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Leather Armor Tutorial by OrangeMoose Leather Armor Tutorial by OrangeMoose
I wrote up a tutorial of my first leatherworking project. It took a lot of time and research, but I know anyone who has time and patience can do it. I also really want to thank the Tandy man who talked to me for about an hour when I went to their store. He gave me so much advice. Thank you!

I also learned a lot about leatherworking from :iconmerimask: who has a great maskmaking tutorial on her livejournal. I mean, that's what armor is, right? A mask for your body. Yesssss. Thank you!

Sorry for any typos (so tired), and please ask any questions you may have.
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:iconkaira2015:
kaira2015 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
I really like how simple this tutorial is for making armor. Instead of a bunch of expensive casting tools and clay , you keep to simple tools and devices that you can find anywhere (home depot, walmart, etc). It seems a lot easier to make armor by staying simple. Thank you! Im going to be using this method (leather armor) to use for armor!! Some of it might be changed up though like instead of cloth hanging line clippings, I may just switch to velcro strappings and clippings with buckles or something for the straps/sides of the armor. 
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015
I am glad you like it! Leather can get expensive, but if you buy during a sale it's really not too bad.
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:iconkaira2015:
kaira2015 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmm okay :-) I'll keep that in mind, thanks!
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:iconlostbunniesofwendy:
LostbunniesofWendy Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Its incredible!
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:iconelysium-sans:
Elysium-Sans Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
You must teach me your leather-working ways! I'd love to remake my Shanoa costume sometime, and I wonder if a single piece leather chest-plate would be possible? :/
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014
Yay that would be fun! I think it would work since the breast area has a gentle curve. Your current costume and chest plate look perfect though =p
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:iconkitreiki:
Kitreiki Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This made my day, Thank you for sharing! I have been wanting to try leather armor and already do clothing patterning and sewing so this was great.
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:iconasethey:
asethey Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
I was wondering if this would also work for faux leather?

I wanted to use leather to make Panne's torso armor from Fire Emblem Awakening since it seems like the most appropriate material.

However, looking at the price and size of leather, I feel like it would be a waste of money if I bought a full Tandy hide.  I don't really build leather armor often for cosplay and this could be the only time I ever really do this, so I really don't want to waste. I know they sell remnants as well, but I don't think they would have large enough pieces in there for constructing it properly.

So is it possible it could also work for faux leather or would it not due to the difference in fabric.

I'll be moving to Dallas in a few weeks to they'll be no short of leather factories there. Is it possible to get a smaller section of hide if I ask?
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
I don't think it would work on faux leather. Real leather has an elasticity and moldability you can't find in synthetic materials. If you go into a leather store there should be smaller portions of hide available for sure. It might be best to go into a store anyway so you can decide what thickness of hide works best for you. Choosing your own hide is nice. Some hides have a lot of scar or bug marks on them so being able to see them in person has its advantages.
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:iconasethey:
asethey Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
Okay, thank you!
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:iconxinophin:
Xinophin Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
where did you buy your leather??
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:icondevilbahamutx:
DevilBahamutX Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2014  Student General Artist
now this is what you call leatherworking in WoW XD
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Haha...leatherworking is my favorite profession in WoW. =)
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:icondevilbahamutx:
DevilBahamutX Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Student General Artist
and in real life xD
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:iconthefontbandit:
thefontbandit Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a wonderful tutorial! I've been nervous about working with leather, but this makes it seem a lot more accessible. Thanks for sharing!
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014
No problem! Leather is very forgiving =) You'll have fun if you give it a try.
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:icondarkpoetofrivendell:
DarkPoetOfRivendell Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
This is amazing! It would be perfect for making LotR elven style armor. :heart:
Thank you for putting this up here.
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014
No problem! Glad it's giving you some ideas. =)
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:iconn-hyuman80:
N-Hyuman80 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014
Where did you get your leather?
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:icondarazan:
darazan Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Do you seal it inside and out with the acrylic Super Shene or just on the painted side? If you didn't seal it on the inside, would there be an issue with warping due to sweat transfer while wearing it or does having even just the bodysuit underneath prevent that?

