I wanted to make an interesting prop without having to spend too much money. I saw dragon scale kits that you can knit into really cool looking gauntlets, but nothing had fingers or claws. This gave me an idea to make a dragon glove. It is a simple (if tedious) process of doing this sort of prop, and it cost under $20 total to make! I hope that you enjoy this instructable, I know that I really enjoyed it.
Step 1: Materials
Here are the materials that you will need and where to find them. All of them cost usually under $5 each.
1, Thumbtacks metallic flat ones, not pushpins. You will need roughly a thousand of these. These can be found in almost any general store. The median price is about $2 for 150. I found a pack at the dollar tree which had 200, so look around and find the best deal.
2.Two gloves, one that fits your hand snugly, and another that fits around the first glove, but not too tightly. I used two left hand gloves that lost their right hand counterparts, so these didn't cost me at all.
3.Hot glue. About two dozen regular sticks to be safe. This is the main adhesive you will need to make this possible. Alternatively you can use E6000, but I didn't have the patience to use that for this project. That will make the final product a lot sturdier than with hot glue, but would make the time much longer.
4. Stretchy fabric: This will make it much easier for you to put in the thumbtacks. Note: that tightly woven fabrics will make it extremely difficult to put in thumbtacks. (Here's a hint, there usually are remnants of this stuff in fabric stores regularly during the late spring and summer. That will help you save some money). A T-shirt may work, but I used Lycra on my glove. Or a pair of stretchy socks. Again, it's a good idea to make sure you can put the thumbtacks in them easily.
5.Scrap Fabric. Just from any other projects or even an old shirt or sock will work. Just as long as it is big enough to cover from your wrist down to where you want the glove to stop. You can use extra stretchy fabric if you have it.
6. Metal Sheet (Optional. This is to add any sort of metal plating onto the glove. I found a regular paper sized sheet of steel at Home Depot for less than $1 near the metal siding. A single sheet will be enough for all three plates that are shown in this version. Alternative: You could use pie tins if you are desperate.
7.Aluminum foil. This is to help form the claws. Not much is needed, and this can be skipped if really wanted, but it makes the process much easier.
8. A Lays Stacks Container This is to make the inside plated scales on the wrist it also is the perfect contour for your wrist. I find these types of chips at the dollar store sometimes.
9.Acrylic Paint and Water Based Glue These will be for the painting of the glove and inner wrist scales. Both items cost around $1-$2 each. I got the cheapest of both and it cost only $2.
10. Thin non fabric-Backed Vinyl or thicker flexible plastic sheet. This will give the smooth but leathery texture needed for the palm of the hand. Make sure it doesn't melt when you put hot glue on it.
11. A Sheet of Craft Foam. This will help accentuate the sections of the hand.
12. (Optional) 4-inch plastic pipe or Similar Sized Adapter. I wanted to show that this prop was meant to be a glove and I use this to show the barrier at which the main glove ends. An pipe adapter will likely be cheaper at $2, but I had this pipe laying around anyways.
13. A Small Amount of Clay: It can be air dry or oven bake. It must be fairly rigid, but have some flex, this will make it easier to fit onto the fingers. I used Sculpey basic oven bake clay, and it worked fantastically.
14. Small Neodymium Magnets: These are the easiest way to connect the metal plates without them being permanent. These can be found very easily and cheaply on auction sites.
15. Metal Epoxy or JB Weld: To connect the magnets to the metal plates.
Step 2: Tools
1. Glue Gun
2. Needle and Thread.
3. Needle Nose Pliers. For bending over thumbtack points.
5. Paint Brushes.
6. Box Cutter.
7. Tin Snips
9. Electrical Etching setup or Chemical Etching Setup (Optional).
10. Heat Gun.
11. Hammer and Ball Hammer (If making Metal plates).
13. embroidery frame or two same sized picture frames. This is if you used the method I did. If you use a pair of socks for the glove, you won't need this.
Step 3: Step 1: Scales
Take all 1,000 of your thumbtacks and bend them using the needle nose pliers.
grab the tack by the point, and put it on a hard surface. Have another item (I used a glue stick) to hold down the thumbtack while bending to make it much easier.
They should be about at a 45 degree angle to the head of the tack.
Set Aside for Later
Step 4: Step 2: Preparing Ourter Sleeve.
Cut out a square of stretchy fabric to make a somewhat loose sleeve, but don't
sew it yet. Secure it in the frame that you have chosen and put in the scales in staggered rows. Remember to secure the tacks to the fabric along the way. I left the gap at the bottom to save tacks as I knew I was going to place a metal plate over that spot. If you plan on doing something similar, it does save a little money.
Or Take one of the socks and cut off the foot part to only. This will be the sleeve. You will wait until a later step. Do not put any scales in yet
Step 5: Step 3: Sew and Secure Inner Sleeve.
With the piece of scrap fabric and the smaller glove, sew the sleeve around your arm, but leave some room to get your hand through. Or attach some stretchy fabric as well to allow a tight fit. I actually made this a little too tight and the final glove is pretty difficult to get on, so be mindful of that. I also secured the fabric with hot glue to make sure it won't fall apart. It doesn't have to be pretty, it's just protecting your arm from scratches.
With the Sock: Just sew it onto the glove and secure with hot glue if needed.
