Gauntlet Tutorial from Patterning to Assembly!

We asked Piratica (Captain Pira on Instagram) to create a tutorial for us using Black Worbla and she shared this great writeup on making a gauntlet, using Flemmeth from Dragon Age as an example!

You will need:
Cheap gloves with minimal stretch (these will be ruined, don’t use the gloves for your costume)
A marker
Sharp Scissors (not your fabric scissors!)
Worbla (approx 11×17 or 6×20, twice your paper pattern)
Heat Gun
Heat Protection Gloves
Glue of choice (hot glue, E6000 or crazy glue)

1. Gather your references. Front, back, sides. Trying to understand how it works before you start always makes things go smoother.

2. Put on your glove. If you’re only making one (like McCree or Asami’s glove) put on the wrong glove inside out. You’ll be ruining this glove so don’t use the one you’ll want in your finished piece.

3. Using your marker, draw circles around your knuckles and lines where your fingers bend onto your glove. Whatever design you’re making, you’ll want to be able to bend your fingers. Remember your thumbs.

4. Start to draw your design. This glove has pointed fingers and knuckles, so I continued segments into points over the knuckles. Also draw on any panels for the back of your hand, or indications where rivets or crests might go. Drawing a line around where your wrist bends can also help you build a more wearable glove.

5. When your glove has all the details you want in your gauntlet, take it off and cut out your finger segments. I recommend cutting across around the knuckles, and then snipping them open on the palm-side to create a flat piece. Trace this piece out onto paper.

If your design has overlap, like the knuckle spikes here, it’s usually easiest to cut it at the knuckle, then when you draw your piece on paper, to continue the circle you marked your knuckles with. This allows me to make sure the knuckle is covered at the hidden end, and shows me how big to draw my spikes on the pointed end.

For finger tips, if you want finger shaped ones (like Iron Man) use the glove tips, but cut more darts to get your flat pattern. Spiky fingers are done by adding to the flattened design. I added an extra cm at the tip, and tapered to it. If you want your fingertips to curve in like claws, you’ll want a Star Trek logo shape (as I switched to after this step), but if you want them to curve straight on the top, you’ll want to make a shield shape (as above).

6. Continue to cut pieces out from your glove and trace them onto paper until you have all your pieces. Label as you go! Finger pieces tend to look similar but fit very differently. A naming system like Pinky 1, Pinky 2, Pinky 3, Ring 1, etc can save you a lot of headache later.

7. TEST YOUR PATTERN. Cut out all your paper finger joints and try them on, over a new, whole glove. If your original glove stretched to fit your hand, you’ll probably need a few extra mm at each end to compensate, plus the added bulk of the glove itself.

The easiest way to test and expand a pattern is to put masking tape on one end, put the piece in place on your gloved hand, then connect the other end with the tape, where it closes comfortably. Then slide the segment off your finger, and snip apart the masking tape to have your new fitted size.

8. When you’re happy with the fit of your pattern, trace your paper pattern onto the matte side of your Worbla with pencil. Label these too! Finger joints are small, so instead of covering a layer of foam, use two layers of Worbla. Try to Tetris your pieces to save material, and have enough space to either fold your Worbla over or cut out another piece the same size.

9. Heat your sheet! Before cutting out every piece, cut out the whole area you’ve drawn pieces on, and a second piece the same size (if your shape isn’t a rectangle, make sure to cut the 2nd shape mirrored). Put on you heat gloves and use your heat gun to warm both pieces until they are approaching the activation temperature. Press them together with the shiny sides in. Place this on a flat surface and continue to heat it until it reaches the activation point. Press gently and make sure your pieces are joined evenly.

10. Allow to cool enough your pieces won’t warp, then cut out all your pattern pieces.

Keep your scraps for making rivets, details or other projects.

11. Now the fun part. Grab a finger joint and heat it up. Wrap it around a heat glove covered finger until it is cool enough to touch.

Then put on your costume glove, and wrap the piece around the appropriate joint, connecting the sides around your finger and smooshing them flat and securely. In this design I wanted a ridge leading to the points, you can add that by pinching along a line. Also curving the opposite end around your knuckle will help it tuck underneath the next segment.

Rows 2 and 3 should be made this way.

12. Fingertips are a bit different, but mostly consist of pinching the heated Worbla from the ends to the tip, then bending the amount of curve you want. Try your pieces on together as you go, and don’t be afraid to reheat parts to adjust the fit.

