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How to Make Your Own Medieval-Styled Arm Bracers

Updated on March 8, 2018
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Who doesn't love a good archer? From Leoglas to Robin Hood a good bowman is hard to beat! But even the best bowman needs the proper equipment. In this hub I will so you how I made a pair of medieval styled arm bracers.

Some of the Supplies I used in making my arm bacers.
Some of the Supplies I used in making my arm bacers. | Source

Ok! First things first! For this project you will need:

  • Leather (I used craft leather I bought as a pack from Hobby Lobby)
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Something to measure your arm with (such as a ruler, string, etc)
  • Sewing tools (thread, needle, or I used a sewing a machine)
  • Leather laces (or another kind of lace, it doesn't have to be leather)
  • Crop-A-Dile Tool and eyelets

For the decoration you will need:

  • A multiple temp wood burner (I used the Creative Versa Tool by Walnut Hollow)
  • Acrylic Paint (I used Metallic)
  • Paper and Pencil
  • Something to apply the paint with such as a toothpick, or I used a doting tool for nail art
  • A scrap piece of wood or a cutting board
  • Scissors or Exacto knife

I used a multi heat leather/wood burner and some metallic acrylic paint to decorate my arm bracers.
I used a multi heat leather/wood burner and some metallic acrylic paint to decorate my arm bracers. | Source
My pattern pieces for my arm bracers.
My pattern pieces for my arm bracers. | Source
Faramir's arm bracers served as the inspiration for mine!
Faramir's arm bracers served as the inspiration for mine! | Source

Creating the Pattern Pieces

Before you begin you will need to create the pattern pieces for your arm bracers. What I did first was decide what I wanted my bracer to look like when I was finished. I looked at pictures of arm bracers online and finally decided to base my design on these ones worn by Faramir in the Two Towers. I then drew out shapes that would give me the effect I was after. Then I measured my brothers arms and drew my final pattern pieces, making sure to leave a couple of inches all the way around to allow for overlap.

Once my pattern pieces where completed and cut out. I traced the shapes onto my leather with a white colored pencil and cut them out. When I was finished I had four pieces; two base pieces and two middle pieces which I used for decoration.

This process is illustrated in the pictures below.

A Tip for Drawing Your Pattern Pieces!

To make sure that I got a mirror image of each side of my pattern pieces, I folded my paper in half and drew one side of the shape along the crease of the paper. Then, with the paper still folded I cut out what I had drawn. This way when I unfolded my pattern pieces I knew for sure that each side was exactly the same.

Tracing around my second pattern piece on my leather.
Tracing around my second pattern piece on my leather. | Source
I used a white colored pencil to mark the outline of my pattern piece.
I used a white colored pencil to mark the outline of my pattern piece. | Source
All cut out and ready to go!
All cut out and ready to go! | Source

The Decoration

Next I worked on decorating the middle pieces of my arm bracers. The first thing that I did was sketch out a design onto my middle pattern piece. I decided to draw a tree. Once I had my design the way I wanted it I carefully cut out the most complicated part of my design (the tree) with a pair of scissors. This created a stencil for me to use in transferring my design to my leather.

Once my stencil was finished I used it to draw my design onto my middle pieces of craft leather with a white colored pencil. I then went over the colored pencil lines with a detail tip on my leather/wood burner. Once all of the lines had been burned into the leather I filled them in with silver paint using a small fingernail doter. I then repeated the process with my other middle leather piece.

My design sketched out on the pattern piece.
My design sketched out on the pattern piece. | Source
And then made into a stencil.
And then made into a stencil. | Source
The completed middle piece!
The completed middle piece! | Source

Attaching the Two Pieces

Once both of my middle pieces where completed and the paint was completely dry. It was time to sew the middle pieces and the base together. The first thing that I did was fold the base leather pieces in half and make small marks on each end of the crease. This marked the middle of each piece. Then I used the marks to set the middle tree piece in the middle of each base. I clipped each end with a small clothes pin to keep it in place. Then, using my sewing machine and black nylon thread, I sewed along the edge of the middle piece.

I did this to both middle and base pieces.

Sewing the pieces to together!
Sewing the pieces to together! | Source
All finished sewing!
All finished sewing! | Source

Putting in the Eyelets

Your arm braces are almost finished! There is just one more step. Putting in the eyelets. To do this I first marked where I wanted the eyelets to go on my bracers with a white colored pencil. I spaced my eyelets about an inch apart and ended up with six on each side.

Then, using my Crop-A-Dile tool, I clamped the eyelets into the leather. I used an eyelet on the back and front side of my arm bracers so I ended up using 12 eyelets on each side of my bracers.

Measuring and Marking
Measuring and Marking | Source
Putting in the eyelets!
Putting in the eyelets! | Source

Once one side of my bracer was finished I used it to mark the other side. I folded the bracer so that the two sides met. Then using my white colored pencil I marked the eyelets for that side. Making sure that they lined up perfectly with the side I had already finished. Then I added the eyelets the same way that I did before.

This is illustrated in the pictures below.

Marking the other side!
Marking the other side! | Source
Make sure they all line up with each other!
Make sure they all line up with each other! | Source
Both side done!
Both side done! | Source

Once all my eyelets where in on each arm bracer I had to punch a hole in the center of each eyelet. The Crop-A Dile machine that I was using had a hole punch built into it. If however you don't have a machine with a punch you can use an awl and hammer to punch holes into the center of your eyelets. Make sure to be careful not to hurt yourself and use a cutting board or a scrap piece of wood to protect your work surface.

The Hammer and Awl method.  You may want to use a cutting board to protect your work surface like I did.
The Hammer and Awl method. You may want to use a cutting board to protect your work surface like I did. | Source
The 'machine' method!
The 'machine' method! | Source

Once you have all of your holes punched out you can lace your arm bracers. I used leather lace and criss-crossed it in an X pattern for my bracers. I left my laces long and tied the excess in a bow, then tucked the tails back into the laces to keep them out of the way.

The completed arm guards!
The completed arm guards! | Source

There you have it! The arm bracers are finished and ready to go! They would make a great edition to a medieval or cosplay costume, or a great gift for the archer in your life!

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