Aluminum Foil Scale Armor

Introduction: Aluminum Foil Scale Armor

About: Artist/Inventor who loves everything creative. Creator of Jazzy Glass

Light weight armor.
Well, definitely not for you Knights out there, but if your playing around and costumes are your thing. Maybe you will like make these. Costumes and props are always a joy and I love all types of armor, but I needed an alternative to Worbla and other thermal plastics, something I had around the studio and it needed to be durable. Tin foil is readily available, cheap, but one problem it’s thin and tears easily, so next was how to harden it. After searching my arsenal of art materials out came lamination sheets and that was a perfect pairing. This Ible will show you how the scales are made so you can create your own armor or whatever you can dream up.


Here is my other Instructable using lamination pouches for costumes https://www.instructables.com/Termal-Foiling-W-Lam...

Supplies

  • aluminum foil
  • lamination sheets
  • scissors
  • Small hole punch
  • two pieces of copy paper
  • laminator or clothes iron
  • die cutter
  • metal dies
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Fabric

Step 1: Laminating the Aluminum Foil

Turn on your laminator to warm up.

Cut sheets of your foil to fit inside the lamination pouch. The pouch should be the type that has adhesive on both inner sides. Use a carrier folder or two pieces of copy paper to place the lamination pouch to protect from direct heat from the machine.

Note: keep your foil as smooth as possible to avoid wrinkles If unwanted.

You may add other materials with the foil, but they will need to be attached to each other before laminating.

Step 2: Choosing the Metal Dies and Cutting

Scale time. Do your research so that you get an idea of the size you need shape you need etc. I now use an electronic cutter and if you have one then you can design your own scale pattern plus customize your sizes. The manual die cutter works just perfect you just need to be flexible in shape and size, plus you have to hand crank them out. I think you feel it’s worth it.

I cut the foil laminations into strips and squares based on the size of the die. It’s a sandwich process of die cutting.

There is a base plate a top cutting plate. The metal die which has a sharp cutting edge and a flat bottom is placed on base plate cutting edge up. Place the foil piece onto the die making sure it’s completely covered.

Put the top cutting plate to create a sandwich. Try not to let it slip around. Gently place into die cutter and crank. The unit comes out and you should have a clean cut scale. Here are some extra pictures of scale shapes.

Step 3: Hole Punching Scales

You can calculate the amount of scales you will need by measuring your finished one and then measure the item you are using or making. You can make them up in advance and they are ready when you are.

Many uses for them like collars, crowns, bracelets, shin guards, belt, cuffs and so on. The Cale’s look amazing on a cape.

Take the scales and hole punch them at the top. This hole is important for anchoring to the garment. I used my Crop-A-Diles and can punch 8 to 10 scales at a time.

Step 4: The Application

Decide on the angle or the end finish of your scales. Meaning, if you are making a collar or neck piece you might want a curvy design. Maybe they come to a point or straight across. This will dictate how you glue them down.

Sometimes creating a pattern first is very helpful.

This piece tapers. So starting at the bottom work your way up spacing side to side and then the next row in between the previous. Keep going until you're done.

These scales are simple to make and can be used for practically anything that has this layered formation like Mermaids, Dragons, Fish, etc.

Thank you! The Juliart

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    10 Comments

    0
    craftisan
    craftisan

    3 months ago

    Very nice! Wish I saw this before I spent money on metal scales 🤦‍♀️

    0
    The Juliart
    The Juliart

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you! I hear you. I use to test products from a Fishing Lure company. The spoons , scales and swivel cost add up plus limited on design. But some projects really need the metal ones.

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    4 months ago

    What a clever use for lamination!

    0
    The Juliart
    The Juliart

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you!

    0
    Randomona
    Randomona

    4 months ago

    That looks amazing!

    0
    The Juliart
    The Juliart

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you!

    0
    Nikita Maree
    Nikita Maree

    4 months ago

    Great instructions. Love the lamination idea.

    1
    The Juliart
    The Juliart

    Reply 3 months ago

    Thank you so much! I found lamination in multiple mils from 3-10 The 10 makes very rigid pieces. The Ible used 3mil.