Vanille Cosplay: The Belt

One part of Vanille’s costume I was always baffled by was her belt.  I had no idea what kind of material it was made of or what would look right.  Some people used foam, but it didn’t seem like it would give the right effect I was looking for.  I thought long and hard and finally came to a conclusion.  Rope.  I looked online, and lo and behold, they did sell tan colored rope of multiple thicknesses, and they looked surprisingly similar in material to Vanille’s belt.  Perhaps I had found the correct material, after all.  I bought myself a roll of it and got to work (after it arrived in the mail, of course).

The belt is actually a pretty interesting part of her costume as it uses many different materials.  The main part of the belt was made by hot gluing three straight pieces of rope side by side, followed by one piece that wrapped around the entire thing.  The process took many hours, but upon completion, I actually had something that looked really cool.  Plus, the belt was flexible, something I initially had my doubts about.  It would not bend from side to side, but it would bend into a loop, which was clearly what I needed out of an article of clothing.

Next, I worked on the details.  I hot glued pieces of foam painted silver onto the belt.  Three were square, while another piece had a more unique shape, with a thin border on top for added depth.  I then added flat thumbtacks to each of the four corners of every square piece of foam for the illusion of screws.  This was pretty successful, and just having a little bit of real metal on the belt made my foam look that much more realistic.  I also added thin strips of leather, two for each location for added thickness, for those brown lines on her belt.  Lastly, a blue resin gem was added, though it suffered the same issues as the gem I talked about in the post about her beads.  In summary, I was not able to get all of the clay off that I had used for the mold, and it didn’t look very blue until I added a piece of blue material left over from my Rosalina cosplay behind it.  Dirty as the gem may be, at least you can say it looks more natural this way….

A close up to show the leather and the thumbtack-adorned foam. You can hardly tell that square isn't really made of metal.
A close up to show the leather and the thumbtack-adorned foam. You can hardly tell that square isn’t really made of metal.
Here's my cruddy gem. The brown clay left over on it makes it look like I retrieved this straight from a mine. And failed to wash it.
Here’s my cruddy gem. The brown clay left over on it makes it look like I retrieved this straight from a mine. And failed to wash it.

At this point, the belt looked really good, and it had a lot of texture thanks to the various materials used in its construction.  To ensure it wouldn’t feel scratchy, I also hot glued the suede used for my bag on the back to make it nice and soft.  Lastly, I had to find a way to secure it when I wore it.  This was easily solved by placing sticky Velcro in a few select places.  I super glued two strips that didn’t bond as well, and there you have it, a working belt.  I originally worried the Velcro wouldn’t be strong enough to hold together something of this weight, but all is well.  It’s great when things go as planned, no?

The completed belt. It looks good from afar. You can see less mistakes that way.
The completed belt. It looks good from afar. You can see less mistakes that way.  By the way, no one’s wearing the boots in the upper left corner….

Should I Add a Belt Buckle in the Shape of a Duck…That Would Be Weird, Wouldn’t It?

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