13. Hand panels are even easier. Just heat them then shape them on your hand where you need them. Do any pieces that connect in order, so they’ll still be warm when you join them. This design has an open palm, so all the hand pieces can be connected without hindering movement.

14. If you have any details, like the knuckle mounds here, add them now. For these knuckles, little balls of scrap Worbla were rolled and stuffed underneath the diamond shapes to give them dimension, then the diamonds were pinched to create ridges.

15. Try on all your pieces at once! You should be able to wear most of these like rings, and fit the tips on far enough to test the motion. Spread your fingers, make a fist. Make sure you’ll be able to do whatever cool pose you’ll want to make at con. If you’re satisfied with the fit, it’s time to prime. When you’re done painting and want to finish your gauntlet, put on your glove and put a drop of glue on your glove’s finger segment, slide on your Worbla, and press it down. Repeat for each piece.

Crafting a Worbla Gauntlet (armored glove)

Tutorial by Cowbuttcrunchies Cosplay.
I love my worbla gauntlet! It looks cool as heck, is pretty dexterous, and can be easily made with just a few materials. To get started crafting your own, you’ll want to pick up the following supplies:

  • Black worbla
  • Mesh worbla
  • A black satin glove, mid-arm length or longer
  • Heat gun
  • Scissors
  • Posterboard
  • A silicone mat
  • Heat proof gloves
  • Flexblond

“Wait, why are there two different types of worbla included here? Can’t I just use one type? Does it matter which one I use?”

Each type of worbla has its strengths. Worbla’s finest (brown worbla) is an all-around hefty material, black worbla is smooth and requires very little finishing, while mesh worbla is strong and incredibly sticky, even against other materials. Combining black worbla for its finishing and mesh worbla for its stick means that we get the best of both worlds. While you might be able to get away with using only brown worbla, I do not recommend using only black as it will not stick to your satin glove without additional adhesive.

To begin, let’s pattern! Your gauntlet will require fifteen pieces total: three pieces each for each finger, two for the thumb, and one large piece to cover the back of the hand. If mimicking my design, each of those finger pieces will be flat above your joints and extend slightly backward to a point, which is a great way to slightly cover the next piece and disguise any edges.


You can use the above graphic as a starting point, but everyone’s hands are different, so be sure to cut several pieces out of posterboard and experiment with how they look and fit over the satin glove. When testing, your pattern piece should overlap slightly and should not be super tight around your finger, as your worbla will be a bit thicker than posterboard.
Once your pattern pieces are cut and fitted, transfer the entire pattern to your black worbla.

Next cut out fourteen rectangular strips of mesh worbla that are a little wider than the length of each finger piece. This rectangular strip is what will be attached to your glove , which is why we will be cutting it out of sticky mesh worbla instead of black. Each ring will eventually be attached to the glove on one side and the black worbla on the other, overlapping a little bit to form a ring on each of your fingers.
Take your heatgun and warm your first finger piece until you can bend it into shape. This should be the lowest fingerpiece that rests just above your knuckles. While wearing your glove, fit the piece around your finger and allow it to cool. Once cooled, remove it and set it aside. Eventually you will end up with the following formed black worbla pieces and mesh strips:
Put on your glove and slide on your finger pieces on to test the fit. They should sit snuggly but with a little room to spare – remember that you’ll be adding mesh worbla strips so you do not want the black worbla to be too tight already. Make any tweaks to the point size and fit before moving on to the next step.
Heat your mesh worbla strip to a high temperature but do not burn the worbla – you want to make sure that you have applied enough heat, otherwise it may not stick as well to your fabric. I highly suggest wearing your heat proof glove on your free hand when handling worbla this hot. Simultaneously apply your heatgun to the short, flat edge of your black worbla piece. Heat the flat edge to a mild to moderate temperature but do not heat it so much that the entire piece begins to lose its shape – we just want enough heat on the bottom so that it will bond to the mesh worbla, but not so much that we lose the shaping work we already put into it. Take your strip and wrap it completely around your finger, just above the knuckle on the satin glove, pressing firmly to the fabric. Very quickly slide your black worbla piece over your finger and press it into the still-hot mesh worbla. Hold in place until everything has completely cooled. If you see a little bit of mesh worbla poking out, don’t worry! That distinction will go away once you’ve primed and painted.
Repeat these steps for the second and third joint as you move down your finger, this time attaching the mesh worbla strip just above your second joints. Repeat again until all of your fingers are covered.

