Monday, October 24, 2016

Luke Skywalker Costume Belt from Scraps & Metal Chain

Need a belt on the cheap? If you keep left over parts, you have everything you need.
Needed:
  • Leather scraps
  • Square piece of steel for belt buckle
  • Metal chain links a vice and a hammer
  • Epoxy to connect chain links to steel
  • Hot glue to glue the leather to itself
  • Plastic and a heat gun to form a light saber holder
  • Leather hole punch for the rivets and snaps
  • Rivets to connect the plastic to the belt
  • Snaps
  • Black spray paint and a scuff pad to finish the buckle
I keep leftovers for situations just like this. I have leather from a bag of scraps I purchased a while ago from a hobby store. I had just enough for a belt. I cut the leather with a hobby knife on a cutting mat. Typically a bag of leather will have enough pieces to make 2 or 3 belts. Look at the bag before you purchase and try to see what's inside.

To make the metal loops for the belt, I used metal chain link. You will need a vice, adjustable wrench, and a hammer to straight and reshape the chain. I created two loops for each end of the belt and a hook.
I started with simple metal chain links.
A vice and hammer helped shape them.
The curve you're straightening or adding needs to be placed close to the vice. Go slow. If you begin to bend the chain with a wrench or hammer and the curve isn't in the right place, straighten it out, adjust the position, and start again. I would use the wrench to start curves or for big curves, the hammer for tight curves, all of this while in the vice.

The belt buckle is a scrap piece of metal. You may already have a buckle lying around. I created a "C" shape to catch each end of the belt. One of the "C" shapes was epoxied to the buckle. On the other end I made a hook to catch the other "C" shape so the belt could be removable.
Hook and loop attached to the buckle with epoxy.
I epoxied the chain links to the metal and now I've got a belt. To make the "C" shape remain vertical, I hot glued it before the epoxy.
I made the pouches out of card stock then hot glued scrap leather on top of them.They are hot glued to the belt.
I rounded the corners of the buckle with an air saw and grinder before paint.
Salt, black paint, and sandpaper created the finish.
  
I cleaned and scuffed the buckle before paint. I sprinkled salt on the front before paint. This helps give it a gritty, chipped look after sanding. I used sand paper to knock the salt off and wear the edges. You can see that I began sanding vertically on the left side of the buckle. It would have looked better to keep the sanding horizontal.

The snaps were attached to the belt to mimic Luke Skywalker's belt. A leather hole punch created the holes for the snaps.
Snaps were added to mimic Skywalker's belt.
The snaps serve no purpose. They are just aesthetic.
The plastic light saber holder was formed with a heat gun and then riveted to the belt.
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