Attaching Straps for Armor

The awesome Black & Nobo Cosplay shared with us this handy tutorial on how to add straps to your armor for a snug, secure fit. You can find them on Deviantart to see their great work!

Attaching Straps

I really wanted to create this tutorial because after I made the Worbla armor for my Dante’s Inferno Cosplay I had a really hard time figuring out how to attach the straps and I couldn’t find any information out there to help me.

In the end I figured it out and I hope I can save people the trouble that I went through :D

Required Materials

  • wire
  • pliers
  • Worbla
  • heat gun
  • utility knife
  • vinyl faux leather or other fabric for strapping
  • sewing machine
  • belt buckle
  • eyelet gun or tool
  • eyelets

Step 1

Think about how wide you would like your straps to be

Take your pliers and bend a length of wire into a thin rectangular shape. Your straps will be passing through this wire loop, so make sure the inside height is slightly larger than the width of your straps.

Don’t have any wire around the house? I cut up a coat hanger to make my wire loops.

( note: you can also use the D or rectangular rings from the notion section of your local fabric store.)

Step 2

Place your wire loop where you would like to attach your strap

Cut two identical squares of Worbla, making them slightly smaller than the width of your straps. With your heat gun, heat them up and sandwich them together. ( note: Worbla’s Mesh Art is especially good for this and can be done with one layer!)

Now place your improved Worbla square over the inside edge of the wire loop. It is best to use your Worbla to cover the seam in your wire loop. Continue to apply heat to the Worbla square and the surrounding area.

On either side, repeatedly sink your utility knife down through your Worbla square and into your armor. This will ensure that the Worbla square won’t pop off. ( note: you can also apply heavy pressure and ‘blend’ the Worbla square into the armor if using the utility knife is not an option.)

Step 3

It’s time to start making the straps. For my straps I used a vinyl fake leather that’s made for upholstery, but you can use whatever fabric you wish.

Cut a generous length of fabric that is the desired width of your straps, with an additional ½ added to either side (of width). Fold over the half inch margin on one side and hem the edge. Do this for both sides.

Take the end of your newly created strap and pass it through your wire loop attached to your armor and fold it over itself. Make sure the presentable side of your strap is facing outwards. Now, sew back and forth several times along the dotted line as you see in the picture.

Step 4

Note: this isn’t necessary for your straps to function, but after several days of wearing my armor I found it sliding off and wished I had added an elastic that would make for a nice snug fit.

Cut a length of elastic, then make it bite into your strap, so that it makes an arch like you see in the picture and pin it in place. Give it a test: when you pull on your strap, the arch should flatten while the elastic creates tension that will keep your strap nice and tight

Experiment with the right ratio between the length of your bite and the length of your elastic before you go ahead and stitch along the dotted lines, keep in mind the straps you will be creating are adjustable so you don’t have to be too exact in this step.

Step 5

Note: in this step we are working with your strap with the presentable side facing up

Take some measurements and determine the length of your strap and make a mark but do not cut. Feed the end of your strap through your belt buckle and fold it under as you see in the picture. The mark you made should be at the apex of the fold (the white line in the picture).

Sew back and forth several times along the dotted line, and trim excess.

Step 6

Repeat steps 1 through 5 for the direct opposite side of your armor. After all, what good is one strap?

Before you cut the fabric for your strap, make sure to add a ½” margin on the top, so you can hem the top edge.

Once you’ve created and attached your second strap, feed it through your belt buckle and see how it fits and make some marks where you think you need to create some holes for the buckle.

With an eyelet gun (or tool) punch holes in the desired places and then press your eyelets into place. You can add as many as you need.

There you have it!

I couldn’t find silver eyelets, so I spray painted them before I punched them into place

You can adjust your belt so that it pulls the elastic taught and so that the bite in your strap falls flat

Some belt buckles allow you to pass the loose end through a slot in the buckle itself, others have a built in belt loop. If your belt buckle doesn’t have either of these, then you can create a belt loop for yourself out of Worbla!

Image of finished costume and armor with strapping method
Photo by TheBigTog

Thanks again to Black & Nobo Cosplay for sharing this with us! We broke this post down from their original giant DeviantArt Image (to make it more accessible to those using screen readers or translation services). You can see their original post here!