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Cheap Ghillie Suits That Are Handmade
Making your own ghillie suit is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but many people find it to be a highly rewarding project, especially when wearing their ghillie suit while out hunting or competing in paintball games.
Ghillie suits were first used by Scottish gamekeepers assigned to capture and release for the nobility before a hunt, in essence stocking the woods with game so the hunt would be more successful. These same gamekeepers would also wear their ghillie suits when patrolling the grounds at night, protecting the livestock from poachers and predators.
Later the Scots decided ghillie suits were the perfect camouflage for their military units, so gamekeepers were recruited and trained as snipers for the Scottish military. Ghillie suits are still used by military units today both for sniping missions and for reconnaissance.
Ghillie suits are commonly used for paintballing, airsoft gaming, hunting, bird-watching, and for naturalists. You can purchase ready-made ghillie suits for reasonable prices from many online stores, but you can also construct your own ghillie suit if you have the time and energy. Even store-made ghillie suits can be tailored to match the setting in which it will be worn.
Before you get started
Before you make your ghillie suit, visit the areas you will be wearing the suit and take note of the coloring of the bushes, ground cover, and earth. Decide what season you will most likely be using the suit the most, as that can determine which colors are most dominant. For example, if you ware making your ghillie suit to wear when you go deer hunting, you’ll probably want to use browns, taupes, greys, and blacks in your suit. If you want to use the suit year-round, you may want to use more of a variety of colors. You may want to collect samples of the brush, undergrowth, leaves and soil so you can match colors exactly. Another idea is to bring paint swatches (like the ones you can get in hardware stores) and mark off colors that match the surrounds on the swatches.
Decide if you want to make a poncho or fitted ghillie suit. Which of the supplies you buy depends on what kind of suit you want to make. If you will be staying still while wearing your suit, you may prefer a poncho, but if you’ll be crawling in the dirt and trying to move quickly, you’ll want a fitted ghilie suit. This guide will tell you how to make a fitted ghillie suit.
Gather your supplies
What you’ll need:
– Hot glue gun – Pack of glue gun glue sticks – Pack of sewing needles – Fishing line – Powder dye packets of RIT dye – yellow, green, tan, brown, black – Nylon netting – enough to cover you completely – 6 -7 yards – Can of flat black spray paint – 6-7 yards of burlap – Olive drab flight suit – Camouflage helmet cover – 1 yard water-resistant Cordura canvas
How to make your ghillie suit
1. Cut and dye the burlap.
Using a heavy duty pair of scissors, cut the burlap into strips of varying lengths. Mix up the dye, and dye the strips into many, many colors, creating as many variations of the colors you noted in the desired environment. Remember that some colors will change as the burlap dries, so make a wide variety of colors. Mix and match colors – dipping the strips in one color and then another – to create all kinds of shades and variations on the strips.
1. Shred the burlap pieces.
When the burlap dries, shred the pieces and make each one unique.
1. Cut and attach water-resistant canvas to the front and back of the flight suit.
You’ll want to cover whatever parts of the suit you want to be water-resistant and able to handle wear and tear. You may want to add canvas strips to the elbows, forearms and knees if you’re going to be crawling in the dirt. You can either sew this on or use the glue gun to glue it on.
1. Cut and attach the netting over the flight suit.
Make sure the netting will blur your form so you no longer have the silhouette of a human being, but instead look like a bush or a blob. Make sure you give yourself lots of extra space so the netting won’t constrict your movements either. Sew the netting on using the fishing line and needles.
1. Cut and attach the netting to the helmet cover.
Follow the same instructions as above.
1. Attach the burlap strips to the netting all over the suit and helmet cover.
Sew the pieces of shredded burlap on, making sure you layer the pieces such that it looks natural and varied and does not concentrate any one color in any one place. Use the fishing line and needle to sew the pieces on. This is the most time-consuming part of the process, but it is also somewhat of an art form to make sure you use varied pieces and colors. Make sure you attach enough pieces of the helmet but not so much that you won’t be able to see.
1. Drag the suit through the mud and let it dry. 2. Congratulate yourself! You’re done!
If all this seems too labor-intensive, consider one of our a ready-made ghillie suits.
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