by Bryan D.
After almost a full year of use, my psychic counter needed a re-touch. I decided to make a tutorial for those who wanted to replicate a counter that is re-usable and doesn’t leave pieces of duct tape or ribbon all over the place. This is a full step by step instruction on how to make one of your own.
Supplies you need:
- Purple beads or wood beads that you can paint. I recommend no smaller than 1/2 inch diameter beads, but you can go larger if necessary.
- Purple acrylic paint and laquer or Mod Podge outdoor sealant
- fabric of your choice. If you get quilting cotton in a fat quarter size, it should be enough. (1/4 yard)
- Rope, yarn, twine, or elastic to put your beads on around your neck.
- Baby Powder or corn starch if you have to use Mod Podge
- Barbecue skewers or thin wood dowel to paint your beads
- a few rolls of duct tape or hockey tape to stand up your beads while drying
- 1/4 inch width elastic
Here we have the beads that need painting prepped. They were previously painted but the paint has worn off a few and the deet based bug spray has made them a bit sticky, as the bug spray melted the varnish.
Put your wood beads on the bbq skewers or dowel to stand them up in your hockey tape or duct tape rolls to dry
Paint your beads if nessessary. I used Ceramcoat Amethyst colored acrylic paint. I recommend at
least two coats.
Once dry, coat the beads in the outdoor Mod Podge and do at least 2 coats. let your beads dry between coats.
Once all of your beads are dry, they might be still tacky. Dust a bit of corn starch or baby powder on them to alleviate the sticky factor.
For 1/2 inch diameter beads, make your fabric at least 3 inches in width. For larger beads, make the width larger according with your size of bead. For the elastic for the ends, I recommend 1/4 inch elastic cut in 2 1/2 inch pieces. you will need two of them.
Cut your fabric long enough to accommodate for all the beads you are using. I also recommend a bit of extra length in case you want to add more beads later or to make it more comfortable around your neck when wearing it.
The next step, once you have cut your fabric and elastic, is to sew your elastic onto
the sheath for the beads. Place it along the edge and using a zig zag stitch, stretch your elastic
as you sew. Be sure yo sew your elastic onto the wrong side of the fabric. Sew your pieces
of elastic to both ends of your fabric.
Next, fold your fabric in half along the length and sew a 1/4 inch seam along the whole sheath. Be sure NOT to sew the elastic ends together.
Next, turn your sheath inside out using a safety pin to assist you.
Place all of your beads onto the string or rope, and put the sheath on as well. Be sure you have them all on the string before you tie a knot in your string to complete the necklace. Tuck all your beads in the sheath, and your beaded psychic counter is ready for a weekend of LARPing.
To use your psychic bead counter, when you have your psycic states available but haven’t been
used, leave them exposed outside of the sheath. When you use them, pop them into the sheath.
When you meditate, for each one you meditate you can just pop one back out.
Making one of these counters with enough beads for a sanctum also works really well.
For more instructions or advice on making one of these yourself, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on rules for the larp that this prop is used for, please visit www.epoch-larp.ca
for the rulebook, prop making, forums, history of the realm, and photos.
Download this tutorial:
By Bryan D.
Step One – Collect Materials and Tools
- Tabs lots of them!
- Thin Gauge Wire or Ribbon
- A Pair of Pliers
- Side Cutters
- Staple Remover
- Sandpaper or File or Grinder
- Eye Protection
- Music or movie to keep you entertained
Step Two – The Pattern… or what do you want to make?
So what do you want to make? Shirt, Pant, Coif?? I provided some basic patterns to get you started but you can always modify them to suit your personal preference.
Note: you don’t have to make “Clothing” think outside the box. How about a bag or Purse?
Sample patterns coming soon!!!!
Step Three – Sanding and Sorting… or Prep Stage One
So you have collect all your tabs and you have your pattern you must be ready to go right?
Nope all those tabs need to be sanded down , so that the little burs don’t catch on you clothing which will wreak the other parts of our awesome costume.
So here is where a powered grinding wheel and your choice of entertainment would come in very handy.
If you are going to use the grinding wheel for this step you should employ some eye protection and possibly a pair of gloves.
