My Steampunk leather vambrace project

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know about my new obsession being leathercrafting. It all started with a need for affordable kit for LARPing when armour and essential accessories are so damn expensive. So, I decided to make my own.

After being pretty pleased with my armour and vambraces for Empire LARP and how well they stood up against an Orc onslaught, I thought I should try something to spruce up my Steampunk outfit for book signings etc.

Here’s the thing…I look an idiot in a hat. No hats for Craig! But no matter how fancy the pocketwatch or spiffy the penholder (which I made from some old test tubes a while back) my Steampunk gear was missing a little something.


For I have leathered me some Steampunkery!

Ignore that huge spilled dye puddle over there
Ignore that huge spilled dye puddle over there


Using a Steampunk watch bought by the missus, and a Victorian pen bought by my good friend and favourite shop girl, Fran Rockett, I bought some pinc nez glasses from eBay (only a tenner, so not too shabby) and some little glass bottles. Removing the strap from the watch, I just used the mechanism and put the whole thing together!

It probably took about four hours to make, I think, if we ignore the drying time after I wetformed it. And here it is with the rest of my Steampunk gear, ready for the Doncaster Cosplay Convention a few weeks back.

What do you reckon?
What do you reckon?

I feel like a proper Steampunk now!

And, since cosplayers, Steampunks and other geeks are generally the nicest people you could hope to meet, I got plenty of compliments and people asking where I’d bought it. That led to me wondering….could I make these things for other people more regularly? I don’t mean starting a bloody Etsy shop and charging through the roof for a stock item that a million other people have. No, I mean doing only bespoke items for people, to their own designs (or as close as I can make it), as one-off never to be repeated pieces.

To know that I was helping people to make their perfect item, and helping to maintain their individuality and that wow-factor of seeing things you’ve never seen before…that would be pretty rewarding work. Without mentioning it to any one else, I’ve already had three orders! Just randomly. I’ve already made a small vambrace for Jess, a girl I met at the Cosplay Convention who was going to her prom in Steampunk attire. How could I resist the call to assist a fellow Steampunk?

Here she is with her kit with the vambrace I made:

vambrace2 jess vambrace












That was the first time I’d used metallic dye, too, so it turned out ok, all things considered.

Here’s Fran Rockett wearing some cuffs I made, this time with a more LARP feel to them.

Fran pulls the "Ill never grow old" Peter Pan pose.
Fran pulls the “Ill never grow old” Peter Pan pose.

I don’t have any close -ups of these because I’m useless, but they were engraved with a shield and wings motif so that she could use them for her LARPing adventures. Man, that engraving is a pain in the posterior. I definitely need more practice.

So there you have it, folks, a little more leather obsession from me. I promise to talk about something authorly next time ;D


Thanks for reading.


10 thoughts on “My Steampunk leather vambrace project

  1. Some lovely work there, Craig. Showing some real artistic flair! Hmmm, when I have a bit more brass, I may commission a special rat handler’s vambrace. No dye though as wouldn’t want Arthur gettting a purple mouth!

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