Princess Leia Leia's Ceremonial gown from ANH

Discussion in 'Costuming and Props' started by Amidala_wannabe, Apr 5, 2002.

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  1. lavagrrrl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
  2. StormtrooperPrincess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 3
    Did anyone have problems painting the vinyl for the belt?

    I've come to the conclusion that vinyl just does not like spray paint. Something about the way the surface reacts to ingredients in it. I tried Rust-O-Leum and MiraxH tried Krylon; we both had sticky, wet belts because the paint never dried. I had better luck with Krylon Short cuts in chrome, but it still left little grey marks around the waist of the dress from the paint rubbing off.


    kay_dee, ditto on Ferd's experience with spray paint. I made the necklace twice (two different paints, Rust-O-Leum and Krylon Short Cuts), and both of them stick to my neck and leave paint on my skin. Not very graceful and elegant at all. Plus, metallic spray paint can be a pain to seal--too much clear coat sealant and it muddies up the paint. Ruined a perfectly good set of belt plates this way.
  3. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Well, I'm in the middle of experimenting with Sculpey right now. The pieces actually take a while to make, I have to sand them down and what not after they bake... but pushing the holes through the clay before baking it was easy (they make special tools with sharp points and the clay did not get misshapen at all).

    What I'm wondering is - who has had success painting their necklace? If spray paint doesn't work, and most acryllic silver paints look like 'paint' what have people been doing?

    If I come across something that works I'll post it here - but if there is something else I should be trying please let me know :)

    I'm trying about 3 things:

    1) applying 3 thin coats of sculpey sealer to the baked pieces

    2) When the coats are dry I will spary paint one with Krylon, paint another with silver acrylic paint, and put silver leaf on another (the silver leaf will be sealed with a special sealer to help prevent it from rubbing off on my skin).

    Hopefully one of these thigs will work :)

    -Kay Dee
  4. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Here's my necklace update :)

    So far it looks like sealing the Sculpey with 3 coats of satin sealer does the job! (Thanks so much Ferd for calling my attention to the paint reactivty issue).

    My first test was with regular Acrylic silver paint. I'm not thrilled with it because you can see the brush strokes.

    [image=http://kay-dee.net/costumes/leia_cermonial/acrylic_necklace.jpg]

    I then decided to put a layer of silver leaf on top of it, and seal it with the spray sealer made for leafing. I like the shine of the leafing, but there were areas where it cracked when I was brushing the sheet on... you notice it if you look up close.

    I also spray painted a coat of chrome Krylon on, and it dried in about an hour! It's not tacky at all. I sill have to seal it with a clear coat - I'm not sure which one to try... but I like the smoothness of the spary paint.

    LEFT: Chrome Spray Paint
    RIGHT: Silver Leaf


    [image=http://kay-dee.net/costumes/leia_cermonial/paint_leaf_necklace.jpg]

    -Kay Dee
  5. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    Kay_dee, Looks like you're making good progress and covering all your bases--but I know in my experience (and I think others) it may *fool* you into it being dry but weather conditions, body temperature, wear, etc can affect the clay/paint combo and it can come off on your skin etc. I used spray sealer, paint on sealer, acyllic base coats, top coats and a million different combinations and I never was able to make the metallic spray paint work perfectly without seeing it eventually "act up". It can rub off onto your skin and stuff and like I said "mush" your fingerprints into it. Sometimes I found it "dry" pretty quickly--but then later I would go to work with it (even DAYS later) and it would be affected. Ugh! I'm sure you'll master it though--I think what you're doing is best--try every angle and do what works for you in your weather conditions.

    As far as what people did--I used silver nailpolish finally with a high gloss top coat -although I think I might play with the rub and buff over some silver acyllic to see how that works. :) I think somebody made it out of medal, someone covered the pieces in silver lycra and I don't know all what else. I just saw someone's Awesome tutorial on "fun foam" armor and that stuff can be worked into some awesome "medal" creations. I *think* it is worth playing with too.

    Here's Gen's Fun Foam Armor Tutorial

    Good luck with your experimenting!!

    ~Ferd [face_monkey]
  6. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks Ferd :) - I'll wait a day just to make sure things don't start to react funny. (I actually know what you mean about it getting tacky a day later - I had this happen on another project where the plastic reacted with the paint)

    Actually, I'm going with the silver leafing approach.(StormtrooperPrincess was right, once I applied clear coat on top of my shiny Krylon paint, it turned a dull gray. Must be how the paints react together) I found by applying a second layer of adhesive and silver leaf that it covered any cracks from the first coating. I then sealed it with a layer of clear gloss laquer. I'm *hoping* that by doing the clear coat of sealer that I'll avoid the tarnishing on my skin that Surly had. I also think there are enough coats of Sculpey sealer and layers of silver leafing to prevent the top coat from reacting with the clay.

    In the end I guess the real test will be wearing it - but I trust in the info on Sculpey's web site about being able to use any kind of paint if you put 3 layers of sealer on first.

