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I made the belt from a 24 pack of Fred Meyer brand generic cola, a Sampsonite luggage belt, some spray paint, some expanding foam sealant (unfortunately also an adhesive) and hot glue to hold it all together.
Wanting to not be too wastful I thought it would be good to at least drink the soda rather than waste it. That lasted for about half a can, the remaining 23 1/2 cans went straight down the drain. Given that it stained my sink it's probably a good thing I didn't drink it all.
Time to fill the cans with foam.
40%, that'll never fill the cans. I need these things to be solid. Have to be able to drill into them and withstand the beating of two halloween parties. I'd better just fill them all the way up, the foam doesn't expand that much.
Okay, so the foam expands that much. But that's why I bought a 24 pack. I figured my major screw up would come later in the project though - at least I hadn't already painted them like I wanted to.
Round two, much better results, still some overflow, but not bad. In retrospect I would have drilled or punched a hole in the bottom of the cans to drain out the soda. That way 1) if the foam overflowed I wouldn't really care since I could just carve it away from the bottom, but more importantly 2) the tops of the cans wouldn't look already opened on the belt.
It's not really that noticable, just something I'd have done differently given the chance.
Begin the tedious task of masking off the tops and bottoms of the cans. In the simpsons, Duff beer cans aren't red all the way from top to bottom, there's a band of silver can on each end. I didn't have any silver paint and really didn't care enough to paint these cans twice so they're going to be just solid red.
Krylon 12 minute dry bright red paint - two coats. Even with that much paint you can still sort of see the generic labels through paint, but not too bad.
While the paint dried, I take a stab at Paint Shop Pro and some web art. Do a google image search for Duff or Duffman and eventually you find an image of a Duff beer billboard. It's the highest resolution (and least obstructed) view of the duff logo I could find. Rather than freehanding it I just blew the image up and cleaned up any jaggies.
After removing the tape the cans are looking good. I used the dremel metal polish bit to try and clean off as much of the overflow foam from the top of the cans as possible. It worked really well on cans with only a little overflow but had a bit of a hard time chewing through more than a half inch or so.
Prototype can with a trimmed down label. Used generic avery 2x4 mailing labels and just cut out as much of the red as possible (it wasn't even close to a color match). The labels work pretty well though will probably eventually peel away from the cans. Good enough for one year though.
All of the cans. I like this picture because of the weird "organic" foam sculptures that sprang forth after the dremeling. Apparently the foam hadn't completely set up yet and I'd tapped into a still liquid area on a couple of cans. Basically like those "snake" fireworks only slightly cooler.
Lining the cans up on the belt (a trimmed samsonite luggage belt, I don't know many people with a 72" waist). I only end up using 9 of the 12, but it was better to have too many than too few.
Drilled two holes in the back of the cans to inject glue into. With the glue still hot in the holes I laid bead of hot glue on the belt and pressed them together for about 5 minutes.
This method of attachment works really well (tested it with one of the freak overflow cans and the leftover belt bits). Even if the glue pulls away from the can, the glue "rivets" still hold it on. It's actually pretty hard to pull a can away from a belt - should survive a party fine.
All of the cans in place, I let the cans set up for an hour. Well actually Enterprise came on and Matt came over so the cans just sat there. Proved to be a good choice.
Duffman has a belt, oh yeah.
Proportionally the cans are way small on me compared to cans on images of duffman. Of course to be the same proportion as the ones on duffman I'd have to have used Bud 24 ounce cans and that would have gotten expensive. Ready for the rest of the costume.