Today, I want to show you how I made my golden belt for one of my Daenerys Targaryen costume. The costume was showcased in photoshooting in Entertainment Weekly and does not appears in the TV Show. As I wanted it screen accurate, I used reference pictures from the show, because the belt was also used for Daenerys’ Qarth dress (see pictures).
Materials I used :
- tracing paper, a scalpel (or a small pair of scissors), a sharp pencil and a good reference picture
- 1x sheet of worbla for the belt base
- a dremel and some tools, to make the holes
- wood glue
- golden spray paint (you may also use regular acrylic paint or golden wax)
- lacing (I used golden elastic thread)
Step 1 : pattern design
As I wanted the pattern to be screen accurate, I spent much time on the pattern design. As you can see, I put tracing paper on my computer screen, and tried to reproduce the pattern Daenerys has on her belt. (Note : I used a screen of the season 2 featuring her Qarth dress, as it is the same belt used in dress I’ve made. 🙂 )
Step 2 : fitting, and reporting onto Worbla
Once the pattern was designed, I had to make sure the belt would fit my body. I adjusted the paper pattern I’ve made to my waist size, and altered it untill I got the right length, and that it fitted nicely around my waist. This took me several times to make it right, but after a few scale adjustments (using my scanner and printer) I got the result I wanted.
Once I was happy with it, I cut all the holes with a scalpel : that took forever ! This is definitely not the most interesting part of the job, but it has to be made carefully ! 🙂
Then I just reported the belt outline and holes onto my worbla sheet. (Note : I chose to use worbla because I wanted to try out this material I did not know, you can chose other thermoplastics, or even foam !)
Step 3 : belt dremeling (choose your weapons wisely)
After I cut all the small holes of my paper pattern and reported it onto my worbla sheet, it was time to dremel it all ! (I tried scalpel first, but I don’t have enough strength ot make it that way…!)
I have no idea what these dremel accessories are called, but these are the ones I used to make my belt. I used the one on the left to create a first tiny hole. Then I used it to enlarge the hole untill I got next to the outlines. I used two other accessories to clean all the small worbla particles that were still on the holes’ inner edges.
Once all the holes were cut out, I repeated the same process on the belt outline to actually cut my belt out. The last step was to create regularely spaced holes at the back of the belt for the lacing.
I made the belt twice (because I realised my pattern wasn’t “that” perfect while doing the first one) and I can tell you this is a veeeery long and tidious process. It took me about 8 hours for one belt. Protip : you don’t wanna forget your hearing protector and/or earplugs; I used both and still got headaches.
But the result looks clean so far ! 🙂
Step 4 : make it smooth !
Worbla is a flexible material as it is made of plastic + woodglue, but I could not have wrapped my waist with it before I cut all these holes. The dremeling process made it way lighter, more flexible, but consequently : pretty fragile. Such pieces have to be manipulated with care if made of worbla, or it will fold and break (mine almost did).
Anyway, I was happy with my belt, but one issue still had to be fixed. Worbla has a rather rough surface, and I had to make it smooth before painting it. I applied 4-5 layers of woodglue on it, and that looked fine ! Woodglue tended to stick into iner edges and I had to clean it a bit before painting.
Step 5 : painting
Once my belt had a smooth and nice surface, I painted it !
I tried acrylic golden paint, golden wax and ended up to choose golden spray paint, as it gave a metallic look to the belt. I applied 2 thin layers of spray paint and was happy with the result. 🙂
I closed the belt with golden elastic thread so it does not show much and… I was done !
Hoping you like the result ! If you have any question, feel free to ask in the comments 😉