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Portal 2 boots

It’s been a few years since I made my Portal costume for Halloween, and I decided to re-visit it this year! Back then, I made the jumpsuit and then quickly made long fall blades out of foam. Since then, I’ve been wanting to go back and either re-make the Portal 1 blades or make the Portal 2 long fall boots. I decided on the Portal 2 version this year!

Note: Though I’m going to show how I made them in this entry, I’ll say that if I ever wore them again, I’d probably redo the whole thing. I only gave myself a few days to make these, so they were rushed, and the blades didn’t work out as I would have liked. I have notes at the end on the changes I’d like to make for next time.

To start, I made boot covers using stretch vinyl for the base boot part. I actually used the same base pattern from my Tashigi boot covers and altered them for Chell. I used a stronger fabric for the bottom this time, which is pleather, and then I stuck a shoe grip to it.

I used velcro on the back because it was faster, but I actually prefer using a zipper. (Perhaps I’ll change it next time.)

Then I wore the boots with the cover, and I covered my leg in cling wrap and masking tape. This let me draw the shape I wanted, and when I cut off the tape and cling wrap, I’m left with a pattern to use. This is how that came out, as well as the pattern for the boot covers.

That part of the boot was made with two layers of thin craft foam glued together.

I really wanted to be able to have removable pieces for the boot. That way it’s easier to transport or temporarily remove a part if needed (like when driving). I used strong magnets to attach the craft foam part to the boot covers. There is one on each side of the boot cover and matching ones between the pieces of craft foam.

Then I covered the whole thing with more vinyl! It’s simply hot glued around the edges. The straps on the front are elastic band around D-link rings. Those are hot glued to the craft foam.

As for the blades, I used Worbla. I did one piece of thin craft foam, and then sandwiched it between two pieces of Worbla. I definitely want to redo these later because I rushed and ended up with air bubbles in the Worbla. To get the right shape, I made a quick pillow with the curve I wanted. This let me heat up the Worbla and let it drape in the correct shape. After it cooled, I heated up the other end to bend it a little.

After that is the usual Gesso + sanding + spray paint.

At first, I tried to attach the blade to the boots with only one magnet, but it was way too wobbly. I ended up adding a second one, which looks a bit messy. You can see that on the boot, one magnet was added to the craft foam before I covered it with vinyl, but the other is on the outside.

The last part was adding the black line to the side of the boots. That was just drawn on with a black Sharpie.

Thanks to all the magnets, I can detach the boots into three pieces. When I was walking around, I mostly did it without the blades because they were awkward, and if they caught on something, they’d just come off. When I was driving, I did it only with the base boots.

Now for changes I’d like to make for next time!

  • Make the tall, craft foam part easier to take on and off. Right now, I have to stick my leg in it, then my foot in the boot, and then use the magnets to attach them together. It’d be nice if I could get my foot in the boot first, then put the tall part on afterwards.
  • Attach the bottom part of the blade to the boot somehow. Even with two magnets at the top, it’s still too wobbly and detaches too easily.

I’m glad I eventually went back to do the Portal 2 version, but I still have work to do on improving this costume!

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