Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Getting Strapped, *****!

Ocarina of Time Link

Link wears several belts across his abdomen. He has his sword strap, which we bought online (We are using the Ocarina of time strap) and he also has one across his waist, and one connecting his sword strap from his chest to his back (twilight princess). If this is your first time reading this blog, my goal behind link is to incorporate different elements for different links and give it a realistic vibe.
So, after buying the sword strap, it was very hard to find belts of our desired width and color. We searched EVERYWHERE, and we couldn't find anything that matched as well as we like.
I ended up meeting a man named George who owns the company Tactically sharp who makes custom knives, leather sheaths, and many other things. He told me about all his various crafts and pointed me into the right direction for where I could find some leather materials. He told me about a place called Daddy's Leather Supply in miami. We went there, and although they didn't have exactly what I needed, they told us exactly how to get it. We bought some raw leather traps from them, the PERFECT dye, and the belts came out perfect! The guy over there really knows what he is talking about. 
The dye we used has a ton of stain power, We didn't wear gloves, but I suggest you should. We laid out some garbage bags to protect the tile in the back yard. It was a windy day, that's why we have a ton of random things laying around.   I also suggest you do this in a well ventilated area because although the dye smells kinda good, it probably is really bad for you. Also, make sure the area you are working in is completely dry. We got water on one of our belts and it made the color come out pretty weird.

The raw material

The dye we used.
The dye comes with what looks like a huge cotton swab, and that what we used to dye the material. I found it a little hard to believe that the color 'light brown' was going to achieve the color we wanted. But as soon as we showed the man at the leather show the strap we already had, he was very confident that it would do the job. He told us that it was better to start light, and slowly add layers until we had the desired color. He was right on the money with that. It only took us 2 or 3 coats to get it the perfect shade.

After the first coat.
This here is the finished product. Although it is hard to tell from the pictures, the raw material as I guess is what you can call 'grain' and once we were done it was really showing through. When we were done adding coats of stain, we didn't quite like the appearance because it looked very uneven, and there was this weird patchy shine about the dye. I was getting a little disappointed. Then Marcus told me that the man at the leather shop told him to wipe the leather down with olive oil when he was done and that made all the difference. I took a paper towel with a little but of olive oil soaked into it and I rubbed the entire length of the strap. This ended up evening everything out, took away the weird shininess, and revealed all the "leather grain". I cannot wait till i can find another reason to dye some leather and have another trip to that leather shop. This was pretty entertaining.
The thinner belt kind of shows some of the shine I spoke about.


The comparison. I think its perfect!

Since this final picture here on the left, the leather has changed, it has absorbed the stain a little more, I guess and looks even better. You guys can see it again when I post the pictures of the final costume reveal. Wish me luck, stay tuned!

Don't forget to look out for the giveaway I have coming soon!

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