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.

 

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Scarlet Witch Hex Powers (Tutorial)

A week before going to MarsCon I decided to come up with something to look like Scarlet Witch’s hex powers (not really sure what to call this particular prop: Hex powers? Magic orbs? Glowing chaos magic?). I’m not sure why I always decide to do these things at the last minute, but there you go.

To my surprise, they turned out pretty well, and so I thought I’d share a tutorial with you all!

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Photo of the Hex Powers in action! Photo by Scott Saniti.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 red battery-operated LED tea lights
  • 2 clear tea light candle casings
  • Red tulle/netting (about 1/3 yard)
  • 2 sheets of 8 1/2″ x 11″ red cellophane sheets
  • 1/2 yard of red gathered lace trim
  • Mod Podge
  • Red glitter
  • 2 ring blanks
  • Piece of 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper
  • Black Sharpie
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
  • Small paintbrush
  • Dressmaker pins
  • Sharp scissors

Most of the items I had on-hand because I hoard craft supplies, but I’d say all of these could be found at any craft supply store (with maybe the exception of the LED tea lights).

The first (and potentially optional) step is to add glitter to the LED tea lights. I did this so that they blended in more, and also to reflect some of the light from the LEDs. The LED lights I purchased were in a pack of 36 from Amazon. They’re really bright, and the color is good! They’re about the size of a US quarter, and run on two cell batteries (included).

Using a small paintbrush, paint a coat of Mod Podge onto the top of the LED tea light (avoiding getting any on the bulb part of the light, if possible). Sprinkle red glitter over the Mod Podge and shake off any excess. Allow the Mod Podge to dry and add another coat of Mod Podge and glitter if you think the tea lights need more coverage. After the Mod Podge is dry, coat the glitter with a layer of Mod Podge to seal in the glitter. I used the Extreme Glitter Mod Podge because I like the extra sparkle. Allow the Mod Podge to dry.

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The next step is to create a template for the tulle and cellophane. I basically just folded a piece of 8 1/2″ x 11″  paper into fourths and sketched out a spiky design, and then cut it out. This can look however you like, but the above photo is how mine looked.

I bought a pack of multicolored cellophane sheets from Amazon, but I only needed the two sheets of red cellophane for this project. Lay the red cellophane over a piece of white paper (it makes seeing what you’re doing a lot easier) and then lay the template over that. Use a black Sharpie to trace the template (it doesn’t need to be super accurate). Cut out the template and make sure to trim off any of the black lines from your tracing. Repeat the process for the second cellophane sheet.

Next step is to cut out tulle from your template. The tulle I used was glittery, but you can use regular tulle. I folded my tulle in half and used dressmaker pins to pin the template to the tulle, and then cut it out. Again, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Repeat the process again, and when you’re finished you should have four tulle “bursts.”

Add a small dot of hot glue to the center of one cellophane burst and then lay one tulle burst over the dot of glue, but slightly askew. Your goal is to sort of “stagger” the tulle and cellophane so that the spikes are not perfectly lined up. Once the glue sets, flip over the cellophane and tulle. Add another dot of hot glue and lay the other tulle burst over the dot of glue (again, slightly askew). Once the glue sets, you should have a cellophane burst sandwiched between two tulle bursts. Repeat this process for the other set.

For this part, you’ll need some sort of shallow, clear, plastic container that’s just a little bigger than the LED tea light. The ones I used were plastic “casings” from some tea candles I bought from Target (like these). I took out the candles, and then washed the plastic casings with soap and water to remove any wax residue.

On the bottom of the casing, add a dime-sized dab of hot glue in the center, then place the casing onto the center of the tulle and cellophane burst. You’ll basically be covering up the dab of hot glue from the previous step. Allow the glue to set.

Add a strip of hot glue around the base of the casing and then bunch the cellophane and tulle around it until the glue sets. This will adhere one layer of tulle and the layer of cellophane to the casing.

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Add a couple dots of hot glue on the cellophane layer and press down the outer tulle layer and hold it in place until the glue sets. Rotate, and repeat the process until the outer tulle layer is tacked down to the cellophane layer.

The next step is to add red gathered lace trim along the bottom edge of the casing. The pattern of the lace is not important – but make sure it’s gathered lace and not flat lace. Add a line of hot glue along the bottom edge of the casing and gently lay the lace along the glue. Try not to press the lace down with your finger because the glue might seep through. Continue until the lace is glued all around the bottom edge (and overlap about 1/2″) before trimming. The purpose of the lace is to keep the tulle and cellophane upright, and it also hides any flaws in the gluing process from the previous steps. It also looks really cool, I think.

Ring blanks are basically rings that have a flat metal piece attached to the top where a stone or other object can be glued to create jewelry. For this, the shape of the metal piece isn’t important, so use whatever kind of ring blanks you want. I used these.

Add a glob of hot glue to the flat metal piece and press it into the center of the underside of your casing. Hold it in place until the glue sets.

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Unscrew the top off of the LED tea light and remove the two batteries. Because you’ll be attaching the bottom piece to your casing with hot glue, it’s a good idea to remove the batteries beforehand so there’s no chance of the batteries exploding. (Safety first!)

Add hot glue to the underside of the bottom piece of the LED tea light and press it into the inside center of the casing. Allow the glue to set, and repeat for the second casing. Once the glue is set and cooled, the batteries can be inserted and the top can be screwed back on.

You now have hex powers! Having the LED tea light inside a casing allows you to turn the lights on and off, and also replace the batteries when necessary. Because the hex powers are on rings, you can wear them and move your hands however you like (go crazy and wave your hands around!) and it looks super cool.

General Hux – Reusable Sideburns (Tutorial)

 

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I’ll be taking submission photos for the 501st Legion of my General Hux costume once my commissioned costume is complete, and one of the requirements of the CRL is sideburns. Being female, I can’t quite grow my own, so I decided to make some.

I found tutorials for creating sideburns using crepe hair and spirit gum, but those could only be used once. I wanted something I could reuse when I want to wear the sideburns again. This tutorial explains how to use liquid latex and crepe hair to create sideburns (or whatever sort of furry thing) you can use again and again.

This is a pretty photo-heavy tutorial, so click “Continue Reading” to view it in all its glory.

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