Step 6: Step 4: Making the Palm and Inner Wrist of the Dragon Glove
With the larger glove, and cut out pieces of the craft foam for every section of your fingers and palm. Secure with hot glue and put some around the edges of each piece of foam.
Trace around the glove onto the vinyl or plastic, and cut it out.
Use the heat gun and more hot glue to attach the vinyl to the glove. Attach first at the tips of the fingers, then move down towards onto the palm. Secure with hot glue first, then use the heat gun to shrink it. Be careful not to let it shrivel or melt a hole in it.
For the Plated Scales
Cut the Stax container in half with a sharp hobby knife, and trace out the area of your inner wrist that you want covered onto the container. Cut that out with some scissors.
Rough up the whole surface with sandpaper for later painting. Punch small holes on each section with a needle. Cut in between each section for easier movement of the plates. If you feel that this may break, reinforce the back along the sides with tape.
Step 7: Step 5: Making the Ring.
This is fairly simple. Cut out the wanted shape carefully with a hacksaw and some hobby knives, sand down all sharp edges, and do any shaping wanted.
To paint it, simply rough it up a little bit with sandpaper, then cover with water based glue, then paint, then another layer of glue. This will make it fairly resistant to wear.
Step 8: Step 6: Painting Glove and Scales.
To paint the palm of the glove and the inner wrist scales:
1. Lightly rough up the surface with sandpaper.
2. Cover the surface with water based glue.
3. Let it dry Fully.
4. Paint the area in desired way. I did lighter shades on top, darker shades in recesses.
5. Let dry Fully.
6. Cover in another protective layer of glue.
Step 9: Step 7: More Sewing and Starting Scales
1. Put your larger glove over the smallest one, and sew the fingertips to each other. It is easier to do this when wearing it, but Be Careful. Also sew in-between each finger. Secure each thread with hot glue.
2.Take your stretchy fabric or second sock tube and sew it to the upper glove, then sew the bottom of the two tubes together. At this point, there's not much else to do, besides put the thumbtacks in.
3.Start putting in more scales. This is fairly easy. If you chose the correct type of fabric, they should go in easily. Just remember to secure underneath the front of the scales when you do each row. I left the two gaps to help with movement. The glove would be a little stiff otherwise. this is the most tedious part of the whole process.
4. Don't go all the way up to the fingertips yet. Unless that's what you want. First you must make the claws. Also Leave Space for the
Step 10: Step 8: Making the CLAWS
1. Wrap Your Fingers in aluminum Foil. Try to keep the base a straight line so you can stand the claws upright in the oven later.
2. Put some clay around the tip and sculpt it into a claw. The basic outline is given in the picture. It's fairly simple. To smooth it out, use a hard tool or the back of your fingernail.
3. Follow instructions to harden the clay. Whether it be air dry or bake clay.
4. Paint with the same method as palm and ring. Glue, paint, then glue. Fairly Simple.
5. Remove most of the aluminum Foil. Be careful if the clay is brittle. These pieces are quite thin. My clay was flexible enough when baked that nothing broke.
Step 11: Step 9: Making the Metal Plates (Optional)
I decided that I wanted some more embellishments and a way to cover up the gaps on the glove. This isn't really necessary, but it does give it a cool look. It also emphasizes that it is meant to be a glove and not actually natural scales.
1. Trace out templates onto a sheet of metal or on the back of a pie tin. Basically any metal sheet will work as long as it can be cut cleanly.
2. Cut out with a pair of tin snips or strong scissors. Be careful if using scissors, and make sure that they are not your favorite pair.
3. Shape with your hands. This is just to get the basic shape of the piece. for rounded pieces, be patient and try to keep any large creases from being formed. If you want a clean bend, put it in between two pieces of wood clamped together.
4. Hammer edges (Optional). This gives the illusion of a little bit more thickness. Simply clamp down a ball peen hammer as a makeshift anvil, and use another hammer on the rounded head to hammer the edges down. This doesn't take long at all for
5. Connect small neodymium magnets to the plates. This will allow them to connect temporarily to the glove, but still have enough grab to not worry about them falling out. I used JB Weld.
6. Weather (Optional). This can be achieved with paint, electrical etching, or chemical rusting. I used copper sulfate to get a tarnished look on the steel. If you do this, remember to wear gloves and be careful, as this can be toxic. Alternatively, you can make pretty good designs by masking off most of the piece then using electrical etching to get the design. I did this on only one of the pieces, as my fingers were getting dried out by the salt water from the process.
Step 12: Step 10: Putting It All Together.
Stitch the inner scales onto the gap left using the holes that you punched into it before painting. I secured it more with hot glue. It hasn't even shown any signs of falling off.
Glue Claws over the tips of your Fingers. This is really easy if you have flexible clay, or you carefully shaped them.
Finish putting thumbtacks in. Go as closely to the claws as possible. Secure these last ones really well, as they can hold down other thumbtacks behind them.
Add any wanted embellishments. I added a frayed cloth to the back in an attempt to try and make it look like the glove was fused to my arm. It definitely didn't work out very well.
Step 13: You're Done!
Now go out and show everyone that you have the power of a dragon!
It was really fun to build this. It was tedious, of course, but the final result was well worth it.
Be noted that this is not armor, Don't punch anyone with it Thumbtacks will fall out if pried on. This prop isn't well suited for heavy use or movement, but should fare fine for Halloween or a day out for Cosplay. It also does restrict range of motion for your hand and fingers.