How To Make Arm Cuffs For Cosplay

How To Make Arm Cuffs For Cosplay

Arm cuffs are an essential part of the entire cosplay look. This adds more detail to the character you are portraying and more intricacy to your costume design. Here’s a DIY tutorial on how to make those great fantasy accessories to complete your cosplay design.

Making Arm Cuffs Using Excess Fabric

For most DIY enthusiasts, keeping excess fabric at home always come in handy. This is true especially when you need to make smaller pieces of accessories. If you want an arm cuff pattern piece of design, you can easily search online for designs and variations. This will give your entire cosplay costume a boost by wearing these elegant yet dangerous-looking pieces. In the next section, let me show you how to make a dragon scale arm cuff. This tutorial is pretty easy to follow and a great DIY project even for beginners.

Making A Dragon Scale Arm Cuff

So you’ve decided to show up as a dragon warrior. What other interesting accessories can you add to make your dragon outfit stand out? That’s right, you need some dragon scale arm cuffs to give it a boost. You can use a gold color metallic placement made from vinyl to craft this piece. You can also add some accent using some extra fabric. Vinyl is relatively cheap and is easy to cut. You will need a pair of scissors to cut curved lines. You can even use a sewing machine to join the mats together.

You will need a 12″x18″ mat to make your dragon arm cuff. You can also use more mats to make the scales thicker when attached to the bottom edge. Four placements should be enough but you can put as many as you want. There are also ready-made placemats that you can buy from online shops. You can use these as scales for your arm cuff. Then, you can start measuring your wrist by curving the mats you’ve cut out. This will allow you to adjust should it be too tight or too loose.

Once you’ve already fashioned the edges, your final step would be lacing the scales to form two layers. Any cord will do or you can use those extra fabrics you have. Cut it into strips that are long enough to join the mats together starting from the tip line going down. You can also use a thicker thread to get the pieces together. There you have it! Your very first dragon scale arm cuffs!

Curved Line Patterns For Arm Warmers

In this section, we’re going to learn how to make arm warmers. We’ll be making use of fabric and then we measure from the elbow up to the wrist. We also need to go along the curved lines of the palm up to the wrist as we measure. This will serve as a grip or a lock as well as a marker that will indicate where to cut excess fabric later on. Don’t forget to measure the circumference of your upper arm as well.

If you’re done measuring, it’s now time to draft the design onto the fabric. Start by folding the fabric in half and have the inner side facing out. Then, follow the measurements that you’ve taken earlier and start drawing your pattern. Leave half an inch at the top edge of your pattern to give enough space to cut. Make sure you don’t go over the lines so that there are also extra seams left when you sew.

Now let’s do some sewing. Have the edge folded about half an inch inwards and then sew it down. You can either manually do the sewing or use a sewing machine. Should you choose to use a machine, be careful not to overstep the presser foot as you might go over the lines. For beginners, you can watch a tutorial video on how to gently control the presser foot of your machine.

Let’s get back to sewing. It’s time to sew along the dash top line. Flip the cloth inside out and the shape of your arm warmer will show. Turn it over and sew along the lines on the other side. You can insert your elastic band and have it sewn again to close the gap between the two layers. You now have a pair of DIY arm warmers to add to your overall costume.

Making Other Arm Cuffs Using A Sewing Machine

Although it isn’t mandatory to use a machine when sewing, it is a great deal of convenience to use one. You can always go back to the classic method of hand sewing but it does save a lot of time. It can be a challenging job but it will require a small amount of time compared to manually stitching it.

Gauntlets And Arm Guards

Gauntlets And Arm Guards

Another way to accessorize your cosplay attire is to add gauntlets or arm guards. You can start making this project by carefully measuring your arm. You will need some cloth tape measures, paper, and glue for construction. However, if you are using craft foam, take into consideration its thickness which may not stick when joined using regular adhesives.

Start off by cutting a long-sized foam strip. The thickness should be according to how the final project would be. After cutting, get the foam wrapped around your arm and have it marked on its end. Then, take the foam out and lay it flat on the table. Then measure its width horizontally. You can take at least 2 measurements including the forearm and the wrist. Have enough space especially when you’ll be wearing thicker costumes under the gauntlets.

It’s always wise to have a template before transferring the picture onto the foam. This will save you time from having to repeat in case you decide to change or alter your design. Once you’re already set, you can have your template printed. Then, you can start tracing and cutting using a regular pair of scissors.

Craft foam isn’t as hard to cut so you won’t struggle on this one. You can draw most pieces separately and then glue them after. After drying your project complete, slip them on and check if it fits your arms perfectly or you need to alter them at some point. You can either use the slip-on technique which allows you to wear the arm piece right away or you can add some velcro straps to hold it in place.

Faux Arm Cuffs And Collar Tutorial

Faux Arm Cuffs And Collar Tutorial

In this section, we will talk about making a set of faux arm cuffs and collars. This tutorial will focus on making French cuffs paired with a detached collar. You can use it for a Playboy Bunny cosplay look or a multi-purpose fashion accessory.  

The collars we’re making come with neck buttons that are functional to wear. That means you can unbutton and button it up although some prefer to use velcro straps placed on the edges. Meanwhile, other collar variations include having buttons sewn on the right side or the outside. This will make it appear like a cufflink imitation. This will also make it easier to take out during a con should you wish to have other accessories. Use what you have in your craft stash instead of spending extra cash to buy cufflinks. Below are the materials needed to make the French cuffs and collar set.

Materials Needed To Make French Cuffs With Collar Set

You will need a half-yard satin. There are various satin colors available but we recommend using white to keep that Playboy Bunny look. You will also need a small amount of fusible although you are free to choose your pick. Don’t forget your flat buttons for the collar. You can use any color or a shank button. You can even add a bowtie to complete the look. You will also need a doll-sized sew-on snap so you can easily wear it on your neck. Don’t forget your pattern paper, marking tools, ruler, and scissors. Lastly, you will need iron for those well-pressed garment settings.

Making The French Cuffs And Collar Set

To make the collar, you will have to make a simple pattern. You need to be keen in measuring as this will be difficult to redo if you mess up. For the collar stand, get a soft tape worn around your neck. Loosen it a bit according to what is comfortable for you. Then, add about one and 1/2″ allowance for the overlapping part. This is also where you will attach the button later. After that, divide it in half.

To create a full-length collar, fold your paper in 1/2 carefully. After that, you need to mark it with a line from where you’ve folded it into the half part up to the bottom edge of your pattern. Along this fold, you will need to mark a 1.25-inch square line, too. This will serve as the collar stand. After you’re done with folding and cutting, simply join the pieces. Leave some seam allowance then you can use the classic needle method to join all pieces together. After that, you can iron the fabric to make sure all wrinkles are gone.

FAQ On How To Make Cosplay Arm Cuffs

FAQ On How To Make Cosplay Arm Cuffs

Are cosplay arm cuffs easy to make?

There are many amazing arm cuff ideas that you can choose from and yes these are easy to make. You can make one from fabric, cardboard, construction paper, and craft foam, to name a few of the usable materials. You can stitch layers together after you’ve finished cutting the entire thing up to the edge. You can even pin the edge of every layer so that it is easier to sew. Once you’re done, you can paint it according to which materials you’ve used. Be sure to wrap it neatly onto your wrist so that the shapes you create are even. Aside from easy arm cuffs, you can even make cuffs for the leg.

Can I Cut Cuffs To The Bottom Edge Or The Shorter Curve Line?

The answer to this is pretty simple. There’s really no difference to both as the bottom edge is also the shorter curve found on your material. You usually encounter this cutting confusion when making scaly cuffs such as that of a dragon. But don’t fret because both simply mean the same.

Are Cuff Costumes Only For The Arms?

Nope, not at all. Cuff accessories can also be worn on the legs. Do you remember those gladiator movies? If you are planning to dress like one or as a Roman soldier, then a metallic gold leg cuff will best work with your arm cuffs.

Is There Any Alternative To DIY Cuffs?

Yes, there is. In cosplay, you need to use your imagination and skills. This would also mean endless options and designs for all costumes. Thus, you can get painted, including your fingers, with cuffs. Stretch the paint sideways too so you get all your arms covered and use some nail polish for your nails. You can never go wrong with the designs as there are plenty to choose from that will match your outfit.

Arm cuff designs are all over the internet and you can definitely pick one that will match your outfit. You can line a shape, pin it and cut it carefully. Then, you can either sew or stitch it starting from the inner side and then turn it over to the right side. Be sure to use a thread that will match the cloth and your dress so it will look seamless. You can even punch holes to make it more realistic or extend your cuff until your elbows.

If you’re using a satin fabric, you can do gently iron pressing so it will look smooth not just on the flat center but all throughout. The iron’s heat will surely eliminate all wrinkled parts starting from the middle and all throughout your accessory. Enjoy cosplaying!

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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