Introduction: How to Make Faux Wrist Wraps From Elastic
Wrist wraps can be found on many cosplay characters, but actually wrapping your wrists with bandages or fabric can be time-consuming to put on, and may become loose or slip around during a busy con. Use elastic to make simple wrist wraps that fit snugly and stay up all day long!
1-2 yards of Soft Elastic (your choice of color and width; the elastic I used was 1.75 inches wide in a gold color with a natural backing)
A Buddy to Assist (Optional, but Helpful)
Step 1: Making the Pattern
Begin by observing how far the wraps go up the character’s arm. The wraps I am making go nearly to the character’s elbow. This will tell you how far to wrap your arm to make the pattern.
Begin by wrapping your non-dominant arm in the plastic wrap, leaving some overlap on your hand and above where you plan to end the wrap. Slowly cover the plastic wrap with duct tape. Having a friend to help is very useful at this stage. Wrap snugly, but not so tight that you won’t be able to cut it off later.
Use a sharpie to sketch where you would like the upper and lower edge of the wraps to be. Draw a straight line from the middle-inner wrist up toward the inner elbow.
Either have a friend, or on your own, very carefully use regular scissors to cut along this line to remove the pattern from your arm.
Step 2: Completing the Pattern
Once the duct tape is removed and the pattern is flattened, it will be easier to see which lines are crooked. You want a nice, neat trapezoid shape if your arms are thin and unmuscular like mine. If you have more muscular arms, the side lines can be curved, but the wrist and elbow lines should remain straight. Use the sharpie and the ruler to redraw any lines that didn’t turn out well. Cut along the outside of your final lines and throw away the excess duct tape.
Flatten the duct tape pattern on a piece of construction paper and trace the elbow line and the wrist line. Before tracing the sides, add a seam allowance of 3/8 inch, then complete the line. You may add helpful labels to your pattern for future reference.
Step 3: Cutting and Pinning the Elastic Strips
Place the elastic against the wrist line of the pattern and cut to size with your sewing scissors. The elastic should match the shape of the pattern exactly. From here, you can estimate how much of an overlap you would like there to be by gauging how many elastic strips it will take to fill the entire pattern. Each piece should overlap the one beneath it by at least a quarter inch. You can vary the overlap lengths as well if you would like the strips to appear to be different sizes.
Once you have made a decision, continue placing and cutting elastic all the way to the top of the pattern. Once all of the strips have been cut, pin them together individually along the overlapping areas. You can decide which way you’d like to have to wraps overlap, from wrist to elbow or from elbow to wrist. Though it may seem illogical for a character to wrap starting with the elbow down, I prefer the look of the overlap going from wrist to elbow, as pictured.
Step 4: Sewing the Elastic Strips
Before sewing, gently curve the elastic so the two good sides are touching. Do the edges of the strips all line up neatly? If not, you can reposition them now.
Choose a matching thread that will blend in with your elastic (I am using white all-purpose thread) and set your machine to a zigzag stitch. Top-stitch along the overlap so that the bottom point of the zigzag stitch touches the lower elastic. You do not need to stretch the elastic; allow it to feed through the machine normally. Top stitch along all of the seams you’ve pinned.
To ensure you’ve cut everything to the correct size, you can use your regular scissors to cut out the paper pattern and place it on top of the elastic. If any elastic is peeking out from under the pattern, it can be trimmed now to ensure a better fit.
Step 5: That's a Wrap!
To complete the wrist wrap, fold and pin the side edges together with the good side facing in. You can use a zigzag stitch at the edge to finish the seam, or overlock the seam if you have a serger.
Turn the wrap inside out and try on. If the wrap is not tight enough, turn inside-out once again and repin. Trim a little material off the finished edge and complete again until it fits to your liking.
You did it! Enjoy your hassle-free, con-proof, no-slip wrist wraps! Well done!