in hard cover. [A tragedy!])

  16. Jen, you are so clever. That is too cute!

  17. Hee. I'm actually working on a steampunk Harry Potter costume right now!

    Great tutorial - I'll find lots of use for this one!!!

  18. I've been wondering for months what the best way to do steampunk Harry Potter would be. (Either Ravenclaw or Slytherin, I can't decide that part either! I have been a goth Ravenclaw before.) If you think of anything, please share!

  19. It's weird that you mention steampunk Harry today, because yesterday night I found this "steampunk" golden snitch pocketwatch. There are lots of versions of it available, and it could be a cheap item, but I still kind of want one.

  20. The gears are heavy-gauge craft foil from Spellbinders, which also makes the gear dies. I KNEW you'd do something really amazing with them. I love the way you paired the two colors, and all the elements work together perfectly. (So far, all I've managed to do with mine is stare at them, drooling, crooning, "ooh, pretty...)I wish I was half as clever as you -- I guess I'll just have to be content with borrowing your ideas.

  21. Love the medals!

    As for a Steampunk HP cosplay, Lis beat you to it:

  22. I've never commented here before. Let's see if this works...

    When I saw these bookends recently, I thought of you. They're more industrial than steampunk, but it seems like something you could DIY for much less money.

    You know what would be really cool? If you could get some old metal railroad parts to make the metal plate parts out of. See metal plate in this pic since I'm probably not making much sense.

  23. Gorgeous!

    Is it bad that I'm trying to figure out what chapter and book that page is from? (I'm failing by the way, which makes me feel like a horrible Harry Potter fan) Care to fill me in? :)

  24. My aviator goggles are actually painted quidditch goggles. love them! I was planning on doing Steampunk Potter for comicon this year, but I think I'm going to do Mad Max verse instead. I mean...I love the goggles. Really I do. But I would seriously ROCK a mohawk and some football pads. I can't decide, though. I'm leaning towards steampunk on Saturday and Mad Max on Sunday.

  25. I've noticed on my last couple of trips to Michael's they have one of those floor stand spinney racks with TONS of steampunky findings. Definitely a resource to keep in mind.


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