Before and after sanding them down
If you have employed your friends and family to help collect tabs then you’re probably going to have a lot random tabs from beer, energy drinks and soda(pop) you’re going to want to sort them out. I suggest using that standard pop tabs for most of the project since they are all going to be mostly the same size.
Step Four – Cutting and Bending… or Prep Stage Two
For this we are going to employ the staple remover and your thumb. Place the tab with the longer side facing in into remover and then push down on the exposed part bending the tab into a slight angle.
In roughly the center of the short end of the tab use the side cutters to make a clean cut.
Now just continue to repeat this step to make the many links. I suggest to make 10 or so to start with and then go back and make some more after you have started filling in your pattern. It Helps to save your hands a bit to go back and forth between bending / cutting and linking everything together.
Step Five – Assembly
Now lay out the pattern you are going to follow
I suggest placing a row of tabs over the pattern to give you an idea of how many will be in each row.
Now start with one cut and bent tab, Slide the top uncut loop of one tab through the cut bottom loop of another tap
You should end up with something that looks like above.
Once you get a row of tabs put together its handy to keep them in place over your pattern with a piece of tape like so.
Now just keep slotting the tab together and fill out the pattern.
More tape keeps things in place!
I try to work from right to left if I can help it but sometimes you will find that you need to fill in the pattern from both directions at once.
Step Six – Sewing
In the pictures I am working on a scarf/ half-shirt sort of design which means I am going to end up with two mirrored pieces that will need to be connected together. This is where the Wire or Ribbon is going to come into play.
First we want to run the wire or ribbon around the perimeter of both the front and back pieces, weaving it in and out of the links this will help keep everything together.
Then stitch the front and back together on the seams with the same technique.
Step 7 – Show it off!
Notes and Suggestions
Color – Spice of life
There are many different colored and shaped pop tabs out there. These can be used to weave patterns in your creation or to finish off the edges. Here are some examples
Don’t Skip the Sanding!
I know it one of the tidiest parts of the entire project but it’s worth it so the chain maille doesn’t get caught on clothing and other items
Shape or Pattern
I would Suggest drawing a rough outline of the pattern or shape you want to weave into the item that way you can layout your colored tabs ahead of time and the can be added to the item in the proper order
Paint it on
Don’t fret if you didn’t collect enough colored tabs for the design you want you can always paint it on either with acrylic paints or by applying a stencil and spraying over top. Don’t forget to protect the design with a clear sealant or clear coat like this
By Cas S.
- Reference photo(s)
- Q-tips (for details and correcting mistakes)
- Makeup (brown, red-brown, black, white)
- Stippling brushes
- Foundation (optional)
- Brush for foundation (optional)
- Makeup sponges
- CELERY (3-4 different sizes/stalks)
- Lip gloss
- Headband (not shown)
I try to use as few supplies as possible, because brushes are expensive, and get wrecked at events. It’s the same reason why my makeup schemes tend to be simple, having 1-3 colours to them.
This is a generic step that can be used for most animals. Eyes, nose, muzzle/mouth.
1. Tie your hair back.
2. Sketch in eye, nose, and snout markings. You’ll probably get makeup on these at some point! You can go over them after. (I use this to help visualize where stuff goes.)
3. Hard to tell, but I’ve used the sponge here to change my skin tone with the brown from pale to tawny. The Kryolan Aquacolor brown is great to dry-sponge on, and blends nicely. I left the middle of my face au naturel, and kept it dark around my ears, jaw, and neck.
4. Fill in the outline of the nose with your colour of choice – my reference used a reddish colour.
Note: If I were to consistently play a character like this, I would seriously consider painting a body suit.
Banners are a easy and inexpensive way to decorate your in game space.
You will need:
- An image for your banner
- craft supplies such as thread, sewing sheers, tape measure, scissors etc.
- a sheet of fusible bonding web (such as Stitch Witchery or Heat N Bond). Look for one rated for medium to heavy-weight fabrics.
- fabric paint
- string or light rope
You will also need access to a sewing machine, printer, photo copier, iron and ironing board.
Step 1: Prepare your image and fabric
Pick an image that doesn’t have too many details. In this example, I used a photo from wikipedia but you can use clip art, applique patterns etc. Use a photocopier to blow the image up to the size you want. It will appear on your banner in mirror image so you may be easier to reverse the image at this stage.
