If you’re thinking about cosplaying Barret Wallace, that big gatling-handed teddy bear from Final Fantasy VII, there are a few accessories you’ll really want to nail down. Check my previous tutorial for steps on making his gun-arm. This time we’ll be addressing his wrist cuff/gauntlet/bracelet-thing. I’ve had a great time with my Barret Wallace cosplay, so read on for some tips on how to truly become the man, piece-by-piece.
What You Will Need
1 sheet of Foamies 6mm thick craft foam (Found at JoAnn Fabrics.)
1 Foamies 36″x60″ 2mm foam roll (If you’re following my tutorials, you will probably already have this leftover from the gun-arm.)
14 rivet-like buttons
Scissors (fabric scissors, ideally)
Any metallic spray paint (like the Nickel shade at JoAnn Fabrics)
Any clear matte paint sealer
Step 1: Cutting Your Foam
The first thing you’ll want to do is cut out the base of the wrist cuff. This will be one layer of the 6mm craft foam.
With a tape measure, measure from your wrist to about mid-forearm. The wrist cuff for me is about 4 inches tall, but it may be shorter for you. At the top-point (mid-forearm), measure the circumference of your arm.
Now, take your sheet of craft foam (horizontally) and draw your measurements on it. From the top, draw a line down measuring your wrist height. From the side, draw a line across measuring your forearm circumference.
Once done, cut the segment of craft foam that you have lined. This will be the base of the wrist cuff.
Now take your hot glue gun and glue it into a ring, long-wise. It should be wide enough to slip over your hand, but tight enough to rest comfortably on your wrist without falling off.
Step 2: Cutting More Foam
Now you will cut the strips of foam to create the wrist cuff’s ridges. Good news, you won’t have to measure your own wrist anymore!
Decide which end of the wrist cuff will be the bottom (the end near your hand), and measure its circumference.
Now take your 2mm foam roll and measure about half-an-inch in from an edge, then mark it and trace this circumference measurement going vertically, so you have a half-inch strip of foam marked off. Now cut it out.
Wrap this around the bottom of the cuff, making sure its edges meet (trim if necessary). Aesthetically, I prefer the edges to meet along the same seam as the base layer, so that you have all the seams in one place and the piece looks cleaner. Hot glue it on, section at a time, until the entire band is glued on nice and tight.
Now, measure the circumference of the top (forearm-side) of the wrist cuff. Go back to your 2mm foam roll and measure about an inch and a half from the edge and again trace your circumference measurement vertically.
Cut this segment out and, again, glue it section by section around the top of the wrist cuff, meeting on the same seam as the base layer, so that it sits tightly. If there are any loose portions, just pump a little glue in and hold them down for a few seconds.
Now smear some glue over the seam (the place where all the foam edges meet) for extra insurance to hold it together. This will end up looking like welding, so don’t worry if it looks a little sloppy. Just smooth it out with the gun nozzle.
Your wrist cuff should be taking shape already. Feeling like joining an eco-terrorist group yet?
Step 3: Mod Podge!
Mod Podge is a water-based sealant that works perfectly for smoothing out craft foam so that it doesn’t absorb paint or other liquids. This is crucial if you want your wrist cuff to look like metal.
Choose where you’re going to apply your Mod Podge and lay some newspaper down. It may be water-based, but that doesn’t make it any more pleasant to spill.
Once ready, take your Mod Podge and begin brushing on a smooth coat, a few inches at a time. You’ll want to apply several layers, so be patient with this step. Since the cuff is circular and you don’t want drips, you’ll have to sit it on a side and coat one section at a time. Brush some on, wait for it to dry, move on to another section and repeat. Do this until you have a smooth, non-tacky surface all around the wrist cuff.
Step 4: Press Those Buttons
The next thing will be to apply the wrist cuff’s rivet-like buttons. The wrist cuff has two rows of these buttons all around its midsection. Beginning from the seam, place one column of two buttons each on each side of the seam. Glue them to the foam, holding them in place for a few seconds to make sure they stick.
Now, place a column of two buttons every inch or so. You should be able to fit about 7 columns of buttons all the way around.
Step 5: Paint It
Prepare your painting space, and, sitting the cuff on an end, spray a smooth coat of your metallic paint all around the wrist cuff. Don’t apply too much. You want to avoid drips and streaks as much as possible.
Let it dry, then apply another coat all around the cuff. Keep it smooth and even.
Let that coat dry.
You may additionally add some black paint for weathering purposes, to make the piece look battle-worn. Just dab a little black paint into a niche of the wrist cuff, then take a dry paper towel and smear it in around, streaking it and smudging it into corners. This is not necessary, but it will give the wrist cuff an added sense of realism. (see photos for pre and post-weathering comparisons)
After this, apply your clear sealant. This keeps the paint from sticking or smudging.
And that’s it! With that step, you should now have a finished wrist-cuff that you cannot wait to wear. Heck, this piece looks so good why wait for the whole costume? You can wear it now! You won’t be the first person to incorporate cosplay accessories into their wardrobe.