Need material for leather boot covers, straps, and holster

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#1 Cameron1138 on 5 years ago

I need to make leather boot covers and several leather straps/belts for cosplaying Levi from Attack on Titan and a leather holster for Mal Reynolds, Jack Harkness, and Vash the Stampede. Can anyone recommend any specific materials?

The boot covers and straps would preferably be made of the same material, and if I could use that for the holster too, that would be fantastic but not necessary. I don't need the boot/strap material to be terribly sturdy (I can use interfacing to make the boot covers stand up better, and none of the straps will be supporting any weight other than that of themselves), but the holster needs to be stiff and strong enough to hold a prop gun made primarily of metal. I would prefer a type of faux leather that doesn't have an ugly white mesh backing for the holster.

#2 Penlowe on 5 years ago

Holsters are a lot harder to replicate in non-leather materials because real holsters are commonly wet formed saddle leather, i.e. it's thick and rigid. It might be easier to do the holster out of cardboard or craft foam and give it a really good paint job.

#3 Kelley on 5 years ago

What do they need to look like ?

If you don't have moral objections to real leather I find that it costs about the same as faux leather.

#4 Cameron1138 on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Penlowe;4721497]Holsters are a lot harder to replicate in non-leather materials because real holsters are commonly wet formed saddle leather, i.e. it's thick and rigid. It might be easier to do the holster out of cardboard or craft foam and give it a really good paint job.[/QUOTE]

I could do that, except that I'm not really good at painting...

[QUOTE=Kelley;4721499]What do they need to look like ?

If you don't have moral objections to real leather I find that it costs about the same as faux leather.[/QUOTE]

This is what the straps and boots look like:

[IMG]http://www.ezcosplay.com/media/catalog/product/cache/5/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/t/attack_on_titan_eren_survey_corps_uniform_cosplay_costume_-_versiona.jpg[/IMG]

As for the holster, I want to make it with a removable cover (attaching it with snaps) so that it can look like Mal's:

[IMG]http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/219/e/d/captain_malcolm_reynolds_by_verucasalt82-d45qqfr.png[/IMG] (it's just a basic 1800s Western style holster)

or Jack's:

[IMG]http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/397947275_b51fa70a11.jpg[/IMG]

I don't know what Vash's looks like since it's always under his coat, but it won't be visible so it doesn't really matter.

The main reason I'm not just buying holsters is that Mal's and Vash's guns are both rather large and I won't be able to guarantee that they'll fit in some cheap holster I get online.

I'm not opposed to using real leather. How much does it tend to cost? Any places you recommend I get it from?

#5 Penlowe on 5 years ago

You MIGHT be able to buy one for what it will cost you in materials and learning time, depending on what you really want. You could look for a saddle holster that you would then modify to wear. Ranchers frequently carry very large pistols when out and about to fend off coyotes, snakes and so forth, these pistols are too big and uncomfortable to wear, so the holster straps on to the saddle, like so: [url]http://www.oldtradingpost.com/old-west-store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_604&products_id=6398&zenid=d934df571df2d8866d7ba21ff5689003[/url] (that looks about an average price too).

#6 Kelley on 5 years ago

Depending on the quality you'll be happy with, I agree that buying the holster outright might be a better deal in terms of price and quality.

There are faux leathers without the white backing - but even if you used that you could still line it - with something like black faux suede, even. Since nobody can really see in the boots/straps that shouldn't be an issue - you can either make the belts basically a tube or just fold edges under. Since top-stitching on leather is common and a good look, I'd probably just cut a piece twice as wide as the belt and fold it so that the edges butt up against each other on the back side and top-stitch down the sides so it stays like that. If the faux leather doesn't have enough body, you can sandwich something else in there, even craft foam (probably a good idea on the tops of the boot covers so they don't fall down under their own weight).

#7 mcdkat on 5 years ago

[QUOTE=Kelley;4723658]Since top-stitching on leather is common and a good look, I'd probably just cut a piece twice as wide as the belt and fold it so that the edges butt up against each other on the back side and top-stitch down the sides so it stays like that. If the faux leather doesn't have enough body, you can sandwich something else in there, even craft foam (probably a good idea on the tops of the boot covers so they don't fall down under their own weight).[/QUOTE]

I agree, however I would use a good fusable interfacing rather than craft foam if you are looking for it to hold up for a while. Craft foam does break down and become brittle in a very short time. If you are going to do the work you might as well make it to last right?

(I only know about the craft foam breaking down due to the fact that I have kids and their 'foamy" projects do not last a terribly long time. :) )

Good Luck! Let us know how it goes!

#8 Kelley on 5 years ago

I lined my Clockwork Orange codpiece thing with craft foam and it's doing okay after almost three years (I wore it the past two Halloweens).

Other people use it to make sets of armour, including people with work of quality and time investment of a high level - I'm sure if degradation was an issue they would change material.

Not trying to be argumentative, it just seems I have only ever seen evidence to the contrary that craft foam changes state significantly over time. Perhaps there are certain conditions that could cause it to do so, but it seems that costumes made from it are doing quite well years in the future.

#9 mcdkat on 5 years ago

Well do what you will... you have all of our suggestions. I stand by mine

Looking forward to seeing the end result!
:)

#10 Penlowe on 5 years ago

I put the wrong glue on some craft foam once and it got hard and brittle very quickly. craft foam assembled with Elmer's is still holding up.

#11 mcdkat on 5 years ago

Well there you go! that may be the issue right there.