DIY Steampunk Pants

Captain Robert does more that just make awesome music. He also makes awesome mods!

Today, I’ve got an easy tutorial for you to mod some boring, everyday pants with some Steampunk goodness. Check out the video below how Captain Robert made these awesome stripey Steampunk pants:

A friend of mine here in Dallas needed some help in making some awesome new Steampunk pants, and I directed him the Captain Robert’s video. After a little encouragement on my part, he finally did it, and the pants that he produced wound up being exactly what he needed. Here’s an account from him about his adventures:


Hello all. My name in Jonny Phoenyx and my good friend, Captain Audelia Flint, has requested a more detailed tutorial on Captain Robert’s DIY Steampunk Pants.

I have never written a “blerb” or tutorial, but I will do my best. When it comes to costuming, even expert seamsters will tell you pants are difficult to make. Since steampunk is essentially a form of modding modern stuff with a Victorian aesthetic, this works out really well for pant-making!


  • A cheap pare of khaki pants (or other color)
  • Painters Tape (It’s almost always blue!)
  • Rust-Oleum Spray Paint
  • Ducktape
  • Painting tarp or large Garage bags

The Captain used canvas khakis, but any type of fabric should be fine. I just used 100% Cotton khakis from Old Navy. I would not recommend cargo pants. The pockets will be tricky, but hey, you might devise you own method! The Painter’s tape comes in a wide variety of sizes, so choose which ever will best fit your needs. After experimenting, I concluded that as long as the spray paint is meant for outdoor furniture (to resist most water and heat), you shouldn’t have a problem.

The last two items are somewhat optional. I live in an apartment, so I my only option was to go out in a neighboring parking lot to spray paint. So I wouldn’t cause any trouble (and to just respect public property), I laid down a few cut garbage bags and taped them to the pavement so I wouldn’t leave any paint splotches. The tarp would be easier and re-usable, but I already had the garbage bags, so why spend the extra coin? Spray paint gets everywhere. I would highly recommend waiting until there is little or now wind. Just pick up the garbage bags after you done, and you will likely see the outlines of your tarp.

Time for the actual tutorial!

Step 1: Iron your pants! This will make applying the painter’s tape immensely easier. Try to get the pocket linings as well if you can.

Step 2: Apply the tape! This might sound easy, but it can be a simple or as complicated as you want it to be. I just went with some simple pirate stripes (evenly spaced 1.5” lines). If you want, you can do zigzags, spirals, even cogs! When putting the tape on the fabric, make sure it’s on there very well and as straight (on not so straight) as you desire. Because of the unusual shape of pants, a long single strip will not line up evenly on the pants (with the exception of the side seams) So, for a single strip I used as much as 4 pieces to slowly “curve” the tape to fit the bulges and curvature of the pants. Because of this, even the smallest edge of “edited” tape will be very noticeable once the paint it applied and dried. So just be careful and keep that in mind. *Note: The blue represents the un-painted areas. So unless you want paint on the inside of your britches, I recommend lining the bottom cuff, top interiors of pockets, and the inside of the waistband.*

Step 3: Once you have your desired tape pattern(s), stroll outside, set-up you tarps, and begin spraying those pants! This is pretty simple. I let it dry for a half hour or so and applied another coat. Let them dry overnight. I actually left it outside for two days to be on the safe side.

Step 4: Congratulations! You know have your own pair of steamy pants! Now go strut your stuff!

Oh, and the biggest question….Are these machine washable?


I have washed them 3 times and they still feel comfortable. I will mention that depending on the type of paint used, the designs/patterns can be a bit stiff or itchy at first. This did go away after the second wash for me. Also, it is not uncommon for the tape to have puckered when spray-painting it, leaving some unusual lines of discolor. If this bothers you, just repaint that particular spot. No harm done.

However, the colors will fade slightly with washing. I do not know if this I because of the detergent I use, the dryer, or just the paint. Either way, it didn’t fade enough to hinder my wardrobe. In fact, it enhanced it in an odd way! Huzzah!

That’s really all I can think of to tell you. If something doesn’t quite work out the way you wanted, just experiment! That’s what my first pair was, and it turned out better than I expected! Now go make stuff! Steamy Stuff!