Homemade Body Armor

Homemade body armor is useful for costume and recreational purposes.

Homemade body armor can be useful for costume or other recreational purposes, and there are a few related guidelines worth keeping in mind when designing and creating it.

Choose a Look or Design

Deciding on the look or design of the body armor you seek to create is the first and foremost step. Whether you seek to create gladiator body armor or something more closely resembling Darth Vader from “Star Wars,” the initial design will determine first, the amount of your body that you will need to cover, and second, the core design that you will stick to when creating the armor. The costumes available at costume shops online are useful templates for helping you choose a design. For example, the websites “BuyCostumes.com” and “NextTag.com” have a number of costume armor designs available for viewing.

Decide on Your Budget

Homemade body armor can end up surprisingly expensive if you do not consider your budget carefully. For example, purchasing actual Kevlar to make a bulletproof vest can run you around $700, and the additional cost of proper arm padding and other supplies will only exacerbate the cost. Thus, it is important that you decide on a budget ahead of time and make sure that you keep to that budget. Your budget must encompass the materials and particular pieces needed to complete the design you initially set for yourself.

Piecing Together the Armor

It is important that the armor fits together completely and coherently if your outfit is to make sense. As a general principle, you want to use similar material and colors throughout your body armor to keep the design consistent. For example, to give the impression of Darth Vader body armor, simply wearing all black, while strategically placing pillows, shoulder pads, elbow pads, and knee pads underneath your clothes on different parts of your body, could help give the impression of body armor. Of course, in the case of Darth Vader, a mask and black cape (or sheet) would be needed to complete the outfit. For a template of what a full Darth Vader costume with body armor looks like, visit the website “officialstarwarscostumes.com.”