Padme Gown - The making of the arm bands

Padme Gown - The making of the arm bands

I wasn't sure where to start with the armbands. I knew I wasn't going to be able to buy any that would work, and I couldn't make them out of polymer clay. I ordered heavy aluminum, and decided to try making them from scratch.

Rolled heavy weight aluminum

I cut the aluminum into strips just shy of an inch wide; then bent to the long sides in, so the seam would be on the inside, and the bracelet would be 1/2" tall.  After the first one, I realized the aluminum alone didn't have enough structural integrity to be used as a bracelet, so I inserted lengths of 16g milliner wire underneath the turned up sides. To make sure the sides were turned up evenly and straight, I used my quilting cutting board and ruler.

In this picture, both sides have been turned over the wire and folded down, and you can just see the edges of the wires peeking out on the short side.

The front side of the armband after being prepped:

Next, the tooling of the design into the band. I made a drawing, replicating the original design as best I could. I used a double pointed knitting needle like a pen to tool the design on the inside of the armband, then went over the entire design on the front side of the band to give it the right depth.

To make them less shiny, and to age them a bit, I painted them with black fabric paint (hey, it  was all I had on hand!) and brushed it off with a damp paper towel.  In this picture, the top armbands are aged, the bottom one is not.

To join them (and hopefully to help keep them even while wearing them), I used lengths of wires, and curled the sides of the bands around the wires. It works in theory, but isn't perfect. In hindsight, I should have hot glued them and THEN bent them around the wires, because they still move around. After doing all of them, I realized it left me with a lot of sharp edges.

So, I cut strips of grey felt to line them and cover the edges.

And then hot glue gunned them in place:

Then, I added turquoise "beads" in the design; it's really just more fabric paint.

I found that bending them into a circle by hand left them very unevenly shaped; I pulled out my trusty freaky head on an arm statue that I use for modeling my knitted hats, and used the arm to shape the bands.  I covered it with felt so it didn't get scratched, and then just bent the bracelets a few inches at a time. Worked like a charm!

The finished armband cuff. It needs a fastener, I might cover a wide elastic band with the grey crepe, I haven't quite decided yet. Since I have no imminent plans to attend more Star Wars parties, I am going to just set them aside for now. : )  I do love how they turned out, and I can't believe I made them from raw materials. I've never attempted anything like this before.

The making of the Padme Gown Blog Posts: 
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
The Making of the buttons
Part 4
The Making of the hair forms
Part 5
The Making of the head jewelry
The Making of the armbands
Part 6
Padme's Packing Gown

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