January 25, 2012

Courage Cover Costume–The Vambraces


I love the whole Courage costume, but the vambraces have to be close to my favorite piece. This is something I had wanted to try for a long time, but this was the first costume where I had definite need to do it.vambraces3 

What are they made of? Craft foam. I came across this ingenious way of making fake armor quite a few years ago (again during our Lord of the Rings obsession phase). If you put “craft foam armor” in Google, you’ll come up with all kinds of results. This is the first page I ever looked at concerning how to do it: http://entropyhouse.com/penwiper/costumes/helmsdeep.html It’s amazing what you can do, isn’t it? This is the page I read through when I was making my vambraces: http://www.jedielfqueen.com/lotr/costumes/Boromir/vambraces/vambraces.htm 

It was sort of trial and error for me at first. I printed the design I made and used the end of a mechanical pencil to “trace” it into the foam. After I was happy with the result, I applied the Decoupage to seal the foam. I tried painting it first, but it just soaked up the paint. Once it was sealed, I gave it a couple coats with glossy black spray paint and used a tiny paint brush to apply silver paint to the designs. vambraces2 

Each vambrace is actually two pieces as you can sort of see in this picture. Once I was finished with the painting, I glued the pieces together to keep them from shifting, and then sewed around the edges by hand with thick, black quilting thread. Then came the eyelets. This was tricky because it’s really easy to accidently leave marks in the foam. I used a hole punch first and carefully worked the eyelets in. After that, I applied glue around each one to make the foam stronger and not as likely to rip when the laces are tightened.

Overall, the vambraces turned out looking exactly as I’d hoped. Combined with the rest of the costume, you really can’t tell they are not real leather. The greatest thing about them is how ridiculously cheap they are to make. The foam sheets cost less than a dollar each, and most of the other supplies I already had. It’s certainly something I’ll be doing more of because it’s really a fun project and you can come up with all sorts of designs.

That pretty much does it for the look at the costume, which leaves only one thing, seeing how it all looks together. By now, I hope I’ve been able to raise your anticipation level because, on Friday, I will officially release the cover of Courage. I, for one, can hardly wait. :)


Sarah H said...

I am so enjoying this series!!