Steampunk Black Cat CLAWS how-to
I MIGHT have spent more time doing each claw than anyone would ever notice, but I loved doing them so much and started so early that I don’t regret it a bit.
Get a gallon of water in a plastic container and cut off the handle. Depending on the size of your fingers, you may be able to make the top curved part a pinky claw.
For most of your fingers though, you will use the main part of the handle, The curved parts do not need to be included.
I tend to do projects late at night after work so prefer to not do them outside by porch light. Since this is such a small piece, I put a protection sheet (really these are doggie training pads) on the wall, sides, and countertop. Then I just set up 2 cans of food with a popsicle stick between them for easy spray painting all the sides at one go.
Be sure to allow the proper dry times AND I cannot recommend Rustoleum Ultra Touch 2X highly enough because it paints plastic quick, evenly, and easily. Other spray paints tend to run and not stay on plastic. There may be other good brands, but this is one I’ve found that works.
If it is not obvious by now, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants on these things, so it may not be a big surprise that I actually used my kitchen sheers (from Bed, Bath, and Beyond) to cut down the plastic. I didn’t use a guide or make them perfect, I just eyeballed a decent angle and cut… some turned out better than others tbh. Then I placed the pointy cuff on my finger, which will, for many of us be too large in circumference and length.
No problem, you’ll likely not want to make it past your first knuckle or you will feel terribly encumbered with your inability to move your fingers which, once they are all finished is a tad awkward even short. Cut the back seam of the cuff (not the top pointy side). Pinch the sides to make the top have a bit of curve lengthwise to your new finger cuff. Squeeze one side over the other and fit it onto your finger to see what feel nice and snug. Mark with a sharpie where the overlap should end. Then hot glue one side atop the other.
Tooling Metal is super pliable sheets of metal (usually in aluminum silver, gold, and copper colors). Sometimes the hobby stores carry them, sometimes not. I discovered JoAnn’s had some but not in the heavy crafting area with wood and canvas in big rolls like they once were, but in the scrapbooking section in small 5″x7″ sheets, so you may have to hunt around or find it online. It took me a bit of word hunting to discover that the metal industry calls it “Tooling Metal”. This thin metal can be cut with heavy duty (or kitchen sheers in my case) scissors easily.
Originally I made pointy metal coverings for the tops of finger cuffs because you will see there is a seam in the plastic right down the middle of the top side. That just bugged me. Later after applying gobs and gobs of stuff, I realized the seam would not be visible anyway. PLUS some cons might object to the metallic tips as being dangerous. I will end up filing my plastic tips to be a bit more curved even though I have not encountered problems with weapons check so far.
If you have to size it down and want to cover the ridge that results, I found a few ways to do that easily without sanding or building up with clays, though I am sure that would be cool. a) The easiest way was to glue aged looking transparent papers from the scrapbooking dept. The paper was rigid enough to form a smooth covering and the writings printed on them blended nicely for the steampunk feel.
b) My thumb piece was actually a tad too small because I used a scrap of plastic from another cuff. *It was late, I ran out of milk jugs, I just wanted to finish tbh. I found a filagree piece used in jewelry making in my shelves of beadings, butterflied it out and made a sort of pretty bandage to help solidify it as my thumb piece.
c) I had one cuff/claw that just would not stay sealed when I tried to glue it. I tried E 6000 (which is my favorite glue for everything that needs to be really glued down good). I tried hot glue and several other brands, but this one piece just refused to fuse ;p I needed something strong, possibly metal but also delicate. I found one of the heavy duty metal titles in my scrapbooking pile that said “Memories”. I figured it would be illegible by the end, but the romantic in me, and the length of the piece made it a perfect clamp to hold the edges closed.
d) Yet another problem came when one of the larger cuffs’ ridge could not easily be concealed. I used one of my large cogs on top of the book scrapping paper to hide all traces of my alterations in sizing.
Step Six- decorate!
I admit it, I keep all kinds of doodads and buy them if I see something on a big sale. To decorate I used everything from a teeny picture frame in the first shot below, which was a children’s necklace and earrings set from the dollar store literally years ago that I never used. I made a copy of a band cover (Johnny Hollow) because the style was perfect and I love the band. I also used a curling tool to make some coils out of wire. I raided my little tool box where I keep small screws, nuts, bolts etc. I took off the label of bolts which I used all 46 of them on my boots (how-to coming soon). O course scrapbooking stickers, buttons, and notions were everywhere. The last image is of my favorite claw. I’d say almost all of my findings were discovered in my rumaging around my craft shelves, but did splurge on this little anitque looking glass tube. I had wanted to put an electricity glowing blue wire in it or somehow make it look like Tesla-ish. Maybe that will come in a revision some day.
Look for the Steampunk Black Cat Goggles How-To coming soon!
To take a look at the initial How-To article with links to the other pieces as they are completed, just click here! http://cplus2magazine.com/steampunk-black-cat-how-to/ Best to you and please share your cosplays below and on our Twitter and FaceBook CharismaPlus2 page!