How to Make Mei's Belt from Overwatch
Need to make a belt that's simply a-mei-zing? We've got you covered.
My Mei cosplay debuted for the first time this year at Blizzcon 2016. I should have taken a lot more photos during the assembly process of Mei's belt, but hopefully, this helps someone. Please ask me any questions you may have in the comments below! In order to get the proper sizes, I used Photoshop to overlay Mei's photo onto a photo of myself holding a ruler. This gave me approximate measurements, sizes, and scaling for everything that I needed to make.
Foam Pouch Base
I started off with the basic size I wanted for my pouch. I made a simple pouch with a flap from 8 mm foam. As you can see in the second photo, I didn't like how the top looked. It was cracking from being opened/closed and it was standing up too much. I decided to just cut the foam flap off, and make a flap out of the vinyl I purchased to cover them in.
Vinyl Flap and Covering
I made the flap out of outdoor vinyl and stitched on the details. I also roughly covered the rest of the pouch in the same vinyl, attaching it to the foam with Hot Glue. Hot Glue probably wasn't the best choice, but I was working with what I had at the time. I folded over the edges to give it a clean look. When gluing this, avoid trying to glue the finished sides of the vinyl together because they won't hold very well. If you're going to use something to keep the pouches closed, you should attach this now. I didn't think about it until it was too late and I had to hot glue velcro onto the pouches.
Weathering and Painting
Using Oil Paints and a makeup sponge, I started weathering the back of the pouches and around the edges. I used an iridescent blue fabric paint for the blue strip on the front of the pouches. It took a few coats, but it came out looking amazing. I weathered over the blue a bit afterwards to make it blend in a bit better.
Sealing, Attaching the Flap, and Mod Podge
I made all 3 pouches and started to weather them. Once the back was dry, I added Matte Mod Podge to "Seal" the Oil Paint. After that dried, I added Chicago Screws (using an awl to punch the holes) to make sure the fabric flaps would stay attached to the foam pouch with repeated opening and closing. The lines you see on the back are me finding the center of the pouch so I can line it up with the belt when attaching the pouches later.
Why Mod Podge? I coated the entire belt with Mod Podge to seal it because I knew it would wear, chip, scuff and add to the weathered look. Also, if too much chipped off, it would be easy to repair and repaint.
Once the pouches were all made, I started working on the actual belt. After measuring it to my size, I used 8 mm foam for the base and then added 6 mm strips to the top and bottom for detail. I then made the front flap and canteen holder which I (unfortunately) didn't take photos of.
Attaching Front Flap and Covering Belt
I glued one side of the vinyl that will cover the belt itself down along the very edge. That would have been difficult to do after attaching the front flap. I attached the front flap and canteen holder with Chicago screws, and then glued the belt vinyl over top to hide the Chicago screws that were holding the front flap on.
Covering the Belt and Weathering
This is what it looked like after I flipped it over to the front. Now it's time to glue down the vinyl that will be covering the front of the belt. I used hot glue and went edge by edge gluing down the vinyl so that you could still see the foam details underneath. I used a "Scraper" (or small putty knife) to push the vinyl into the cracks.
I used the same process of oil paints and Mod Podge to add some details to the vinyl after it was glued down.
Attaching Pouches to Belt
I used Chicago screws and an awl to punch holes through the belt and pouches to attach them. I attached Velcro to the pouches with hot glue to hold them closed. I should have sewn them on, but I didn't think about it until it was too late.
Creating the Canteen
I carved the canteen out of 10 mm foam layered and glued together. I used 3 mm foam to add the small details like the circle on the front and the black grips along the sides. I sealed it with a few layers of wood glue and sanded it smooth. I then painted it with a few "Pearl" acrylic paints to give it a frosty metal look.
Attaching the Canteen
I used Chicago screws again to attach the canteen straps to the belt flap and then one to close the straps around the canteen.
Making it Wearable
I used plastic clips on and webbing straps to close the belt in the back. I ended up having to hot glue the clips flat so that it stayed in place. Be careful if you decide to do this, because you don't want hot glue to get inside of the clips so that they don't clip together. It wasn't the prettiest, but it stayed put without an issue for two days.
The Finished Product
This is what the belt looked like completed. I hope this was helpful to anyone wanting to cosplay as Mei, or anyone that just needs help with a belt. If you have any questions, please leave them below or let us know on Facebook or Twitter.