Black Widow Cuffs (Tutorial)

For my 1970s Black Widow costume, I needed to figure out a way to make her gold cuffs. They’re bullet-like, but not quite, so I had to do some brainstorming. I ended up coming up with an idea that uses Nerf darts as the base.

What you’ll need:

You can probably use Nerf darts in any color and then paint them, but buying them in black saved me a lot of time. I had to buy a pretty large quantity (200 of them) but I actually have Nerf guns that use these, so they won’t go to waste. (My cat Jack loves chasing them around the house.)

Unroll the adhesive foil and lay out one of the darts to see how wide you need to cut the foil. My darts ended up being 2 1/2″ long (excluding the plastic tip) so I was able to cut along right on the grid. I cut out a few strips at this width.

Just about right!

Next, wrap the adhesive foil (with the backing still attached) around one of the darts to see how long of a piece you’ll need to cut so that the foil would wrap completely around the dart with a little extra to overlap. Make a little mark on the grid side of the paper with your pencil, and cut across with your scissors.

This is what I ended up with. I think the piece ended up being 2 1/2″ x 2″ to cover the dart. Repeat the steps to cut out a bunch of little “wraps” for the darts using the first wrap as a template.

Peel the backing off of the adhesive foil, and wrap your dart in it like you’re rolling a sushi roll or burrito or something. Make sure you don’t cover up the plastic tip! You only want to cover the foam part. Don’t worry if the foil doesn’t quite line up to the edges – you won’t be able to tell once everything is done. Repeat the process for all of your darts.

Lay your first dart along the edge of your ruler and make a little dot with your Sharpie 1/2″ in from the bottom and 1/2″ in from the top (excluding the plastic tip). To make it easier, I put the dots right on the edge where the foil wrap ended, since that made for a nice straight line to work with. Repeat this process for all of your darts.

Cut your elastic cord into four 1-foot pieces. You will need two lengths of cord per cuff. Thread your needle with one piece of cord, and then poke the needle right through the dart at the first dot you made. Make sure to poke straight across and not at an angle.

If you have two needles, then thread the second needle with a second length of cord. If you only have one needle, then unthread it from the previous step and thread it onto the second length of cord. Poke the needle through the second dot you made (again, making sure you poke straight across and not at an angle). Repeat this process for the rest of your darts until the length is large enough to completely wrap around your wrist.

This is what my darts look like strung together. I used 16 per wrist, and I have about 6 1/2″ wrists.

Tie the cords together into knots (instructions can be found here). I tied mine three times (so, basically a square knot plus an additional overhand knot). Stretch the bracelet enough to expose the knots and use clear nail polish (or super glue) to coat the knots. You can wedge a pencil in-between the darts to keep the knots exposed until the nail polish dries. The nail polish acts as a sealant so the knots don’t come undone.

Once the nail polish has dried, snip the excess cord (leaving a few millimeters of cord sticking out) and apply another coat of clear nail polish, if you wish.

Your first cuff is complete! Repeat the process for your second cuff, and you’ll be all set! The nice thing about these cuffs is that they’re incredibly light, so they’re comfortable to wear.



Science Fiction Day @ Science Museum of MN

Giant group! Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

February 23rd was “Science Fiction Day” (formerly “Star Wars Day”) at the Science Museum of Minnesota. Last year, I wasn’t 501st Legion-approved so I helped as a handler, but this year I got to actually troop! We had a giant turnout of costumers, and had a lot of fun mingling with guests and posing for photos.

Stare-down with a T-Rex. Hux has zero chill. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Choose your fighter. Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Sometimes, yeah. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Dance-off, bro! Costumers: Mike Giralico and Kris Heding. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Intergalactic news. Costumers: Amanda Fineran and Kris Heding. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Hux gives up with these fools. Costumers: Amanda Fineran, Kris Heding, Jeremy Horn, and Nick Hickman. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Ever get a wet willy from a Wookiee? It’s not fun. Costumers: Kris Heding and Paul Haga. Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Photo Credit: Shane Lewis.

Eep! Costumers: Paul Haga and Kris Heding.

Nothing like a good ol’ game of Hoth Ball. Costumers: Kris Heding and Alex Hall.

Pummeled by snowballs. Thanks, Hera. Costumers: Kris Heding and Pari Elizabeth.

Kara-O-Con 2019

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

February 16th was one of my favorite events – Kara-O-Con at Grumpy’s Bar & Grill in Roseville! This was my third year going, and as usual, I had a blast! I wore my Black Canary costume and sang two songs: Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” with my friend Jim, and Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” by myself.

Photo Credit: Soledad Kern.

Photo Credit: Alex Hall.

St. Paul Winter Carnival

On February 2nd, I did an event for the St. Paul Winter Carnival (don’t worry – we were inside!) inside the Landmark Center. I didn’t feel like wearing any of my current costumes, and I really wanted to wear my orange lekku that I bought from my friend almost a year ago, so I whipped together a costume from things I already had from other costumes. I wore my pants, boots, and belt from my Poe Dameron costume, and my jacket and holster from my Zara Fenn costume. And then I carried a lightsaber, which made zero sense but it looked cool. I’ll eventually finish the actual costume for my orange lekku, but it’s nice to know I can toss this together when I feel like having some sort of vaguely Star Wars-y rebel/Jedi character.

Photo Credit: Todd Murray.

The event itself was super fun! There were a ton of kiddos there, so we posed for so many photos. There were a few kids that just walked up to stare at us, because we looked like such an odd bunch!

The architecture inside the Landmark Center is so, so beautiful. Our changing room was inside one of the former courtrooms, and it had these cool nooks with ornate archways that I just fell in love with.