I have seen Mara wearing four kinds of holsters for her blasters. They have been
on her left forearm, on her right thigh, on the back of her belt, and she has also
been shown to have a very large holster for a rifle which she wears hanging on her
The two more common belts are undecorated brown leather with a floating strap which
drapes down on the right side. The floating strap is attached to the main belt under
the front buckle and at the center back. The buckle is always plain silver and rectangular.
The buckle clasp is always hidden on the back side of the buckle.
For my first Mara costume, I made a thigh holster in the traditional "cowboy" style.
I bought my supplies from Tandy Leather, using a two inch belt blank for the main
piece of the belt, and a 1.5 inch strap for the floating strap. Because this belt
was to be worn with a cape, I didn't bother to put the back arch of the floating
strap on my belt. It would never be seen, afterall. The belt and buckle blanks were
easy to work with, and the leather was easy to dye. I scuffed the leather pieces
up a bit with sandpaper, especially at the edges, so they wouldn't look brand new.
The holster was made from a piece of 5 ounce scrap leather. I soaked the leather
in cool water (NOT hot!) until it became flexible, and then I folded it over the
blaster, which had been wrapped in saran wrap to protect it from the moisture. I
let the leather dry overnight, and then I trimmed away the excess leather, dyed the
leather, glued everything in place with contact cement, and then used a leather awl
and waxed thread to sew the seam lines. This was the first time I had ever made a
holster, and I found that it was a relatively easy and pain free process once I figured
out what I was doing. Well, it was pain free until I stabbed the leather awl clear
through my finger, anyway....
I chose to place a false buckle on the front of my belt so that I wouldn't have to
worry about finding a way to attach the floating strap to a working buckle. I sanded
the buckle with 600 and then 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper to give it a nice finish,
and angled the edges with a cutting wheel and belt sander. Then, I took the back
clasp section off the buckle, and glued everything together on the front with contact
cement. The real buckle is on the back of the belt. I also made a leather pouch from
the same leather as the holster, which I wear on the back of my belt. The pouch slides
over the buckle to hide it, and gives me a great place to store things like my camera
When I made my second Mara costume, I decided to make the blaster that Mara wears
in an assassin style holster on the back of her belt in many of the comics references
and on her first action figure.
To make this holster meant that I had to start over from scratch. Once again I purchased
a 2" belt blank, a 1.5" leather strap, a buckle blank, and a piece of tooling hide
from Tandy Leather. I designed the belt differently this time, making the front buckle
a real, functioning buckle. The floating strap is attached to the back of the main
belt with contact cement and a hidden rivet for extra strength.
When you first get the leather strap for the floating belt, you will find that it
does not lay flat against your hip the way it should. To make it lay correctly, you
will have to shape the leather. To do this, first make the upper section of the belt.
Soak the lower belt piece in cool water for a few minutes to make it soft and flexible.
Then, stretch the lower edge and compress the upper edge of the strap, gradually
shaping it to the curve you will need. Once you have it in the correct shape, you
need to KEEP it in that shape until it dries. The best way to do this is to wear
the belt for a few hours. I used large plastic clips (wrapped in scraps of cloth
to protect the leather from getting marred) to hold the floating strap on my belt.
Then, I just wore the belt and attached floating strap until the strap was dry enough
to hold its shape. At that point I set it on the table with some folded towels to
keep the curves supported, and I let it dry overnight. The next day, the belt was
ready to dye and assemble. Always be sure to dye and clearcoat your leather BEFORE
you put glue on it. Otherwise, any place where glue smeared or ran will not accept
the dye, and you will end up with lighter splotches on your belt.
I had to use a different technique to make the holster this time. While some of the
reference pictures have added seam and structural lines to the back holster, my favorite
version is a simple leather box worn on the back of the belt. To recreate this look,
I once again soaked a piece of leather in cool water until it was flexible. Instead
of shaping the leather around the blaster, I shaped it by hand into a squared off
tube, which I made sure was large enough to hold the blaster. (Remember, leather
shrinks as it dries!) I made a separate piece for the base, which is just a bottom
cap with sides that will fit into the end of the holster. I let everything dry, and
then realized that I couldn't sew the seams this time. There was no way I could get
an awl or needle into those tight corners! So, I had to settle for assembling this
holster with contact cement alone. There are a few hidden rivets on the back which
hold the holster onto my belt, but other than that, it is fully dependent on the
cement to stay in one piece. It seems to be holding up quite well, to my great relief!
The safety strap is cemented to the back of the holster. The strap has a snap on
the end, which connects to the other half of the snap, which I placed on a small
square of lightweight leather. That leather was then cemented into the inside edge
of the holster. It is fairly easy to open and close, though my gloves do occasionally
make it more difficult.
From time to time Mara is shown wearing leather pouches on her belt. This reference
image even shows her wearing what looks like a miniature version of a stormtrooper's