Steampunk Cuffs

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We decided that we wanted to have a Civil War Steampunk Fashion Show in connection with the Lincoln Exhibit in our gallery. In preparation for this fashion show, we made a variety of steampunk  accessories. It also became clear that the fashion show was going to be more related to steampunk and less related to the Civil War. One of the easiest accessories to make are cuffs.

Materials: thin black sheets of foam, hardware, hot glue, ribbon or thin wire, toothpick, pencil

Steps: 1. Make a template by wrapping the foam around your forearm. You should end up with something slightly trapezoidal. Note on foam: Some packs of foam come in all sorts of crazy colors. You can paint the foam with acrylic, but first you need to coat it with Elmer’s glue and let that dry overnight. 2. The teens can trace your template to make their cuffs. 3. Embellish cuffs with washers, beads, and small hardware using hot glue. Remember arms are curved, and too much embellishment can make the cuffs inflexible. 4. In order to secure cuff to arm, you are going to need to make three or four pairs of holes on the underside of the cuff on either side of the ends you wish to secure. These holes can be really small. You can make them with a toothpick or sharpened pencil, just make sure each hole has a buddy on the other side of the cuff at about the same place. 4. Next, glue washers around each hole to add stability. You can use a piece of flexible wire, sting, or ribbon and string it through the holes in the same manner that corsets are laced. You may need a friend to tighten it once you are ready to show it off.

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