Captain America Shield Harness and Belt

Introduction: Captain America Shield Harness and Belt

About: I'm an engineer and biologist in LA. I'm pretty chill.

Captain America's shield harness is a brilliant bit of costuming. It looks great, and makes his costumes pop. This guide describes how to make a simple but attractive harness with a matching belt. The harness includes a hook on which to hang a shield.

Difficulty: Easy

Time: <5 hours


Fake leather (or real leather)

Parchment Paper for patterning

PLA plastic filament

Spray Paint (I used Rust-Olium Hammered Steel)

Binder clips or pins



Sewing Machine

3D printer

Step 1: Make the Pattern

SMP Designs has a template. You'll still need to draw your own, but their file shows you what parts you should make:

SMP Designs Captain America Harness Template

Step 2: Cut & Hem

Fold the edges over on the cut pieces and hem them down.

Step 3: 3D Print the Harness and Buckle

I modeled the harness and belt buckle off of an image I found through a Google image search. I traced them in Fusion 360 and printed them in PLA plastic. Then I sprayed each with Hammered Steel spray paint. The files are available on Thingiverse:

Captain America's Shield Harness Backplate (w/ Hook)

Captain America costume belt buckle

Step 4: Sand and Paint Your Printed Parts

I lightly sanded each part and then spray painted them with hammered steel spray paint.

Step 5: Attach the Harness to the Backplate

This step requires a dummy or friend/brother. Feed the ends of the harness through the holes in the harness and clip them with binder clips. Adjust until the harness is centered, level, and at the right height. Remember that you'll want it pretty high for the shield to hang appropriately: about five or six inches below the collar. This is why the angle at which the upper straps meet the back plate is much shallower than the angle at which the lower straps meet.

When you've got the positioning right, sew it and trim off any excess material.

Step 6: Velcro the Belt Buckle to the Belt

Hold the belt where you want it, and lay the buckle on top. Then take the belt off and add adhesive-backed Velcro to the back of the buckle and stick the belt down accordingly. Trim any excess length.

This won't hold up your pants, but it held firm all night. I intended to add snaps. The snaps may be useful if I add pouches to the belt like a proper utility belt. I ran out of time and couldn't figure out how to do this well with a sewing machine, but I'd like to add pouches or replace the belt in the future.

Step 7: Conclusion

I added snaps to the harness that lined up with snaps on my costume jacket. This prevents the harness from shifting. Without it, the harness slid when the shield was hung on it. I'm pleased with the overall outcome. I might try a follow up to add the additional layering that Captain America's harnesses have in the movies.

The jacket I in the picture above is described in a separate Instructable:


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