Tutorials

 

Steampunk Lace Mask


Steampunk lace?

C’mon, you knew it was only a matter of time. We do all things lace, and everything gets steampunked around here eventually; that had to collide at some point. So here we have it: a beautiful stitched steampunk lace mask. If you’re unsure about how to stitch out lace, check out this tutorial to catch up.

This is a pretty cool mask but I feel it could be a lot more... steampunky. Let’s help the lace along here. Specifically, I think it needs a few more gears, and more of a metal look. While it’s tempting to try metallic thread, I wouldn’t recommend it here. Instead, stitch your lace in a metal-like color, like brown or tan, to help with our metal effect.


Now, we’re really going to steampunk this baby up into a sophisticated Venetian mask. Let me introduce you, my friends, to a steampunk’s best friends: plastic gears and spray paint. Trust me, they have fabulous results. To pull this off you need:

  • Your stitched steampunk mask, as shown above
  • Gears and watch parts (look for these in scrapbooking sections of craft stores)
  • Metallic spray paint (I’m using bronze and gold)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Metallic ribbon
  • Chain
  • Needle and thread, who ran away for the picture, with the uh, dish and the spoon.

For some shapes, lace just won’t hold up, so if you’re missing some of the spikier, harsher shapes like watch parts on your mask, it’s best just to glue them on. That way, you can also totally customize your mask, adding as many or as few gears and cogs as you wish.

I started by hot gluing some watch parts right behind the mask. Keep them to the edges of the mask, and away from any areas that might poke you in the face. Not cool, that.

Now start playing with some gear shapes on top of the mask. Lay them out on top of your mask and try out lots of arrangements. I fiddled quite a bit until I was happy enough to glue them down.

Tip! If you have two gear shapes with large open spokes (like the gear on the left in the photo) set these two aside. We’re going to do something cool with them later...

My scrapbooking collection also came with these tiny little rivets, which are just like those little butterfly clips offices use to keep papers together, but a little smaller. You can carefully poke them through the mesh of the lace and open the clip flat on the other side to keep them secure.

If you’re worried that one of those clip edges might poke you, glue them flat with a dab of hot glue. This will also cover any sharp edges.

Yay! Way more steampunky.

Ick, but not so very match-y. We have a whole bunch of colors going on here and not all of them play nice.

Time for our secret weapon...


Spray paint!

Yup, you can totally spray paint lace. I promise. I would never do this on fabric, but machine-stitched lace is already pretty stiff, so a coating of spray paint isn’t going to hurt much. I probably don’t have to remind you though to let this dry fully before you wear it though, right? Right.

Hold your can 8-12 inches away and give it a good coating in a well ventilated area, like outside.

Sprayed! Now everything matches.

Hmm... maybe it matches too much.

More paint! Before you add this step, make sure your first coat is totally dry. Otherwise your paint may begin to pool up in areas, especially on the little gears and such.

When it’s ready, lightly spray just the edges of your mask with a different metallic color, one that will match but have some contrast. This will give your mask some beautiful dimension.

Once it’s dry enough to move, leave your mask somewhere safe to dry.

Extra tip: I laid a piece of paper over my spray can to give my mask a curved surface to dry on. Though it won’t matter too much once it’s tied on, it’s nice to encourage your mask to dry in a shape that will curve to your face better.


Remember those two gears you set aside before? I’m going to show you a super slick and steampunky way of looping them into your mask ties.

Measure a piece of ribbon that’s long enough for one side of your mask tie, then double it.

Loop one end through those open holes at either side of the mask. Feed one side over the edge of a gear spoke, under, and back out the other side. You can feed the back piece of ribbon the same way, so your ribbon is folded double with a spoke woven through it to keep it firmly against the mask. No tying needed!

However, these last little gears and our ribbon don’t quite match, do they?

Paint to the rescue one more time…

Spray just over the gears and a little bit out over the ribbon. That way my ribbon fades from the gold near the mask out to the original brilliant copper it came as. These transitions will really add some fun to the look of everything, and mimic the sheen of real metal.


One more thing, and this is really more of a trademark of mine now, but I love adding dangly bits! So I’m adding a little bit of chain for that extra flourish.

No metal tools required! Just stitch one end of your chain to the corner of your mask (very securely, I might add) and the other to the middle. Delicate craft chains like this can be easily cut with a scissors (but not your good sewing scissors! Find an old pair).


And, from out of the whirring mechanics of your embroidery machine emerges one wicked looking steampunky mask, helped along by a few gears, spikes, and a lot of metallic paint.

And yes, it looks just as cool on as you hope it does.

Elegant, light and mechanical all at once, this is the perfect addition to any steampunk occasion.

The gears, cogs, and lace all blend together beautifully under a coat of metallic spray paint to make a romantic mask worthy of any Victorian masquerade.

Elegant steampunk from an embroidery machine?

It only makes sense, really. Steampunk is all about the machine. And we are all about the machine around here.

Love this whole lace mask thing? We've got more! Craft a two-color calavera mask-on-a-stick, incorporate colorful little pieces of organza into a Mardi Gras mask, and go 3D with a beaked raven mask. Mix and match the techniques to build your own unique creation!


Want a printer-friendly PDF of this page? You got it, bud.
Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
Steampunk Mask (Lace)_image
Steampunk Mask (Lace) $5.99
2 Available Sizes:
Machine Embroidery: 6.89"w x 4.61"h | 5.12"w x 3.43"h | Hand Embroidery