Glowing Gauntlet




About: I am a former English teacher turned Interactive Media Instructor. I like to make, fix, and take apart. Few things are more fun than taking something apart to turn it into something else, or just taking it a...

I have always liked armor and lights. In this instructable I decided to combine the two. This one was fairly cheap to do and I am very happy with it.

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Step 1: Tools/Materials

Some of my materials came from other projects, or from items that were no longer of use.

$7 to $10 - Scrap Leather 10 oz. (The leather I used was very thick and stiff. I bought it at Hobby Lobby in a scrap pack)
$1 - Brass Brads
Salvage - Elastic
Salvage - Battery Pack
Salvage - Led
Salvage - Fiber Optics
Salvage - Batteries
$1.00 - Hot Glue
$1.00 - Shrink Tubing
$1.00 - Zip Ties
Salvage - Old Cotton Glove

Leather Hole Punch

Step 2: Prototype

I did not want to reinvent the wheel with this one. I looked around at some different designs and picked mine based on what I saw. I began with a template I got from this instructable. I made the pieces according to the directions and tried it on. Make sure you make any changes at this point. It will be harder to change things later. Once you have a good grasp on the design move to the next step.

Step 3: Cutting the Leather

This part can take some time. Use a pencil to trace the paper template onto the leather. Then you will use your heavy duty scissors to cut out your pieces. My hands were very tired after this. I did not have a piece of leather wide enough for the part that goes on my forearm. So I made that two pieces. Look the pictures to see what I mean. 

Step 4: Shaping the Leather

You will need to soak your leather in some water for this step. Soak your leather for at least 10 minutes. 

Then place your leather in what ever form you want to use. I wanted a curve shape for the finger pieces and used some pieces of bamboo that had been split in half. I also used two pieces of wood clamped around some of my pieces. I was not happy with how they turned out. It wrinkled the leather, but it still worked okay. I also built a form out of legos and used a some PVC corner.

Step 5: Hardening the Leather

Heat the oven to 400o. Then put the shaped leather in the oven for about 10 minutes. Be careful not to leave them in for too long. Also beware of the smell. It did not bother me, but my wife did not like the odor. 

Alternate method
Melt some paraffin in a double boiler and coat the top of your leather with some of the wax. Heat the oven to 4. Place the waxed leather in the oven for about 10 minutes. The wax will absorb into the leather. The leather will darken. 

Step 6: Making and Attaching the Light

Find a battery pack somewhere. I got mine from an old flashlight. I soldered some wires onto the ends. I then attached the negative wire to a switch, and attached a wire from the switch to the negative end of the led. Then attach the positive end of the battery pack to the positive end of the led.

I used a piece of shrink tubing to help attach the fiber optics to the led. I put a larger piece on the led. I then used some more shrink tubing to make a bundle of fiber optics. I then attached that to the led using some hot glue. 

I attached the light to the knuckle of the gauntlet using some hot glue. I then fed two or three fibers into each finger and hot glued them to the tip of the finger. I attached the battery pack to the gauntlet using a zip tie.

Step 7: Connect the Pieces

Now begin connecting the pieces of leather with the brass brads from before. Once you have the fingers, wrist, forearm, and palm pieces connected you can put them all together. I used a cotton glove for this part. The brads pushed through the glove connecting the leather pieces to the glove. I used some elastic to help the fingers move with the glove. I numbered the pieces to keep track of which ones went together.

Step 8: Light Up the Night

Try out your gauntlet and enjoy yourself.

Make It Glow

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    23 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Cool project!

    Betcha you wished you had a laser cutter instead of scissors! ;-) I'm wondering if a dremel, fit with a cutting wheel, would be a good cutting alternative?

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Yes, I don't know if a laser cutter would work, but I would take anything over having to cut it all by hand.


    Question 7 months ago on Step 2

    it seems this link no longer works, I realize its been 6 years but do you by chance have a pdf or anything of the pattern?

    2 answers

    Answer 6 months ago

    I cannot find the old files I used from the other instructable. I will try and reverse engineer from the original gauntlet.


    1 year ago

    I have been searching for so long to find a good gauntlet tutorial! Thank you so much!

    1 reply

    6 years ago

    This reminded me of bio shock so much, I love it :D

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago

    Thanks. I have never played the game, but I like the aesthetic in the videos I have seen of it.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The template I used is from the gauntlet I linked near the beginning of the instructable.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice! Check out my LED Daft Punk helmet I made. And does the glove get pretty hot inside?

    1 reply

    Amazing work! Finally I found something that will help me reduce the amount of leather in my shop waiting to be used. And it will fit perfectly with a costume I'm currently contemplating...

    2 replies

    That's the thing - I don't work with leather, I just bought a lot of scrap and did not use that much of it. But I will now - I'm currently making my prototype from cardstock ;).

    Knowing how much fun cutting leather can be, I considered having the pieces laser-cut, but that would not solve my scrap-surplus problem, so I think I'll go "old school" with the scissors. Besides, it's bound to be cheaper that way.