Friday, August 1, 2014

Tutorial: Steampunk Princess Leia Cosplay

For the North Texas Comic Book Show, I decided to make a Steampunk Princess Leia cosplay! I have always loved the Steampunk culture, but never made a costume before. The reference art is by Jeff Miller with concept by Bjorn Hurri, and the photo of me was taken by My Geeky Geeky Ways.  I was excited to do Princess Leia because she is a strong heroine and very recognizable. It was fun putting a Steampunk twist on this classic character. In this tutorial, I will show you how I made a Steampunk Nerf gun and holster, and where to find the other pieces for this costume.

First, I couldn't have done this costume without this amazing corset from Corset Story. I made a faux corset before (you can find that tutorial here), but for Princess Leia I wanted it to look really legit. Corset Story has so many options for corsets including over bust, under bust, steel boning, bridal, waist training, and numerous colors to pick from. There's no doubt they will have what you're looking for.

When I received my corset in the mail, I was impressed with how sturdy it was. Mine is a steel boned corset with some seriously beautiful details. These front hooks made it so easy take on and off.

The colors and materials are of the highest quality I've ever seen. I will definitely be using this corset again for more costumes whether it's Steampunk or for a Renaissance festival.

Now that the worry of finding a corset was out of the way, I moved on to worrying about finding a gun. My friend and photographer Eli Luna had a box full of Nerf guns so he sent me a pic of this one. It's a DC-15S blaster and was perfect for what I was looking for!

The first thing I did was sand it really well. Sand, sand, sand, sand! Then I glued on some more details with foam and pieces of a straw.

I applied Gesso to it several times to prime it then chose my colors to paint.

I also bought some gears from Amazon and used tacky glue to attach them to the gun.

Here is a before and after! Pew pew pew!

I looked online for gun holsters but didn't find anything that I liked. So I decided to wing it and make my own. First thing I did was lay my gun on some newspaper to make a pattern.

Then I traced my pattern onto some craft foam and cut it out.

I also traced my pattern (a little bigger) on to some brown fabric. This is extra upholstery fabric that I had used for Fiona from Shrek. I basically made a pillow case for the foam to go into. The foam gives the shape more stability.

After you slip the foam in, sew the top shut.

I did the same thing for the front "pocket" of the holster.

Front of "pocket"

Back of "pocket"

Then I sewed the "pocket" to the holster's base. It was easy sewing one side with my sewing machine but when I cupped it around I had to hand sew the rest.

I wasn't sure how I was going to wear the holster. I thought about making a belt myself, but then I found this beautiful belt on Amazon. I loved the design and can see myself using it for a fairy costume at a Ren faire in the future.

Since the belt I ordered had two big gold rings on it, I decided that would be an easy way to attach my holster without permanently ruining my new belt. So I extended my holster with some extra fabric (no foam needed here) and added some snaps to it.

Now I can snap the holster on and off to the belt.

To give my holster more detail, I printed out the Rebel Alliance symbol and cut out the pattern.

Then I traced it onto some more craft foam, cut it, Gesso'd it, then painted it gold and bronze.

I painted a lot of tacky glue to the back and then carefully placed it onto my holster. I held it there for several minutes.

The other details I added were some keys, gears and baubles. I found all of these at the craft store and just randomly hooked or glued them on.

I also made my necklace from my treasury of baubles. And my goggles are by Elope from Amazon. They were awesome! Super well-made!

My dress is the Secret Wishes Princess Leia Costume. I got it from Amazon. It's not very good quality >.< But it worked well. It's just really thin material and ripped at the seam once. It only comes with one slit in the legs, so I decided to add a second slit on the other side to give it more mobility. Then I wore brown leggings underneath.

My wig is a Luthien in Dark Brown from Arda Wigs. I parted it down the middle then twisted the tails and wrapped them into a bun. I used a lot of bobby pins to keep the buns in place! I also wore some brown arm warmers and faux leather arm cuffs. Then I put on my brown boots and was ready to head off into the galaxy!


I will have some more photos of my cosplay in my post about the North Texas Comic Book. So be sure to come back to see those soon!

Which Star Wars character would you like to see in a Steampunk style?


  1. So awesome! You did a great job combining all those elements to make a fantastic costume! Love it! :D

  2. Oh my gosh... All the yes. Just... All of it.

  3. Amazing costume! Thank you so much for posting a breakdown of how you did it.

  4. This is too adorable for words! You did a great job!

  5. THIS is just awesome!! Thanks a lot for all the great tutorials you make! :3 And ... as always ... you look stunning! <3

    greetings from germaneh

  6. Thumbs up, amazing like always. I love the bag/holster and I think it would rock as every day wear!

  7. Seems like you actually managed to get a good corset from CorsetStory. Ive seen a lot of reviews about that site, and not a lot are good. (one of these days Im going to get one from Orchard Corsets).


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