Host a Steampunk-Style Baby Shower

Celebrate a loved one's upcoming special delivery with a turn-of-the-century baby shower packed with Victorian and Machine-Age styles.
By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Steampunk Style

Steampunk is a mix of the industrial style of the Machine Age mixed with classic, formal Victorian-era fashion. From a heavy use of iron, brass and steel and an overall colorless aesthetic to elegant top hats and corset-centric dresses, this baby shower for an expectant mom and her partner is a perfect mash up of both aesthetics.

Tablescape

Science and technology play just as much of a role in steampunk style as elaborate, formal fashion. When creating a tablescape for your steampunk soiree, search for vintage bottles, weathered metal vessels and industrial objects with interesting shapes. Once paired with botanical accents (flowers or plants), the otherwise hard, rough look will instantly soften up.

Texture and Finish

A mix of textures and finishes lead to a successful steampunk design, both for interiors as well as events. As far as textiles are concerned, stick with table runners or placemats with nubby organic textures. Wooden or metal tables are both a perfect fit, keeping in mind that dark stains and aged metals work best. Instead of one particular kind of metal, it's best to mix different types such as iron and brass, while also introducing elements of glass.

Industrial Place Holders

Whenever possible, be unexpected with the details of your steampunk baby shower. For place settings, search for small-scale objects with industrial flair (such as these vintage radio paper weights). Then update them with hand-painted script or calligraphy. The juxtaposition of the elegant, female script with the rough, industrial appeal of the objects strikes the perfect balance.

Suitcase Place Holders

Mix it up! Instead of sticking with the same object for your place holders, try a disparate group of objects with similar colors and finishes. These miniature faux leather suitcases are actually paper weights updated with paint pens. Also, instead of everyday napkin rings, consider using iron skeleton keys. Once the party is over, both the place holders and napkin rings can be used as favors.

Antique Brass Goblets

Hey, you're throwing a steampunk-style baby shower, so why not bust out the antique drink ware? Buck the tradition of fancy glassware, instead opting for aged brass goblets with weathered finishes. The more wear and tear on the goblets, the better.

Antique Brass Grouping

To create an eclectic, gathered look, search for different brass elements ranging in finishes. Polished candle sticks, matte serving ware and aged drink ware strike up a great balance.

Colorless Floral

When incorporating floral, it's best to stick with botanicals that are colorless. Since the washed-out aesthetic is a huge part of steampunk style, look for cut species with interesting shapes as well as those with neutral tones such as cream, gray, brown or beige.

Gear Votives

Get clever with your ambient lighting by repurposing industrial items as votive holders. Here, several bicycle gears were stacked, pyramid style, then held in place with hot glue, using the hole along the top to house small votives. See how we made them

Gift Station

Create a steampunk-style gift station with a traditional table, faux leather name banner and a collection of vintage Victorian objects. Consider putting the parents-to-be front and center with two dress forms placed side-by-side, flanking the station.

Leather Banner

Create a one-of-a-kind banner for your shower with faux leather or vinyl cut into bunting, then held together with brass fasteners. Trace cameos of the parents-to-be directly to the faux leather, and then cut the silhouettes out with upholstery scissors. Create classic type font by printing out letters on 8-1/2" x 11" card stock, cutting the letters out into stencils, tracing the stencils to vinyl or faux leather, cutting them out, and then layering to the bunting with hot glue. Lastly, attach each section of bunting with fabric tape secured in place with brass fasteners. Get the rest of the step-by-step instructions

Vintage Toy Carriage

To add a touch of baby style to your otherwise grownup steampunk shower, search for antique Victorian baby carriages or buggies made with wood construction. Use the vintage carriage to receive gifts either on or near the gift table.

DIY Hats

Get creative with your hat-making supplies. Hit up craft stores for interesting accessories such as feathers, decorative chain, beads, crystals, lace, paper letters and leather. To ensure easy assembly, supply guests with hot glue guns, needles and thread, hole punches and scissors. See how to set up a hat-making station

Same Sex Mannequins

Dress forms are great for adding drama to the welcoming area of your soiree. In order to choose dress forms appropriate for steampunk style, focus on those with wire construction and neutral fabric detail. If the dress forms are too pricy, keep in mind that many stores will also rent them for a fraction of the price.

Hat-Making Station

Encourage interaction among guests with a steampunk hat-making station. To create one, use an industrial or classic wood table, and then group random objects together as vessels and risers. Supply guests with different hats, male and female, as well as accessories for making each one different than the other. In the event that your baby shower has a photo booth, the custom hats can also be used as props.

Hardware Candleholders

Gears and gaskets are an integral part of steampunk decor. Search hardware stores for darkly colored gears and gaskets with the proper shape and scale to hold tapered candle sticks.

Mismatched Antiques

Bring a gathered look to your seating with a grouping of antique chairs in different shapes and sizes and a range in construction. For steampunk appeal, stick with a mix of chairs including Queen Anne, slipcovered and industrial styles.

Vintage Oil Cans

Vintage oil cans are a hot commodity on the estate sale and antiques market. The patina of the metal and the range of shapes make them ideal for a collection display. For extra character, add just a few vintage oil cans to your tablescape, focusing on those different in height, finish and shape.

Industrial Sculpture

Vintage oil cans, especially those from the early 1900s, come in dozens of styles. Add some sculptural appeal to your tablescape with oil cans featuring long integrated funnels. Since the funnels can be shaped, they'll add a nice touch to any voids between other objects.

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