Very fantastic tutorial, and I love that it's specifically WoW-related because it really helps me with my ideas for making a demonform costume and how that can be accomplished. 
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013
I am glad it helped you! Though the robe was heavy and I did sweat a tad, it was nowhere near enough to go through the dress fabric. I only sealed the front. If I were to paint/dye the back, I would have sealed it.
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:icondarazan:
darazan Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I worry about things warping since I know how much leather costs and I've dealt with leather warping before, so it's good to know that it wouldn't be an issue. Thank you so much for answering my questions! I really appreciate the help.
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
No prob. =) I am not super experienced though. I am sure heavy rain can cause warping. In your experience what caused the leather to warp? I think it would be good for me to know in the future, hehe.
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:icondarazan:
darazan Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sweat transfer, probably by wearing it directly against my skin. I later found out that I shouldn't do that. :P
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:iconspitefulsparrow419:
SpitefulSparrow419 Featured By Owner May 13, 2013
Once you've shaped the leather, does it keep its shape? like if it gets wet from rain and such?
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner May 13, 2013
Rain should be fine if you seal it. It will still keep its shape. It would only be likely to lose its shape if you dunked it in water or if it wasn't sealed and got soaked by the rain.
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:iconspitefulsparrow419:
SpitefulSparrow419 Featured By Owner May 14, 2013
awesome, thanks <3
Reply
:iconlordlicosplay:
LordliCosplay Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Absolutely gorgeous. I'm working on doing a Rogue Shadowblade set right now. But I have no idea when I'll be able to finish it.
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner May 10, 2013
Awesome! I find that I enjoy costuming most when I don't give myself a deadline and don't know when I'll finish something. Just doing a little when I find time or feel like it is nice. =)
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:iconlordlicosplay:
LordliCosplay Featured By Owner May 12, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm so excited to work on them some more this summer now that I have time. :3
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner May 13, 2013
I hear ya! Summer always seems to provide more time. =)
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:iconnaomieve:
Naomieve Featured By Owner May 8, 2013
Beautiful pieces!!! You are a very good instructor! Your attention to detail is appreciated from your tools list to the finished product. I look forward to reading more of your tutorials!!
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
Thanks so much =)
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:icongrnwoodtree:
grnwoodtree Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2013
YOu rock for doing this!
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:iconjosethclay:
josethclay Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool
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:iconfires-storm:
Fires-storm Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013  Student General Artist
This is epic, thanks for sharing! Going to be so useful for a guildwars cosplay I'm thinking of...
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:iconspitefulsparrow419:
SpitefulSparrow419 Featured By Owner May 13, 2013
Awesome! I'm doing the same thing! what profession and armour are you planning on doing?
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:iconfires-storm:
Fires-storm Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm considering the ranger collectors armor from prophecies :)
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:iconspitefulsparrow419:
SpitefulSparrow419 Featured By Owner May 13, 2013
cool, I'm planning on doing Elite Luxon armour for Necromancer, gunna take a while at least xD
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:iconfires-storm:
Fires-storm Featured By Owner May 13, 2013  Student General Artist
No doubt, lol
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:iconla-souffrance:
LA-Souffrance Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Student General Artist
where do you get leather?
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
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:iconcosplayinabox:
CosplayInABox Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
WOW this is so amazing @___@ Where do you buy your leather?
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013
Thank you! I get my leather from Tandy. =)
Reply
:iconanaraine-arisato:
Anaraine-Arisato Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Definitely plan on using this in the near future! Do you happen to remember how much the hide ran for? I'm beginning research for my Fem. Demon Hunter.
Reply
:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
I think it was probably about $120ish (closer to $200 and you get a hide that is near perfect with no blemishes). You can also get smaller portions of hides for way less. A whole hide lasted me for many projects though.
Reply
:iconanaraine-arisato:
Anaraine-Arisato Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Im aiming for Diablo 3 Female Demon Hunter. I think it'll be the only cosplay i do with leather armor. Any tips on how much i would need?
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:iconorangemoose:
OrangeMoose Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2013
Hm...I think a side would be enough. You could even get less and just buy more if you have to. You look rather petite so a whole side might be too much for you. You could always make your pattern first out of paper, then take it with you when you buy your hide. Then you can lay it all out at once on the hide and find the perfect size. =)
Reply
:iconanaraine-arisato:
Anaraine-Arisato Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you so much~ and i look forward to using your tutorial. :3
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