Equuleuscia Eleutheria's Cosplay

Karuta Collar Tutorial

Posted on: August 15, 2013

Hello all!

For the recent Cosfest XIII, I was commissioned to make a InuxBoku Karuta Meido Collar. Since it was a rushed commission, I wasn’t able to put too much detail into the work. It’s regrettable, but I suppose it is decent for a less than 24 hour duration work.

Step 1: Do the homework

Again, please remember to do your homework before starting. Get as many reference pictures as you can. This will enable you to make something as close to the character’s artwork as possible.

Here is a picture from www.mcanime.net

Step 2: Dimensions

Decide the length and width of your collar strip, this will greatly impact the size of your collar buckle. After that, decide on the size of the buckle. This includes the total length, width and thickness of ALL the buckle parts. Note: Decide = Record the actual dimension you want

Step 3: Buckle I

I started off making the buckle first, but feel free to start with the collar strip otherwise. I decided to start on the buckle first because paper mache takes time to dry.

Anyway, start out with a rectangle on a piece of thick cardboard. Draw a smaller rectangle inside the original rectangle. Please note that the width of the smaller rectangle should correspond to the width of the collar strip, so that the collar strip will be able to fit through later. And may I use this chance to emphasize the importance of using a ruler for straight lines.

Please don’t fret if the width of the smaller rectangle is a tad bit bigger than that of the collar strip. But please, make sure the difference isn’t too great.

Next, on one of the “width” sides of the rectangle, mark the mid-point and extend a “protrusion” from it. The width of that “protrusion” should slightly larger than the distance between the two rectangles you drew. Make sure that the “protrusion” does not extend all the way to the other side of the rectangle.

Cut out your buckle.

Step 4: Buckle II

Please refer to my earlier tutorials for tips for paper mache if this is your first visit to this site. Basically, get newspaper and white glue, that’s about all the materials you will require. Please remember to tear the newspaper into tiny pieces.

Start to layer on pieces of newspaper onto your buckle. Please be generous with the glue and try to keep the layers throughout the buckle even. You may want to employ the flat surface of a ruler to help you smooth out the edges and surfaces of the buckle to keep them nice and crisp.

You should get a finished product like below. You’ll be able to notice that the buckle is thicker at the joint edges, to reinforce it and prevent breakage.

Please allow the paper mache to dry completely before attempting to paint it! If not you’ll only ruin your hardwork! To achieve a metallic effect on the buckle, alternately mist black and silver spray paint over the buckle surface. More tips of using spray paint to mimic metal can be found in my Yuffie Shuriken Tutorial.

Step 5: Collar Body

With accordance to the dimensions you decided in Step 2, cut out 2 collar strips on Red PVA foam. Don’t worry about the tapered end of the collar for now. Proceed to cut the tapered end of the collar. I clipped the pieces together when I cut out the strips to keep them exactly the same.

On ONE collar strip, mark a straight line down where the tapered end starts. From the NON-tapered end of the collar strip, start marking 5 cm lines and continue doing so until the whole length of the collar strip is covered. The lines will guide you where to cut holes for the collar later on.

Now, on each guide line, EXCEPT for the one marking the tapered end, mark out two more lines, according to the picture below. The total width of the lines denote the size of the hole you will cut out later. In this case, the hole I was going to cut out is 0.5cm in width.

Please repeat the above until the whole length of the collar strip is covered.

Step 6: Marking Holes

Please only continue on if your buckle is FULLY dry.

Thread in the buckle, with the hind (in this case, unpainted) side facing the same side as the marked side of your collar strip as shown below. Otherwise, others would be able to see the “ugly” sides of your prop.

Now, mark the width of your belt buckle protrusion at each “triple line” you encounter.

This is how your collar strip will look like when you are done.

Step 7: Poking Holes

After the tedious step of marking out all the required guides, you’re now one step from getting down to cutting the holes into the collar! Line up both collar strips together and bend them around your neck as you would wear the collar later on. You will realise that the strips will actually stagger. Please clip the strips as they are to prevent any further movement.

Once you have secured the strips together, it’s time to cut out the holes as marked by you earlier on!

Step 8: Securing Buckle to Collar

Thread the buckle through one of the unmarked collar strips, then glue the to collar strips together. This secures all the movable parts of the collar strips and buckle. Please make sure that you are still able to see the markings on the inside of the collar, so you have guidelines available for you to stick your velcro on later on.

You can wear the collar on your neck and mark out the exact location where you want to stick your velcro, if the guidelines don’t provide a good fit. Please remember to double check the where to stick the velcro, if not you may end up having the velcro strips on wrong sides of the collar!

Step 9: Chain

Your collar is now almost done! I suggest using a plastic chain spray painted to your desired colour for this part, instead of using metal chains, which are heavier and more expensive. Alternatively, you could make your own chain out of paper mache.

If the ends of your chains have openings, please close them with a layer of super glue.

Using nylon thread, tie the chain to the buckle of your collar. Make sure to wound the nylon thread multiple times and tie multiple knots to secure the two parts firmly together. I use nylon thread in my props because they are stronger than cotton thread/string and almost invisible.

Then, viola! Your very own Karuta Collar! If you wish, you could outline the collar holes with a dark red marker.

Good luck making yours! :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to get updates by email!

Join 86 other followers

%d bloggers like this: