Sunday, January 24, 2016

This Steampunked Back Brace Looks Like Gorgeous Cosplay Armor

I love it when you guys share your projects and finds over on the Epbot FB page. Here's something particularly awesome that came in a few days ago:


Linda C. writes, "My daughter didn't like the brace she had to wear after surgery, so a friend helped her steampunk it. Best part, now folks are intrigued, and come up and ask why she has to wear it rather than just staring."


My jaw actually dropped, you guys. It looks like custom cosplay armor, right? SO COOL.

I asked Linda if she had more pics, and she kindly sent over a bunch. Here's her daughter, Maddie, in the original brace:
 

 Linda writes, "This is the 'before,' when she also needed a walker. We were in a bad wreck, and she had a T12 fracture. She's been having a spectacular recovery." (Thank goodness for that!)

"Sarah, the design mastermind, also does set design for our theater group, and helped with sets for a steampunk version of 'A Christmas Carol.'"


Here's the back:


And some process pics: 
Great use of appliques!




 It looks like they painted over paper gears to get that great design silhouette. The metal trim is on the bottom edge:


And one final beauty shot of Maddie in her finished brace:

 

Thanks so much for sharing, Linda, kudos to Sarah for doing such a great job, and best wishes to Maddie for an even speedier recovery!

*****

UPDATE: You guys rock. Here's a new message from Linda:


55 comments:

  1. Talk about making lemonade! Fabulous!

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  2. Excellent job! Also wishing Maddie a speedy recovery! Such a lovely story. Thanks for sharing, indeed.

    -Just Andrea

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  3. That is fantastic! She looks like Steampunk Wonder Woman! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!!

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  4. Gorgeous girl, awesome armor!

    Hope Maddie recovers quickly but, in the meantime, at least she gets to look totally badass!

    KW

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  5. This is really awesome! My husband fractured his T12 three weeks ago at work and his brace is black, padded and truly ugly. I think I will sit and stare at it until something comes to me. I call him a turtle in a half shell when he is wearing it so maybe a TMNT face would be appropriate. That is IF I can talk him into it. lol

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  6. Now that is really cool! Way to take something frustrating and turn it into something awesome!

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  7. Absolutely amazing. Beautiful work!

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  8. That is awesome! Got the wheels spinning here....

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  9. Having worn a brace for scoliosis from 10 to 15 years old, I would have Loved this!

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  10. They did a good job on this.. I used to work in a O&P lab where we made these types of back braces... I wish they would have let us have done stuff like this.

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  11. Wow! Gorgeous and so inspirational.

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  12. ...I actually want this.. I could use it for my own steampunk exosuit cosplay.

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  13. That gear image is actually a stencil from hobby lobby. I've got one somewhere, it was a good little find.

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  14. The gear stenciling is genius! I love it.

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  15. It looks fantastic and I've always felt that looking good leads to feeling good which leads to faster recovery. The only possible downside is that there are now places that frown upon people "in costume" and this could possible cause some confusion.

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  16. This is fantastic! Best wishes to Maddie for a speedy recovery.

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  17. That is awesome.. Also, go Panthers..

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  18. Oh that is awesome! Love how it looks like armor and also could be used easily for a clockwork doll costume. The gear pattern makes it look like there are internal gears on display

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  19. This is AMAZING!!!! I was diagnosed with a very severe case of scoliosis at 13. I had corrective surgery but never had to wear a brace. My younger sister was diagnosed with a similar, but different, type of scoliosis at 16. After her surgery (which was over Thanksgiving break) she did have to wear a brace. She hated it! She hid it under her clothes and most of her clothes got so stretched out that she could not wear them after she got rid of the brace. What an beautiful and empowering solution this is! So many young people, especially girls, with scoliosis suffer self-esteem issues because of how this disease distorts their bodies. I hope this catches on and becomes the standard for braces like this!!! I too wish Maddie a speedy recovery! It's painful and it sucks now but you will be stronger for it in the end!

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  20. Cool! Function and fashion come together, why not?
    Go Maddie!

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  21. Looks awesome. My daughter doesn't like her brace either. This was her 3rd back surgery and now has a chin piece because she holds her head forward and down a lot.

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  22. This is totally awesome! The idea could be used for any kind of brace, appliance or prosthetic a kid had to wear. I'm sure you could even come up with something for a wheel chair. Wonderful idea! And I too wish Maddie a speedy recovery!

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  23. I love this! Now it just looks like part of her outfit. People who aren't too crafty could definitely still do something like this. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery too!

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  24. Mom could go into business revamping braces. Way to go mom. Beautiful artwork.

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  25. This is amazing! I love how they made something this girl needs to wear every day so beautiful that she now will be proud to show it off :)

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  26. I am in a similar brace for a T12 and L2 break. I have to wear it in the shower. Is there a type of paint that would withstand daily water?

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    1. They make paints for the interior of pools and fountains, for cars, houses, and for the outsides of boats. You might not be able to get the same color/metalic quality (though, automotive paint might be available in a similar quality) she did but I'm sure you could find something durable and nicer than whatever color the brace came in.

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    2. When my baby boy had to wear a Docband to reshape his little noggin, I was told that there are automotive body paint shops that might do a design for him. He really didn't wear it long enough for me to worry about looking into it, but that may be an option.

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    3. Even if the paint isn't waterproof, a good clear shellac (like the kind for outdoor use) over it should seal it.

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  27. Wow...this is fantastic. I bet half the people that see it want one...I do..

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  28. What an awesome way to make a negative into a positive. The Steampunk Christmas Carol would have been neat to see too!

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  29. Now that is cool! If I'm ever in a similar situation, I know who to call...

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  30. Awesome. Love it when art can make an ordinary thing extraordinary.

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  31. This so cool! Speedy recovery! I think there might be a run on medical braces just to use for cosplay.

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. You have been ripped off. http://www.boredpanda.com/back-brace-steampunk-diy-maddie/?commentUpdated

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    1. I was just coming in to report this. Yep. Bored Panda did link to your FB page, but pretty much made out like they wrote it.

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    2. Also buzzfeed. The Internet is a depressing place sometimes.

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    3. This one too: http://www.earthables.com/back-brace-steampunk-armor-1574672091.html

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    4. This one too: http://www.earthables.com/back-brace-steampunk-armor-1574672091.html

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  34. I prefer this comment. When life gives you lemons, plant a lemon tree. Great story and very pretty girl. Glad she is doing better.

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  35. Hey, just spotted these same photos on the 9GAG hot page. 11,000 points, 240 comments!

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  36. That is just awesome. I have the same brace. Could you please tell me what kind of paint was used. I will be wearing mine for a long time.

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  37. Just saw Maddie's story was picked up on Mighty Girl and HuffPost. You're a sensation!

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  38. My mother is 63 and has scoliosis. If I could give her a couple of brace options like these she might not complain so much so much about wearing a brace. She would love this look!

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