I like to use cotton twill for my banners but I’ve also used quilting cotton or broadcloth without a problem. Twill has a nice weight though. Buy your fabric, pre-wash it and press out any wrinkles.
Step 2: Trace your design
Trace your design onto the paper side of the fusible bonding. If your design requires overlapping colours, allow extra where the over lap will occur.
Step 3: Apply the fusible bonding
Following the instructions that come with the fusible bonding, iron it onto your fabrics and then cut them out. To get a nice crisp edge, trim the fusible bonding to about 1 cm of your design, iron it on to the fabric then trim the fabric and the bonding right to the line.
Step 4: Make your banner
Historically banners came in many different shapes and sizes. Don’t be afraid to experiment. In this example I’m using a simple square. You can either make a pocket at the top to hold your dowel or add scrapes from fabric scraps or ribbon.
Step 5: Apply your design
Carefully peel the paper off the back of your fusible bonding and iron it onto your banner.
Step 6: Seal your edges
The easiest way to seal the edges is to run a bead of fabric paint along the edge. Edges can also be sealed with the zig zag stitch on a sewing machine or by hand.
Step 7: Finishing touches
Run a dowel across the top and add a string for hanging. You can also sew on ribbon or tassels if it suits your design. If you are worried about the banner hanging well, you can sew washers to the back for extra weight.
By Cas S.
Not actually for punching.
– Boogie board!
– Handle (probably the most expensive part – make sure it fits, and that you have space for your knuckles when it’s flush to the board)
– Pipe foam
– Duct Tape
– Bolts, nuts, washers (all of appropriate size for your handle)
– A chopstick
– Razorblade knife
– Hockey Tape
Possible additions include:
– Digital egg-timer (for keeping track of counts)
– Foam “packet holder” (open cell foam with holes cut in it to insert packets)
– Cheat sheets!
– Trading Card Sleeves (duct tape it on, and put a strip of duct tape over the top, and you’ve got a waterproof tag slot.
Step 1. Open the packaging to your boogie board and use the razor knife to cut off the cover. You don’t need it!
Step 2. Tape the pipe foam around the board.
Note here where the foam puckers! You’ll be revisiting this soon.
Step 3. Make sure that the two ends overlap a bit, as seen here.
Step 4. Cut the ends so that they fit snug together. I did a terrible job here! Take your time.
Step 5. Remember when you looked at how the edges puckered? Cut notches so that they don’t! You can start small and always expand the notch so that it fits neatly with the board’s shape.
Step 6. Notch the rest of the puckered bits of foam.
Step 7. Tape around the foam, securing it to the board. Smooth it with your fingers or the palm of your hand to prevent wrinkles.
Step 8. As you get to the corners, the tape will also pucker. If you don’t like the look of them, use the scissors and cut notches!
Step 8.5. This is what I mean! This is how the notched tape should look.
Step 9. Finish taping around the outside of the foam and the board, thus keeping the whole thing secure and making it look all purty-like.
Step 10. Begin taping down the centre of the board! Use the scissors or knife to cut off excess.
Step 11. Depending on how you want your shield to look (ie: metal, wood, flat black, etc), start taping its face. For the sake of this tutorial, I used brown for wood.
Step 12. Make it purty! I added a rough wood-grain pattern.
Step 13. Line up where you want your handle to fit. Use the chop-stick to puncture through the layers. Just apply firm, even pressure and it should push through the other side.
Step 14. See?
Step 15. Wrap your handle! I used hockey tape. A spiral that twists around the handle gives you grip, and a layer of hockey tape overtop of that keeps the sticky from getting on your hands.
Alternatives are: leather cord, string, yarn, etc. I prefer hockey tape because it has the added bonus of absorbing sweat. Cotton string or thin rope is also good for this.
Step 16. Tighten the nuts by hand, then use a wrench for the extra bit.
Step 16.5. This is what it looks like from the other side!
Step 17. Tape over the ugly washers and bolt ends. Tape over them three or four times, so that there’s no chance that anyone can accidentally cut themself in case they collide with your shield.
Another suggestion was to cover the bolts in fun-foam!
Step 18. BE A BAD-ASS.