    My fingers are crossed!

    -Kay Dee
  7. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    I have yet another question :) I've been ordering the supplies to make my belt and was wondering what gauge or thickness of Aluminum sheeting others have been using to make the belt? The Obi-Wan academy said 1/16" thick and that is nearly 14 Gauge metal... that sounds like it would be difficult to cut and work with! In fact the sheeting they sell at Home Depot is closer to 22 or 24 gauge.

    My necklace is progressing along pretty well. It's been several days and the spray paint clear top coat did not react badly with my sealed clay and silver leafing. I even wore a piece around my neck all day to make sure my skin didn't react. Now I just have to do a second coat of silver leafing and and spray paint top coat to give all the pieces a more even look.

    The key is really using several layers of Sculpey's brand of Glaze as a base coat before you put anything on top of your clay to color it. It creates a nice thick barrier between your clay and those evil spray paints.

    Again, thanks to Ferd for pointing out that I'd get in trouble if I just tried to use a regular spray paint base coat! What a life saver :)

    -kay dee
  8. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    I used aluminum flashing that I got at Home Depot, or was it Lowe's. Anywho..It's the same stuff I used for the Battle costume arm bands. I'm not sure what gauge it is :confused: but it can be cut with scissors and is pretty easy to deal with. I attached it with E-6000 industrial glue.

    Glad to hear you had luck with the sealer! :)

    ~Ferd [face_monkey]
  9. lavagrrrl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    Do you have any problems with the thinner metal flashing bending out of shape?
    *still obsessing over the belt* :D
  10. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    Well I made the belt out of silver vinyl that was somewhat thick, but backed it with a heavier white vinyl--So the belt itself had nice body to it, doesn't wiggle or give easily--Pretty firm. So the pieces of flashing were affixed with the heavy glue and then button blanks are put through the metal which holds them in place pretty well too. Being that the metal shapes are really not that big I think as long as you adhere them well they aren't going to budge. I made this for someone and I am actually making her something else right now and she seems very pleased with the costume, so I hope the belt is holding up well :) She's had it quite a while now.

    Of course *testing* is always recommended. Especially if you are using a different vinyl than I did, or different glue--You may get a different result.

    ~Ferd [face_monkey]
  11. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks again for the belt info Ferd. I'm so excited about the tutorial they have up at the Jedi-Academy! I decided to go for it and order a 'belly' strip of leather from Tandy, and silver leather paint so I can hopefully make the belt pretty authentic looking. I ended up ordering both some 18 gauge metal and 22 gauge so I'll experiment with each (I had another project I needed metal for anyway - so it won't go to waste).

    The sleeves are still driving me crazy. Every day I experiment with draping things a little differently. I watched the end of ANH yesterday and I actually see a bit of a fold to the sheer fabric in the center of the upper bust where the 'sleeves' come together. You can see how they illustrated this with lines at the Jedi-Academy

    It isn't a crisp looking seam like you see on the underbust, but there is something going on there with the fabric drape and I can't figure it out. I guess in the end as long as I have some kind of fabric draping over my arms it will be good enough.

    -Kay Dee
  12. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Well, it's not much but it's a start :)

    Here is my finished necklace!

    [image=http://kay-dee.net/costumes/leia_cermonial/necklace.jpg]

    My camera was having trouble focusing - but oh well.

    I used 2-3 layers of silver leafing, and sealed it with a final coat of sculpey's satin glaze. I'm crossing my fingers I won't have a sticky necklace in a week. I just don't get it - even with 3 layers of sculpey glaze as a base, the samples I spray painted did turn all sticky after a week! My silver leaf sample held up better, but it had been spray painted with a final coat of clear laquer and it started getting sticky in spots. Hopefully my conversion to sculpey glaze will solve that problem.

    -Kay Dee
  13. FERDALUMP Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2002
    star 3
    Kay_dee It looks great! :) Sorry to hear you have had some "sticky" issues. I know what you're dealing with-It really is puzzling and frustrating. I'll cross my fingers your new sealer will do the trick. [face_praying]

    ~Ferd [face_monkey]
  14. Sister_Sola Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2002
    star 4
    Kay-Dee it looks so awesome!!!!!!! Great job!
  15. Obi-Dawn Kenobi Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 4
    kay_dee, it looks perfect! I love it. :)
  16. surlygirlie Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2000
    star 4
    What O-D said -- seriously, it's tremendous.




  17. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks for checking out my necklace :) If you look up close there are a few fine cracks in the leafing, but I did the best I could.

    I've started working on my dress muslin... but since I'm not using a stretch fabric I'm thinking I'm going to have to add darts or something to the back to get a nice smooth fit that contours to my shape. I think the problem with the Simplicity patterns is that they are meant to be loose fitting dresses. These things always turn out to be more work than I bargain for! In the end if I have to veer slightly off from the original costume so I can have a good fit I guess that's what I have to do. (And I can make myself feel better since there are no good photos or documentation on what the back looks like anyway!)


    -Kay Dee
  18. LeiaYT1300 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 3
    Oh, Kay_Dee, your necklace is just beautiful! A very fine job, indeed! :)
  19. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    OK - this info is for everyone who has had trouble with 'stickyness' when trying to paint a vinyl belt silver.

    There are some pretty knowledgable people at the Yahoo LOTR costume group. Johanna has used metallic paint on Klingon costumes and here are the tips:

    1) Use metallic paint by CAL Western - Artistic Acryllic (not spray paint, not oil based paint). Metallic FolkArt, and Apple paints will work as well - but she swears by the CAL Western as it has lasted through "a dozen years of wear and tear."

    2) Seal it with Satin Varnish or Matte Varnish - not a glossy varnish (apparently glossy varnish stays sticky). The paint needs to be sealed because metallic paints will stay sticky if they are not. Again, these are not spray paints. Johanna recommends FolkArt water base varnish satin finish made by
    plaid


    Here is her advise:

    "The trick to painting on vinyl is using 2 thin coats of silver
    paint. Don't glob it on thick, you will still have to do a secound
    coat to hide the thinner spots. Thick paint will crack, peel, and
    adhere to itself. The two thin coats will give you the same visual
    coverage.
    Metallic paints and gloss paints both have an addative that makes
    them sticky. Mat paints do not have to be sealed. You just paint
    them on and go.
    Never buy 'Color Steps' paint. It is supposed to work on leather
    and vinyl but it doesn't work on either. You can seal the painted
    surface but it remains sticky. These paints are good for throwing
    in the trash.
    I use the CAL Western paints mostly on vinyl but I have used the
    metallic FolkArt, and Apple paints as well. You just have to seal
    them with a few more coats. I usually go for 2 to 3 coats of
    varnish. Again thin coats of paint.
    Stick to water based paints. Oil based can melt your vinyl." - Johanna

    ------------------

    -Kay Dee
  20. ladystar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2001
    star 1
    Kay-dee, you necklace is perfect!! I can't wait to see your finished costume.
  21. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    It's going to be tight getting this done for Dragon*Con.

    I've been working on the headdress and ran into a problem :( Let's see if I can explain this... my hair is an odd shade of blonde and I could only find wefts of human hair 24" long in the right color. (Brunettes have it much easier with this costume - there are very long bundles of synthetic hair that can be used for the bun and ponytail)

    I have to combine 3 wefts together just to make the big bun thing, but the top parts of the weft that are woven with thread have to be cut off and secured with a glue gun at the ends. I learned the hard way that I need to braid it first, then cut and glue. The first one I just had in a ponytail and half the hair fell out! It's going to take me an entire day now just to line up each individual hair one by one and get it back into the ponytail!!!

    -Kay Dee
  22. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Oh, bummer, kay dee! I'm sure your hairpiece will look *great* in the end, though. You do such wonderful work-- your necklace is just lovely!

    Reporting in with progress-- I'm doing a super-quickie, non-accurate version of this dress for GenCon next week. It won't be a floor costume; I need it for a silly little event our group is holding on Saturday night. On kay dee's recommendation, I picked up Simplicity 5049 to use as the pattern. Today I mocked it up with the lining-- didn't have to alter much, since I'm not going for accuracy, just taking the front up a bit and the sides in a bit. Hopefully tomorrow night I can whip it up quickly, and see about the sleeves. (I'm thinking I'll just do gathered tubes of chiffon; that's how we did our Leia's sleeves for the Musical and it looked fine.)

    Caitlin
  23. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Whoo, the main body of the dress is together! Still need to hem and add sleeves (and trim seam allowances). But it's midnight and I really should sleep more than five hours a night.

    I'm thinking that making the necklace for this dress out of tinfoil will be just *lovely*. ;)

    Caitlin
  24. kay_dee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    Way to go Caitlin! I just got finished cutting out my second muslin... wasn't happy with the loose fit of the first pattern. I'm trying to avoid putting darts in the back. But if this second attempt w/o darts lays funky over my butt I'm going to have to cave in and try with darts on the 3rd muslin.

    -kay dee

  25. JainaMSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2001
    star 3
    Okay! Almost almost done, last thing needs doing is handstitching the outer hem (it's all ironed and pinned and everything). Here's two quick pics taken as my camera batteries were dying:

    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/jainamsolo/DSCN7358.jpg]

    [image=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v91/jainamsolo/DSCN7357.jpg]

    And there's no belt yet, but there will be. As you can see, definitely not accurate, too baggy, gathers under the bust, no georgette overlay-- but it made up quickly and it's recognizable. I'll probably put it up on Ebay after GenCon, and make a more accurate version in the future (I've got plenty of the fabric left-- mmm, poly knit).

    I should go to bed. Leaving for airport in five hours! Wedding this weekend, GenCon next weekend...busy busy!

    Caitlin
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