How to attach props to a corset harness?

For an upcoming production, we need to have an axe stuck into an actor's back. He needs to be able to walk around with the axe sticking out.
Last week, I watched the Making an FX Corset Harness tutorial by Amy Whetsel, and while it is great in showing the process of making a corset harness, I'm missing one essential element: how to actually attach props to this harness.
Amy mentions several times in passing that you can attach a weapon to a fibre glass plate that you then attach to the harness, but after several hours of trying to study the pictures of finished FX harnesses in the course, as well as searching online, I haven't quite found an answer to the question of HOW to do this.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Or is there a follow up to this course that I have yet to discover?
(The production provided us with a prop axe with a foam blade and a wooden handle, but we can make a foam replica if it needs to be light weight.)


  • As you suggested, starting with a full-foam axe would be ideal to lighten the weight.   That could then be attached to a fiberglass plate for stability, and then that plate can be attached to the harness.

    For how you attach things, that will depend on a lot of things.  To attach the axe to the plate you can use bolts, velcro, glue, zip ties, etc.  Just depends on the axe and plate design, and your project's needs.  Usually, the prop connection to the plate is weaker/more temporary than the plate's connection to the harness, both for safety reasons and so the prop can be easily switched out.

    To attach the plate to the harness you could strap it in, use rivets, snaps, bolts, zip ties, etc.  Sometimes even velcro or 3M Dual Lock will work (similar to velcro, just stronger).   It's important to make sure no mounting hardware will protrude inward or rub against the performer.  Also, think about which connection point could/should break if the performer falls or bumps something.  You'll want either the plate or the prop to come free, so that force is not transmitted to the performer.

  • Thanks for the suggestions, Chris! We'll start exploring these ideas to figure out what will work best for us.
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