Rex - Back Purse Tutorial

Hello and welcome to the 7th tutorial on my Rex cosplay! This time, we will focus on Rex’s back purse that he wears at the waist level between the two halves of his skirt!
This is where I suspect Rex to store his salvager cylinders, but we will use this location to a very useful purpose in cosplay during events: storing your cash, cards, ID, cellphone and other valuable things!
Here is a plan of the piece we need to do:
To find a reference object for the purse, I have decided to go with an “unbreaklable” Nalgene bottle I had for a very long time. It has the perfect shape and size for the back purse!
So, let’s start using it to build the purse. First, let’s make a pattern on the bottle: cover the bottle with either plastic or aluminium foil all around the bottle. Then, added a layer of duct tape on top of it.
You are now ready to trace the important parts of the back purse using a Sharpie marker! Things like the lid location, the hole for putting our items, the middle golden band and where the straps to attach the back purse to Rex’s horizontal belt can be traced on the duct tape.
When all elements are traced, it is time to remove the pattern from the bottle. Carefully use a sharp knife (ex: X-acto) to do this job. You may now see why we have used a plastic foil under the duct tape: it allows removing the tape without having the inconvenients of the sticky surface!
Then, you can create the base of the purse by transferring the pattern on 5 mm EVA foam. For the circled sides, you can trace circles of the desired diameter onto 5 mm EVA foam and cut them. You may use a sharp knife for the cutting.
You can then make sure that the cut pieces work by wrapping your bottle with them. Then, you may proceed with gluing the base extremities and the circle sides together with Barge contact cement.
Then, we need to add the lid to the purse, which will be a 2 mm EVA foam piece. On top of the lid, there is a golden section at its center. It is, again, a 2 mm EVA foam piece glued with Barge contact cement (I love this glue).
There will be a belt wrapping the purse for closing it, but its contents could leak from the sides. To prevent this, I recommend add tiny straps of velcro on the sides, both on the base and the inside of the lid.
There is one final major piece to add: a 2 mm EVA foam piece (see the next picture) that will be a blue section for the purse.
You may then proceed with applying 3 layers of Flexbond to prime the purse, then use:
  • blue paint for the blue sections. I have used acrylic paint from Pebeo named Cobalt Blue,
  • a Yellow Ocre base layer for the gold sections, then a mix of 50% Iridescent Gold and 50% Iridescent Silver from Pebeo,
  • dark red paint from another brand (that I cannot recall right now).
After the paint is done and final, you may protect your work with adding 2-3 layers of Mod Podge on the entire painted surfaces.
For the belt wrapping the purse, I have decided to cut a brown vinyl (faux leather) piece. It is the same thing I have used for various parts of my Rex cosplay, such as the brown jacket.
Make sure you cut a strap long enough to wrap the purse at its middle and long enough to allow you to sew both ends of the clip on your sewing machine. You can glue most of the strap to the purse using Barge contact cement.
For the back straps that hold the purse to Rex’s horizontal belt, I have decided to go with 2 duos of faux leather straps on which velcro is sewn on it. Both straps, when closed, secure the purse on Rex’s horizontal belt.
To hold the straps on the purse, I have decided to combine Barge contact cement, Gorilla Glue gel (for finishes) and handsewing at the base of the strap to ensure that the straps are solid.
When testing the straps, make sure you add in the purse the weight you expect to have in it, such as your cellphone, your keys, your money and other objects.
The space for the straps needs to be large enough to cover the whole width of Rex’s horizontal belt.
Using 2 duos of faux leather straps was not my first attempt at making it work. I have tried first with 2 mm non-reinforced EVA foam straps. I can tell you that the straps got tore up the moment I made the test and it failed miserably. Now you are warned!
This is how the purse should look on you at this point (with the bottom half of the cosplay on me).
Now, let’s work on the details on the sides of the purse. There are donut shapes that we will need to reproduce. Using a compass, you can trace the 3 circles and/or donuts you need on 5 mm EVA foam. Then, after cutting them and sanding them (to make it the final surface is smooth and without defects), let’s glue them with Barge contact cement.
There is a 8-pointed star shape on each side of the purse (side note: it looks like Far Cry 5’s main enemy faction’s emblem). You can then reproduce it using an angle protractor (divide 360 degrees by 8 and you have the angled between each branch).
You can then transfer the final pattern on 2 mm EVA foam twice and then cut the star away from it. Then, you can proceed with priming and painting, using the same techniques as seen before (3 layers of Flexbond with gold color after). Do not forget to coat the stars with 2-3 layers of Mod Podge after.
Then, you may install the stars on the purse by applying Barge contact cement on the back of the stars and on the locations on the purse sides where the stars will connect.
Before installing the stars, you have to paint the sides of the purpose with gold, using exactly the same technique and colors as shown before. You can create a nice depth effect by darkening the large cracks between the circles using dark paint and quickly spreading it with water after applying it.
When it’s done and the stars are installed, you may use dark paint to highlight all sides of the stars and create a nice 3D effect!
And then, tadam! You have done Rex’s back purse!
Here it is (the side, at least) during a nice photo with Brighid (cosplayer: Cyn & Em’s Cosplay Collection) taken by MrJechgo!


Thank you for reading and appreciating this tutorial on Rex’s back purse! Check out my cosplay accounts (GDICommander on Facebook and Instagram) for more news, more tutorials and more photos!