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Qui-Gon boot build
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DragonStar (Rob)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:29 am    Post subject: Qui-Gon boot build Reply with quote

I'm working on a Qui-Gon costume. I've looked around, and thought about it, and decided it just couldn't be that hard to put eight straps into a pair of boots. Smile So rather than pay $550 to motorcowboy I paid $35 to ebay and made my own. I am no leather worker by any means, but I figured I'd document this build just in case it spares anyone else some trouble. I'd also like a LCJ to weigh in on whether these boots would pass for a formal Qui-Gon.

I bought a pair of vintage custom made equestrian boots in my size. They fit like a dream and I don't want to mess with that, so I used slightly thinner leather for the straps. I already had some on hand so that was free.

Step One: qui-gon boot build



That's our boy...

Step 2: layout


I cut 16 straps to a width of 1.75". This may not be the precise screen accurate size, but the boots are 17" and that's the size that seemed best.

step 3: put the mat in the boot


I rolled up a cutting mat and inserted into the boot. This is to keep the leather rigid and the boot in place while drawing and cutting. I used a clamp to attach the mat to the table so it wouldn't move around.

Step 4: strap fit test



Make sure the straps fit.





step 5: x-acto time


After drawing the lines for the cuts, I used an X-acto to make the slits in the leather. My boots were lined and I wanted to avoid cutting the inner layer. Partially for comfort, partially to stop rain from getting into my socks, and partially because I thought the friction of the two layers might hold the straps in place without needing stitches or glue. Time will tell on that.

To make the cuts, then, I put the tip of the blade at a steep angle, pointing into the boot (not like shown in the picture, but at a 90 degree angle, so you'd be looking at the butt of the xacto) and then scratched a line into the leather. I then made the actual cuts by putting the blade into the scratch as shown in the picture and cutting the line. I was able to cut all 16 slots and only pierced the inner lining once when I got impatient.

Step 6: It puts the strap in the slit.



These jumbo tweezers are good for getting the straps neatly into the slots. Grasp tight...



Then I used a pate spoon or cheese spreader or whatever this doohickie is to get the straps flush between the layers.





Step 7: all done
Once I got all the straps in one side, I worked my way back up the other side, and viola.


The finished boot:



There are a few differences between these and qui-gon's. First, qui-gon's boots have a seam down the front center. I can add this in, but I'd prefer not to for a few reasons. One is fit. The boots fit very well right now. I'm concerned that putting in a slit with such soft leather will make them misshappen. Another reason is rain. Qui-Gon's boots never made any sense to me, and I know that's how costuming goes, but if I will be in the rain I don't want a large gutter sending the rain right down my pants leg.

The second difference is that these have boot pulls in them so there is a bit of stiching on the side.

Third is that the "shoe" part of the boots is a little lighter than I'd like. The rest looks okay but the toes are a bit reddish and a bit light. I may try to darken them.

I'll update the thread when the other boot is done and provide some action pics.
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Last edited by DragonStar (Rob) on Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jedi Loreen (Lori Procopio)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting idea.

But I would have tried darkening the toes with some brown polish before putting the straps in/on, but I suppose you could always take them back out to do that.

I'm not sure why you think your feet would stay dry if you stepped in a puddle or under a draining rain gutter. Now that you've cut slits in the leather, there's nothing to stop water from getting through those slits and soaking the lining. Unless you're planning to put some glue in there to seal the slits.


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Jedi Pete (Peter stringer)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like em mate, i had to make my own obi wan kenobi boots there not perfect but i like em, i like the personal touch.....
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DragonStar (Rob)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

J-Lo, the straps are just tucked in for now. I am going to darken the leather later, and then yes I was considering using some form of glue to seal the slits. I'm not even sure if that is possible, but I know one thing: if there is a cut all the way down the front, there's basically no way to make the boots water resistant.

Thanks Jedi Pete! I agree with you, it is more fun to build than to buy.
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Righteous Pugs ()



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like them sir, very well done, I may have to steal that idea for my boots when i get em in. lookin forward to seeing the finished product
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DragonStar (Rob)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, steal the idea and make it better! Then tell everyone else about it. Smile I can't wait to see them done either.
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a davenport (Anne Davenport)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they're looking good. They need a little more color matching between the straps and the boots, but that's not hard.

I did something similar with a pair of boots I got on ebay that I added straps to. For those I just had to make a few holes to attach loops that the straps went through. But I marked everything with making tape and checked it all before I made any holes.
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DragonStar (Rob)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been awhile but I returned to this project. After kicking around some concerns I've done a few things. First, I used neatsfoot oil to darken the boots. I may still give them another round of darkening. Right now they are close to the boots pictured in the padawan's guide but still a bit too light. Next I decided to use thicker straps because the thinner leather just didn't seem rugged enough. The ones I used now are slightly thicker than the real ones but it was the closest I could get on a budget. Finally, I put in the front seam.

Pics below, if you will excuse the sloppy photoshop work in getting rid of a busy background:








The "real" boots are here:
http://www.padawansguide.com/nikki/qg3.jpg
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Cyrus (Hoyt Dingus)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Nice Rob I like what you have done!
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Myshadowstar ()
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject: boots Reply with quote

I like the way you've darkened them down Smile did you use a belt blank and cut it into strips looks about that thickness. Good job

Did you find a way to keep feet dry now that you added slit?
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DragonStar (Rob)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. They aren't belt blanks per se. I went to Dollar General and bought three 44" men's belts in dark brown leather. I used contact cement to put in the straps and the flap underneath the slit on the front. It somewhat seals the seams. However, I believe that in rain the boots would get wet. I'm looking into some other form of adhesive to seal those areas, but for now I'm just assuming that these will be fair weather boots.
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Anaria Zar-Rel (Kristy Glasgow)
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They look great! Love that you modified them yourself Smile
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jedichase ()
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome work it looks very clean. My boots are starting to wear out and I need to start looking for some.

May the force be with you,
Jedi Knight Chase K.
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Theyrenotdolls ()
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like what you've done here. This is a supreme customization job!!
Where'd u get the boots. That find itself is an amazing success. I'd like to see further pics...of the boots being worn before giving further comment/critique. nice work.
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DragonStar (Rob)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the boots from ebay for $35. They are vintage (I'm guessing 1980's era) custom made equestrian boots. They aren't dressage boots though. I've worn them around walking for an hour or so and they are quite comfortable and feel like sneakers.

I bought three $6 belts plus a bottle of rubber cement for the straps. All told, I guess this build cost $56 or so. There are several flaws in this boot build to be sure, but for under $60 I am pleased with the outcome.

Here's a shot of me wearing them, although I'm in long johns so it looks like chicken legs:



I already know I will need to buy stronger glue (perhaps shoe goop or barge cement) for the toe straps. There just is not enough room for them to grip inside the slits near the toes.
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