Finally, heat up a small piece of black and mesh worbla and fuse them together, placing the black worbla over the mesh grid pattern. Trace your hand back posterboard pattern onto this double-thick piece and cut it out. Generously heat it and then press the mesh worbla side onto the back of your gloved hand.
At this point you may also create a bracer to compliment your gauntlet! If a bracer is included in your design, tuck the edges of your satin glove up past the bracer opening, so that everything appears to be one piece.

The beauty of black worbla is that not a lot of priming is required for a smooth texture, which is nice because priming and painting a gauntlet is a tricky process. I found that it was easiest for me to put the gauntlet on and then brush on flexbond with my free hand. Two coats primed everything quite nicely. Allow to dry and then finish up with your favorite paint!

*Photography by パラパラ Productions

Fire Emblem Gauntlets and Vambraces

Kat of the Dangerous Ladies (Storenvy, dA, Tumblr) gave this writeup of making the vambraces (forearms) and gauntlets (gloves) for their group’s Fire Emblem Cosplay group.


1: Used cling wrap and tape method to mock up the gauntlet sections/details.

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2-4: Cut apart tape gauntlet and transferred the pattern onto paper. Patterned the flared wrist extension piece by cutting a semi-circle into straight strips and taping them back together, essentially making a paper fan. The edges were cut into a webbed shape. This method of cutting and reattaching the strips was also used in the foam version of the gauntlets; each had strips that needed to be glued into shape before the whole gauntlet base got Worbla’d.


5: I carved the knuckle pieces by hand from Eva foam with scissors and attached them to the foam gauntlet bases so they would show through the Worbla.

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6-8: Finger pieces. You’re looking at 15 pieces of Worbla and 15 pieces of foam per hand. They’re simple to assemble and shape, but time-consuming. Every piece had to be labelled individually and matched with its partner; I used a naming scheme of Finger-Section-Hand, e.g. “Ring 3R” for the third (lowest) section of the ring finger on the right hand.

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9-10: An assembled set of gauntlets and all six gauntlet bases, which are now in the sealing stage. The little yellow pyramids are painter’s pyramids from Lee Valley, which elevate drying objects so that glue/paint doesn’t pool on your working surface.


Vambraces (Forearms) / Notes on Sintra

Here I’ll be talking about my experiences using Sintra. Sintra is used by a number of costumers, particularly on the sci-fi end of things. From Laird Plastics, where I bought my sheets: “Sintra is a lightweight yet rigid board of moderately expanded closed-cell polyvinyl chloride (PVC) extruded in a homogenous sheet with a low gloss matte finish.”

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1, 2: Patterned using the cling wrap and tape method, transferred to cardstock.


3: Ran into some snags using Sintra for the first time. I had seen recommendations to “score” it with a blade and snapping out your pieces. This worked for some of the pieces I cut out, but for others, it caused the brittle material to shatter. This isn’t good when Sintra scraps have limited use! I switched to cutting all Sintra pieces with a band saw and sanding the edges with a belt sander.


4. Another snag was that Sintra doesn’t have any self-adhesive properties, as far as I could tell, and isn’t very malleable. Since the seams can’t just be pressed together like Worbla, assembling raised pieces would require more precise seams than I had time for when I was making these. I switched to making Cynthia and Cordelia’s vambrace “shields” out of Worbla. Sumia’s leafy designs lay flat on her vambraces, so I cut them out of Sintra. Attaching Worbla to Sintra requires no adhesives; if you heat both and attach one piece to the other, it will stay put! I used contact cement to attach Sintra to Sintra. I wanted to avoid hot glue, as it has a weak bond and could warp the Sintra.

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5-7: Our freshly formed vambrace bases. Sintra takes longer to heat up to the point where you can form it, and may not heat very evenly with a heat gun. However, when your only other option is to use an oven (specifically an oven that is only used for crafting and not for food!), you work with what you’ve got. Be careful when forming hot Sintra over your own/someone else’s limbs; you’ll want them to cover their arms with heat-resistant material. We used an apron draped over a forearm.


8-9: The current state of our vambraces. Sumia’s required no sealant, so they got as far as the base coat stage before our armour project went on break. Cynthia’s and Cordelia’s needed their Worbla pieces sealed, and are still in that stage of progress. Sumia’s will be finished in the next few weeks, as Emmy will be wearing Sumia at Otakon!


10: Very important reminder: when working with Sintra, wear a respirator and work in a well-ventilated area!


Thanks again to Kat of the Dangerous Ladies for sharing this with us! You can find their work here:Storenvy, dA, Tumblr.