UPDATE 8.30.2017: I am taking a limited number of orders for Leeloo Suspenders, to be shipped early October 2017 in time for Halloween parties! If you are interested, email me for a quote and to reserve a spot on the list: jia [at] jiajem.com!
While the rest of my site is getting a makeover, I've decided to keep up my most popular page, my Silicone Leeloo Suspenders tutorial! As I am doing a batch of suspenders for Halloween this year, I will be redoing the images and explaining things better, so check back in October for an updated tutorial. 9 years?!? Really? These images are so small now! :p
TWO trial-sized (2 lb) packs Smooth-On Dragonskin
opaque orange Smooth-On SO-Strong dye - NOTE: I know it says not to use with silicone, but this is what I use and I have never had a curing problem. If you want to use the correct dye, search for silicone pigments.
2 large sheets 1.5" thick pink insulation foam - mine is from Owens Corning, available at hardware stores
1" diameter pvc pipe
utility knife and scissors
sandpaper in various grits
glue - Elmers or wood glue; use hot glue gun with extra caution
I drafted a pattern you can download: leeloosuspenders.pdf. THIS IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY AND NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE.
I ended up cutting off an inch on all raw edges before connecting them, and it's a little loose on me at 5'2". Cut off more if you are shorter, or add additional seam allowances at sides and shoulder/crotch. If you add additional seam allowances, it can be cut off later, so you can add 1-2 inches. Dragon Skin is VERY stretchy - my suspenders will fit XS-L without any alterations.
To make the mold I used pink insulation foam. Not as durable as wood and plexiglass, but since I lacked the equipment to cut wood and wasn't making multiple copies, (at least not then...*COUGH*) I opted for this quick and easy route. I cut it out carefully using a utility knife, and sanded any jagged edges by hand.
For the oval shapes, I carved pink insulation foam and sanded them smooth. Wear a mask when sanding insulation foam because the sandies are not good for your precious lungs. A little more glue gun on low, and there was my super ghetto, one- to two-time use mold.
I used one of Smooth-On's trial-sized kit per side, which yielded a thickness of about 1/3" to 1/2" when cured. We blew and popped out many bubbles because the dye made the product very thick. If I had planned ahead and done a test strip like an intelligent person, I would have bought some mineral spirits to mix into the silicone to dilute it a little and make it more 'runny' so the surface would have been smoother. But this was kind of a haphazard run-through, so what can I say. I learned for next time.
I did a semi-final fitting, and the weight of the pieces made it hang loosely. I cut off an inch on all sides, and then snipped the edges at 45 degree angles to make large surface area joints. Since I didn't take a picture of this, enjoy my crudely executed drawing. I mixed up a small amount of silicone and dye for the paste. It's self adhering. I smeared it on thickly, weighted the joints between some plastic-covered books, and waited another few hours for it to dry.
A note about storage: Don't keep these out in the open to collect dust; it's a pain to remove. Let your suspenders cure for a full 24 hours before putting them in a plastic bag, where they should always be if you're not wearing them.